Rathmolyon – Ráth Moliain – The Village

Rathmolyon is a village in southern County Meath, situated 8 km south of Trim. Rathmolyon serves as a service center for the surrounding rural area. The village developed at the junction of two regional roads. A number of buildings in the village date from the Georgian and Victorian periods. Notable or historic buildings in Rathmolyon include the Catholic church, the Church of Ireland church, two public houses, Cherryvalley House, Rathmolyon Villa and Rathmolyon House. The green area was what was called “Harnan’s Orchard.” The fair of Rathmolyon was held in Kilmore townland.

The townland of Rathmolyon contains 198 acres. In 1836 it was the property of the Bishop of Ossory. It was let in small farms from 21s. to 26s. per acre. The northern part of Rathmolyon village is located in this townland. On the Trim Road a house called Rathmolyon Villa was constructed and there was a mill on the opposite side of the road.

Harnan’s is an example of a detached three-bay single-storey house with attic accommodation, built about 1880, with gabled porch. It is now also in use as public house. It is a good example of a vernacular thatched house. Utilising traditional local materials, thatched structures were once commonly found all over Ireland but are now becoming increasingly rare. The building is an interesting addition to the streetscape, while the survival of many original features and materials enhance the original form.

Acknowledgements and Further Reading

Thank you to all the following and acknowledging their works.

Meath Chronicle, Drogheda Independent, Evening Herald, Irish Independent, Irish Press, Local History Section, Meath County Library, Longwood & Killyon Magazine, Owen O’Rourke, O’Rourke Family, Kieran Cummins, Mick Hughes, Dorothy Hughes, Rev. Eugene Griffin, Betty Carey, David Gorey.

“All in Good Faith. A history of Christianity in Enfield, Rathmolyon, Rathcore and Associated Areas” by the Dair Rioga Local History Group

Enfield/Rathmolyon Parish Website

‘Archaeological Inventory of County Meath’ (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). Compiled by: Michael Moore

Ten in a Bed: A Memoir by Michael A. Regan. Published by Abbeyview Press, Trim, County Meath Ireland, 2006.

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH)

1641 Depositions at Trinity College Dublin

The Down Survey at Trinity College Dublin

ESB Archives

Historic Environment Viewer – National Monuments Service

National Townland and Historical Map Viewer OSI

Logainm – The Placenames Database of Ireland

Excavations.ie – summary accounts of archaeological excavations in Ireland

National Library of Ireland.

Glacial Deposit around Trim, Co. Meath by F.M. Synge. PRIA.

All gravestones in each graveyard have been recorded and are available online at Enfield& District Graveyards Website. This work was carried out by Baconstown Heritage Group.

Where does the name “Rathmolyon” come from?

According to John O’Donovan writing in the 1830s Rathmolyon gets its name from the Irish, “Ráth Maoil-Iain”, meaning Mullylyon’s fort. Maol in Irish means bald. I think Rathmolyon may have been known as the manor of Moylagh before it became Rathmolyon. “Moyllach” is the version used in 1212 grant and in 1540 Walter O’Kennedy held the manor of Moylagh. Dr. Beryl Moore suggested that Rathmolyon could mean Rath Máigh Laighin meaning the rath of the plain of Leinster.

Rev. Professor Murphy, Rector of Rathcore suggested the name Rathmolyon was “the rath of the plain of Leone”. Leone, he said, was the sister of St. Patrick. George Petrie suggested that the saint in Rathmolyon’s case was St. Macthaluis of “Moy life” rather than St. Michael.

There is a territory around Kells, Co. Kilkenny, which was called the kingdom of Mag Lacha and some writers confuse this with Rathmolyon. The kingdom of Laegaire was centred on Athboy and is now known as the barony of Lune. To the south of Laegaire ‘proper’ lay Mag Lacha, a king of whom is recorded in a Kells charter, although this ‘kingdom’ does not feature in any other record.

Speed’s Map of Leinster 1610 showing Castle at Mollogh.

Glacial Deposits at Rathmolyon

Ireland’s landscape was formed during the last Ice Age.  There have been a number of glacial events, the last one in Ireland ending around 12,000 years ago.  The ice-shaped mountains, glaciated valleys and deposits in the form of eskers and drumlins all formed due to these glacial events, and they also they also left the foundations for our waterways and bogs. Eskers are long, high ridges of sand and gravel which were deposited by melt water streams in tunnels beneath the glaciers of the last Ice Age. A kame is an irregularly shaped hill composed of sand, gravel and till that accumulates in a depression on a retreating glacier, and is then deposited on the land surface with further melting of the glacier. The Galtrim Moraine represents a large glacial depositional feature known as a recessional moraine which formed along the ice front of a melting glacier as it retreated across the north central Midlands at the end of the last glaciation.

The two Rathmolyon eskers gradually approach each other for some distance but then they diverge west of Rathmolyon village. The more northerly of the two , with a total distance of four miles, trends east from the prominent kame known as Shane Hill, which lies on the right bank of the Boyne. After a marshy gap half a mile wide at Castletown, it reappears as a narrow, winding ridge 30 feet or less in height. Outside Rathmolyon it is about 40 feet high. From there it continues to the Galtrim moraine, with which it merges in the vicinity of the Bull Ring. Much of the major bead of the esker has been quarried away. The south Rathmolyon esker arises as a narrow ridge about 20 feet high on the side of Tromman Hill. Running east, it turns abruptly south of Rathmolyon village, where it becomes a line of low mounds. Further east the esker continues as a winding ridge 30 to 40 feet high. It merges at its south end with the inner edge of a delta-like ridge of gravel. The total length of this esker is two miles.

Rathmolyon in 1837

RATHMOLION, a parish, in the barony of, LOWER-MOYFENRAGH, county of MEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 2½ miles (W. by N.) from Summerhill, on the road to Longwood; containing 2674 inhabitants, of which number, 208 are in the village. The parish comprises 19,265 statute acres, mostly light and gravelly. The village consists of 33 houses, and about half a mile from it is a constabulary police station: fairs are held on April 19th, June 30th, and Sept. 29th. Tubbertinan, now the residence of Mrs. McEvoy, was formerly the seat of W. Nugent, Esq. Rathmolion House is the residence of R. Fowler, Esq.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Meath, and in the patronage of W. Snell Magee, Esq.; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Darnley. The tithes amount to £438. 9. 2., of which £230. 15. 4½. is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar. The glebe-house was built in 1813, at a cost of £628, partly defrayed by a gift of £100 from the late Board of First Fruits, the remainder by the then incumbent; the glebe comprises 35 acres, valued at £43. 15. per annum. The church is a neat edifice, built in 1797, partly by private subscription and partly by parochial assessment, at. an expense of £444; the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £181 for its repair. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising Rathmolion and Rathcore, in each of which is a chapel.

About 80 children are educated in the parochial school, situated in the village, which is aided by the Bishop of Ossory, the Earl of Darnley, the rector, and R. Fowler, Esq., who also supports a school at Cullenter, the school-house of which he built, and allows the master an acre of land. There are also three private schools, in which are about 130 children. A dispensary is supported partly by subscriptions and by the aid of R. Fowler, Esq. At Castletown is an ancient Danish fort: and in the parish are the ruins of an old church.

From Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.

Rathmolyon House

Detached six-bay two-storey house, built about 1800, with three-storey return. Hipped tile roof with terracotta ridge tiles and modern brick chimneystacks. Rendered walls with render quoins. Replacement windows. Round-arched stone doorcase with Tuscan columns, replacement door and fanlight. Roughcast rendered and stone outbuildings to site, one formerly having integral carriage arch to road. Rubble stone boundary walls with lugged and pedimented stone architrave and wrought-iron gate. It has two reception rooms, one of which is a drawing room, with sweeping views of a tree-dotted parkland.

This house is the most dominant building in the streetscape, due to its location and scale. This position is enhanced by the substantial related outbuildings, which front on to the street. The plain façade of the building is enlivened by the carved stone doorcase. The finely carved lugged and pedimented stone architrave to the entrance gate adds artistic interest to the streetscape. Major WJ Trotter occupied it for a period about 1908. The Kerr family lived in it for a period. The Fowler family were the owners of the house and various tenants occupied it.  It was used in the middle of the twentieth century by parishioners of the Rathmolyon Church of Ireland parish as a meeting place. The Fowlers sold the house in 1957 and it has been sold a number of times since.

Rathmolyon Church of Ireland Church

The church is situated on a slight rise in a fairly level landscape. The earliest reference is from 1212 when the church of Moyllach was confirmed to the Knights Hospitallers of Kilmainham by Pope Innocent and in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. Doc. Ire., 5, 257) the church of Ratamolechan was still held by the Hospitallers and exempt from taxation. At the suppression of Kilmainham in 1541 it still held the church, 35 acres and five messauges or house plots at Rathmolyan. Bishop Ussher in his 1622 visitation describes the church and chancel of Rathmullian as ruinous. According to the Dopping (1682-5) and Royal (1693) visitations St Michael’s church had been in disrepair since 1641 but the chancel and some of the church had been repaired by 1693. At that time the windows were glazed and it had a slate roof, but the floor was bare and most of the necessary liturgical paraphernalia was missing, apart from a font. The present Church of Ireland church was built in 1797. The site of the medieval parish church is within its sub rectangular graveyard defined by masonry walls, with headstones dating from c. 1780 to the present. There is one piece of window surround from the medieval church re-used as a grave-marker.

By 1812 Larkin’s map shows that the current crossroads in Rathmoylan were established and the graveyard had contracted east. It seems likely that this may have happened around 1797, when the current Church of Ireland structure was constructed.

The tower of the church was blown down in a very severe lightening storm in 1960.

Pipe Smoking in Rathmolyon

In 2008 an archaeological excavation was carried out by CRDS on a site at Rathmolyon and was written up in an article by Denis Shine and Ciara Travers in Riocht na Midhe. The excavations were undertaken as part of wastewater works for Meath County Council. The excavations were carried out only on the pipeline trench. A part of an enclosure was discovered possibly the rath which gives its name to Rathmolyon. This was dated to approximately 660-780 AD.

Remains likely relating to the medieval hospitallers were also uncovered and these included a smithing pit, ditches, hearths and probable cereal drying kiln were discovered. The weight of archaeological evidence uncovered at Rathmoylan seems to confirm there was settlement in this area in the 13th and 14th century which could potentially be related to this foundation. The ditches represent a substantive enclosing element around the medieval church and settlement in Rathmoylan.

Post medieval period items were also uncovered included ditches and walls associate with the street layout and the Church of Ireland church.

Two burials were exposed. One of these, a man, dated to the later medieval period. The man was aged 45-59 years of age when he died and was laid out in an east-west direction.

Burial 2

The second burial was that of a woman, aged 33-40 years of age. She was not tall being 159cm or 5foot 2 inches tall. The body was placed in a grave which was slightly too small for it.  Unusually a number of items were found with this burial, a smoker’s kit, including a flint nodule, strike a light and a clay-pipe bowl. This bowl has been dated to c. 1640–1660, probably giving an approximate date for both burials. Smoking was common for women of this time, respectable women smoked without stigma.

Clay pipe

The Knights Hospitallers

The Hospitallers came to Ireland with the Normans. Strongbow granted the order lands at Kilmanham about 1174. The primary objective of the Hospitallers was to provide hospitality for pilgrims and care of the poor. The Hospitallers were also a military order. By 1174, the Order’s Irish headquarters, the Priory of Ireland and Hospital of St John was established at Kilmainham in Dublin. Its second great hospital was the Preceptory of Any in County Limerick, from which the town of Hospital takes its name. Within a few years, the Order had founded over 129 centres including lazar-houses (for the care of lepers), in Counties Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary, Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Kildare, Meath, Louth and Down. Many of the Irish priors were quite colourful characters, including Roger Utlagh (Outlawe), who had opposed the English-born Bishop Richard de Ledrede’s infamous witch trial of Alice Kyteler in Kilkenny in 1324. Roger Outlaw was Prior of the Knights Hospitallers and chancellor of Ireland for almost 20 years, Outlaw held an unusually stable position in the precarious world of the Irish administration. Hugh Tyrell of Castleknock, once guardian of Trim Castle, gave the order a further 500 acres including what is today the Phoenix Park. The order had a number of perceptories in Meath, including Kells, Tara, Martry, Kilmanham and Kilmainhambeg now Kilmainhamwood. The number of members in Ireland was said to have been quite small, perhaps only 30 – 40 members. In 1212 Pope Innocent confirmed the possessions of the Knights, including the church “de Moyllach” (Rathmolyon), Tara, Donaghpatrick, Teltown and many others.

For almost 400 years the Knights of St John of Jerusalem – the Knights Hospitaller – maintained a priory in Kilmainham, Co. Dublin, as their principal residence in Ireland. Nothing survives of it above ground. The medieval flourishing of the Order’s hospitaller services in Ireland ended with the dissolution of the Order by King Henry VIII in 1540.

In that year a survey of lands in Rathmolyon was conducted so that they could be seized. In Rathmolyon there were 5 messuages and 35 arable acres. A messuage was a dwelling house, with outbuildings and land. The annual value of the messuages was 12d each making a sum of 5s. and the arable was 12d. The tithes of the following lands were also owed to the Hospitallers: Isoccston, Moyynaragh, Cloncorre, Colyntragh, Colyn, Corbally, Topertiman, Troman, Casselton, Rath and Coldor.

Fitzgeralds of Kildare

In the 1500s lands at Rathmolyon were part of the estate of the Fitzgeralds, Earls of Kildare. The Fitzgeralds held lands worth £460 in Meath which was a considerable estate. Gerald FitzGerald was the most powerful man in Ireland and acted as King’s Deputy at time of Henry VIII. That was until he was called over to London for being ‘seditious’ and stripped of his office.

Silken Thomas Rebellion

His son, known as Silken Thomas because of fancy clothing worn by him and his guard, went into a rage and marched on Dublin to declare rebellion. Trim town was captured in 1536 by Silken Thomas.Henry responded by sending an army and Thomas and other FitzGeralds were eventually taken and executed. Their land-holdings in Ireland were forfeited and leased to those who had helped suppress the rebellion. In 1544 a lease was issued to Ranulph Brereton, of Castelton of Moylaghe, gent. ; the lands of Rathmolian, Cloncurrye, Johneston, Ardynewe, Cullydraghe, Tupertymain, Troman, Rathflyske, Coulere, Isottiston, Corbally, Malynataghe, Stranewe, Norman, county Meath, parcel of the possessions of Gerald, Earl of Kildare. The Fitzgeralds paid a heavy price for the rebellion with Silken Thomas’ five uncles being executed. However his half-brother, Gerald Fitzgerald, only nine years old and suffering from smallpox, escaped with the help of his teacher, and did not return for more than a decade. Henry VIII died in 1547 and two years later his successor Edward VI pardoned all who had helped Lord Gerald escape and restored him to his estates. The Fitzgeralds were restored to some Meath possessions in 1564. In 1580 Gerald Alymer of Lyons had possession of lands at Rathmolyon. In 1700 Gerald Aylmer had control of the tithes and was patron of Rathmolyon Church.


According to the Civil Survey (1654-6) Dr. Bramhall, who is described as ‘Bishop of Derry, Protestant Delinquent’ owned 500 acres in Rathmolyon in 1640 including a castle. In fact the bishop owned all the land in the parish, apart from about 800 acres.

John Bramhall

John Bramhallwas born in 1593 at Pontefract, Yorkshire.He attended Cambridge College, Cambridge, in 1609, graduating a Doctorate of Divinity in 1630, his thesis being strongly anti-papal. He had great influence as a preacher and public man. As one of the high commissioners his manner was thought severe. Resigning his English preferments and prospects he went to Ireland as Thomas Wentworth’s chaplain in July 1633. Wentworth was sent to Ireland by Charles I to rule the kingdom. Wentworth refused rights to the Catholic majority. Bramhall drew a lamentable picture of the ruin and desecration of churches. For himself he soon got the archdeaconry of Meath, the richest in Ireland. In 1634 John Bramhall was appointed Bishop of Derry, He employed the proceeds of his English property in purchasing and improving an estate at Omagh and Rathmolyon.

Wentworth was recalled to England in September 1639 and the King created him Earl of Strafford in January 1640. In later 1640 Charles was forced to recall Parliament, after an 11 year forced period of closure. One of their first actions was to impeach Wentworth, the confidante and supporter of the king.

When Wentworth repelled the charges and won acquittal on April 10, his parliamentarian opponents simply passed a bill of attainder condemning him to death anyway. The only thing that stood in the way of the chop was the signature of that ruler whom Wentworth had served so loyally. As Charles dithered popular hatred for the Earl threatened to escalate the crisis into something much more dangerous for the throne. Two days after Charles signed off, Wentworth was beheaded on Tower Hill to the rapture of an audience supposed to have numbered 200,000 strong. Before he died Wentworth rolled his eyes heavenward and exclaimed: “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”

Wentworth’s supporter, John Bramhall was charged with high treason in 1641 and imprisoned for a period, only being reprieved by the archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher. In 1642, Bramhall returned to England, and was in Yorkshire until the battle of Marston Moor, 2 July 1644. Bramhall supported Charles I and the royalist cause by preaching and writing, and sent his treasury to the king. Fleeing into exile on the Continent and without office, Bramwell turned his hand to writing replies to all attacks on the Anglican Church.

In 1657 Parliament again declared Bramhall a traitor and his property at Castletown and surrounding areas to be confiscated and given to Lieutenant Colonel Martin Jubbs. This decision also confirmed Jubbs as having disposed of the property to Edward Roberts of Dublin. Parliament was faced with settling its enormous debts. The English army in Ireland had not been paid for 18 months and the soldiers of the Parliamentary Army needed to be paid. Irish land was to be used to settle all these debts. Jubbs and other army officers had signed a petition to the House of Commons in order to secure payment for their services. In 1654 Martin Jubbs was serving in Southampton. The lands of the defeated Irish and Old English Catholics were declared confiscated and preparations began for its distribution to the various people to whom the government was indebted. This must have included Lieutenant Colonel Martin Jubbs. And like most of the soldiers given such land he chose to sell it on and get the funds immediately rather than going to Ireland to claim it and settle it, in a hostile land.

After the Restoration of Charles II, in October 1660, Bramwell returned to England. He then went to Ireland, and on 18 January 1661 he became Archbishop of Armagh. Restored to his lands at Rathmolyon in May 1661 he was chosen speaker of the Irish House of Lords.  Bramwell in 1663 aged 70.

Bramwell’s marriage to a clergyman’s widow, Ellinor Halley, gave him a fortune and a library. Their children included: Thomas, Isabella, Jane and Anne. Isabella married Sir James Graham. Jane married Alderman Toxteith of Drogheda. Anne married Sir Standish Hartstonge as his second wife.

Bramble Hall marked on map from 1777

Bramhall Demesne 1770-1840 Date uncertain

Sir Thomas married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Paul Davys. The couple did not have any children. He was Member of Parliament for Dungannon between 1661 and 1666. On 31 May 1662 he was created 1st Baron of Bramhall Hall, Co. Meath and on 25 June 1663 succeeded his father to the family estate of Bramhall Hall. He held the office of Sheriff of County Louth in 1664. He lived at Bramhall Hall, Rathmullyan, Co. Meath. He died in 1667 in Dublin; his co-heirs were his three sisters. His widow remarried in 1669 to John Topham LLD, Judge Advocate General for Ireland and Vicar General of Dublin.

Thomas’s sister, Isabella Graham, as co-heir, granted Rathmolyon permission for a Thursday market and three yearly fairs, on December 20th, April 19th and June 30th. Isabella’s daughter, Helena, married Sir Arthur Rawdon and had four children. Sir Arthur was a keen gardener and built the first greenhouse in Ireland in 1687 at Moira, He sent to Jamaica for plants for it and his man arrived back with 1,000 tropical plants, a very considerable feat since no other large import of tropical plants came to Europe until the 1840s. His wife, Lady Helena, had a large library of botanical books and no doubt helped to care for the Jamaican plants after her husband’s early death in 1695 aged 33. In 1699 Dame Helena Rawdon, widow of Mountbramhill, Co Meath, leased for 31 years to Richard Ball, farmer, the lands of Rathflisk in the Manor of Rathmullyon (Rathmolyon), also to ‘digg turf, in the bogg of Isaackstown’. Dame Helena was to make an access road to the bog through Mr Robert Ayleway’s land. Rent to be £34 a year plus ‘4 fatt hens and two fatt turkeys every Christmas’. Richard Ball also has to supply the Rathmullyon market with foodstuffs, or forfeits 2/6 on each market day. His corn had to be ground at the Manor Mill of Moylough. In 1702 Thomas Bomford of Rainestown surrenders to Lady Hellen Rawdon, widow of the City of Dublin, the contract of 22nd November 1698 concerning the lands of Castletown in the Parish of Rathmullyon. In return Lady Rawdon leased to Thomas Bomford for 31 years that part of Castletown known as Richard Ball’s, on the right of the road from Rathflisk to the house of Castletown and on to Moynemore. The rent for these 140 Irish acres (227 statute) to be £23.17.6 for the first four years and then 5/- an acre (£35.0.0). In addition there is another 12 Irish acres (19 statute) in Moynemore in the Parish of Laracor at rent of 7/- an acre (£4.4.0) of meadow. Thomas Bomford must build himself a house of stone or brick with chimneys within 11 years, at least 40 feet long, and he should live in it.

