Emerald Contact Center – Waterford Ireland

Woodlock House, Home of ECC

This magnificent building, situated in the “sunny south east” approximately, eleven kilometers from the city of Waterford was originally owned by the Malcolmsons, a Quaker family, who ran a cotton factory in the locality. The American Civil War in 1861 was a bad blow to the factory. Raw cotton surpluses dwindled with Lincoln’s enforcement of the naval blockade, forcing Malcolmsons’ ships to run the Union blockades in order to continue to do business with one of its largest customers. They supplied cotton to the Southern States, allowing a huge bill to mount up by the losing side. Cotton exports which totaled £40 million in 1860 fell to £8 million in 1861. Robert and Richard Shaw (sons of Robert Shaw, the manager at Portlaw) were sent to the Southern States to look after the Malcolmson interests. They never returned and their distraught family in Portlaw never succeeded in tracing them.
It was about this time that, for some strange reason, the Malcolmsons embarked on a frenzy of house-building. All the houses were fine examples of Victorian architecture. Among the most notable were Mayfield House, where Joseph Malcolmson lived, Milford House which was destroyed by fire in the 1950’s, Clodagh House where Fred Malcolmson’s family lived and Woodlock House which was the residence of George Malcolmson and his wife Emily Maud. Upon their passing the Woodlock House was bequeathed, in accordance with Emily Maud’s wishes, to the sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny who converted the structure into a convent in the early 1900’s. It remained a convent and elderly care home until the 1980’s when the remaining sisters closed the convent and were transfered to other nearby parishes.