The principal job of the gatekeeper was to open the gates to the estate in the morning (usually at 6am) and close them in the evening. The gatekeeper controlled access to the house and grounds, keeping intruders out and servants in. On most estates, he was not allowed to let any servant out past 9pm without special permission.
gatekeeper usually lived in a lodge by the main entrance gates, and was sometimes
provided with a small garden. Large houses like
Gatekeepers at Emo
entry in the agent’s book for
1901, the gatekeeper was Mary Coss. She lived in a three-roomed
house with her husband William, who was an agricultural labourer on the estate.
When Mary died, William took over the role as gatekeeper and he is listed in
this capacity in the 1911 census. Other gatekeepers at Emo include the Misses Odlum, who lived in the lodge at the back gate, and James
Conroy who lived at the farm before the main gate, and whose house was equipped
with a bell which rang whenever someone needed entrance to