Levinge Plaque, Rathmolyon Church

Helena’s daughter married Sir Richard Levinge of High Park (now Knockdrin Castle) in the County of Westmeath Baronet who died 25th of February 1747 in the 64th year of his age without issue and directed that his body should be buried in Rathmolyon church near the remains of his wife, Dame Isabella Levinge, daughter of Sir Arthur Rawdon of Moyra in the county of Down. He gave the following legacies: to the Dublin Society for promoting Husbandry and other useful arts the interest for 21 years of £2000; to the Incorporated Society for promoting Protestant Schools £1000;  to the Hospital for Poor Lying in Women £600; to Dean Swift Hospital for Lunatics £500; to Mercers Hospital   £300; to the Infirmary on the Inns Quay £200; to the Hospital for Incurables  £500; to bind out poor protestant boys to protestant masters £200 and devised the lands of Lacken in the county of Westmeath to trustees for the perpetual support of a charter school for poor children to be bred protestant worth yearly £90. A tablet on the south wall of the church records his life and legacies.

Helena’s son, John, became the first Earl of Moira, inherited part of the Rathmolyon estate. His brother, Arthur, who was born in 1723, also inherited part of the Rathmolyon estate. Arthur was Sheriff of County Meath in 1746.  Arthur married Arabella Cheshire, of Hallwood, Cheshire, but they had no children. In 1757 John Ball of Rathmolyon was land surveyor to Arthur Rawdon. Arthur died in 1766 and the estate passed to Francis Rawdon, second Earl of Moira.

Francis Rawdon

Francis Rawdon joined the British Army in 1771 as an ensign in the 15th Foot. He was posted to Boston in 1774 during the American War of Independence. He first saw action at the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill.  When his superior, Captain Harris, was wounded beside him and at the age of 21, Lord Rawdon took command of the company for the third and final assault on Breed’s Hill. When the troops of the third assault began to falter, Rawdon stood atop of the American redoubt, waving the British ensign. He continued to serve in America until 1781.

Rawdon sat for Randlestown in the Irish House of Commons from 1781 until 1783. In 1783 he was created Baron Rawdon. In 1787, he became friends with George, the Prince of Wales, and loaned him many thousands of pounds. In 1788 he became embroiled in the Regency Crisis when George III took ill.

In 1797 it was rumoured briefly that Rawdon would replace Pitt as Prime Minister. There was some discontent with Pitt over his policies regarding the war with France.

Rawdon was a long-standing advocate of Irish issues, in particular Catholic Emancipation. He served in government in 1806. Rawdon was so devoted to his wife that he stipulated that after his death that his right hand be cut off and buried with her. Rawdon entertained at his family home at Ussher’s Quay in Dublin. Among his guests in the 1790’s were revolutionaries such as Wolfe Tone, Thomas Russell and Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Lord Edward was even hidden at Rawdon’s house after the 1798 rebellion.

In 1795 Rawdon, now Lord Moira, sold his lands in Moyfenrath, including principally the Rathmolyon lands, to Robert Fowler for the sum of £62,000. The price of land on Ireland dropped after the Act of Union and ten years later it was estimated that the lands were only worth 40% of what they had been purchased for in 1795. In 1812 the lands were producing a rent of £4,000 per annum.

“One English Boy of Great Promise”

Rev. Conway Benning was tutor to Lord Moira, who was the major landlord in Rathmolyon. Benning was admitted deacon at Belfast by William, Bishop of Down, 1760, and ordained priest at the same place, 1761.

In 1778, Benning was instituted to the Vicarage of Rathmolyon, which he held for the rest of his life, as stated in a copy of his memorial tablet in Rathmolyon Church. It is clear that he followed the fashion of his day in being non-resident, keeping a curate at Rathmolyon, while he himself lived chiefly at Kilroot, Carrickfergus, on Belfast Lough.  

In 1785 Dr. Benning and Lord Blayney paid a visit to Anjers Military College, in northern France, and asked the head of that establishment if he had any English boys of promise under his care, and the  tutor replied that he had “one English boy of great promise of the name of Wesley, the son of Lord Mornington.” That boy went on to become the Duke of Wellington.

A classroom scene with Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) as a boy, receiving instruction from Pignerol, his tutor at the Military College of Angers

Benning’s name only occurs ten times in his parish register as performing occasional duties between 1815 and 1821. He died in 1823, in his 86th year, and was buried at Rathmolyon. In consequence of a subsequent restoration and enlargement of the church towards the east the bodies of the Arch-deacon and his wife now repose in what is the aisle of the present edifice. A mural tablet to their memory is in the north transept. It calls Conway Benning “a distinguished Scholar, an Eloquent preacher, a pious Minister.”

Benning Plaque

The Fowlers

In the 1790’s the lands of Rathmolyon passed into the hands of Rev. Robert Fowler I, archbishop of Dublin. In 1798 Rev. Fowler had a full survey of the property made, consisting of 4,416 acres.

Robert Fowler, born in 1724, was the third son of George Fowler of Lincolnshire. Robert was Dublin, educated at Westminster School, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He became one of the Chaplains to George II in 1756. Robert was promoted to the Irish bishopric of Killaloe in 1771, and became archbishop of Dublin in 1779. He had built a new palace at Killaloe and enclosed the garden at the archbishop’s country residence at Tallaght; he opposed the bill for relief of dissenters in 1782. His unusually accelerated promotion was engineered by Richard Robinson, primate of Ireland, who wished to block the career prospects of a rival, Charles Agar. The elevation to the Archbishopric of Dublin in 1779 also led him to a seat on the Irish Privy Council. The Irish Privy Council was a private committee of King George III’s closest advisors to give confidential advice on affairs of state. In 1789 he joined with 14 other peers in protest at the appointment of the Prince of Wales as Regent during the temporary illness of King George III. In 1783 Robert Fowler was appointed to the position of first Chancellor of the ‘Order of St. Patrick’. The ‘Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick’, as it is formally known, is a British order of chivalry associated with Ireland and was created by King George III on 5 February 1783.

Robert Fowler, Archbishop of Dublin

He bought for himself an estate in Essex, where he lived for his last years as archbishop. Fowler died 10 October 1801 in Essex. Fowler lived to see the ‘Union with Ireland Act’ and the ‘Act of Union’ pass in 1800. He died on 10 October 1801, at Bassingbourne Hall, and was buried at Takeley on 19 October. Robert married Mildred, eldest daughter (and coheir of her brother, also William) in 1766. Together, they had one son and two daughters.

Their eldest daughter Mildred married Edmund Butler and became Countess of Kilkenny. His second daughter Frances married Richard Bourke, brother of the Earl of Mayo. Their son succeeded as the fifth Earl of Mayo.

In 1793 Fowler settled £90,000 on his only son, Robert II (1766–1841), who was ordained by his father well before the canonical age, so as not to lose an opportunity of placing him in one of Dublin’s richest parishes. Even as rector of Lusk and vicar of St Ann’s, however, the young man (who was later bishop of Ossory (1813–41) was clearly not much interested in religious matters. He took off on his travels to Switzerland and Italy, where he spent several years, enjoying numerous love affairs with married women and complaining about his father’s stinginess. Fowler was later enraged when Robert II married the daughter of his father’s antagonist, Luke Gardiner, Viscount Mountjoy. A street and square in Dublin recall the name, Gardiner.

Robert II died in 1841, and was succeeded by his elder son, Robert Fowler III JP DL (1797-1868), of Rahinstown and Rathmolyon. Robert III married in 1820, Jane Anne, eldest daughter of the Hon John Crichton, and sister of John, 3rd Earl of Erne, and had children Robert IV of Rahinstown who succeeded to the estate. Robert II married secondly, in 1831, the Lady Harriet Eleanor Wandesforde-Butler, eldest daughter of James, 2nd Marquess of Ormonde, and had more children. In 1852 the Fowlers purchased Rahinstown from the Encumbered Estates Court.  This court was established in 1849, to facilitate the sale of Irish estates whose owners, because of the Great Famine, were unable to meet their obligations. The house was described in the sale as “handsome and spacious, and fit for the immediate reception of a family of distinction.”

Robert Fowler IV JP DL (1824-97), of Rahinston, High Sheriff of County Meath, 1871, was called to the Irish Bar in 1850. He married in 1856, Letitia Mabel, daughter of Henry Barry Coddington, of Oldbridge. They had children: Robert Henry V, his heir; John Sharman, DSO;
George Hurst; Francis FitzHerbert; Louisa Marian; Florence Mary; Eleanor Katherine. Robert IV purchased lands from the Bomfords at Rahinstown about 1850. The old ‘Bomford’ house was pulled down after a fire and Robert Fowler’s son built the present house about 1875 on the same site; Sir Charles Lanyon designed it.

Rahinstown House

John Sherman Fowler

John Sharman Fowler, the second son of Robert and Letitia Fowler, joined the Royal Engineers in 1886. Serving on the frontiers of India, South Africa and Ireland Fowler became director of Army Signals. At the outbreak of the First World War, he became Director of Army Signals of the British Expeditionary Force, a position he held throughout the war. By the end of the war Fowler was commanding 70,000 men. Fowler remained in the army after the war, serving as Commander of the British Forces in China until 1925. He died in 1939.

Robert Fowler V(1857- 1957), of Rahinston, and Rathmolyon, was High Sheriff of County Meath, 1899. He married in 1890, Mabel, daughter and co-heir of the Hon St Leger R Glyn, and had children: Robert St Leger and George Glyn.

Robert Fowler about 1900

The Empress ”Sissi” (1837-1898), the beautiful wife of the aging emperor of Austria was a notable horsewoman. She took Easton Neston in Northamptonshire but hearing reports of the quality of hunting in County Meath came to stay with Lord Langford at Summerhill for the 1879/ 1880 season. Her hunting was obviously an enjoyable escape from the court life of Vienna, having described her stay in Ireland as one of the happiest periods of her life. The Master of the Meath Hunt was Captain Robert Fowler. During her stay, the Empress, who had her own string of hunting horses on holiday with her, took a fancy to a horse belonging to Louisa, a young daughter of Robert Fowler, her neighbour. When told of the Empress’s wish to buy the animal Robert Fowler was heard to say ‘I’m not going to have any damned Empress buying my daughter’s horse!’ Fowler impressed her enough for her to give him a riding whip, which the family found years later in the attic and sold at auction at Adams in 2010 for €37,000.

Hercules Edward ‘Paddy’ Langford, fourth Baron Langford, leased Summerhill House to the Empress of Austria as a hunting lodge in 1879 and 1880 and was her guest for these periods. It was not an official royal visit and there were no welcomes from the authorities. In fact the authorities resented the presence of the Empress. Elizabeth arrived by train to Ferranslough station. A room was converted as a private chapel, another as a gymnasium and a direct telegraph line installed to Europe. Her horses were not suitable for the Meath obstacles and she was given the loan a horse by Leonard Morragh, Master of the Hounds. The Ward Union Hunt met at Batterstown on 24th February 1879. At 1.00 am the hunt assembled at Batterstown Station to meet a special train from Dublin which carried forty members and guests and their horses. The Empress was driven to Parsontown Manor where she dressed for the hunt.  Her dressing delayed the start of the hunt. Upwards of 150 followers of the chase awaited the word to go.

A stag was released and the hunt began. The stag raced southward through Moyglare and through a gap into the Maynooth Seminary with the hounds and the Empress in pursuit. The stag was captured and the President, Dr Walsh, came out to meet the group. The Empress of Austria complained of the cold and asked for a shawl. Dr. Walsh lent her his gown, invited them in for refreshment and she promised to return. The Empress managed to hunt nearly every day, hunting with the Ward, the Royal Meath Fox Hounds Club and the Kildare Fox Hunt. The many dangerous obstacles provided her with excellent challenges to her riding. The Empress presented a riding crop to the master of the Meath Hunt, Captain Robert Fowler of Rahinstown House. The riding crop which she presented to Fowler was sold at auction in 2010 for €28,000.

In the early spring of 1880 the Empress again visited Ireland, going straight to Summerhill. On the first Sunday she went to Mass at the seminary in Maynooth and presented a gift of a three foot high model of St George slaying the dragon. She was unaware that St George was the patron saint of England and when she was told of its significance she ordered a fresh present, shamrock covered vestments from Dublin. St. George is also the patron of horses and the hunt, so she may have had this in her mind when she commissioned the statue.

Empress Sissi’s whip

Robert V was a first class cricketer. He died seven weeks before what would have been his 100th birthday, making him the longest-lived person to have played international cricket for Ireland.. He is also one of the longest-lived first-class cricketers of all time, having survived for nearly 81 years after he played his first – and only – first-class match. Robert played cricket for Cheltenham College in 1874 and 1875. He attended RMC Sandhurst and joined the British Army in 1878, being promoted to captain in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry in 1886.  Fowler played cricket for the MCC in 1885. He played in two matches for Ireland in 1888, one against Scotland. In 1908 a number of cattle drives took place on the estate of Captain Fowler of Rahinstown.

George Glyn Fowler

George Glyn Fowler joined the Army and served as Second Lieutenant in the 2nd Batt. King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He died in hospital at La Pagnoy, from wounds received in action near Loos, on September 25th last, in his 19th year. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst, and joined the King’s Rifle Corps in November, 1914. He went to the front with his Regiment about the end of January, 1915. There are a number of memorials to this hero in Rathmolyon church including the wooden cross originally erected at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery.

Robert VI St Leger Fowler (1891-1925) was captain of Eton College in the match against Harrow in 1910, commonly referred to as Fowler’s match due his outstanding all round performance by taking eight wickets for nine runs. He was regarded as the best Irish cricketer not to have represented Ireland itself. Robert VI enrolled at Sandhurst in 1910 and was commissioned in the 17th Lancers. He served in the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross in the defence of Amiens in 1918. He was also British Army rackets champion. Captain Robert St Leger Fowler, MC, died from leukemia, unmarried, aged only 34. The family estate devolved upon his cousin, Brigadier Bryan John Fowler DSO MC (1898-1987), son of George Hurst Fowler, third son of Robert and Laetitia Mable Fowler.

Bryan John Fowler (‘the Brig’) (1898–1987), was an Olympic silver medalist in polo, amateur jockey, and racehorse owner, breeder, and trainer. Brigadier Fowler was at Fairyhouse Races on Easter Monday 1916 and was summoned away to maintain control in Drogheda. He had a distinguished military career in the British army, serving in both world wars, winning the MC (1918) and DSO (1943), and adding a bar for his DSO in 1945, having been involved in military campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa. His brother, Frank, was an RAF officer who served during World Wars I and II. Frank lived in Strangford, co. Down and never married. Bryan retired from the Royal Artillery in 1949 with the rank of brigadier. In 1936 Bryan won a silver medal at the Berlin Olympics as a member of the Great Britain polo team that beat Mexico 13–11 in the semi-finals before losing 11–0 to an all-conquering Argentina side in the final, in front of an estimated 45,000 spectators. It was the last time polo featured as an Olympic sport. He was the only Irishman to win a medal at that particular Olympics, as Ireland did not compete. On returning from England, the family lived for a while at Culmullen House before moving to the family estate at Rahinstown. After the war ‘the Brig’, as he became known, was a successful amateur jockey, winning many point-to-point races, and also a horse breeder and trainer. He died at his Rahinston home on 4 December 1987.

In 1944 he married Mary Olivia, a notable horsewoman in her own right. They had two children: John, who was a noted trainer and Jessica Harrington, who also became a highly successful trainer.

In 1971 John married, the Lady Jennifer Chichester, daughter of the 7th Marquess of Donegall.
Lady Jennifer died on 12th March, 2013. Her son Harry and his wife Lorna are now living at Rahinstown.

Bomfords of Rahinstown House

The original Rahinstown House dated from the eighteenth century. A drawing of the houses in the 1830s shows a six bay house of three storeys over a basement. The front door was not centred but to the left, suggesting that the original house may have been added to. About 1870 the old house burned down and was replaced by a large Italianate house and farm buildings.  Sandham Symes was the architect for the construction of the new buildings for Robert Fowler in 1871. The house has a three bay front in cement with sandstone dressings and bow windows with curved glass. Rahinstown is the story of two families the Bomfords and the Fowlers. The Bomfords developed the estate in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century when it was taken over by the Fowler family who already had interests in the area.

Laurence Bomford of Clonmahon died in 1720 aged 103. Sir Arthur Langford of Summerhill let the lands of Baronstown and Rahinstown, 903 acres, to Thomas Bomford. Laurence’s eldest son, Thomas, settled at Rahinstown and was Secretary to the Court of Claims in the reign of Charles II. Thomas died in 1740 and left the estate to his brother, Stephen of Gallow. Stephen was succeeded by his son, also Stephen, in 1756. Stephen married Elizabeth Sibthorpe of Dunany, Co. Louth in 1745.

Stephen Bomford died in 1808. His second son, Robert, served as a captain in the Bengal Infantry in the East India Company before returning to Ireland to marry Maria Massy-Dawson in 1792. When his elder brother Thomas died Robert became heir to Rahinstown and succeeded to the estate of 2358 statute acres in 1808.  Robert died nine years later in 1817 and was buried at Rathcore. When Robert died Maria his wife was aged 48 and all her seven children were under 21, the youngest being only 7. Maria Massy Bomford has a memorial in Saint Ann’s, Dawson Street, Dublin. She died in 1848 aged 79 years. The family regularly lived at No 7 Upper Merrion Street. The estate was taken over by their eldest son, Robert George Bomford when he came of age.  Born in 1802 he served as High Sheriff of Meath in 1832. Robert George married Elizabeth Kennedy of Annadale, Co. Down in 1826. In 1836 Rahinstown Demesne the demesne was well planted with fir and other trees and the house was described as a very good one but the pleasure grounds appeared very much neglected. It was the residence of Mr. R.G. Bomford. He died without an heir in 1846 and his widow married Marcus Gervais Beresford, Archbishop of Armagh. After the death of Robert’s mother in 1848 the estate was sold and the proceeds divided among his sisters. Peter Bamford has a very extensive website devoted to the Bomford family.

Lightburne Family

In 1668 Stafford Lightburne was granted the lands of Powderton, Fordstown, Ardrum and Cloncowan. Stafford Lightburne of Staffordstown, Meath was portrieve (mayor) of Trim 1662, 1676-79, 1682-1690 and 1692. He was M.P. for Trim for 1692-3 and 1695 until his death in 1697. Stafford married Mary, eldest daughter of the Governor of Athlone and widow of Thomas Ashe, of St. John’s, Trim and they had children: William, Stafford, John, Richard and Eleanor. Eleanor married Rev. Joshua Warren of Galtrim, Vicar of Mullingar. Warren served the parish of Rathmolyon and held services in a private house as the church was not in repair. Stafford became a curate at St. Michan’s from 1716-21, and later Rector of Churchtown. Stafford married Hannah, co-heir of Willoughby Swift of Hereford and Newcastle, Co. Meath. Willoughby was a first cousin of Dean Swift. Stafford had two children: Willoughby who became Colonel of the City of Dublin Militia, Sheriff of Dublin and Lord Mayor 1773-4 and Stafford who became Vicar of Rathgraffe. Dean Swift employed Stafford Lightburne, as curate at Laracor from 1722-1733. Stafford was in line for a substantial estate but it was tied up in litigation. Swift appealed to the Lord Lieutenant on behalf of Stafford and also intervened with the House of Lords on his behalf successfully so that Stafford inherited the estate.

Stafford and his wife had children, Wolloughby, Harcourt, John and Stafford. Harcourt gives his name to his former residence, Harcourt Lodge at Bellewstown, Trim. The elder Stafford died in 1762 in Trim.

The Earl of Darnley

The Earl of Darnley held the Glebe of the rector of Rathmolyon. In the 1830s he was one of the contributors to the parochial school in the village.

Arriving in Ireland in 1649 it is said that Cromwell camped on the Hill of Ward. There is tradition that John Bligh received Rathmore Castle and estate from Cromwell on the Hill of Ward. It was believed that Bligh was granted all the land he could see from the top of the hill. He could see Rathmore, Athboy, Ballivor and Kildalkey, 28,000 acres in all and his descendants held the lands until 1908.

John Bligh of London established the family at Rathmore and Athboy. John’s son, Thomas, married one of the Nappers of Loughcrew. He was Member of Parliament for Meath from 1695 to 1710. John’s grandson also John married Lady Theodosia Hyde, Baroness Clifton, in 1713.  He held the office of M.P. for Trim between 1709 and 1713 and was then M.P. for Athboy until 1728. He was then made Baron Clifton in 1721 and Earl of Darnley in 1725. The family came into possession of Cobham Hall in Kent and the family mainly lived there visiting their Irish estates only occasionally. Initially they lived at the castle at Rathmore but this burned down in 1676 and sometime later the family moved to Clifton Lodge. The house is named after Clifton in Bristol, one of the places the family held lands after the marriage to Theodosia Hyde.

Thomas Bligh, younger brother of the first Earl, was a general in the British Army and represented Athboy in the Irish House of Commons for sixty years. He established the family at Brittas in Nobber where they resided until about thirty years ago. There is a memorial to hoim in Rathmore Church.

Captain William Bligh of the Mutiny on the Bounty fame was a relation of the Earls of Darnley. But the actual relationship is unclear.

The 3rd Earl of Darnley, an eccentric bachelor, who suffered from the delusion that he was a teapot. In 1766, when he was nearly fifty and had held the family title and estates for nearly twenty years, Lord Darnley suddenly and unexpectedly married; and between 1766 and his death in 1781 he fathered at least seven children, in spite of his initial alarm that his spout would come off in the night. According to a manuscript in the possession of the Tighe family, on the night of his marriage, John Bligh “imagined himself to be a fine China tea pot, and was under great fears, lest the spout should be broken off before morning!”

The Third Earl of Darnely

John Bligh, 4th Earl of Darnley succeeded in 1781. In 1829 he unsuccessfully petitioned Parliament for the title Duke of Lennox, through his descent from the 6th Duke of Lennox’s sister, Catherine. Two hundred years ago in 1821 Lord Darnley donated the land for the construction of the church of St. Columbanus. Lord Darnley donated half an acre and £100 towards the erection of the church.  He also donated a site and funding for a Protestant church. He also applied for permission to hold a regular fair at Ballivor.

Edward Bligh, 5th Earl of Darnley was M.P. for Canterbury between 1818 and 1830. He presented a petition from Kildalkey, Meath, for Catholic relief, in 1827.He and his fiercely religious wife devoted themselves to the Evangelical beliefs which had come to play an increasingly important part in his life. The fifth Earl was walking in his park in Cobham Hall when he saw a woodsman cutting up a tree. He took the axe for the woodsman to show his friends how to cut off branches, the axe slipped, cut off his toe, he became infected with tetanus and died a few days later.

A mock obituary had appeared in the Sporting Times, following Australia’s inaugural Test match victory in England. “In affectionate remembrance of English Cricket,” it read, “which died at the Oval on 29th August 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. RIP. NB The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” Ivo Francis Walter Bligh, 8th Earl of Darnley, Ivo Bligh, the eighth earl of Darnley, was captain of the England cricket team in 1882 and made the throwaway remark joking that he had come “to regain the ashes”.

At Melborne Lady Clarke and her close friend Florence Morphy, the Clarkes’ music teacher, playfully handed Bligh a small urn. Here, they told him, were the ashes he’d come for. it had been a veil, that she and her friend Lady Clarke burnt that day. As for the urn itself, Lord Darnley thought it was a scent bottle, probably taken from Janet Clarke’s dressing table. It is now in the Lord’s, basically for safe keeping.” The urn is not used as the trophy for the Ashes series, and, whichever side “holds” the Ashes, the urn remains in the MCC Museum at Lords.  Since the 1998/99 Ashes series, a Waterford crystal trophy has been presented to the winners.

In 1896, Edward Henry Stuart Bligh,succeeded his father as the Earl of Darnley and “spent money like water”, greatly reducing the wealth of the Darnley family.

Esme Ivo Bligh, 9th Earl of Darnley gained the rank of Major in the Royal Air Force, but was later a pacifist. He was a painter, musician and flower-breeder. He was 6′ 7″ tall.

The current holder is Ivo Donald Bligh, 12th Earl of Darnley, who was born in 1968. He succeeded as the 12th Earl of Darnley, in2017.

They sold Cobham Hall in Kent in the 1950s and settled in Herefordshire.  The Darnleys sold the town of Athboy in 1909 but had an estate office there up until 1948.

George Despard

George Despard was born in 1800 at Coolrain, then Queen’s County (now Laois), son of Rev. Richard Despard and Elizabeth Despard. The Despards were large landowners in County Laois. George became an officer in the 53rd Shropshire Light Infantry and was posted to India. He was made a lieutenant in January 1819. After retiring from the army, George Despard became a sub-inspector of the constabulary for Trim District. In 1828 he was promoted to Head Constable of the Irish Constabulary of County Meath and Resident Magistrate of Rathmolyon, Meath. He was involved in investigating many crimes, civil disturbances and agrarian violence from the secret society, the Ribbonmen.

George married Gertrude Priscilla Carden on 6 Jun 1826 in St. Thomas Church, Dublin. Their children were William Frederick (1827), George Belford (1830), Richard Carden (1831), Elizabeth Mary (1833), Andrew (1835, died aged 1 year old) Gertrude Priscilla (1837), Maximilian Carden (1839) and Fitzherbert Ruxton (1841). George lived at various houses, Springvally, Summerhill, Trim and Tobertynan.

Perhaps the most famous incident that George Despard was involved in was O’Connell’s monster meeting on Tara on 15 August 1843. Supporters of O’Connell said there were a million and a half people there but Despard in his evidence before a Parliamentary Committee said there were 100,000 persons present at least. He also calculated 7,000 horsemen. Despard attended the meeting on Tara and described what he saw. He seems to have heard none of O’Connell’s speech. Despard also attended other meetings of O’Connoll in the area in 1844.

O’Connell on Tara

George died on the 21st of December 1846 at Tobertynan in the 47th year of his age and is buried in Rathmolyon graveyard. 

William Frederick William Frederick married first Georgina Pim, daughter of John Pim, and second Mary Augusta Wright. In the 1880s he achieved the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. He owned a home in Hampstead, Middlesex, as well as an estate (Lacca Manor) near Mountrath, Queen’s County.

George was ordained at Lincoln in 1853 and served as curate at Lenton. He became the vicar of St. Lukes, Cheltenham. In 1851, he married his first cousin Jane Letitia Despard of Donore in Kirk Michael, Isle of Man. They had two sons and four daughters. He died in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1903.

Fitzherbert Ruxton was obviously named after the landed family located at Blackcastle, Navan. Presumably Richard was an agent for the family’s lands. Fitzherbert became an engineer, worked in the offices of Nathaniel Beardmore, where his brother, Richard also worked. About 1861 Fitzherbert emigrated to Vancouver where he became involved in mining. He began to wander ending up in the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) where he supervised works on the harbor. He returned to North America and had a narrow escape from the Black Feet Indians who surrounded himself and his companions. “barely succeeding to save their scalps”. In 1883 he was made manager of the Kimberley Waterworks in South Africa. He became an agent for the Mocambique Company and settled at Beira, Mozambique, where he died of typhoid on 15 March 1895.

Charlotte Despard

Maximilian Carden Despard was born in Rathmolyon in 1839 to George Despard and Gertrude Priscilla Carden. He married Charlotte French in 1870. They appear to have shared radical views, views on the education and employment of women, and both favoured home rule for Ireland. Charlotte and Max had no children. Max was one of the founders of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, and had made his fortune in the Far East. With his encouragement Charlotte occupied herself by writing romantic novels, such as Chaste as Ice, Pure as Snow (1874). Due to concern over Max’s poor health the couple spent every winter abroad, cruising in the Mediterranean or visiting India and North America. He died at sea aboard the SS Coptic on 4 April 1890. It was after the death of her husband in 1890 that Ms Despard became prominent for her work as a suffragist and social reformer. Charlotte later supported a range of causes: “Save the Children, the Indian independence movement, theosophy, the Labour Party and the early British Communist Party, the London Vegetarian Society, and the Irish Self Determination League”, before moving to Ireland later in her life.

Charlotte Despard

In February 1907, Charlotte was arrested during a march on the Houses of Parliament which followed the “Women’s Parliament” at Caxton Hall. Together with Emmeline Pankhurst she was sentenced to three weeks in Holloway Prison. Charlotte, in addition to her political campaigning and social work, gave speeches in favour of universal and women’s suffrage throughout London and the country at large. An active pacifist during the first World War, she stood in 1918 as a Labour candidate for Battersea, and although she failed to take the seat she polled more than 5,600 votes. She was however delighted by the victory of Constance Markievicz, the Sinn Fein candidate, a fellow suffragist campaigner. Her growing sense of Irishness intensified during the War of Independence, when, as a vociferous supporter of Sinn Féin, she was an acute embarrassment to her brother, John French, field marshal of the British army, first earl of Ypres and lord lieutenant of Ireland. In 1921 she and Maud Gonne MacBride travelled to Cork and the southwest to collect evidence of Black and Tan atrocities. Gonne MacBride later recalled her amusement at the “puzzled expressions of the officers and of the Black and Tans, who continually held up our car, when Mrs Despard said she was the viceroy’s sister”.

Having decided later in 1921 to move permanently to Ireland, she immediately entered the political arena. She travelled to Belfast to look into the plight of Catholic victims of violence and set up a reception centre for them in Dublin in 1922.

By 1926 Despard was increasingly placing her faith in the Irish far left. An executive member of the Irish Workers’ Party, founded by Roddy Connolly, she also subsidised its paper the Hammer and Plough. In 1930 she travelled to the Soviet Union for a six-week tour with the Friends of Soviet Russia organisation, of which she was secretary. The party also included Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Sheila Dowling.

She continued her exertions on behalf of republican prisoners and in 1932 incurred the wrath of the minister for justice, James Fitzgerald-Kenney, who said the government would “put down women like Mrs Despard and Mrs MacBride and those who are trying to bring in Soviet conditions… And if they persist, and if it is necessary, we are going to execute them.”

Soon after she actively campaigned for Éamon de Valera during the February 1932 general election. Charlotte Despard died in November 1939, aged 95, after a fall at her new house, Nead-na-Gaoithe, Whitehead, near Belfast. She was buried in the Republican Plot at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

Richard Despard

Richard inherited his father’s Summerhill estate. In  1835 Richard Despard of Rathmolyon House, eldest son of William Despard of Donore, Co. Laois, married Charlotte-Maybelle, only daughter of H. Burdett Worthington of Bedford. Charlotte-Maybelle died the 7th day of Jan 1857 aged 26 years following the death of her newly born child days earlier. Richard re-married. In 1867 Richard Goulding was born, George William Brabazon in 1868, Mary Louisa in 1870 and Louise Lettitia in 1873. The family resided at Rathmolyon House in the 1860s and 70s.  Richard Despard was born on 14 October 1865 at Rathmolyon, County Meath, son of landowner and estate agent Richard Despard. Richard lived for some years in Burma, where he served in the Police Force, and South Africa, where he farmed. He served in the South African (Boer) War and the Natal Rebellion. He took part in the Relief of Ladysmith, Relief of Mafeking, and in Transvaal.

Despard’s Boer War Medals

On the outbreak of World War I he sought a commission in the North Irish Horse and was made a lieutenant in the regiment on 16 January 1915. However he resigned his commission on grounds of ill-health on 12 June that year. The following month Despard enlisted at Kingstown as an ordinary soldier in the 2nd King Edward’s Horse. He gave his age as 40, understating his real age by nine years. Despard joined his regiment in France in October 1915. After almost two years, on 7 August 1917 he left for England to transfer to the Machine Gun Corps, Heavy Branch (the Tank Corps). He was posted to K Battalion at Bovington, but by the end of the month had again transferred, to the 10th (Reserve) Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment, at Oswestry. Two weeks later he transferred to the Inland Waterways & Docks section of the Royal Engineers the same day applying for a commission in that unit. Despard’s commission as a 2nd lieutenant came through on 1 December. He was posted to the Royal Engineers Canal Depot at Mary Hill, Glasgow. Despard was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 1 June 1919, and relinquished his commission on 14 January 1920.

Assistant County Surveyor

Samuel Kerr lived in the house in 1911. Charles Kerr Douglas was an Irish architect and lived at The Villa, Rathmolyon, Enfield, Co. Meath, 1903;  Rathmolyon House, Enfield, 1904-1906; Foxbrook, Moyvalley, Co. Kildare, 1911-1921;  Rathmolyon House, Enfield, Co. Meath, 1922-1924. Charles was assistant county surveyor for Co. Meath from 1899 or earlier until between 1915 and 1918. According to his 1911 census return, Charles Kerr Douglas was born in Co. Meath in 1865 or 1866; he can therefore almost certainly be identified as Charles Douglas, son of Richard Douglas and Anne Kerr, who was born at Summerhill, Co. Meath, on 18 March 1865. He studied engineering at Queen’s College, Galway, for three years, and then spent nineteen months as clerk of works for Trim Industrial School. He was appointed an assistant county surveyor for Co. Meath circa 1889 and elected engineer to the Trim Board of Guardians in 1905, a post which he held until at least 1909. He was also engineer to Trim Rural District Council from circa 1905. After ceasing to be an assistant county surveyor, he continued to practise privately as an architect and engineer until at least 1924. At the time of the 1911 census he had been married for eight years to his wife, Frances Edith, and had three children. He died at Rathmolyon House in 1925.

Disturbed Times

In the 1700s three members of one family from Rathmolyon attended the Irish College at Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain to train for the priesthood. The Royal Irish College of St. George the Martyr was the last of the Irish Colleges set up in Spain and Portugal for the education of secular priests during the time of the persecution of the Catholic faith in the eighteenth century. James, John and William were three brothers from Rathmolyon who attended the Irish College at Alcalá de Henares.

Around 1800 John Pratt Winter of Agher raised his own detachment of the Yeomanry and was commissioned Captain of the Rathmolyon Cavalry in 1803. His Lieutenant was George Bomford of Drumlargan, his brother-in-law.

In 1800 a group of Methodists visited Rathmolyon where they preached on the street “and the poor Romanists who stood first at a distance, drew near and appeared much awakened.”

In 1816 the parishes of Rathcore and Rathmolyon were reported as being in a lawless state. Also reported was the violent murder of William Wyley, in revenge for his brother having given evidence at trial against a Ribbonmen leader named Dunn, resulting in Dunn’s conviction for the murder of William Cruise. O’Donoghue details the persecution of the Wyley family, culminating in William being attacked and ‘butcher’d’,

In 1831 the Chief ConstableDespard, wrote to Dublin Castle, drawing attention to the posting of a threatening notice to a man living in the town of Rathmolyon; enclosing notice warning of ‘fatal’ consequences to any person that should interfere with the lands of Clondoogan.

In March 1831 Despard wrote to Dublin castle, reporting a breakage and robbery of the church at Rathmolyon in the barony of Lower Moyfenrath on the night of the 2nd of March.

In the summer of 1832 a board of health was appointed for the parish of Rathmolyonto deal with the threat from cholera.

In 1852 Rev. Fr, Ennis of Rathmolyon seconded the nomination of Frederick Lucas as candidate for Member of Parliament for Meath outside the courthouse in Trim. Lucas was elected MP for Co. Meath with the support of the bishop of Meath, John Cantwell. As an MP Lucas became one of the main spokesmen for the Tenant League.   

In 1860 a young man named James Kilkeeny from Brannockstown was badly beaten and died after attending a house in the Rathmolyon area. It was alleged that he had refused to become a Ribbonman, an agrarian anti-landord secret organization. People closed ranks and refused to assist police. The parish priest in Rathmolyon condemned Ribbonism from the altar. Two local men were tried for the crime but found innocent.

In 1866 Patrick Farrell, from Kildare, was charged with being a Fenian. He picked the wrong man in Rathmolyon to bring to the pub. Sub Constable Carey gave evidence that Farrell invited him into a public house in the village and after treating him to some drink asked him had he ever been a Fenian or would he wish to become one?

In 1897 a co-operative to serve agricultural needs was founded the Rathmolyon Co-operative Agricultural and Dairy Society.

A branch of the United Irish League was established at Rathmolyon in the early years of the twentieth century and it had two objectives land reform and home rule. In March 1914 a branch of the Irish Volunteers was founded in Rathmolyon. The Meath Labour Union organized a meeting in Rathmolyon in 1917 to put forward their demand for a living wage. The Irish National Foresters had a branch in Rathmolyon in the 1910s. Sinn Fein had established a branch in Rathmolyon by early 1918. The Irish Farmers Union held a meeting of its Rathmolyon branch in 1919.

World War I

Michael Ennis, Sergeant, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Battalion, 15951 was baptized in Trim, 25 August 1880. He was the son of Patrick and Mary Ennis, nee Mountain, Brannockstown. His occupation at enlistment was an agricultural labourer. His residence at time of enlistment was Rathmolyon and he enlisted in Navan. He was killed in action, on 12 October 1916. He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

Hugh Joseph Ryan, Private, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 8th Battalion, 26631 was baptised at Rathmolyon, 22 August 1883. He was the son of Michael and Anne Ryan, nee Smith, Kill and later of 54 Eccles Street, Dublin. His occupation when enlisting was grocer’s assistant and he resided in Dalkey, Dublin. He enlisted at Kingstown (now Dunlaoighre). He died of wounds on 8 August 1917 aged 33. He is commemorated at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

George Glyn Fowler was a 2nd Lieutenant, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 2nd Battalion. Born in 1896 he was the younger son of Capt. and Mrs. R. H. Fowler, of Rahinston, Enfield. George served in France from 26 January 1915. He died of wounds received at the battle of Loos, 26 September 1915 aged 19. He is commemorated at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery. There is a tablet in Rathmolyon church – George Glyn Fowler, Lieutenant K.R.R.C., born 21 Jan 1896, died of wounds 26 Sept 1915. A tablet in church at lectern reads “To the glory of God and in most loving memory of Lieutenant George Glyn Fowler, 60th Rifles, who gave his life for his country on September 26th 1915 at Loos aged 19”.

A wooden cross on south wall of the church reads  “Lt George Glyn Fowler, 1st Bn K.R.R.C. died of wounds in the battle of Loos 25th September 1915 aged 19.” This cross was moved from the grave at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery when the permanent headstone was erected. The local newspaper mentioned the death:  “Trim Rural Council – Fell in the War. Mr. Ennis proposed: – The Trim District Council desire to express to Capt. and Mrs Fowler of Rahinstown, their deep sympathy on the death of their son, Lieut. George St. L. Fowler. Mr. Shannon said that he seconded the resolution with regret. It was more than sad to see such a fine type of manhood taken away. He wished to join in the expression of sympathy with Capt. and Mrs. Fowler. The Chairman, Mr. King and Mr. Maguire associated themselves with the resolution which was passed.” Meath Chronicle 9 October 1915.

Robert St Leger Fowler, son of Capt. and Mrs. R. H. Fowler, of Rahinston, Enfield and brother of George Glyn who was killed. Fowler enrolled at Sandhurst in 1910, where he won the Sword of Honour in 1911. He was commissioned in the17th Lancers. He served as a captain in 85th K.L.I. during World War I, was wounded in 1916, and won a Military Cross during the defence of Amiens against the last German offensive of 1918. Robert died from leukaemia at Rahinstown in 1925 aged 34. Robert Fowler attended Mr. Hawterey’s prep school in Westgate-on-Sea and then Eton College where he was influenced by his housemaster, an amateur cricketer who played for Middlesex.  

Patrick Furlong, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was wounded and became a prisoner of war in Bulgaria.

Brothers, Robert Booker Christopher Hanbury and Daniel Booker Hanbury, from Moneymore, Rathmolyon, joined the 5th Leinsters in March 1916. They were the sons of Robert Booker Hanbury and his wife Elizabeth.

Michael Kearney from Clonmowley served in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

Patrick Harnan was living in Scotland when the war broke out and enlisted in the Seaforth Highlanders. He was wounded in the war but survived and returned to Rathmolyon afterwards. He was known as the “Soldier Harnan”. He operated a shop where Christy Ryan’s is now.

Tithe Applotment Books

The Tithe Applotment Books are a property valuation showing occupiers, amount of land held and amount to be paid. The books were compiled on a date between 1823 and 1837 to determine the amount of tithes which land occupiers should pay to the Established Church. In Rathmolyon’s case the lands were valued in 1825. In most cases these records were indexed very well but in Rathmolyon’s case there are some problems. I worked off the indexes as the originals are not on line and there are a number of names that are very difficult to make out and many spellings are as how they sounded rather than how they were spelled. Below are the entries for Rathmolyon and some other areas that I could not identify the location. The tithes are recorded under each townland later in the book.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland of Rathmolyon: Alpine (perhaps Halpin), Bagnall, Barret, Carson, Collins, Connor, Cusack, Fegan, Ford, Fox, Hughes, McEvoy, Mealy, Murray, Neil, Pigott, Weily

Tithes (1825): Families in the area of Fandera: Carney, Casey, Fegan, Reynolds,

Tithes (1825): Families in the area of Hodginstown: Gorhan, Keeffe (Hodginstown was an area beteeen Tobertyan and Kilballyporter)

Tithes (1825): Families in the area of Rathsko: Brady, Dunne, Hanley, Keely, Kinahan, Toole.

Tithes (1825): Families in the area of Whitepark: Fegan, Larkin, Ryan.

Griffith’s Valuation

Griffith’s Valuation are property valuation records showing occupiers of land, the name of the immediate landlord, the amount and value of the property held. They were compiled from 1848 to 1864 under the supervision of Richard Griffith, with Meath being valued in 1854/5.

Rathmolyon Village and townland, Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Brennan, Despard, Flanagan, Ford, Gee, Gough, Graydon, Grehan, Hastings, Hughes, Kerr, Lewis, Malley, McTaggart, Neill, Neville, Newman, Pigott, Richardson, Slevin, Taaffe, Trotter, Verry.  There was a dispensary which was staffed by Dr. David Trotter. Trotter lived in Summerhill. David Trotter was born about 1794 in Summerhill, the son of the Presbytreriuan minister. He married Jane Maloney in 1843 and they had children. David Trotter had his own cricket ground and his family, friends and relatives practiced there. His grandsons, David North Trotter and David Purdon, were a noted cricketer. Trotter died in 1860 in Summerhill and was buried in Agher cemetery.

Census 1901 and 1911

A census of the Irish population was taken every 10 years from 1821 until 1911. The earlier census have not survived. Manuscript returns for each household survive for 1901 and 1911.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Ashton, Byrne, Darby, Davis, Douglas, Dwyer, Esdale, Fegan, Forde, Goulding, Harnan, Kerr, Kiernan, Maguire, McEntee, McKeon, McLoughlin, Melia, Murtagh, Toole, Tuite. Patrick Toole was a grocer. Charles Douglas was a civil engineer. Joseph Douglas was assistant county supervisor. John Dwyer was a carpenter. Mary Dwyer was a dressmaker. Christopher Tuite was a rural postman. Samuel Esdale was a Police pensioner. Christopher Smyth was a carpenter. Thomas and Edward McLoughlin were blacksmiths. John McKeon was postmaster and carpenter. Maria McKeon was assistant postmistress. Patrick McKeon was a carpenter. James Melia was a Dublin Metropolitan Police pensioner.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland of Rathmolyon: Allen, Byrne, Darby, Douglas, Dwyer, Coffey, Esdale, Ford, Harnan, Kerr, McGrath, McKeon, McLoughlin, Maguire, Melia, Minogue, Toole, Tuckey, Whelan, White.  Bridget McKeon was post mistress. John Coffey was a merchant. Mary Coffey was a jubilee nurse. John Dwyer was a carpenter. Thomas and Edward McLoughlin were blacksmiths. Patrick Harnan was also a blacksmith. Joseph Esdale was a carpenter. Patrick Toole was a business man.

Larkin’s Map 1812

Electrification of Rathmolyn and Enfield

The electrification of Rathmolyon and Enfield commenced onMay 1953 and was finished by  January 1954. A total of 1182 poles and 108 km of line used. A total of 250 premises were connected. The area was canvassed first but there was a considerable length of time between the canvass and the date of selection and so 42 homes pulled out – “backsliders” is how the report described them. A number of families living in thatched houses decided not to take the supply until new houses were built. The total of premises connected initially was 396 properties. Sales of electic goods were as follows: 6 cookers, 2 pumps, 1 3hp motor, 1 grain grinder and 1 15 gallon storage waterheater. It was anticipated that pumps, milking machines and small domestic appliances would be popular in the area.


Ardenew may take its name from the Irish, “Árd na fhídh”, meaning the hill of the wood  or from the Irish ”Árdán Aodh” means Hugh’s hillock. It contains 414 acres of which 105 was waste and bogland. In 1836 the townland was owned by Mr. Smith. There was one farm of 100 acres on the east side and then there were five or six small farms. Near the road on the west side were two small limestone quarries, 5 or 6 lime kilns and a number of houses. Near the centre of the townland is a very old burial ground and the gable of an old church called Ardenew church.

A church site is located on a slight rise, which is surrounded by a field system. Dopping’s visitation book (1682-5) records the church of Ardnow alias Ardnorath as a chapel-of-ease to Rathmoylan. At its suppression in 1540 St Mary’s Abbey in Trim owned 41 acres at Ardegrath, but there is no mention of a church. According to the Civil Survey (1654-6) Patrick Birmingham of Corballis, Garreth Lynch of Knock and Lord Tremblestown owned 154 acres at Ardenew in 1640, and there was an ‘old chappell’ on the property. The church is marked on the Down Survey (1656-8) parish map of Rathmoylan. Only the west gable, now fenced off for safety, and the grass covered foundations of the church survive at the western edge of the graveyard. The gable has the base of a secondary belfry but no other features. The few headstones are clustered around the west edge of the graveyard and date from between 1800 and 1900. The church of Ardanew is within a field system defined by silted drains forming rectangular fields. The fields cover an area of about 10 acres (c. 4 ha).

Patrick O’Flyne, of Ardynowe received a pardon in 1548 for rebellion. Laurence Walsh, of Ardennagh, was granted a pardon in 1599.

In 1641 the townland was owned by Patrick Birmingham of Corballis, Garratt Linch of Knock and Lord Trimlestowne Irish Papists. Acres 154.

1775 Freeholders of Co Meath: Daniel Bignall Landlord: W. Lightburn

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Carroll, Colgan, Donigan, Fegan, Keeffe, Murray, Nugent, Reynolds.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Carney, Carroll, Colgan, Costello, Cully, Dinneny, Douglas, Fegan, Keegan, Kenny, McLoughlin, Murray, Nugent, Reilly, Smith, Tighe, Woods.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Colgan, Collins, Deneny, Flynn, Halston, Houston, Keegan, Lynagh, Murray, Regan, Smyth, Tevlin. Lizzie Colgan was a laundress. Matthew Keegan was a master tailor. Edward Keegan was a postman.Michael Tevlin was a tailor. Christopher Colgan was a lime burner.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Colgan, Collins, Deneny, Denny, Flynn, Halton, Lynam, McGarry, McLoughlin, Murray, Reilly, Smyth. John Deneny was a farmer and a lime burner.

In 1926 the lands of Ardanew on the Kennedy Estate are being acquired by the Land Commission.

Ardenew had a cricket team in the 1920s. There was a successful racehorse in the 1930’s called Ardanew, which raced in Ireland and England.

In 1914 K. F. Purdon wrote abook “The Folk of Furry Farm”about a fictional townland called Ardenoo which probably bore more than a slight resemblance to Hotwell, near Enfield. Purdon was born at Hotwell, three miles from Enfield, and lived there all her life. It is always difficult to disentangle fact from fiction. Purdon’s two books about Meath are written in the local dialect from what she believes to be the viewpoint of the Irish peasantry. The prevailing impression of this life is one of monotony. There seems to be almost no respite from the constant rain and the even more constant potatoes. The war in Europe might just as well not have happened. In Ardenoo the killing of a pig is much more important than the assassination of an Arch-Duke in far-off Sarajevo. Everyday life in Ardenoo is much more prosaic. Standing in the community largely depends on the possession of land. One character is described as “a strong farmer that had a right to every respect.” The chief concern of most characters – is to make a “good” marriage. For the men this means the acquisition of a substantial dowry. A “settled” girl with land is regarded as the best wife, on the principle that beauty fades but a dozen acres is a joy forever.

Lime Kilns at Ardenew

There were a number of limekilns at the Corrigan, Ardenew. Lime kilns were chimney like structures in many cases or they were often built into the side of a mound or hill. Lime kilns were once common features of rural landscapes throughout Ireland. Lime kilns were structures in which limestone was heated to a high temperature to produce quicklime. Limestone was quarried from ardenew and transported to the kilns. The stone was broken into pieces with an average size of 4 inches. Layers of coke, turf and brokne limestone were built up within the kiln. A minimum temperature of about 900°C was required to convert the limestone to lime with the limestone reaching a bright red glow. The burning took around 4 days. The stone was quarried by hand. One man constantly rotated the jumper and two other hit it with sledges. At a alter stage the stone was quarried mechanically and blasting was carried out using gelignite. The limekilns at Ardenew were used by the O’Raffrerty, Collins, Souhan and Greville families. Lime was sent to Dublin to be used in the buildings there.

Quicklime or burnt lime was also used on agricultural land to improve the quality of the land by breaking up heavy clay soil, neutralising highly acidic soil or ‘sweetening’ the grass for livestock.

Ardanew School


Fr. John Masterson was the main driving force behind the building of Ardenew School in 1862. It opened in June 1862 under the Board of National Education. The number of pupils ranged from 43 to 57. The first teachers were Philip Myles and Anne Tuite. In 1883 there were 41 male students and 56 females, making as total of 97 pupils. There was an average daily attendance of 49 pupils. The local contribution in aid of teacher’s salaries were £8 13s. 6d. Total salaries in 1883 were £37 18s. 9d. Results fees paid on examination were £19 1s. 9d.

In July 1963 Mrs. Margaret Walsh, Ballivor, principal teacher at Ardanew National School, Longwood, for the previous 19 years retired from teaching. She had 45 years’ teaching experience. She was succeeded in Ardanew by Miss Mullery, Co. Cavan.

In 1967 irate parents in the area were up in arms because the Department of Education announced that a new school will not be built to replace the existing one which had been described as “primitive.” The parishoners were all-set to build a new school near the existing one when their plans received this setback. The existing school was condemned by the medical authorities as being unfit for its purpose. Under Minister Colley’s policy no new two-teacher schools would be built, the Ardenew pupils—64 of them—would be absorbed into Kill school.

In 1971 a decision was made by the Department of Education to close the two teacher school located at Ardnew (some 4 miles from Rathmolyon) and move the students to Kill.  Additional classrooms were built to accommodate the additional numbers.

The building was sold. It was used as a shed for many years until it was completely destroyed by fire.

Miss Mullery, Teacher 1964.


In 1836 Ballin townland contained 227 acres. The name is derived from the Irish “Baile Fhinn” meaning Finn’s town. In 1836 it was the property of Mr. Fowler and was let in two or three farms to tenants at will at 25s an acre. It was chiefly under tillage. The western side was marshy and unprofitable, being flooded in the winter. There was only one lane to the houses in this townland. A county cess of 2s per acre was payable. The cess was a local tax similar to rates or property tax which was levied on landowners and occupiers in the county. You may have heard the expression “Bad cess to you!”

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Carney, Flynn, Hughes, Lowe, Meehan, Wiley.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Boyan, Byrne, Daly, Dempsey, Flynn, Gill, Lowe, Wiley.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Boyne, Daly, Dempsey, Fitzsimons, Gill, Lowe, Weilly.


A castle at Castletown in Rathmoline parish and Moyfenrah barony is depicted on the Down Survey (1656-8) barony and parish maps as an elaborate structure consisting of two three storey towers connected by a wing.  According to the Civil Survey (1654-6) Dr. Bramhall, who is described as ‘Bishop of Derry, Protestant Delinquent’ owned 500 acres there in 1640 including a castle. The building looks like a seventeenth century house, but it is not recorded on any maps. Two walls built against rock outcrop survive, but these are likely to relate to quarrying and a lime-kiln that was in the vicinity.

Map from the 1650s showing a castle which looks like a seventeenth century house.

Castle near Rathmolyon from the British Library

Situated in an undulating landscape near the castle site is a large rectangular enclosure which is visible on aerial photographs from the 1940s and from the 1970s. It appears to have been defined by earthen banks and external fosses. Cropmarks of ditches can be seen in aerial views from 1995, and it may be a large field.

In the south of the townland are two ring-ditches situated on a fairly level landscape. The parch-mark in grass of a small circular enclosure is visible on Google Earth in 2018 and was first reported by Jean Charles Caillère. A ring-ditch is a circular or near circular fosse, usually less than ten metres in diameter and visible as cropmarks/soilmarks on aerial photographs

In the north of the townland there is a ringfort, located on top of a small hill in a fairly level landscape. A ringfort is a roughly circular or oval area surrounded by an earthen bank with an external fosse. They functioned as residences and farmsteads and broadly date from 500 to 1000 AD. The cropmark of a circular enclosure was visible on aerial photographs taken in July 2018.

In May 1974 a number of skeletons were discovered during bulldozing operations in a sandpit at Castletown. Four partly articulated skeletons were found approximately 1.2m below ground level and aligned approximately west/east. A large quantity of disarticulated bone was also found in the vicinity of the burials. The passage of the bulldozer over the area destroyed the upper parts of the bodies in each case. No grave structures were evident. It appears that the burials were in unlined graves. Three bags of bone were removed from the site and they appear to represent a minimum of ten individuals, mainly adult males, but some young adults were also identified. According to the landowner, a ringfort may have existed on a hillock 30m west of where the burials were found.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Alpine, Bembury, Fagan, Fox, Gahan, Garry, Hanburry, Hoft, Mayhu, Murphy, Nuglus, Quinn, Sankin, Weily.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Brady, Doolan, Doran, Farley, Farrell, Fegan, Gaghran, Gordon, Hanbury, Hughes, Hyland, Larkin, Ryan, Smith, Styles.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Brady, Brien, Doran, Duffy, Fitzsimons, Gannon, Garry, Gaughran, Hughes, Larkin, Maguire, Murray, Nelson, Ryan, Smyth,

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Bayne, Brady, Brien, Cusack, Doran, Dorey, Fitzsimons, Garry, Gaughran, Gunning, Hughes, Kilkenny, Larkin, Monaghan, Murray, Nelson, Ryan. James Murray was a butler. John and Phillip Fitzsimmons were pawnbrokers. Thomas Larkin was an auctioneer.


Detached three-bay two-storey house, built 1877, with return. Hipped slate roof with modern brick chimneystacks. Roughcast rendered walls with rendered corner strips and plinth. Timber sash windows with stone sills. Timber panelled double doors with fanlight, set in tooled stone surround. There are outbuildings to west. Rendered gate piers and cast-iron gates set in rendered walls. Cherry trees were planted in the area.

Mary Ellen Dunne was born at Cherryvalley in 1918 and became a nun in the Brigertine Convent, Mountrath, Co. Laois.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Ennis, Fegan, Flynn, Greville, Lewis, Priest.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Bagnall, Carney, Castles, Green, Growcocks, Kerr, Priest.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Cassins, Douglas, Fay, Fitzsimons, Grehan, Monaghan, Priest. John Cassins was a coachman.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Byrne, Cassins, Douglas, Fay, Fitzsimons, Graham, Monaghan, Priest.


A ringfort or rath is situated on a meandering esker ridge which has been quarried. This was described in 1969 as a raised oval and grass-covered area that slopes down steeply defined by an overgrown fosse Part has been re-used as a roadway. The original entrance is not recognised. The visible profile had been removed by 1995, and it is now partially on a hard-stand within forestry. A ringfort is a roughly circular or oval area surrounded by an earthen bank with an external fosse. They functioned as residences and farmsteads and broadly date from 500 to 1000 AD.

Reconstruction of Ringfort

A fulacht fia site was excavated ahead of the Gas Pipeline to the West in 2002. A fulacht fiadh is the name given to an ancient cooking pit dating from the Bronze Age. Fulacht fiadh is generally located beside a source of water, a pit or hole was constructed and filled with clean water. The water was heated by placing heated stones in it and fresh meat wrapped in straw was boiled in this manner. Located on a steep slope below the crest of a ridge, at the point where marshy pasture becomes bog it consisted oval trough contained twelve fills. A radiocarbon date of 2290-1920 BC was recovered from the basal fill. Four rectangular and nineteen smaller circular stake holes were cut into the trough base. A further eight stake holes and two shallow pits were located to the north west of the trough. A small pit located southeast of the trough had a high charcoal content and returned a date of 2290-2020 BC.

A burial ground was exposed during topsoil stripping for the Gas Pipeline to the West in 2002 and was partially excavated. The form of the site was dominated by the arcs of a pennanular ditch. The exposed interior space and eastern arc of the ditch were truncated by burials. The exterior space was dominated by pits and stakeholes which were concentrated around the ditch entrance. Later medieval linear ditches were identified, placing the pennanular ditch in the corner of a medieval field system. Radiocarbon analysis of fill of the penannular ditch returned a date of AD 420-620 and a bone spindle whorl, copper-alloy chain links were recovered. Sixteen burials were excavated, three of which were located within the interior space. The burials were identified as those of six adults, four children, two early postnatal infants and five neonates. A single burial had ‘earmuff’ stones and another a ‘pillow’ stone. Dating of the burials indicated interment was undertaken between 10th-13th centuries AD. Middle Bronze Age activity was also identified on site indicating reuse and continuity within the landscape.

A total of 36 artefacts were recovered from this site, most of which were in the western arc of the penannular ditch, including iron pins, a needle, chain links, a bone pin and a fragment of a bone pendant.

John O’Donovan gives the name of this townland as Cloncoghan, from the Irish, “Cluain Chuacháin”, meaning Cowan’s meadow. In 1836 was the property of Mrs. McEvoy. It was let in one farm to Mr. Murray at 30s. per acre.  The townland contains 338 acres but 116 acres were of uncultivated land and bog.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Kingston, Murray.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Corr, Costello, Donegan, Fox, Garry, Geoghegan, Halton, Higgins, McLoughlin, Magrath, Murray, Rafferty, Tyrrell.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Farnan, Garry, Hanley, Higgins, Maguire, McGrath, Rafferty. Thomas Rafferty was a linen weaver. Marcella Maguire was a laundress.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Daly, Fearnan, Garry, Hanley, Higgins, McGrath, McGuire. Philip Higgins was a rural postman.  Marcella McGuire was a laundry and washer woman.


In the Depositions of 1641 Myles Pemberton of Longwood accused six men of robbing him including one, Teig Connor of Clonmorele.

In 1654 the Bishop of Derry held the lands here.

The name, Clonmowley, is taken from the Irish “Cluain Mullaigh” which means the “meadow of the summit.” The townland contains 213 acres and in 1836 was the property of Mr. Fowler. It was let in two farms 25s. per acre. There were two comfortable houses in the middle of the townland. The land on the north-west was marshy but the rest of the townland was very good.

Patrick Cosgrave of Clonmowley served as a county councilor in the 1930s.

Lease 1802: Edward Murray

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Dempsey, Fagan, Flynn, Lowe, Muhan.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Dempsey, Fegan.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Cosgrove, Fagan, Faxon, Leonard, McCann,

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Butler, Cleary, Cosgrave, Fagan, Garegan, Leonard, Rourke.


Cloneycurry comes from the Irish “Cluain Uí Chomhraidhe” meaning O’Curry’s meadow. In the 1400s there was a castle recorded in Clonycurry.

In 1597 there was a grant to James Ware who had the custody of Gerald, son of George Ailmer, approved a grant of lands to George Ailmer, of Clonecurrie, of all the said lands and hereditaments.

In 1668 James, Duke of York held lands in “Cloncurr”. The major benefactor of the Cromwellian confiscation and restoration settlement was the brother of the new king, James Stuart, Duke of York. Twelve thousand acres were given to James as a private estate. The Act of Settlement granted the lands of regicides to James Duke of York but he was also allocated additional lands. James was confirmed in his lands in Lune by letters patent in 1668. 

It contains 371 acres and in 1835 was owned by the Bishop of Ossory.  The land was mostly flat but on the north there was some marsh and a few acres of bog.

Two fields in the townland were called the Cricket Field so the game must have been played there.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Connor, Daly, Denany, Doran, Dunne, Kiernan, Revesen, Ryan.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Allen, Charles, Daly, Dinneny, Dunne, Green, Greville, Heffernan, Kinahan.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Boyce, Bumford, Cosgrove, Cox, Daly, Deneny, Dunne, Garry, Golde, Golden, Keenan, Luckey, McKoen, Melia, Pain,  Rourke, Walsh. Bridget, Kate and Rosanna Boyce were laundresses.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Boyce, Brennan, Caffery, Calgan, Cosgrove, Danly, Duffy, Dunne, Farrell, Gaynor, McDermott, Maguire, Stynes, Williams.  John McDermott was a roads ganger.


Within the townland there are two ringforts, an earthwork and a burial site. One ringfort or  rath is located on the broad summit of Coolderry hill. This is a raised D-shaped and grass-covered area. The original entrance and causeway are at the east. A ringfort is a roughly circular or oval area surrounded by an earthen bank with an external fosse. They functioned as residences and farmsteads and broadly date from 500 to 1000 AD. The second rath is about 30m to the south – southwest, consists of a subcircular domed and grass-covered area with a slight outer fosse or drain.

The earthwork is situated on a rise at the bottom of a west-facing slope. This is a raised, subcircular and grass-covered area defined by a scarp, with an outer bank. An original entrance is not identified but there is a small mound just north of the centre. An earthwork is an earthen structure, usually raised and occurring in a variety of shapes and sizes. These may date to any period from prehistory onwards.

Human remains came to light in stripping topsoil at Coolderry in advance of quarrying in 2000. They were encountered in a limited area south of a boundary of woodland associated with Tobertynan House. Four inhumations, laid supine with the heads at NW were at the base of the topsoil. The burials are preserved in situ within a buffer zone.

Mass was celebrated during Penal times at Coolderry, in particular at Cnoic na Cille, the hill of the church. Another mound is described as Rathmore, the big fort, the gas line was diverted slightly to the south in 2003 to avoid this site. Very little is visible on the ground.

In 1836 the townland of Coolderry was in the ownership of the Bishop Ossory. Cul Doire means the “hill or back of the oak wood”. The townland contains 468 acres and in 1836 was let at fifteen shillings to twenty-five shillings per acre. It was described as good land and was mostly under tillage.

Edward Singleton, Alderman of Drogheda, was granted lands at Coolderry by the Lord of Slane in 1703.

Lease 1788: Stafford Gorman

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Carlow, Flood, Hanbury.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland:  Carolan, Hanbury, Lewis, Slator, Taaffe.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Blake, Carlow, Duggan, Hanbury, Kennedy, Lewis, Maguire, Quinn, Toole, Watson. Walter Lewis was a blacksmith and farmer. James Lewis was a blacksmith. Bridget Toole was a seamstress.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Carlow, Fagan, Hanbury, Jackson, Kennedy, Lewis, Melia, Moran, Mulvey.


The name, Corballis, may come from the Irish “Cor-Bhaile” meaning odd town but “cor”, or “corr” has many meanings such as a pit, a well or a crane. It contains 252 acres. In the 1650s Patrick Bermingham was the owner of the lands. In 1835 it was the property of the Bishop of Ossory and let out in one large grazing farm and a few small allotments. The land was generally good.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Duffy, Ennis, Keeffe, Payne.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Duffy, Hart, Keeffe, Mooney, Tyrrell, Webb.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Carlow, Casey, Duffy, Farrelly, Keeffe, Kelly, Martin, McGrath.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Carlow, Dolan, Duffy, Ferrelly, Keeffe, Kelly, Martin, McGrath, Murtagh, Nolan. 


In 1155 the castle as Cuileanntrach was demolished. John O’Donovan identified this place as Cullentry in Rathmolyon but there is no trace of a castle today.

Cullentra is a corruption of the Irish “cuileann” and means holly land. The townland consists of 916 acres and in 1836 was the   property of Mr. Fowler. It was let in one big farm of 200 acres and three or four others of 50 to 100 acres. There were also a few small farms. The average rent was 25 shillings an acre. The land was described as flat and in some cases marshy and bad.

In 1836 maps show a hamlet of Hollywood, which is the English of Cullentry, in the south of the townland and also a school house. Hollywood translates to Irish as “Cullentra”.

Rev. Fr. Sean Cleary born in 1946 at Cullentra, went on missionary work in Argentina. His sister, Gretta, went on to become Mother Philomena in Seville, Spain.

Lease of 1767: Joseph Charles

Lease of 1771: Thomas McClaughrey

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland of Cullentry: Brien, Coharts, Walsh.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland of Highlane (part of Cullentry): Caffrey, Cooke, Farrell, Weily.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Booth, Caffrey, Carney, Cooke, Dixon, Doran, Fitzsimons, Kelly, Kennedy, Manning, Reynolds, Sloan, Smith, Soohan, Stone, Wiley.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Anderson, Bourke, Caffrey, Carey, Cleary, Conlon, Cooke, Dixon, Fitzsimons, Garrigan, Graghen, Hosie, Kealing, Leehan, Lyan, Moore, Sheil, Sohan,  Tyrrell, Weily. Bridget Brady was a nurse domestic servant. John and Val Cooke were tailors. Eliza Cooke was a dressmaker.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Burke, Caffrey, Carney, Clery, Costello, Dixon, Fitzsimons, Gasteen, Garrigan, Hosie, Lodge, Lohan, McCorry, Moore, Murray, Smith, Tyrrell, Walshe, Weily. Adam Gasteen was a commercial traveller.  


In 1668 Stafford Lightburne was granted the lands of Powderton, Fordstown, Ardrum and Cloncowan.

In 1704 Fordstown was the residence of the local parish priest, Rev. John O’Reilly, when he registered at Trim under the Penal Laws.

Fordstown contains 278 acres and in 1835 was in the ownership of Mrs. McEvoy of Tobertynan House. It was let in one large farm to Mr. Kellett at 25s. per acres. Only a few acres were under tillage with the remainder being grazing land. In 1836 the townland contained only one farmhouse, a few cottages and a small private school.

Lease 1801: Patrick Murray

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Beglin, Hart, Murray.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Bagnall, Burke, Fitzpatrick, Flynn, Leonard, Magawley, Maguire, Murray, Soohan, Tiernan.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Anderson, Begnal, Bumford, Burke, Casey, Fitzpatrick, Flynn, Geraghty, Greville, Magawley, Rearney, Soogan. James Soogan was a blacksmith. Bernard Fitzpatrick was a relieving officer. Anne Flynn was a seamstress. Mary Begnal was a national school teacher.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Beglin, Burke, Casey, Doran, Dunne, Fitzpatrick, Flynn, Greville, Hanly, Kearney, Soughan. James Soughan was a blacksmith.


The name comes from the Irish, “formeal”, meaning a round hill. This hill could be a glaciated feature. It was also written as Farmwell. It contained 188 acres and in 1836 was the property of the Bishop of Ossory. It was let at from 17s. to 24s. an acre. The land was good and well cultivated.

The 1641 depositions chronicle the harrowing events of the uprising by Catholic landowners against plantation settlers in the early 17th century. The rebellion, which began on October 22, 1641, led to more than a decade of violence and was one of the excuses used by Cromwell for coming to Ireland. The depositions record the claims for compensation by the Protestant settlers who suffered at the hands of the Catholic rebels. While many certainly do chronicle real events others were exaggerated in order to secure increased compensation. In 1652 Elizabeth Browne, nee Dixon, from fformall, gave evidence that her husband, John, was murdered by Dudley Cooley and Henry Holcroft. John Browne was a protected person under the government of the Parliament of England in the quarters of Trim in the Barony of Moyfenragh. John went to see his mother and sisters at Carbury but was arrested there by Ensign Henry Holcroft. Holcroft’s senior officer, Captain Dudley Cooley, was absent in Kilkenny. When Cooley returned he ordered John Browne shot. Elizabeth alleged that Cooley went to Mass with the Irish Rebels.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Hughes, Sheedoe, Smith.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Anderson, Halligan, Hughes, Shide, Smith.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Cusack, Farrelly, Hughes, Johnston, Keefe, Molloy, Smyth. Walter Keefe was a farmer and carpenter.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Arnold, Bradley, Halligan, Hughes, Keeffe, Kelly, Miggin, Minogue, Minogue, Mooney, Smyth.


The townland takes its name from a man named Gilbert who must have held the land in medieval times. Gilbert is of Old French origin, and means “bright promise”. The Anglo-Normans introduced this name to Ireland in the twelfth century.

A ringfort or rath is situated on a shelf on a south-west facing slope. This is a raised grass and scrub-covered oval area defined by an overgrown earthen bank, with a field bank at the bottom of its outer face. There is a complete outer fosse. The original entrance and causeway are at east. A ringfort is a roughly circular or oval area surrounded by an earthen bank with an external fosse. They functioned as residences and farmsteads and broadly date from 500 to 1000 AD.

In 1386 Matthew fitz Rowe and Thomas Penteney of co. Meath, granted custody of the lands that belonged to William Lynham deceased in Gilbertestoun near Kylghelan in that county to John Dardis of Grilly.

1802 Lease: Edward Murray

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland (Recorded as Gibbons?): Bathe, Carney, Carroll, Casey, Colgan, During, Gafney, Goosey, Hegarty, Hickey, Keeffe, Murray, Nugent, Regan, Smith.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Breslow, Carney, Carroll, Deering, Dowd, Dunne, Farrell, Fegan, Flaherty, Goosey, Greville, Hackett, Hegarty, Kennedy, Lamb, McLoughlin, Murray, Nugent, Rede, Smith. John Carroll was a road contractor.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Bede, Byrne, Carroll, Clarke, Cosgrove, Costello, Dowd, Dunne, Fagan, Flaherty, Goosey, Greville, Highland, Hocket, Hoke, Kearney, Lorkin, Moore, Moran, Murray, Smyth.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Bede, Carroll, Colgan, Connor, Costello, Cleary, Dowd, Dunne, Fagan, Flaherty, Greville, Hyland, Kearney, Keegan, Moran, Murray, Smyth. James Costello was an egg dealer. Mathew Keegan was a tailor.  


A glebe is a portion of land assigned to a clergyman as part of his benefice. In 1836 the first division of the Glebe was held by the Earl of Darnley and it amounted to 151 acres. It was let for 26s. per acre and the land was recorded as good and well cultivated.  There were three portions (Divisions) of the Vicaral Glebe. The first part was held by Rev. Samuel Magee and was let in lots to the householders in Rathmolyon. The parish church and the southern part of the village were in this townland. The Second Division amounted to nineteen acres and was the property of the Earl of Darnley. The Third Division contained 52 acres and was the property of Rev. Samuel Magee who resided in the townland.  Samuel Magee was rector of Rathmolyon from 1823 until 1873. In 1836 the tithes payable for the parish were £438 and of this £230 was paid to the Earl of Darnley and the remainder to the vicar.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Bagnall, Byrne, Cusack, Despard, Fegan, Gough, Green, Kerr, Neill.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Connor, Cosgrove, Denneny, Farrell, Harnan, Hughes, McDonnell, McElroe, Mullagh, Stones, Winter. James Harnan was a publican and farmer.  John Winter was a national school teacher. Bridget Denneny was a seamstress.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Branigan, Cosgrove, Denneny, Farrell, Fogarty, Galbraith, Harnan, Hughes, McEnroe, Malloy, Reilly, Stones, Tobin.  Francis Reilly was a saddler. Mary Fogarty was a National School teacher. John Harnan was a farmer and publican. Eliza Tobin was a barmaid. Anne Harnan was a shopkeeper. Margaret Branigan was a school teacher.


A rath or ringfort is located on a small hillock in a gently undulating landscape. This is a raised, circular, grass and scrub-covered area defined by an earthen bank, with an outer fosse and an outer bank. The original entrance was just east of south. An old grass-covered quarry trench with no spoil mound cuts off the south east part. At the centre of the rath is a large rectangular grass-covered area) defined by a wide bank with an entrance towards the east, which may be a house site. A ringfort is a roughly circular or oval area surrounded by an earthen bank with an external fosse. They functioned as residences and farmsteads and broadly date from 500 to 1000 AD.

O’Donovan wrote in 1830s that the townland name was taken from a man’s name, Isaac. The townland contains 468 acres and in 1836 was let at 24 shillings per acre. It was the property of the Bishop of Ossory. The land was good and all under tillage. There was a small bog in the south-east corner of the townland.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Allen, Benson, Brady, Brennan, Brien, Byrne, Cosgrove, Coogan, Cuff, Cusack, Douglas, Farrell, Flynn, Fox, Gee, Geoghan, Johnston, Kinihan, Lawless, Leonard, Morris, Murphy, Parkinson, Sheridan, Walker, Walsh, Watson.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Allen, Bailey, Brady, Caves, Cosgrave, Doran, Douglas, Flynn, Fox, Gargan, Gaynor, Gee, Glennon, Gorry, Greville, Hastings, Hickey, Hughes, Jealous, Johnstown, Keeffe, Keegan, Keely, Kerr, Kiernan, King, Lawless, Lewis, Leonard, Lynch, Mackay, Tyrrell, Walsh, Watson, Wiley.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Bailey, Brady, Caffrey, Cassons, Chandler, Chandley, Cole, Cummins, Doran, Douglas, Duffy, Fagan, Farrell, Fegan, Fox, Gannon, Geoghegan, Greville, Grey, Hannan, Harnan, Hastings, Heaps, Gorry, Jiles, Kelly, Kevlin, King, Leonard, McKay, O’Brien, Ratigan, Reilly, Scully, Smith, Smyth, Taaffe, Watson, Weir, White. Jane Fegan was a laundress. Christopher was a farmer and shopkeeper. Thaddeus Geoghegan was a carpenter.  Michael Weir was a carpenter.  Charles Hastings was a farmer and clerk of petty sessions. Matthew Scully was a stud groom.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Brady, Brennan, Byrne, Caffrey, Chandler, Chanley, Clarke, Cummins, Doran, Douglas, Duffy, Dwyer, Evans, Fagan, Flynn, Fox, Gannon, Geoghegan, Gray, Greville, Hannon, Hastings, Heapes, Jiles, Kevlin, King, Lynch, Nevin, McGrath, McKay, McLoughlin, Matthews, O’Neill, Rattigan, Roe, Rooney,  Smyth, Watson, White. Charles Hastings was a farmer and clerk of petty sessions. John Nevin was a farmer and tradesman. Eugene Matthews was a roads ganger. Robert Rooney was a retired schoolmaster. Frances Rooney was a daily governess. Patrick McLoughlin was a blacksmith. Patrick Byrne was a general labourer and army reservesman. Michael Dwyer was a carpenter. Peter Fox was a stableboy.

Sheila Doran became Sister Agnes in the Medical Missionaries of Mary and was among the founder members of MMM.

Jimmy Strewart on right at drill in Isaacstown

In 1962 the Ambassador Irish Oil Company began drilling for oil and natural gas at Isaackstown. The company had acquireda ten-acre farm there from Jack Kangley, and it commenced drilling operations in August.

Drilling operations were preceded by a two-year survey of the country by four geologists and a geophysicist. The exploratory programme is being carried out under the terms of an agreement between the Irish Government and the Ambassador Irish Oil Co., covering about 27,000 square miles of land and related offshore rights, representing the entire area of the Republic.

In early August James Stewart, the film actor, visited the Ambassador Oil Company’s site at Rathmolyon. Kirk Johnson, president of the company, who accompanied Mr. Stewart, said Rathmolyon was the first of four exploratory wells to be sunk in Ireland by his company. James Stewart made a personal appearance at the Irish premiere of his latest film, “Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation,” at the Ambassador Cinema, Dublin.

Drilling began on 15th August.  The Taoiseach, Sean Lemass; the American Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. McCloskey, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, Jack Lynch and the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Michael Hilliard were present at the commencement of operation. The site was blessed by Very Rev. P. Dillon, P.P. Kill. Three of the drillers were Americans and one was a Canadian. The crew-members were mostly Co. Meath men. Also employed on the site were two truck drivers, two helpers, a mechanic and a welder. Drilling continued night and day for a month. It ended on 21st September. The cost of the whole operation was in the £100,000-£150,000 region. This included the cost of bringing the equipment from the United States.

Drilling took place to a depth of 5,975 feet when basement rook was reached. There was nothing there for the drillers. Dismantling work began almost immediately and a fleet of CIE. Lorries arrived at the site on Tuesday to transport the 130-feet derrick and other equipment, weighing at total of 1,650 tons, to Doonbeg, near Kilkee, Co. Clare, where exploration for oil is expected to begin in a few weeks.


The townland contains 265 acres. In 1836 it was let at 25s. per acre. There was one large farm and four or five small farms, principally under tillage. The land was described as “good.”

Rev. Fr. Laurence Greehan was born in Little Johnstown in 1838. In 1881 he was transferred to Oldcastle  where he erected a new church and a new parochial house.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Brien, Byrne, Carroll, Dunne, During, Farne, Gorhan, Moran.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Brien, Carroll, Connor, Deering, Dunne, Grenghan, Magawley.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Anderson, Byrd, Carroll, Cusey, Dunne, Ennis, Grehan, Murtagh, Slovin, Smyth, Willie Cusey was a carpenter’s apprentice.  

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Byrd, Carroll, Casey, Dixon, Dunne, Ennis, Grehan, Mulvany, Slevin. 


The Cusack family lived in Kilballyporter in the early 1700s. Kilballyporter comes from the Irish “Coill a’ Bhealaigh”  which means  “the wood of the pass through a bog” . It contains 434 acres and in 1836 it was the  property  of  Bishop of   Ossory. It was let in two large and two small farms . Let in 2 large and 2 small farms at 20 shillings  per acre. Mr. Fegan, who had one of the large farms in this townland, had a corn mill. Mr. Lane had the other large farm which he mostly grazed.

A windmill was erected probably in the 1700s. In the 1830s there was a mill owned by Richard Keeffe of Knock Mills, Trim. But it only had water for a limited amount of time a year. There was also a forge at the mill. In 1918 Thomas Regan purchased the mill.

Rev. Fr. Leonard Moran was born at Kill in 1915 and went on to be parish priest of Lobinstown  where he built a new school and church.

Rev. Fr. Patrick Regan was born at Kill Mill in 1919 and later became parish priest of Castlepollard.

In 1961 a skeleton, believed to be about a century old, was found at Kill, where a new national school was being built. The discovery was made by William Maguire, Straney Beg, an employee of the building contractors, Messrs. John McCabe and Sons, Wilkinstown, Navan. The skeleton was unearthed about two feet from the bank of a river. It was a couple of feet below the surface. It was believed that the .remains were those of a young person.

1767 Lease: David Leyns (Lynch)

1813 Lease: Edward Murray

1816 Lease: Richard Walker

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Duffy, Keeffe, Lynch.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Duffy, Ennis, Hanbury, Keeffe, Murray, Pigott, Quinn, Soohan, Tuckey, Tyrrell, Webb.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Clarke, Fagan, Keeffe, Webb. Elizabeth Keeffe was a miller. 1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Adams, Bradley, Casey, Colgan, Fagan, Fitzpatrick, Gill, McGrath, McManus, Murray, Taaffe, Tuckey, Webb. Peter and Patrick Tuckey were blacksmiths.


Kilbeg means a small wood, “Coill Beag”. In 1836 it amounted to 85 acres and was in the ownership of the Bishop of Ossory. The land was good and it was all under tillage.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Allen, Casson, Cosgrove, Hughes, Kiernan, Tray, Walsh.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Allen, Casson, Cosgrove, Halligan, Heaps, Kiernan, Tracy, Walsh.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Duffy, Eiffe, Ennis, Heapes, Tracy, Walsh. Ellen Eiffe was a schoolmaster’s widow. John and Michael Tracy were masons.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Allen, Duffy, Ennis, Heaps, Tracey, Walsh. Michael Tracey was a mason.


In 1419 David, the son of Tany O’Mulchrony, died of the plague, in his own house at Coill-mor-na-Breathnach, (The great wood of the Welshmen) after Penance and Unction and was interred in the monastery of St. John the Baptist at Trim. This David was the son of the Ollav of Sil-Murray. An ollamh (ollav) was the highest rank in the learned orders of law, poetry, or history. Ollamh Síol Muireadaigh was a hereditary post, held almost exclusively by members of the ÓMaolconaire family, from at latest the 13th century until the 17th century. Septs of the Síol Muireadaigh included the families: Tighe, O’Flanagan, O’Monahan, O’Mulrennan, Brennan, O’Beirne, Concannon, Geraghty, McManus and O’Connor.

Kilmore comes from “Coill Mor” which means the big wood. It contains 114 acres and in 1836 was the property of the Bishop of Ossory. The land was good and mostly under tillage.

Lease of 1784: Thomas Hughes

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Alpine, Brien, Colclough, Duffy, Farrell, Hughes, McDonnell, Morris, Pigott.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Brien, Colclough, Crinnan, Hastings, Hughes, Kerr, McDonald, Rorke, Toole.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Cloclough, Farrell, Hughes, Maguire, O’Brien.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Colclough, Farrell, Fitzsimons, Hughes, O’Brien, Smyth. Mary Colclough was a business girl.


Reconstruction of motte and bailey castle

The townland gets its name from a motte and bailey located on top of a prominent hill. A motte and bailey is an early form of castle consisting of a flat-topped, steep-sided, earthen mound supporting a wooden tower, with an associated courtyard or bailey, which is often raised and enclosed by a bank and fosse. These were constructed by the Anglo-Normans in the late 12th and early 13th century AD. This is a circular flat-topped and grass-covered mound with some bushes defined by a fosse. There is a raised crescent-shaped and grass-covered bailey attached at north, which is surrounded by a fosse and outer bank. The west side of the motte had been quarried.

Rathmolyon Motte and Bailey

The townland of Moat contained 275 acres in 1836 and was the property of the Bishop of Ossory. It was let at 26s. per acre. The land quality was good and was principally under tillage. There were two small limestone quarries in the townland.

Rev. Fr. John McKeown was born near Moat Hill in 1877. He served in Australia where he died in 1923.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Andrews, Despard, Hanbury, McDonald.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Christie, Conlon, Hanbury, Maguire.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Christie, Connor, Hanbury, Maguire,

In 1918 Emily Hanbury left her entire estate to the Church of Ireland parish of Rathmolyon.


Moneymore takes its name from the Irish, “Muine Mhór” which means great brake or shrubbery. It contains 200 acres and in 1836 it was the property of the Bishop of Ossory. It was let for 18s. per acre. In 1836 it contained one comfortable farmhouse. The land was described as good.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Despard, Givney, Hanbury, Nugent.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Hanbury

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Hanbury.


In Irish “Rath Fleisc” means “Flesk’s Fort.” The townland contained 300 acres. Let at 21 shillings per acre and was the property of the Bishop of Ossory in 1836. About one third was tillage and two thirds grazing.

Lease 1788: Rathflesk

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Balfe, Brady, Bray, Hanbury, Hanley, Keely, McDonald, Quinn, Reynolds.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Brady, Collins, Fary, Hanley, Kelly,

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Brady, Collins, Golding, Hanley, Kelly, McDonald, Maguire,


Straneybeg is taken from the Irish word “Sruthán meaning stream and “beg” meaning small. 

In 1836 the land was the property of the Bishop of Ossory and was let at 24s. an acre.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Cusack.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Cusack, Farrell, Fegan, Hughes, Masterson.  

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Bagnall, Conlon, Cusack, De Burgh, Dunne, Ennis, Gaffney, McEntee, Madden, Minogue, Stones, Wetherell. Rev. Frederick Wederall was the rector of the parish. Fr. Hugh McEntee was the parish priest and he had two curates, Fr. Peter Conlan and Fr. Denis Dunne. John Cusack was a coachman.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Anderson, Conway, Cusack, Daly, Ennis, Gilsenan, Minogue, Murtagh, Jenkinson, Reburn. Thomas Anderson was a Church of Ireland clergyman. Patrick Minogue was a shoemaker. Fr. Thomas Gilsenan was the Roman Catholic parish priest and his curate was Fr. Emmett Conway. Michael Ennis was a miller and farmer.


Stranymore is taken from the Irish word “Sruthán meaning stream and “mor” meaning big.  In 1836 the townland contained 178 acres the property of the Bishop of Osssory. It was flat land, in tillage, let to four tenants.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Cormick, Gaharan, Grehan, Greville, Griffith, Heffernan, Kinahan, Ryan, Webb.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Barrett, Doyle, Gaghran, Greaghan, Greville, Griffin, Heffernan, Keeffe, Murray,

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Daly, Greville, Griffin, Heffernan, Magrath, Murray. Jane Griffin was a seamstress as was Katie Daly. Patrick Murray was a carpenter.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Arnold, Cullen, Cuskelly, Greville, Griffin, Hefferon, Murray, Rynd. Michael Murray was a carpenter.


Tandragee comes from the Irish “Tóin le Gaoith” meaning a “hill exposed to the wind”. It contains 273 acres and in 1836 was the property of  Mr. Fowler of Rathmolyon. At that time it was let in one large farm at twenty shillings an acre.

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Breslow, Carney, Casey, McCormick, Murray, Reilly.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Casey, Connolly, Greville, Kearney, Murray,

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Carney, Casey, Graville, Murray, O’Brien, Seally, Michael and Patrick O’Brien were bricklayers from Dublin.


In advance of a gas pipeline archaeologists identified what appeared to be an industrial complex dated of 2200-1890 BC in Tobertynan townland. The site was completely excavated and consisted of isolated burnt material at south, and two wooden structures that burnt down. Each of these was connected with corn-drying kilns to the west. Both kilns were of the key-hole type and no artefacts were recovered. The burnt spread consisted of six spreads of a grey ashy deposit overlaid by charcoal-rich soil with some heat-shattered stone. The spreads overlay one small and two larger pits, and pre-dated other phases.

