Happy holidays! And coming up next year…

I haven’t a house entry for last week, so here is a list of places on Revenue Section 482 that were scheduled to be open in January 2020 which might be open in January 2021. With Covid restrictions, maybe nothing will be open to the public, so check in advance.

In the meantime, I hope you have a safe, healthy and happy Christmas Season!

Cavan

Cabra Castle (Hotel)

Cabra Castle, in 2011.

Kingscourt, Co. Cavan

Howard Corscadden.

Tel: 042-9667030

www.cabracastle.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year, except Dec 24, 25, 26, 11am-12 midnight

Fee: Free

Corravahan House & Gardens

Corravahan, Drung, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan

Ian Elliott

Tel: 087-9772224

www.corravahan.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, Feb 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, Mar 2-3, 9-10, May 24-31, June 1-18, 2pm-6pm, Aug 15-28, 9am-1pm, Sunday 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €7, OAP/student/child/concessions €5

Clare

Newtown Castle

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Newtown, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare

Mary Hawkes- Greene

Tel: 065-7077200

www.newtowncastle.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 6-May 29 Mon-Fri, June 1-30 Mon -Sat, July 1-Aug 31 daily, Sept 1-Dec 18 Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm

Fee: Free

Cork

Ashton Grove

Ballingohig, Knockraha, Co. Cork

Gerald McGreal

Tel: 087-2400831

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 28-29, Feb 4-5, 11-12, 25-26, Mar 3-4, 10-11, 24-25, 31, Apr 21-22, 28-29, May 12-13, 16-17, 19-20, 23-24, 26-27, June 16-17, 20-21, 23-24, 27-28, 30, July 1-2, Aug 15-23, Sept 1-2, 8-9, 12-13, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, Wednesdays 2pm-6pm, Tues, weekends & National Heritage Week 8am-12 noon

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €3

Blarney Castle & Rock Close

Blarney, Co. Cork

C. Colthurst

Tel: 021-4385252

www.blarneycastle.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): All year except Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, Jan- Mar, Mon-Sat, 9am-sundown, Sun, 9am- 6pm Apr-May, 9am-6pm, June-Aug, Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm, Sun, 9am-6pm, Sept, Mon-Sat, 9am-6.30pm, Sun, 9am-6pm, Oct, Nov, Dec Daily 9am-6pm,

Fee: adult €18, OAP/student €15, child €10, family and season passes

Brideweir House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Conna, Co. Cork

Ronan Fox

Tel: 087-0523256

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 1-Dec 24, 11am-4pm

Fee: adult €10, OAP/student €5, child free

Woodford Bourne Warehouse

Sheares Street, Cork

Edward Nicholson

Tel: 021-4273000

www.woodfordbournewarehouse.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, 1pm-11pm

Fee: Free

Donegal

Cavanacor House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Ballindrait, Lifford, Co. Donegal

Joanna O’Kane

Tel: 074-9141143, 085-8165428

www.cavanacorgallery.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 26-31, Feb 1-14, May 1-31, Aug 15-23, 1pm-5pm

Fee: adult €8, OAP/student/child €6

Dublin City

Bewley’s

78-79 Grafton Street/234 Johnson’s Court, Dublin 2

Peter O’ Callaghan

Tel 087-7179367

www.bewleys.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year except Christmas Day, 8am-8pm

Fee: Free

Doheny & Nesbitt

4/5 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

Niall Courtney

Tel: 01-4925395

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year except Christmas Day, Mon-Tues 9am-12.30am, Wed-Thurs 9am-1am, Fri-Sat 9am-2am, Sunday 10.30-12 midnight

Fee: Free

Hibernian/National Irish Bank

23-27 College Green, Dublin 2

Dan O’Sullivan

Tel: 01-6755100

www.clarendonproperties.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year, except Dec 25, 10am-7pm

Fee: Free

The Odeon (formerly the Old Harcourt Street Railway Station)

57 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2

Mary Lacey, Tel: 01-6727690

www.odeon.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year, 12 noon to midnight, closed Sundays

Fee: Free

Powerscourt Townhouse Centre

59 South William Street, Dublin 2

Mary Larkin

Tel: 01-6717000

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): All year except New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day & Bank Holidays, Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm, Thurs, 10am-8pm, Sundays, 12 noon-6pm

Fee: Free

10 South Frederick Street

Dublin 2

Joe Hogan

Tel: 087-2430334

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan1-20, May 1-31, June 1, Aug 15-23, 2pm-6pm

Fee: Free

The Church

Junction of Mary’s Street/Jervis Street, Dublin 1

Ann French

Tel: 087-2245726

www.thechurch.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephens Day, 11am-11 pm

Fee: Free

County Dublin

Farm Complex

Toberburr Road, Killeek, St Margaret’s, Co. Dublin

David Doran, Tel: 086-3821304

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 2-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Feb 1-2, 15-16, 21-23, March 6-8, May 1-4, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31, June 1, 5-7, 12-14, Aug 15-23, Sept 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, Jan, Feb, Sept, 12 noon-4pm, Mar-Aug 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €6, student/OAP/child €5

“Geragh”

Sandycove Point, Sandycove, Co. Dublin

Gráinne Casey

Tel: 01-2804884

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 14-17, 21-23, 28, Feb 18-20, 26-28, May 6-8, 11-24, 27-29, Aug 11-12, 15-23, 26-27, Sept 7-11, 15-16, Nov 3-6, Dec 3-4, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €7, OAP €4, student €2, child free

