Who was Jenny Watt?

The Myth, the legend

“The chief’s lovely daughter, our fair Jenny Watt, she lived and she loved in a beautiful dream.”

Several theories exist as to the true identity of our late Jenny. The verse above is an extract from a ‘lengthy ballad which gives one of the most romantic accounts of Jenny Watt’.

Herein Ms. Watt is cast as a noblewoman courted by a Gaelic chieftain, and lusted after by a ‘lecherous’ Viking - a battle ensues between both of the protagonist’s admirers, leaving the Irish Romero to a ‘sticky end’, whereby Jenny flees to a sea-cave near the foot of Strickland’s Glenn.

A more realistic alternative theory pits Jenny against the Crown alongside the United Irishmen in 1798 when a mass of Presbyterians throughout Ulster rose against the Monarchy. Relatively speaking, the feud centered on the district of Bangor and the Six Road Ends, where the deeds of Betsy Grey went into history.

Established in 1780 as a very unlicensed premises in a ‘couple of fisherman’s cottages’, the establishment then became ‘Johnson’s Public House’ before being changed again to ‘Old House at Home’ toward the end of the twentieth century when it was renamed to the renowned title it proudly sports today.