Located between Rathmolyon and Longwood Tobertynan is a straight forward Georgian house, castellated in the early 19th century. Tobertynan consists of two storey over basement central block with cylindrical corner towers. Erected about 1780 by the Nugent family, in 1786 it was the residence of Mr. Donellan. About 1800 Tobertynan was purchased by Francis McEvoy. The McEvoy family added the four towers at the corners of the house. The McEvoy arms and motto ‘Bear and forbear’ are carved on a plaque over the central window in the main front.

Francis McEvoy was the son of Edward McEvoy of Dring, Co. Longford. Francis, a distinguished surgeon, was one of the founders and later President of the Royal College of Surgeons. Francis married Anne Featherstonhaugh of Bracklyn Castle. Their son, Edward, died unmarried and the estate went to James McEvoy, brother of Francis, of Frankford in 1808. James married Theresa, youngest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Joshua Coles Meredyth, 8th Baronet. James died in 1834 while his widow lived on until 1896, surviving her husband by sixty two years. Their second son, Joshua, married Mary Netterville, only daughter and heiress to the 7th Viscount Netterville and took the name Netterville. In 1852 Richard Gradwell of Dowth Hall married Maria Theresa, elder daughter of James and Theresa. In 1856 Barbara Frances, the younger daughter of James and Theresa, married Sir Bernard Burke who was Ulster King at Arms and editor of Burke’s Peerage.

James was succeeded at Tobertynan by his widow and then his son, Edward Francis McEvoy. In 1835 Tobertynan house was described as a handsome mansion house in the centre of the demesne. About half the townland was laid out as a park with trees.

In 1850 Edward Francis McEvoy married Eliza Theresa Browne of Mount Hazel, heiress to that estate. Edward McEvoy attended Cambridge and served in the 6th Carabiniers Dragoon Guards. He then served as MP for Meath 1855-1874 as an independent. 

While serving in the Dragoon Guards Edward was friendly with Roger Tichborne. Roger lost his life when his ship went down in the South Atlantic. His mother was distraught and advertised widely believing that he had not died. A man claiming to be Roger Tichborne arrived from Australia and the mother welcomed him but there was a huge legal case to claim the assets of Roger Tichborne and it was proved that the man was an imposter. It was a very famous case in the late 19th century. Edward McEvoy knew him for an imposter and was a very important witness against the claimant at the trial.  

In 1876 Edward McEvoy of Tobertynan held owned 2,411 acres in Meath, over 300 acres in Leitrim and also lands in Longford. The Empress of Austria visited Tobertynan while staying at Summerhill. She presented an ebony cutting whip to the mother of the fifth Duke de Stacpole who was a child rider in the hunt. At that time there was a lily pond, thatched summerhouse, a statue of Mercury and a tower which was possibly a folly on the outer lawn. 

About 1880 local agitators decided to murder the landlord McEvoy one evening. They shot into the room in which he slept, which was lighted at night. McEvoy escaped unharmed. The following morning black porter bottles were discovered at the sunken fence at the front of the house where the shots had been fired from.

Fr. Charles Houben, a Passionist, became a regular correspondent with the McEvoys. In thanksgiving for the birth of their daughter, Pauline, Edward and Eliza erected a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes on a Scots Pine tree in the woods at Tobertyrnan in 1868, ten years after the apparations at Lourdes.  Although there must have been a well dedicated to Tynan in the locality today there is no trace of such a well. There is a pilgrimage to a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in the townland. Fr. Houeben, who was beatified in 1988, blessed this shrine.  Edward died in 1899 and Eliza died in 1904. Their daughter, Pauline, married George, fourth Duke de Stacpoole and their son, George, restored the shrine in 1939. In the 1980s a pilgrimage began to the shrine on the first Sunday in May.

Pauline, the only surviving child of Edward MacEvoy was brought up at Tobertynan, by governesses. She could play the piano and talk French, the two accomplishments required of a young lady at that period. Pauline Mary McEvoy married George de Stacpoole on 1 December 1883.

The de Stacpoole family were linked to Limerick from the 13th century. Richard de Stacpoole was created a Viscount by Pope Louis XVIII in 1826 and a Papal Marquis by Leo XII in 1828 then a Papal Duke by Gregory XVI in 1830. Richard de Stacpoole spent £40,000 to rebuild “St Paul’s without the walls” and also repaired the main bridge over the Tiber and the restoration of the fountains which had been out of action, since Napoleonic times. Richard 1st Duke de Stacpoole died July 1848. George de Stacpoole, only son of the 3rd Duke, was born in Paris in 1860. He was the grandson of Richard de Stacpoole, of Mount Hazel, Co. Galway, whom Leo XII created a Duke of the Papal States in 1830.

George de Stacpoole met Miss Pauline McEvoy of Tobertynan in Dublin where he had established a base for hunting with the Meaths and the Wards. After their marriage in 1883 they went to live at St. Wandrille, Normandy, as his father, the real owner, was by this time a priest. Stanislaus was Domestic Prelate to Pope Pius IX in Rome and on his deathbed asked his son George to use the title of count. George and Pauline’s eldest child Gertrude was born at St. Wandrille.  By this time however, Pauline was getting tired of living abroad. Her own mother Elizabeth McEvoy missed her very much in Ireland and she offered her son-in-law her Mount Hazel property, provided he would live there. The couple moved to Mount Hazel and there they raised their family of six children. Pauline had taken a fancy to a house opposite St. Columbus Church in London but thought that the bells might disturb her. The church was a Scottish Presbyterian church – a denomination which does not use bells. Instead they purchased a house in Cadogan Gardens. The fourth Duke de Stacpoole wrote his autobiography “Irish and other memories” which was published in 1922. He presented the Sultan of Turkey with a St. Bernard dog. The dog did not like the heat and the Sultan had a tunnel constructed to generate a cooling draft. When the Sultan was deposed after the First World War he took the St. Bernard dog into exile with him. 

Robert Andrew de Stacpoole. 2nd Lieutenant, Connaught Rangers, was born in 1892 at Mount Hazel, Co. Galway, the fourth son of George, Duke de Stacpoole and Pauline May, nee McEvoy, Mount Hazel, and Tobertynan House. Robert was educated at Downside, Wimbledon College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, Connaught Rangers, in 1911 and promoted Lieutenant at the start of the war in August 1914. Serving with the Expeditionary Force in France he was killed in action at Verneuil, during the Battle of the Aisne, 20 September 1914, aged 22.

Roderick Algernon Anthony de Stacpoole. 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Regiment of Artillery (Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery), was a younger brother of Robert Andrew and fifth and youngest son of George, Duke de Stacpoole and Pauline May. Made a 2nd Lieutenant R.F.A. in August 1914 he joined the 1st Battery with which he went to France in November. Killed in action, Neuve Chapelle, France, 1915, aged 19 he was mentioned in dispatches for gallant and distinguished service in the field. One of his officers wrote: “If you see Humphries tell him how deeply the whole brigade regret the death of the high-spirited boy de Stacpoole. In years only a child, with the face of a girl, he had the heart of a hero. He was killed carrying a telephone across an open fire-swept field. Having put his men in safety, he took the post of danger himself.”

An elder brother, Edward Hubert Michael Stacpoole, served as a Captain in the Leinster Regiment and survived the war. Hubert recorded that he was shot at in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising on his way back from Fairyhouse races.

Another elder brother, Francis Gustave Stacpoole, served in the war as Lieutenant in the Irish Guards and was wounded but survived.

During the War of Independence in 1920 the Duc de Stacpoole’s house at Tobertynan, Longwood, was been robbed and six shots were fired though the ceiling. The housekeeper was so badly shaken that she was taken to Mullingar Mental Hospital. A number of similar incidents had taken place in the general area about this time. John Egan of the Boardsmill Volunteer Company was suspicious of two local men as he had seen them out early in the morning. The leader of the IRA in Meath, Sean Boylan met the Duc de Stackpoole in Trim and introduced himself and told him he would have the stolen property returned. The Duc said that the police were working on the case to which Boylan replied “They will do nothing; they are in collusion with the robbers.” Boylan rounded up the two suspects and two other men. He interrogated the prisoners and they admitted their guilt. One prisoner was released and led Boylan to the missing items. Two more men were implicated, the six had been roaming the country with the knowledge of the police in an attempt to have the robberies blamed on the IRA. Boylan contacted William McLoughlin of Trim, who had a side car, to collect the stolen property. There was a large amount of stolen property and Boylan had to make a number of trips. On one occasion as Boylan returned the goods though the back door of Tobertynan the police were at the front door. McLoughlin grew exhausted with the work and the Duc was asked for a loan of his side car and driver. They went to the brother of one of the robbers and forced him at gun point to reveal where the Duc’s clothing had been hidden. It turned out to be within sight of the Longwood RIC Barracks. The local police sent news of Boylan’s activities to Trim and a lorry load of military were dispatched but Boylan took a different route. When Boylan had returned all the Duc’s missing items with the exception of a silver horse shoe which could not be traced, the Duc offered Boylan £5 as a reward. Boylan refused saying “We are acting on behalf of the Irish Government and are Volunteers. You ought to join us” The Duc relied “I would be with you only for your burning of the police barracks.”  Boylan said “You lost two brothers in the war; what benefit has it brought to Ireland” The Duc replied “My brothers fought for Ireland” but Boylan disagreed “They fought for England.” The Duc finished the conversation saying “I won’t discuss it further with you.” The Duc wrote a letter of appreciation to the Irish Times and the British Government are supposed to have cut his pension as a result. Michael Collins complimented Boylan on his work in the case and said it had brought great credit to the IRA.  Two of the thieves were stripped and flogged and compelled to do three weeks unpaid farm work.

George Edward Joseph Patrick de Stacpoole, 5th Duc de Stacpoole was born on 8 March 1886. He was the son of George de Stacpoole, 4th Duc de Stacpoole and Pauline Mary MacEvoy. He married Eileen Constance Palmer, daughter of James Palmer, on 12 November 1915. He died on 3 April 1965 at age 79. He was educated at Downside School, Bath, Somerset, England. He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the 3rd Battalion, Connaught Rangers and fought in the First World War.

He was decorated with the award of Knight of Honour and Devotion, Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He succeeded to the title of 5th Duc de Stacpoole in 1909.

In 1933 George ran for the Dail. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for County Galway and also for County Meath. In 1928 George de Stacpoole was elected to Meath County Council to represent the Farmer’s Party, in 1934 he was elected as the Fine Gael candidate, and in 1942 he was re-elected as a Farmer’s candidate, in 1945 he was elected under the farmer’s party Clann na Taluin party, in 1950 he ran as an independent and failed to get elected. He was a member of the Irish Turf Club and Irish National Hunt Committee. He died on 3 April 1965 aged 79.

The sixth duke, Major George Duc de Stacpoole, died in July 2005 and was buried in Roundstone, Co. Galway. George was born in 1916 in the middle of the First World War that claimed his uncles Roderick and Robert. Educated at St Gerard’s in Dublin and then at Downside. He was an accomplished soldier and continued the de Stacpoole tradition of service with Irish regiments. He became a regular soldier with the Royal Ulster Rifles and one of the few Catholic officers in that regiment. During the Second World War, and afterward, he served in Afghanistan, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Malaya. It is said that he kept his coffin in his bedroom at Tobertynan.

After a spell at school mastering he returned to his family home, Tobertynan, in Meath, where his father wanted him to run the farm, a strange career move as he was not familiar with agriculture. His sister got a judgement of his competence from the herd, a man called Healy, who said “Ah, he’ll be fine when he learns the difference between a heifer and a bullock”.

With the sale of Tobertynan, George moved to the family’s summer home, Errisbeg House, and with his mother and son Richard around him, he embarked on a series of commercial ventures. His son, Richard, became the 7th Duke de Stacpoole and resides at Errisberg House, Roundstone, Co. Galway.

Tobertynan was sold by 6th Duke de Stacpoole in 1962 and then passed to Land Commission and then into private ownership. In 1998 Tobertynan House on 51 acres was sold prior to auction for around £750,000.

Togher Lodge in Tobertynan townland was listed as one of the principal houses in the parish in 1846 and the early maps show a hamlet of houses at the crossroads. Togher means causeway which was a raised road or track across low or wet ground.

Togher 1836

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Bride, Brogan, Byrne, Castles, Corr, Durneen, Ennis, Gray, Greaghan, Keeffe, Lynan, Malone, Murray, Ryan, Sheridan, Smith, Tyrrell, Webb.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Brogan, Burke, Castles, Doyle, Ennis, Geoghegan, Gray, Harnan, Lynam, Malone, McDonnell, Murray, Sheridan. Michael Lynam was a gardener. Thomas McDonnell was a national school teacher.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Brogan, Doyle, Dwyer, Ennis, Gogarty, Harnan, Lynam, Malone, Moran, Murray, Tuite. Henry Murray was a steward and pensioner. James Gogarty and Patrick Moran were school teachers. Christopher Tuite was a rural postman.


An earthwork was situated at the bottom of a south-facing slope. It is depicted as a rectangular enclosure and described as a ‘Dane’s Fort’ on a manuscript map in the National Library of Ireland, which was made in 1789. The Danes were credited with a lot of ancient monuments rather than the Irish! It is not visible at ground level in pasture, and it does not appear on any aerial images. An earthwork is an earthen structure, usually raised and occurring in a variety of shapes and sizes. These may date to any period from prehistory onwards.

A barrow mound is depicted as a small copse on the 1836 and 1912 editions of the OS 6-inch map. This is a circular grass-covered mound surrounded by tree-ring bank and outer ditch. A barrow mound is a circular or oval earthen or earth and stone mound with no external features. Mounds found in association with other barrow types are likely to be mound barrows. They are funerary in nature and contain and/or cover burials. Excavated examples have been dated to the Bronze and Iron Ages (c. 2400 BC – AD 400).

Trammon House 1789

1802 Lease: Christopher Leyns (Lynch)

A police station is recorded in the 1836 map. The hill leading down to the school from here is still called “the barrack hill”. The narrow windows at the front porch recall when it was used as a barracks. The police station was closed in 1905 and the building became a house called Mountain View.In 1895 at Castlerickard Church, Samuel Nevin, Rathmolyon, married Ellen, daughter of Mr Robert Savage, Mountain View, Ballybrack, county Dublin, so that may be where the name came from. The gamekeeper for the Fowler estate lived in the house for a period.

At the opposite side of the road to the house is a field called the dyefield, which probably relates to the production of linen.

Two burial grounds were revealed when archaeological investigations were undertaken in 2007. A series of trenches were excavated and revealed two distinct burial grounds that are thought to date to the Early Medieval period. The first of these was located in the southeast corner of the area on top of a low mound. At least thirteen individual burials were identified with adult inhumations being recorded in the southern half of the mound, while infant and neo-natal burials were recorded in the northern half. As with the southern graveyard, these burials were probably enclosed by a circular ditch. Furthermore, some of the burials were recorded as truncating a linear feature indicating that there was activity in this area prior of the creation of the burial ground. Where grave cuts were recorded they were all found to be oriented east-west again suggesting an Early Medieval date.

To the south of these burials, potential fulachta fiadh material was found close to the stream. A fulacht fiadh is the name given to an ancient cooking pit dating from the Bronze Age. Fulacht fiadh is generally located beside a source of water, a pit or hole was constructed and filled with clean water. The water was heated by placing heated stones in it and fresh meat wrapped in straw was boiled in this manner. Such material is typical of this location and is typically prehistoric in date.

In 1368 Nicholas Bernemyth and […] Bernevyll, granted to Edward Perers the custody of two thirds of one messuage and half a carucate of land in Troman.

In 1412 Sir Edward Perrers was granted custody of one messuage and thirty acres of land and meadow in Rathemoleyghan, and one messuage and 10 acres in Troman.

In 1550 Richard Russell, of Drogheda, was granted a pardon for having entered into possession of the lands of Kokeston, Troman, Hoggyston, Rathmolian, Cloncowane, Sranwe, and Tobber, the estate of James White, of Drogheda, merchant, deceased.

Tromman has a mound which is thought to be a women’s burial site, Cill na mBan. It is also known as the Mouneen or Doran’s mound. It gives its name to the fields in which it is situated – Mouneen or Moteen field.

The name, Tromman, comes from the Irish, Tromán, which means a place abounding in eldertrees. It contains 632 acres and in 1836 it was the property of Mr. Drake who let it at from 28s. to 30s. per acre. It was one of the best cultivated townlands in the parish.

Tithes (1825): Families in the townland: Drake, Fitzpatrick, Hart, Lynch

Griffith’s Valuation (1854/5): Families in the townland: Booker, Bray, Dunne, Gibbons, McMahon, Monaghan, Roche, Williams.

1901 Families in the Census in the townland: Balfe, Ennis, Fitzsimons, Forde, Growcock, Kelly,  Kiernan, Labertouche, Mac Mahon, Monaghan, Parker, Roche.

1911 Families in the Census in the townland: Balfe, Cully, Ennis, Forde, Green, Growcock, Kiernan, MacMahon, Monaghan, Murray, Nevin, Reilly, Williams. Ellen Murray was a cook and domestic servant. John Balfe was a pensioner from the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Thomas Cully was a brewery pensioner. Bridget Cully was a dressmaker. Matthew Reilly was a carpenter. James Ennis was a postman.

Snapshots of Gaelic Games

Rathmolyon Football Revival 1899

It is very gratifying to have to chronicle that Rathmolyon was en fete on last Sunday, the occasion being the revival of Gaelic football in that historic village. A large concourse attended to witness the meeting of the local team, tho Rathmolyon Volunteers with the Killecn Nincty-Eights. The field of play, adjacent to the village, was kindly lent by Captain Fowler. Details—Shortly after three o’clock the leather was set in motion. Rathmolyon winning the spin of the coin, decided to play with the wind. Immediately on throw in the Volunteers came away and Fagan kicking into the centre of tho strangers’ citadel, what looked like a certain goal was superbly saved by M Ward. On kick out the leather was transferred to close proximity of the Killcen goal posts and Fagan scored for Rathmolyon, a performance which was repented by Ennis, and later on by Devey, amidst loud cheers. Play was transferred down mid-field, and the leather in Russell’s and Wall’s hands for some time looked dangerous, when, after some splendid passng and sharp tussles on both sides, the Volunteers came away with the leather, which travelled like greased lightning down the field, another minor being registered before call of time; tho score then standing – Volunteers .. 4 points Ninety-Eights .. nil

On resumption of play, with wind and slope in their favour, the visitors played a better judged game. The leather was brought down the field many times by Russell and Downes but the backs Byrne and Wear relieved on every occasion, the play all the time being very brilliant, the ball never once going out of play or over the boundry line. Shortly afterwards the ball was passed up the field and some grand play was witnessed. Devey and the Fagans being loudly cheered for the dash and skill with which they led the attack, while the magnificent stand of Quinn and Ward, which saved many a score, was regarded equal admiration. At thispoint, the Volunteers overcame all opposition and scored two minors in quick succession followed afterwards by a major scoreeffected in brilliant fashion amidst great excitement by Dcvey The Killeen nun were never disheartened and after this got tlie baill down the field but the forward combination being rather weak or overmatched by Rathmolyon backs failed to register a score. The game shortly afterwards tcrminated with play well in the visitors ground. Score—Volunteers .. 1 and 7 points

Ninety-Eights .. nil

Mr John Brady, Rathmolyon, regfereed and his decisions gave universal satisfaction. Good order was observed by both teams and there was an absence of any element of roughness during the hours play.

The teams were,:—

Rathmolyon Volunteers—Murtagh (Captain), Fagans (3), Darbys (2), Weir, Dcvey, Sheridan, McLoughlin, Byrne, Ennis, M’Knroe, Healy, “Doctor” King (goal) and another.

Killcen 98’s— Teeling (Captain) Downes (2) Walls (2) Quinn, Russsell, Hoey, Cluke, and eight others.

After the match the visitors were most hospitably entertained by the home team and a pleasant evening was spent songs and recitations being contributed. The 98’s returned home late in the evening after an enjoyable day’s outing.

Meath Chronicle, Saturday, December 02, 1899; Page: 3

A Football Game from around 1900

Rathmolyon G.F.C. 1907

At a meeting of the members of the Rathmolyon G F C held on Sunday last the following officers were elected for ensuing year—Nicholas Fagan, captain; John Dywer, vice-captain ; JohnTracey, treasurer, Joseph Farrell, secretary. All membners and intending members are requested to be on the grounds on Sunday next at 2 p m.

Drogheda Independent, Saturday, May 11, 1907; Page: 2

Gaelic Athletic Association 1913

G A A Hurling League fixture at Rathmolyon on Sunday, 3rd August, 1913—Trim v Longwood, 2.45. Semi-final to decide League Championship. . Come and see a rare tussle. Rathmolyon v Boardsmill, 4 p m.