Meander

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Westminister Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18,

Ruth O’Herlihy,

Tel: 087-2163623

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31, May 1-2, 5-9, 11-12, 19-23, June 8-13, 15-20, 23-27, Aug 15-23, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €5, OAP/child €2

Tibradden House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Mutton Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Selina Guinness

Tel: 01-4957483

www.selinaguinness.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 10-12, 17, 24-31, Feb 2, 7-8, 28, Mar 6, 20, 27-29, Apr 3-5, 24-25, May 7-8, 14-15, 21-24, 28-29, June 4-5, 11-12, 18-24, July 14-19, Aug 15-25, Sept 12-13, weekdays 2.30pm-6.30pm, weekends 10.30am-2.30pm, tours weekdays 3pm & 4.30pm, weekends 11am & 12.30pm

Fee: adult/OAP €8 student €3, child free, An Taisce members/Irish Georgian Society members €5

Kerry

Derreen Gardens

Lauragh, Tuosist, Kenmare, Co. Kerry

John Daly

Tel: 087-1325665

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year, 10am-6pm

Fee: adult/OAP/student €8, child €3, family ticket (2 adults and all children under 18 and 2 maps) €20

Kildare

Farmersvale House

Badgerhill, Kill, Co. Kildare

Patricia Orr

Tel: 086-2552661

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 19-31, Feb 1-7, May 1-12, July 27-31, Aug 1-23, 9.30am-1.30pm

Fee: adult €5, student/child/OAP €3, (Irish Georgian Society members free)

Harristown House

Brannockstown, Co. Kildare

Noella Beaumont

Tel: 087-7414971

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 13-24, Feb 3-14, May 5-29, June 2-5, Aug 15-23, Sept 7-11, 9am-1pm

Fee: €10

Kildrought House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Celbridge Village, Co. Kildare

June Stuart

Tel: 01-6271206, 087-6168651

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 6-25, May 1-14, 18-26, Aug 15-31, 10am-2pm, Garden permanently available to Celbridge walking tours     

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €3, child under 5years free, school groups €1 per head

Moyglare Glebe

Moyglare, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Joan Hayden

Tel: 01-8722238

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 13-17, 20-24, 27-31, Feb 3-7, May 1-27, Aug 15-23, Sept 4-7, 8.30am-12.30pm

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €3

Kilkenny

Kilkenny Design Centre

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Castle Yard, Kilkenny

Joseph O’ Keeffe, Tel: 054-6623331

www.kilkennydesign.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year,10am-7pm

Fee: Free

Tudor Building (Hole in the Wall)

Rere of 17-19 High Street, Kilkenny.

Michael Conway

087-8075650

www.holeinthewall.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year, closed Christmas Day, Jan- Feb & Nov 7pm-11pm, Mar- Sept 1pm-11.30pm, Oct 1pm-11pm, Nov 7pm-11pm, Dec 1-14, 26-31,7pm-11pm, 15 -24, 1pm-11.30pm

Fee: Free

Laois

Ballaghmore Castle

Borris in Ossory, Co. Laois

Grace Pym

Tel: 0505-21453

www.castleballaghmore.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year except Christmas Day, 10am-6pm

Fee: adult €5, student/child/OAP €3, family of 2 adults + 2 children €10

Leitrim

Manorhamilton Castle (Ruin)

Castle St, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim

Anthony Daly

Tel: 086-2502593

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 7-Dec 21, closed Sat & Sun, 9.30am-3.30pm

Fee: adult €5, child free

Limerick

Ash Hill

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

Simon and Nicole Johnson

Tel: 063-98035

www.ashhill.com

(Tourist Accommodation Facility)

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 15-31, Feb 1-15, Mar 1-May 31, June 1-15, July 1- Sept 20, Oct 1-20, Nov 1-20, Dec 1-15, 9am-4.30pm

Fee: Free

Glebe House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Bruff, Co. Limerick

Colm McCarthy

Tel: 087-6487556

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31, May 5-13, Aug 10-23, Sept 14-30, Mon-Fri, 5.30pm-9.30pm, Sat-Sun, 9am-1pm

Fee: Free

Mayo

Brookhill House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Brookhill, Claremorris, Co. Mayo

Patricia and John Noone

Tel: 094-9371348

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 13-20, Apr 13-20, May 18-24, June 8-14, July 13-19, Aug 1-23, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €6, student €3, OAP/child/National Heritage Week free

Meath

Cillghrian Glebe now known as Boyne House Slane

Slane, Co. Meath

Alan Haugh

Tel: 041-9884444

www.boynehouseslane.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year and National Heritage Week, Aug 15-23, 9am-1pm

Fee: Free

Dardistown Castle

Dardistown, Julianstown, Co. Meath

Lizanne Allen

Tel: 086 -2774271

www.dardistowncastle.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 9-11, 13-18, 20-24, 27-31, Aug 15-31, Sept 1-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-26, 10am-2pm

Fee: adult €6, child €3, student/OAP free, all proceeds to Irish Cancer Society.

Moyglare House

Moyglare, Co. Meath

Postal address Maynooth Co. Kildare

Angela Alexander

Tel: 086-0537291

www.moyglarehouse.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 1-3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-28, May 1-22, 25-29, June 1-3, