‘Great Houses’ abound – 18th Century houses in Tipperary and Meath

The Deanery, Bogherclough Street, Cashel, Co Tipperary. Asking Price: €800,000 (Auction AMV) Agent: DNG Liam O’Grady (062) 31986

Thomastown House, Duleek, County Meath
asking price
: €2.8m
Agent: Coonans (01) 6286128

THE historic Deanery of Cashel, long associated with the famous Rock of Cashel and the Rock of St Patrick Church, has been put up for sale ahead of an auction at a guide price of €800,000.

There have always been two deans at Cashel since the Reformation.

And in the early years of the Irish state, the two incumbents were like chalk and cheese.

The Dean of the Church of Ireland was most often a learned academic, often from a pastoral congregation in England. It was installed in the large 18th-century deanery overlooking the historic rock and the city itself.


The view of Cashel from the deanery

From 1916 to 1924 that Dean was Trinity-trained William Chadwick Bourchier, a distinguished character who had previously been Chaplain to the Marquess of Camden in England.

In sharp contrast, the Catholic dean at Cashel in those times was Innocent Ryan, an arsonist whose mad antics would do no harm to Father Ted.

Ryan almost single-handedly stopped Tipperary’s Sinn Féin when he declared the candidate the “Antichrist.” Innocent had read a “socialist” quote by James Connolly in Pierce McCan’s promotional brochure. And those who voted as instructed from the pulpit would certainly not give their No. 1 to the Prince of Darkness.

Two representatives were urgently dispatched to party headquarters in Dublin and a compassionate priest was dispatched to Cashel to speak in the pulpit and reassure people that McCan is definitely not the devil and that it is okay to vote for him. It was enough for McCan to sit down.

At the height of the Revolutionary War, Innocent prompted an impromptu truce in Cashel and the town was inundated with pilgrims searching for bleeding statues.

Jimmy Walsh, a Templemore farmhand, had claimed that a sacred well had appeared on the floor of his bedroom and that his three statues of the Virgin Mary were bleeding.


Children praying at Tipperary’s “bleeding” statues, 1920

Before the end of the week, 15,000 pilgrims were making their way to Templemore each day to view the statues placed in front of Dwan’s shop.

British reprisals, which had been focused on the city, ceased and it was declared that the Virgin had saved the city. Templemore clerics wisely kept their distance.

Not so Innocent Ryan, who immediately called statue man Jimmy Walsh to Cashel. Innocent was impressed and someone then claimed that people who touched Walsh in Cashel’s presbytery were cured of diseases.

Overnight the crowds moved to Cashel where it became so chaotic that the RIC retreated from the streets and the IRA was forced to step in to take control of the crowds of “pilgrims, beggars, stallholders and undesirables”.

The IRA acted as ushers and stewards and began charging for parking.

Again someone was sent to meet Michael Collins in Dublin. He ordered Dan Breen to interrogate Walsh and bring back one of his statues.

Collins knocked it off a table, breaking it and falling out a mechanism that included alarm clock functions and a fountain pen bulb filled with sheep’s blood. Walsh fled to Australia while Innocent Ryan promptly turned his back.

He wrote a letter for publication in Irish times the allegation that “the sweating or bleeding occurred behind my back and without my knowledge.”

Then, in the 1930s, Ryan embraced the anti-jazz movement, which began with a 3,000-strong march against jazz music.

The Gaelic League secretary accused then Treasury Secretary, the reticent Sean MacEntee, of “burying a soul in jazz”, followed by the claim that “he jazzes every night of the week”.

Ryan wrote a letter to Cashel Urban District Council in 1936, alleging that a hall he owned that was rented out for “the wrong kind of dancing” was “a center of immorality and a source of plague to religion and country.” had become.

The Dean had made a site visit and evidence that “people weren’t dancing Irish dances there, but the filthy foreign dances that crept into the country and corrupted innocent citizens”. The hall was closed.

We can only wonder what the eminent Church of Ireland, officiating over at The Deanery, did with the stigma of chaos that has steadily fomented its counterpart for three decades.

Occupied by successive Anglican deans since the 1790s, the striking house became the official vicarage of the Church of Ireland in the 1960s.

It spreads over 4,050 m² with eight bedrooms, one of which has an en-suite bathroom. There are two kitchens, a dining room, a drawing room, a winter garden, a study and other ancillary rooms.

Outside there is a walled garden and pasture. The property will be auctioned on June 29th and will carry €800,000 by DNG Liam O’Grady.

Meanwhile, another mid-18th century ‘big house’ has gone on sale this week at Duleek in Co Meath.


Thomastown House, Duleek, County Meath

Thomastown House, on 65 acres, was long the home of the Kettlewell family until 1851 when it was given to a cousin, Echlin Molynaux, a young and ambitious legal eagle.

He greatly expanded his prospects by marrying the daughter of Sir Joseph Napier, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Unfortunately, she died young and Molynaux remarried. He would end up marrying three times.

He later became County Judge of Meath, Queen’s Counsel and Head of Law at Queen’s University Belfast. When the current owners bought the house in the 1990s, it was run down.

Within six months they had replaced the roof, excavated and filled in the basement, and replaced the floorboards on one floor. They restored the yard to include six loose boxes.

Accommodation comprises a drawing room, formal dining room, study, large kitchen/breakfast room, five oversized bedrooms, shoe room and an office opening onto the gardens beyond.

Most historical features, including chimneys, are in situ and intact.

There are a number of farm buildings and its location, good condition and 65 acres make it a prime destination for partying returning from abroad and wealthy city dwellers looking for a rural equestrian/hobby farm within easy reach
Capital city.

Coonan Auctioneers is aiming for 2.8 million euros.

https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/big-houses-on-the-double-18th-century-homes-in-tipperary-and-meath-41644867.html ‘Great Houses’ abound – 18th Century houses in Tipperary and Meath

Fry Electronics Team

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