Drogheda Independent Saturday, August 02, 1913; Page: 2

G.A.A. – Drumcondrath Win Meath Junior Championships

Opponents Outclassed. 1928

The final of the Meath Junior Football Championship .played at the Show Grounds, Navan last Sunday was robbed of much of its interest because it developed into a hopelessly one-sided affair as may be gauged from the result of the game, viz., Drumcondrath, 4 goals 6 points; Rathmolyon, 2 points. There was a fair attendance, better, it was estimated, than patronized the Inter-County Hurley match, Meath v. Leix, on the previous Sunday, but unfortunately from the spectators point of view— the two games played resulted in run away victories, for a senior hurling match which prefaced the final was won by Kilmessan by 7 goals 5 points against Erin’s Own 2 goals 3 points. Or Drumcondrath, the Junior Champions, it can be truly said that they found nothing to extend them in any of their Show Ground matches. They easily disposed of Skryne some time ago and the concluding stages of Sunday’s matches were mournful for Rathmolyon; hemmed into their own goals for almost the entire of the second half the game presented a succession of pot shots by Drumcondrath, the only variation being that some of the shots scored and some didn’t. The long whistle was a relief to all concerned. Judgments on such a game are of little value, but for what they are worth, the Northmen played on plan and Rathmolyon did not. These men from the South impressed me at the start, because they used their feet for passing in the good old-time manner that has yet to be improved on, but when worried, their good midfleld and centre play went for nothing because having got the ball they did not quite know whom to give it to. Drumcondrath struck me as being negligent in the use of their wings in the scoring area, especially in the latter half, but at this time the issue was beyond all question and in such circumstances players are always inclined to have a go for a score on their own. To the credit of both teams it is to be stated that the game was a sporting one and I do not think an intentional foul was committed in the entire 60 minutes. Mr. Tully refereed the game with much ability and perfect impartiality.

Rathmolyon attacked but Drumcondrath returned; a nice pass to the right forward resulted in a sharp shot at the Rathmolyon sticks but the goalie repulsed and the North men sent wide. Bad placing by Rathmolyon left the right wing completely in possession of Drumcondrath and they picked up an easy goal after two or three minutes play. The Southerners advanced with neat ground play reminiscent of old-time football and kept Drumcondrath’s backs busy; they forced a ’50’ but finished weakly. Brisk play at midfleld followed and following a throw-in in their favour the South men netted their first point. Drumcondrath ran down helped along by Nulty but over-anxiety spoiled. A strong repulse by Callan put Drumcondrath attacking and Frank Byrne added a point to their bag; they continued to look dangerous and Fahy getting possession shot hard for goal but the kick was repulsed. From a free there was a melee at the Rathrnolyan goals, the ball went over but the score was disallowed for offside. With play in their favour Drumconrath sent over . Rathmolyon forced a “50” which was sent quite wide.

Aided by two frees the Northmen got down to goalmouth but sent wide. After a temporary stoppage Fahy sent over another point. After a free Rathmolyon sent out to the left wing where a decent point was sent over. In the subsequent play the Rathmolyon defense was severely tested but their custodian brought off some very well timed saves. A brisk attack by Rathmolyon ended  in a ’50’. Drumcondrath came quickly away and though Rathmolyon repulsed they failed to divert their clearance to safety and the Northmen came back and added another point per Nulty shortly before the short whistle. Half-time score—Drumcondrath 1 goal 3 points; Rathmolyon 2 points.

Resuming Rathmolyon brightened up but the opposing backs repulsed well and sending up on the left wing their unmarked men carried down and over. Afterwards the Northmen got three good chances but sent wide each time. A free close in was taken by Fahy and sent wide from a good position. Drumcondrath added a point to their score, then Rathmolyon got in a very pretty run which terminated in a ’50’ which though well delivered the Northmen cleared. A Drumcondrath clearance found the midfield in possession of the Northmen, a great chance was missed but returning Drumcondrath added another goal per Fahy. From this on, the game was played in the Rathmolyon camp and with the Drumcondrath backs playing about the centre line three goals and a point were added leaving the final scores—Drumcondrath 4 goals 6 points; Rathmolyon 2 points.

Drogheda Independent 8 December 1928

Rathmolyon v. Kilcloon 1931

Rathmolyon opened the game by launching an attack on the Kilclon defence. Matthews put Luke Forde in a position to open the scoring with a point. Playing against the strong breeze, Rathmolyon held their opponents for a time and but for Kilcloon defence further scores would have been registered by the leaders. Following a goal puck Kilcloon raced through their opponents and a captital opportunity to score went abegging. Again Kilcloon assumed the offensive and the rathmolyon keeper was tested, but cleared. Rathmolyon went a further point ahead when Sherry slung across a pass that was put over the bar by Reilly. Although Rathmolyon were holding a two point lead at this stage they had not a monopoly on the game. Time and again Kilcloon aided by the breeze put the ball over the Rathmolyon line wide. Eventually a loing punt by Smith found the net and put Kilclon a point ahead. Following this success Kilclon launched the attack on the Rathmolyon area, which ended with Reilly putting in a further goal. Monaghan in the Rathmolyon defence effected many fine clearances and materially helped to invalidate the attempts of the Kilcloon forwards to get through. A free to Rathmolyon was pointed by O’Byrne. Following a goal kiced from the Kilcloon area, they went right through the Rathmolyon defence and Fox finished by scoring Kilcloon’s third goal. Three morer goals followed in quick succession to Kilcloon per Hinds and Fox, reilly putting over a point. Rathmolyon replied with a further point before the half-time whistle sounded. Hlaftime Score: Kilcloon 5-1, Rathmolyon 2-2.

Rathmolyon did not seem to benefit much by the assistance of the strong wind in the opening stages of the concluding half. The leaders worked into Rathmolyon territory, but play was returned. A free to Rathmoyon, and taken by Matthews, was weak. Rathmolyon sent off by a goal kick, got over for a point per Ennis, and immediately afterwards Luke Forde raced along the right wing and centered well into Kilcloon goal, where Sherry was lying handy and ran the ball through for a goal. Keeping up the pressure the Rathmolyon men gave their opponents an anxious five minutes, Ennis pointing. Kilcloon played wonderfully against the breeze, however, and their efforts met with reward when a point came their way. Again they wore down the Rathmolyon defence and looked like getting through when a foul was awarded them, from which they went a further point ahead. The leaders to the end held the upper hand, and before the long whistle they added a further point to their score. Result—Kilcloon 5—4, Rathmolyon 3—4

The teams were—Rathmolyon—S. Reilly J. Christie, J. Monaghan, J. O’Byrne, L. Ennis, J. Daly. W. Cunnings, M. Matthews W. Keeffe, P. Sherry, P. Fox. M. Ennis, P. Mclaughlin, D. Shea, and T. Forde. Kilcloon—John Farrelly, James Farrelly. B. Reilly, P. Reilly, C. Lynch, P. Fox, M. Fox J. Smith, T. Smith. E. Hynes, J. Murray, J. Hartigan, .W. Gill, E. Reilly.

Drogheda Independent 30 May 1931

Rathmolyon Beat Moynalty 1950

Rathmolyon defeated Moynalty by 3-4 to 2-4 in an intermediate football game at Trim Park on Sunday. The game was pretty evenly contested with hard knocks given and taken in a good sporting manner. The South Meath lads who held an interval lead of six points, on the score 2-4 to 1-1 were obviously the stronger and fitter team and deserved their victory. Moynalty livened up somewhat in the second half and succeeded in reducing arrears to 3 points and were still pressing dangerously when the long whistle sounded. Highlight of the Rathmolyon team was cross-country runner, Michael Farrell, who appeared to be in remarkably fine fettle on Sunday. Maguire in the backs, Larry Wright, O’Rourke and Ennis played up in great style as also did custodian, McGrath, Ashe and Harnan. Moynalty showed two county veterans in O’Connell and M. Gilsenan, the latter having a good game but the former seldom rising to his usual standard. Casserly and Gaynor were outstanding players for the losers. Rathmolyon of course were the fancied team. They seldom looked in danger and should go far in the present season.

Larry Wright opened the scoring for Rathmolyon with a goal. Rourke sent in a second major and Wright had a point before Moynalty replied with a goal per Dolan. P. Farrell and J. Harnan had points each for Rathmolyon and a point per Gaynor for the losers ended the first-half scoring.

On the resumption Wright again found the net for the winners from a clever pass by Harnan. M. Farrell tried the same again but was brought down going through. Ennis wided the resultant free. Moynalty had the next point per Connell which was followed up with another minor per Casserley from a free.

From a 45 yards shot Connell again pointcd for the losers and a goal from a 14 yards free by Casserley for Moynalty concluded the scoring.

Mr. T. Mooney refereed.

Drogheda Independent, Saturday, April 01, 1950;

O’Rourke Goal Earns Rathmolyon Replay 1978

Carlanstown 2-5 Rathmolyon 2-5

Carlanstown and Ratrhmolyon must meet again to decide the destination of the division 3 football championship after a goal seven minutes from time the latter’s J.J. O’Rourke, had leveled the scores in the final at Navan’s Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.

Neither side mastered the very greasy and windy conditionse and consequently the game produced little good football, though the speed of the play and the excitement in the closing minutes compensated to some extent.

Carlanstown got of to a dream start with a Barney Gaffney goal within 15 seconds. He added a point at the quarter stage after Robert O’Connell had pointed a 21-yards free.

They were boosted to 2-2 to 1-3 interval lead with an amzing goal which typified much of the game. Gerard McMabon’s shot struck the post, the ball rebounded across the goalmouth and in his efforts to catch it, fullback Denis Farrell scooped it into his own net. There was no lack of action, at the other, end either, where Pat Farrell pointed a 21-yard free for the Rath’s first score in the 13th minute. Soon afterwards Carianstown goalie Sean Briody deflected over when bringing off a tremendous save from a Farrell penalty, after J. J. O’Rourke had been fouled.

O’Rourke, who was a constant threat took matters in hand and gave Briody no chance from close in after 22 minutes and Farrell was again on target from a 21-yards free after Paul Ennis had been fouled. In fact, Ennis, who had been serving a 12 months suspension, had been cleared to play only at the previous Monday night’s Co. Board meeting.

Farrell was guilty of two further bad misses when a perfectly weighted cross from Gerry Marry put him through, but his effort was blocked and on the stroke of half-time he was wide from an easy 21-yards free.

Carlanstown increased their lead with points from Danny Reilly, Jim Rafferty and Robbie O’Connell to lead by 2-5 to 1-3 twelve minutes into the second half. In fact, O’Connell’s point came from am upfield break after Briody had again saved from a Pat Farrell penalty kick.

This had been awarded after John Ennis had ended on the ground but certainly from the Press box he seemed to be very lucky to get the penalty.

Ironically, that O’Connell point from a 40-yards free was to be Carlanstown’s last score as the “Rath,” assisted by the strong wind, put in a storming finish. Marry and Farrell cut the leeway with a point each and then that supreme opportunist, O’Rourke, struck with that vital goal.

Marry had a chance to clinch victory from a 50-yards free, but with referee Barney McCluskey indicating that he must score directly he was short and to the right. A draw was a fitting end as it was obvious on occasions that both sides were capable of much better fare, but that nerves and the adverse conditions proved too much. Robert O’Connell looked in a class apart at midfield for Carlanstown and was best supported by the brilliant Sean Briody in goals, James Munphy in defence, his centrefield partner, Jimmy Farrelly, and forwards Barney Gaffney and Jim Rafferty. Despite those misses Pat Farrell stood out for Rathmolyon and the opportunist O’Rourke was a constant threat. Gerry Marry and Paul Ennis both moved well in attack also, and John Ennis and, Denis Farrell were prominent in defence.

Carlanstown — S. Briody; M. Vaughan, P.O’Connell, J Stafford: J. Murphy, J. Lynch, M. Reilly; R. O’Connell, J. Farrelly, M. Stafford, B. Gaffney, J. Rafferty G. Mahon,  G. Stafford, D. Reilly. Subs. P. Reilly for M. Stafford.

Rathmolyon – S. Murray; G. Jones, D. Farrell, P. J. Harnan, B. Regan, P. Lawless, O. Murray, J. Ennis, M. Halloran; P. Farrell, G . Marry, D. Regan; P. Ennis, W. Byrne J. J. O’Rourke.

Referee  – Mr. B. Cluskey (Navan)

Meath Chronicle 16 September 1978

Rathmolyon End Killyon Hopes 1988

Rathmolyon 4-10 Killyon 2-6

The versatility of John Ennis was a major factor in Rathmolyon’s victory over Killyon in the SHC at Trim on Sunday. Ennis started at full-forward, but midway through the opening half was switched to the halfback line. He began the second period at fullforward, had a spell at midfield and finished at full-back.

Kiilyon’s hopes suffered a severe setback when midfielder Joe Cunningham was forced to retire in the 20th minute following an accidental clash with colleague Thomas Duignan. He subsequently returned midway through the second period and was involved in a scrambled Seamus Duignan goal which briefly brought his side back into contention and reduced the deficit to two-points (1-6 to 2-7). Both sides required the points to keep their hopes alive and Killyon’s Jubilee Cup ambitions have ended.

Two Duignan points and a Christy Massey effort which opened the scoring boosted Killyon’s hopes in the early stages. Soon afterwards Ennis supplied the pass for Rathmolyon’s Tom Kelly to open their account with a seventh minute point and three minutes later he set up Robert Gunning for a goal. In between, Martin Smith registered the first of his six points for the winners.

Killyon replied at the endof the first quarter with a pointed Duignan 65to leave themselves trailing by the minimum (0-4 to 1-2).

A 16th minute Noel Hunt booted goal should have settled the winners, but their attack was severely blunted when Ennis switched to the half-back line, with Kelly taking over at full-forward and George Bagnall going to top of the left. These switches emphasised the unsettled nature of the Rathmolyon side and they registered one further point before the break which gave them a 2-3 to 0-4 advantage.

A recharging process at the interval seemed to have revived Kiilyon’s hopes as Duignan converted a ’65 and free in the opening minutes. But they flattered to deceive and with Kelly reverting to the forwards Rathmolyon countered with four points to hold a 2-7 to 0-6 lead at the end of the third quarter. Cunningham returned for Killyon at this stage and two goals followed from Seamus (that scrambles score) and Thomas Duignan which had the affect of injecting life into the opposition who replied with goals from Hunt and Gunning to end the game as a contest.

The talented Ennis was the star of the day, but the habit of repeatedly moving him may not be as rewarding against sterner opposition. Seventeen-year-old Gunning, who netted twice, was much more effective when supported by Ennis. Smith’s tally of six points included two scores following lengthy solo runs, with the remainder coming from dead ball situations. Martin, Vincent and Thomas Duignan and Joe Cunningham were the pick of the losers who have yet to record a victory in this year’s championship. Referee Patsy McGovem had a satisfactory game, but his leniency towards some was surprising.

Rathmolyon – T. Pearl; P. P. Ennis, C. Ennis, P. Kelly; P. Gunning, D. Ennis, G. Bagnall; J. Gorry, M. Healy; D. Regan, M. Smith (0-6), N. Hunt (2-0); R. Gunning (2-1), J. Ennis (0-2), T. Kelly (0-1).

Killyon – P. Quinn; B. Burke, C. Burke, P. Ayres; N. Lacy, V. Duignan, D. Tyrell; J. Cunningham, T. Duignan (1-5); C. Massey (0-1), J. Connolly, M. Duignan; L. Tyrrell, J. Mitchell, S. Duignan (1-0). Subs-J. Clarke for Cunningham, Cunningham for Duignan.

Referee – Patsy McGovern (Kilmessan).

Meath Chronicle Saturday, July 23, 1988; Page: 21

Cole’s Late Clincher 1993

Rathmolyon 2-14 Wolfe Tones 4-7

The freedom of the Village will surely be bestowed on the hottest young property in Meath hurling after his lastgasp point gave Rathmolyon their first SHC title in this astonishing final at Trim on Sunday.

Mike Cole is what’s popularly known as a born hurler, a rare commodity for whom the game comes so natural, so easy. His magnificent free two minutes into injury time gave his side a long-overdue Jubilee Cup, but shattered a game and committed Wolfe Tones side which looked certain to win for most of the second half. Last spring any bookmaker worth his salt would have offered at least 100/1 against Tones winning the championship in their first year in the grade.

But the shock of all hurling shocks looked very much on the cards as their magnificent battling qualities, the goalkeeping of Michael O’Sullivan, the goalpoaching of Michael Weldon and the accuracy of Robert O’Kelly-Lynch threatened to spoil what most expected to be a Rathmolyon party.

However, a lapse in concentration when it mattered most surely cost Tones a famous victory and the Village puinced late to claim the title in the most extraordinary finish.

The winner’s coach Dave Foley must have spent hours attempting to convince his players that they had no divine right to win the championship. Complacency was surely their greatest danger. But deep down they must have felt this was going to be their day after three heartbreaking defeats in the ‘80s.

They started as if they anticipated easy victory was likely, but once Tones settled they gave as good as they got in the physical stakes and goalkeeper O’Sullivan played brilliantly to repeatedly frustrate the winner’s best efforts. Three times in the first half the Corkman pulled off saves which kept his side in the game and such was his performance that he had to rival the outstanding Cole for the “man of the match” award which the latter claimed.

With John Gorry and George Bagnall the more productive mid-field partnership and the Rathmolyon full-forward line getting the better of their markers, we awaited the anticipated goal-rush. But thanks to some gritty defending and particularly the acrobatics of O’Sullivan, it never materialized and the keeper thwarted Gorry, Paul ennis and Denis Ashe in a frantic opening half.

Such was O’Sullivan’s form that Rathmolyon might have been better to go for points more often, but at the other end Tones were staying in touch, despite some wayward shooting.

Froma an early stage it was clear that if Rathmolyon were to win, Cole was going to have a major say. He was in a class of his own on the ball and his accuracy helped the favourites to a 0-8 to 0-3 lead after 29 minutes.

Robert O’Kelly-Lynch, one of the losers’ real stars, scored his second free of the half to anrrow the gap and Tones looked sure to retire four points behind. But they succeeded in doing what Rathmolyon had failed to achieve with so many chances … they got a goal. The bbrilliant O’Kelly-Lynch raced in from the left wing and fired a dipping shot over Colin Kelly to leave them the minimum (1-4 to 0-8) adrift at the break.

Within 30 seconds of the restart they inflicted another body-blow on the Village whn Weldon, drafted in to replace the injured Donal Curtis – rose magnificenbtly to catch a John Curtis delivery and blasted to the roof of the net. By the 10th minute of the half the Tones’ lead stood at 3-5 to 0-9 as Weldon finished a superb move involving Dermot Heaney and John Jennings by knocking in his second goal. The underdogs, relying mainly on ground hurling were playing like men possessed, with Thomas and John Curtis, and Dermot Heaney brilliant in a highly-motivated defence. John Neville using his strength to good effect around midfield and Tom McKeown, O’Kelly – Lynch, Thomas Crinion and Weldon a constant threat up front.

Rathmolyon were in deep trouble. By the 19th minute it was deep deep trouble when Weldon batted home his third goal to leave tones in front by seven points (4-5 to 0-10). The favourites were rattled, but Cole was outstanding whenever he got the ball and with the young flyer in such form there was always hope. The switch of Martin Smith to midfield proved a prudent one and within two minutes of that Weldon goal they were back within striking distance at 1-12 to 4-5. Denis Ashe poked home the goal and Sean Geraghty and Smith struck the points which helped revive their championship dream.

O’Kelly-Lynch steadied Tones with an amazing point from a free. But Rathmolyon’s fitness and the improving contributions of Smyth, Gorry, John Ennis and substitute Noel Hunt threatened to spoil the day. Cole and O’Kelly-Lynch traded points and that’s where the Tone scoring machinery halted as Cole’s running caused havoc at the other end. But Tones were still three points to the good as the game ticked into injury time. They prayed for the long whistle, but Rathmolyon didn’t stop playing and Hunt – part of the team which lost three successive finals – fired home the equalizing goal.

A replay looked assured but Cole had the final say with a super point from a free under intense pressure out on the right flank. There was still time for one last Tones raid and when Crinion went down they begged for a free which referee Michael McDonagh didn’t award. They were worth at least a draw but instead they say their dream shattered right at the end.

It was a highly entertaining final, enjoyed by a huge crowd on a glorious day and on a superb Trim pitch. What a pity there had to be a loser. But Rathmolyon witnessed all the agonies back in ’82, ’83 and ’84. This was their day, the one they surely thought might never come.

Rathmolyon: C. Kelly, D. Ennis, D. Regan, J. Murray. J. Ennis, T. Geraghty, J. Gorry (0-1), G. Bagnall, M. Cole (0-9),  I. Carroll (0-1), D. Ashe (1-0), P. Ennis, M. Smith (0-1), S. Geraghty (0-2). Sub: N.Hunt (0-1) for P. Ennis.

Wolfe Tones: M. O’Sullivan, L. Hanley, david Donegan, T. Curtis, D. Heaney, J. Curtis, B. McKeown, J. Neville, Derry Donegan, N. Molloy, J. Jennings (0-1), T. McKeown, R. O’Kelly-Lynch (1-5), T. Crinion (0-1), M. Weldon (3-0).

Referee: Michael McDonagh (Athboy).

Gorry Leads Charge to Second Senior Title

Rathmolyon 0-10 Kilmessan 1-2

Rathmolyon returned to the summit of the Meath SHC under the inspiration of midfield dynamo John Gorry at rainlashed Trim on Sunday as they outplayed Kilmessan in all departments and restricted their opponents to only three scores.

Rathmolyon’s defence would have made Scrooge look generous. They marked tightly and conceded only 16 frees. But an important bonus for them was the fact that Kilmessan’s young architect Nicky Horan had an off-day. And Horan is entitled to have a day like this when nothing goes right. But Kilmessan are too dependant on the youngster and didn’t seem to have any sort of a contingency plan. Thirteen wides didn’t help Kilmessan’s cause either, but they definitely produced a below-par performance which sent them crashing to an unenviable three-in-a-row of successive final defeats.

Kilmessan’s Jimmy Maguire was sent off near the end and Rathmolyon’s coach, Dave Foley, was also ordered out of the pitch in the final quarter. The warning bells tolled early as Horan sent four first quarter frees, which were well within his range, wide of the target. Full forward Brian Reilly stepped into the breach, but he didn’t fare any belter. And Kilmessan’s first score didn’t arrive until the 22nd minute when Gerard O’Neill kicked to the net to draw the sides level (1-0 to 0-3). Even at that stage the game was there for the taking, but as in the past, Kilmessan weren’t up to it. Atrocious weather made it difficult for both sides, but the Trim club deserve great praise for the condition of the pitch. It was appropriate that Gorry should gel his side off the mark with an 11th minute point from play.

Denis Ashe followed up with another point before the end of the first quarter for a 0-2 to 0-0 advantage. Rathmolyon’s disciplined approach served them well. Mike Cole moved to full-forward briefly with Martin Smith at centre forward and they increased that margin from a Cole free. Jack Smyth began the move which could have ignited Kilmessan’s challenge and finished with O’Neill’s goal, but they couldn’t find a rhythm. However, Reilly’s 29th minute point from play left them trailing by the minimum (1-1 to 0-5) at the break.

And Kilmessan made the perfect start to the second half with a Horan point from play after 25 seconds which tied the scores for the second lime. But that was to be Kilmessan’s last score. Rathmolyon continued to produce a fluent and steady performance. When Kilmessan overheated in the final quarter they didn’t get involved. And it was that disciplined approach which ultimately proved beneficial.

This game could have erupted into a melee. But Rathmolyon’s sensible altitude prevented that from happening. Gorry’s display earned him the “man of the match” award, but it had to be a close contest.

Smith was in the hunt and another Cole is starting to make an impression. Gary Cole had the distinction of scoring the last point of the game, which took Rathmolyon’s tally into double figures, and rounded off a great day for the youngster.

George Bagnall made a handsome contibulion in midfield with Gorry and the halfback line was fortified by Declan Tuite until his forced departure following a challenge which earned a caution for Kilmessan’s Declan Maguire.

Johnny Ennis, Declan Regan and Eamonn Regan provided stern opposition for Kilmessan’s full-forward line and made important tackles at crucial moments.

Gary, Mike and Neil Cole all caused major headaches for Kilmessan’s defence while Denis Ashe and Pat Fnrrell, until he was replaced by Paul Ennis, worked tirelessly for this success. Jonathan Murray made the starting line-up, but was withdrawn in favour of Thomas Geraghty while Martin Smith gave an inspirational display. He started at full-forward, had a spell at centre-forward and ended up at centre-back. His versatility is priceless. This was another disappointing day for Kilmessan. They had the players capable of achieving that elusive success, but they never produced any of the sparkle which was evident in earlier rounds. Suspensions and injuries left them depleted, but I don’t think it would have made any difference. Rathmolyon wanted this victory and laid the foundations with their preparations.

Meath Chronicle 2 November 1996

Cole goal earns sensational win 2006

Rathmolyon 2-14 Dunboyne 2-12

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Mike Cole has soldiered for a long time in the colours of Rathmolyon and Meath and has enjoyed some good days along the way. Sunday’s victory was something special for the player and the club. Inspired by Cole’s pace, inventiveness and near faultless freetaking, Rathmolyon claimed their third SHC title at Trim on Sunday.

Few victories can have been as sweet as this one partly because it looked, as the last few minutes ticked away, that Dunboyne would win. Then Mike Cole along with his brother Gary combined to produce a dramatic winner to snatch glory for the Village. It was Mike Cole who won the free close to the right touchline. The angle was awkward yet well within his range for a point. His side was a point down and the game was in the last minute of normal time. He didn’t strike the ball as cleanly as in previous attempts and it fell short. A forest of sticks went up and Gary Cole managed to get the slightest touch and help the sliotar into the net. Although there was two minutes of added time left the dramatic, late, late goal was to prove to be the last and most crucial score of a game that provided some high quality hurling for the crowd of about 2,500.

It was a cruel blow for Dunboyne as they had put in another of their doughty, barnstorming performances only this time Rathmolyon had just too much in the armoury. While Mike Cole was the catalyst for Rathmolyon, inevitably there were others who performed to a high standard to give their team the necessary momentum. You could look at goalkeeper Stephen Ennis and point to the late save he made from Michael Dunne when Dunboyne were pressing forward in the closing stages. There was a fine piece of fielding from Tommy Cosgrove in the first-half when he swooped to gain possession of a high ball in his own square and relieve the pressure. The steady work of the full-back line of Tommy Walsh, Graham Whelan and Joe Gantley was also a big factor as was Eamon Regan’s tenacity at centre-back.

There was the series of well-executed frees from Mike Cole with eight of them resulting in points that contributed to his 10-point personal tally. Then of course there was the two goals. The first was engineered 12 minutes into the second-half and originated deep in the Rathmolyon half. Regan won the ball close to his own goals, passed to Neil Cole who offloaded to Gary Cole. He did well to hold off a defender and find Mike Cole who found Tommy Lynch. He blasted to the net from close range.

The Rathmolyon forwards didn’t quite click as well as they have done in previous games as they struggled to extract frees from their markers. It is significant that only three of the forwards managed to get on the scoresheet. Together they only contributed 1-3 to the winning tally.

Most of those scores were registered in the highly significant opening six minutes of the second-half. Trailing 0-8 to 2-3 at the interval Rathmolyon needed to deliver a significant punch or two on the resumption and they did just that.

Almost inevitably Mike Cole set the tone lofting over another point from a free after 30 seconds. The series of quick-fire scores followed with John Farrell displaying a glimpse of his menace with two points within a minute. Gary Cole also pointed and Mike Cole darted through to split the posts for a 0-13 to 2-4 advantage.

It looked like they had built a perfect platform to go on and win. It didn’t work out like that as Dunboyne hit back to regain the lead.

How did it all go awry for Dunboyne?

They may reflect on the missed chances, particularly in the first-half. They hit seven wides in that opening half. Neil Hackett has been a big player for Dunboyne in this championship. It just didn’t happen for him on this occasion. It was the same for some of the other Dunboyne forwards.

Johnny Gorry’s side made a good start and fully deserved their interval advantage. The opening goal arrived on eight minutes when Michael Dunne hit a long ball deep into enemy territory. Neville Reilly won possession and did well to evade his marker, off-loaded to Padraig Coone who fired home.

The second goal arrived two minutes before the break. Tommy O’Connor was closely involved in its creation. O’Connor had started the game, received a knock early in proceedings and had to be replaced by a blood substitute. He came back and soon after latched onto a loose ball and hit it on the ground to Michael Dunne who finished neatly to the net.

Throughout the game Dunboyne appeared content to play the ball on the ground at every opportunity and that was a perfect example when the strategy worked. They had to toil hard to dig out the scores. They did that and demonstrated once again that this team is not afraid of hard graft.

Neville Reilly was their top scorer with six points, including a superb effort form play. Stephen Moran once more showed his ability to take points with a number of fine efforts while Barry Watters and Coone also split the posts.

It looked like their efforts would be enough until the final, dramatic minute when Gary Cole got the faintest of touches to the high ball and get the goal that ensured a third title for the Village.

Rathmolyon – S. Ennis; J. Gantley, T. Walsh, G. Whelan; M. Lynch, E. Regan, N. Cole; M. Cole (0-10), A. Fagan (0-1); D. Farrell, G. Cole (1-1), T. Cosgrove; K. Fagan, T. Lynch (1-0), J. Farrell (0-2). Subs – G. Bagnall for Farrell, S. Doherty for Lynch.

Dunboyne – S. Reilly; D. Buggle, D. Reilly, S. Moran; K. Fagan, S. Callanan, P. Gannon; N. Watters, B. Watters (0-1); S. Moran (0-4), T. O’Connor, P. Coone (1-1); N. Reilly (0-6), N. Hackett, M. Dunne (1-0). Subs – L. Reilly for O’Connor, D. Watters for Fagan, G. Watters for B. Watters, D. Byrne for Hackett, N. Smyth for L. Reilly.

Referee – Jimmy Henry (Kilskyre).

Meath Chronicle 28 October 1996

Memories of the Rathmolyon

Cattle would be walked from Rathmolyon to special cattle trains which would stop at the Hill of Down and Kilcock, a journey of nine or ten miles. A number of farmers might come together and drive a herd of cattle. People along the road would close their gates so the cattle would not get into their fields. These drives took place in the 40s and 50s and would have faded out at the end of the 50s. They would take a horse and dray with them and they would have their lunch and the mnen would go for a pint in the pub in the Hill of Down. Children could come back in the horse and dray.

Sheep were purchased in Ballinasloe Fair and a group of farmers would hed off together and then get a local lorryman to bring the sheep back to Rathmolyon. After a few times of this hasppening the lorryman grew wise and he set off early for the Fair and he purchased all the sheep available so when the rathmolyon farmers arrived there was no sheep for them and so they bought them off the lorryman. The lorryman made profit on the sale of the sheep and still got paid for transporting them to Rathmolyon.  

Cattledealing was a trade in its own right. The wheeling and dealing would be done in the pub. One cattle dealer visited a small farmer and the wife said she did not have the money to pay what she owed.  The dealer spied a foal in the field and said he would take the foal in payment to which the woman agreed. The foal grew up and proved to be fast. It was decided to enter him into races. The cattle dealer fancied naming him after the local pub “The Snail Box” but the name was already in use and so he gave him the name in French – L’Escargot. L’Escargot won the grand national in 1975.

Ann Bird was the last wedding held in the old church in Kill and her father was the last funeral in 1967.

The hill across Rathcore was called the Black and Tan road. There were large fields in the estates there during World War II and the farmers erected spikes to deter paratroopers landing. Lord Haw Haw came on his broadcast shortly afterwards and said the German paratroopers would not be landing in their bare feet and the spikes would do no damage.

On the way up the hill out of Rathcore, there is a tree called “Purgatory” which is where unbaptised babies were buried.

At Straney there was a courting tree at the cross roads. A local elderly resident went in to Harnan’s for a few pints but had too many and got sick under the tree as he was going home. The following morning he woke up missing his false teeth and only found them when someone reminded him he had been sick at the tree the night before. The tree was in the middle of the crossroads.

There was a milkstand at Straney Cross where Premier Dairies picked up the milkcans from the local farmers. Each milk can had the farmer’s name punched into the outside.

Kill School was overseen by Master Broderick who could be a very strict teacher. In the playground the boys were to stay on the grass and the girls on the concrete and there was a big price to be paid if one strayed to the wrong side. You would have been whipped. Some years later  Broderick went on a duckshooting holiday on the Shannon with his brother and a shot gun went off accidetially and killed him. Broderick lost his son in Dublin a short time previously.

The Mill was opposite the National School. The mill would have been used for oats and wheat. People were self-sufficient at that time

One young entrepreneur bought sweets from the local shop and brought them to school where he sold them to fellow pupils at lunchtime. He later opened a shop in the village and went into the hospitality industry where he became very successful.  

One of the local Threshing Mill was owned by a member of the Church of Ireland. One Friday they were threshing near Togher. Everyone would come together to help. The workers were brought in for dinner, the usual food on a Friday was a white sauce with onions, potatoes and a bit of fish or a fried egg as it was a day of abstincence. The lady of the house presented the thresher’s owner with a piece of meat as he did not follow the days of abstincence but he pushed it back saying he would eat what the men were eating.

Oaten straw was what was needed for thatch and it had to be cut by a binder as a combine harvester would break the stray. Birch salleys were used to hold the thatch in place. Thatching was supposed to take place every eight years but it might last fourteen or fifteen years.

Ted and John Greville played with Peg Fitzpatrick and Billy Melia in a band called the “Gay Times” but later changed its name to “Gold and Silver” when the term gay began to mean something else.

Haymaking and baling hay were events where local farmers came together to help each other.

Harnan’s had a forge opposite where the pub is now. Souhan’s had another forge. There was a secial day for putting ribbons on the carwheels. They went about their work and when they finished they found themselves locked in the forge because there was a big fall of snow and they could not open the doors against the weight of the snow.

Paddy McLoughlin had a sweetshop at the end of the village. Next to him is now where Christy Ryan has his shop, there was a shop run by Oliver Brady. Next was Harnan’s pub. Then the Church of Ireland church. Around the corner you had Tuffy’s. Maguires also had a house there. The Fagan family had a butcher’s stall next to the Church of Ireland church. They later closed it and one of them opened a pub/butcher’s shop in Moynalvey. Jimmy Reynolds from Trim operated it for a while but it had to close.

The big house was Parkhills. Then you had Lily Esdales, Harnan’s forge, two more houses, then Kelly’s shop. Where the hairdressers is now there was a shoe shop belonging to Kellys. Then you had the pub and Ennises next. Lawlesses had the post office and later a butchers.

Some of the men who worked on the oil well in the 60s used their skills and went out and got jobs in oil abroad.

You could play tennis on the roads, a car might pass every thirty minutes and it would approach slowly at 30 mph so you would hear and see it coming. During the big snow of 1982 a few children built a snowman in the middle of the road. A local resident driving his Morris Minor car pointed the car towards the snowman and drove over it. The young lads said they would get their own back and built another snowman but this time they used concrete blocks for the centre. So the local was going back home in his Morris Minor and decided to have the same fun again but this time he ended up with a bent bumper!

At the bottom of a small hillock was a stone which had the finger prints of Fionn McCumhaill who threw the rock from Tara. And after this exertion he retrieved the rock lay down and went to sleep. This feature became known as the Giant’s Bed but is in fact a ringfort or rath in Ballynaskea townland. The stone may have been used as a Mass Rock. Located on top of an esker ridge, it is depicted as a small scrub-covered area on the 1836 edition of the OS 6-inch map and as a hachured oval feature on the 1912 edition. This is an overgrown oval area, about 30 metres north-south and 20 meters east-west, defined by an earthen bank and outer fosse.

No one was supposed to touch a rath or motte and if you did you would die within six months. Some man went to cut the tree off the mound in Laracor, and he didn’t get six months as the tree fell down and killed him there and then.

The bog of Kill runs across the townland, it was a marsh rather than a bog.

There was a sale of work each Christmas held by the Church of Ireland community.

Mrs. Quinn was the last principal of the Church of Ireland school.

At Baconstown a man had a cure for ringworm. He would take off his wedding ring and rub it three times and you had to say a prayer for a certain time. One way to get a cure was if you were born after your father died.

A mill race was specially constructed for the mill at Kill. Stream started at Fowlers, down Minister’s hill and right round to Regans.

CHERRYVALLEY HOUSE Cherryvalley House is located just outside Rathmolyon on the Ballivor Road. In the 1850s Robert Fowler held the townland of Cherryvalley. A two storey farm house was erected at Cherryvalley in 1877. In 1901 Daniel Douglas, widower, and his son William were living at Cherryvalley. The house had twelve rooms, five windows to the front and thirteen outbuildings. In 1911 William Douglas owned the house but it was lived in by Richard Douglas and his wife. Today the housing estate of Cherryvalley is located to the east of the house.

RAHINSTOWN HOUSE Rahinstown is located in south Meath close to Rathmolyon. The original Rahinstown House dated from the eighteenth century. A drawing of the houses in the 1830s shows a six bay house of three storeys over a basement. The front door was not centred but to the left, suggesting that the original house may have been added to. About 1870 the old house burned down and was replaced by a large Italianate house and farm buildings. Sandham Symes was the architect for the construction of the new buildings for Robert Fowler in 1871. The house has a three bay front in cement with sandstone dressings and bow windows with curved glass. Rahinstown is the story of two families the Bomfords and the Fowlers. The Bomfords developed the estate in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century when it was taken over by the Fowler family who already had interests in the area. Laurence Bomford of Clonmahon died in 1720 aged 103. Sir Arthur Langford of Summerhill let the lands of Baronstown and Rahinstown, 903 acres, to Thomas Bomford. Laurence’s eldest son, Thomas, settled at Rahinstown and was Secretary to the Court of Claims in the reign of Charles II. Thomas died in 1740 and left the estate to his brother, Stephen of Gallow. Stephen was succeeded by his son, also Stephen, in 1756. Stephen married Elizabeth Sibthorpe of Dunany, Co. Louth in 1745. Stephen Bomford died in 1808. His second son, Robert, served as a captain in the Bengal Infantry in the East India Company before returning to Ireland to marry Maria Massy-Dawson in 1792. When his elder brother Thomas died Robert became heir to Rahinstown and succeeded to the estate of 2358 statute acres in 1808. Robert died nine years later in 1817 and was buried at Rathcore. When Robert died Maria his wife was aged 48 and all her seven children were under 21, the youngest being only 7. Maria Massy Bomford has a memorial in Saint Ann’s, Dawson Street, Dublin. She died in 1848 aged 79 years. The family regularly lived at No 7 Upper Merrion Street. The estate was taken over by their eldest son, Robert George Bomford when he came of age. Born in 1802 he served as High Sheriff of Meath in 1832. Robert George married Elizabeth Kennedy of Annadale, Co. Down in 1826. In 1836 Rahinstown Demesne the demesne was well planted with fir and other trees and the house was described as a very good one but the pleasure grounds appeared very much neglected. It was the residence of Mr. R.G. Bomford. He died without an heir in 1846 and his widow married Marcus Gervais Beresford, Archbishop of Armagh. After the death of Robert’s mother in 1848 the estate was sold and the proceeds divided among his sisters. Peter Bamford has a very extensive website devoted to the Bomford family. The Fowlers came to Ireland from England. Robert Fowler was born in 1724 at Skendleby, Lincolnshire. Educated at Cambridge he was appointed chaplain to George II in 1756. Fowler was appointed bishop of Killaloe and Kilfenora in 1771 and in 1779 was translated to the archbishopric of Dublin. He resided at Tallaght while archbishop. He was the first chancellor of the Order of St Patrick in 1783. In 1766 Fowler married Mildred Dealtry of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. They had a son, Robert, who succeeded him, a daughter Mary (Countess of Kilkenny) and a daughter, Frances, who married Richard Bourke, Bishop of Waterford 1813 to 1833. In 1789 Fowler voted with fourteen other peers against the Irish House of Lords calling for the Prince of Wales to be made regent during the illness of George III. Fowler died suddenly on 10 October 1801 at Bassingbourn Hall, Cambridgeshire, where he had resided for two years for his health. He was buried in Takeley churchyard but there is no memorial to him. Robert’s eldest son, Robert was Bishop of Ferns and Ossory 1813 to 1841. Born about 1767 Fowler was educated at Oxford. He married Louisa Gardiner, daughter of Luke Gardiner, Viscount Mountjoy in 1796. Gardiner was a property developer, laying out Mountjoy Square and Gardiner Street. In 1848 Louisa was buried in the family vault in St. Thomas’s Church, Dublin next to her husband. Their eldest son Robert Fowler was born in 1797 and married twice. He settled at Rahinstown. He married Jane Anne Crichton in 1820 and secondly Lady Harriet Eleanor Wandesforde-Butler, daughter of John Butler, second Marquess of Ormonde. He died in 1863. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Robert, who was Deputy Lieutenant, Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff of Meath in 1871. He married Laetitia Mable Coddington of Oldbridge in 1856. He died in 1897.John Sharman Fowler, the second son of Robert Fowler, joined the Royal Engineers in 1886. Serving on the frontiers of India, South Africa and Ireland Fowler became director of Army Signals. At the outbreak of the First World War, he became Director of Army Signals of the British Expeditionary Force, a position he held throughout the war. By the end of the war Fowler was commanding 70,000 men. Fowler remained in the army after the war, serving in the British Forces in China until 1925. In the 1901 census Robert H. Fowler, retired Army Captain and Justice of the Peace, his wife, their two sons, two visitors and thirteen servants were in residence at Rahinstown. Robert Henry served as High Sheriff of Co. Meath in 1899. In 1908 a number of cattle drives took place on the estate of Captain Fowler of Rahinstown. Robert Henry Fowler was the longest lived international cricketer, living to within a month of his hundredth birthday. Born in 1857, attended Sandhurst, joined the Army in 1878 and died in 1957. He married Mabel Glyn in 1890 and they had two sons. His son Robert St Leger Fowler, was also a highly regarded cricketer, being captain of the Eton team while at school there. Joining the army Robert St Leger served as a captain in World War 1, winning a Military Cross during the defence of Amiens against the last German offensive of 1918. He died from leukaemia at Rahinstown in 1925. George Glyn Fowler, the second son, was killed at the battle of Loos, 26 September 1915 aged 19. There are a number of memorials to this hero in Rathmolyon church including the wooden cross originally erected at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery. The estate then passed to Bryan John Fowler, son of George Hurst Fowler, third son of Robert and Laetitia Mable Fowler. Bryan John Fowler of Rahinstown served during World War I being awarded the Military Cross and also won a Distinguished Service Order for his efforts in World War II. Brigadier Fowler was at Fairyhouse Races on Easter Monday 1916 and was summoned away to maintain control in Drogheda. He later became instructor at the Army Equitation School in Weedon. He competed for Britain in polo in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, winning a silver medal. On returning from England, the family lived for a while at Culmullen House before moving to the family estate at Rahinstown. His son, John Fowler, was a well known horse trainer. He represented Ireland in the Mexico Olympics of 1968. In December 2008 John Fowler was killed in a tree-felling accident on his farm.

TRAMMON Trammon is located near Rathmolyon. Casey and Rowan describe Trammon as a small early Victorian Hansel and Gretel house. Trammon was erected by James Williams who died in 1853 and is buried in Rathmolyon. James was the only son of Thomas Williams, St. Catherine’s Park, Leixslip. A single storey building with a steeply pitched roof Trammon has decorative bargeboards and red and yellow brick patterning. Marie Anne, wife to James, died in 1894. In 1901 the house had fifteen rooms, four windows to the front and thirteen outbuildings. The house was owned by Florence Williams but resided in by Kate Labertouche. In 1911 Henrietta Williams was living at Trammon.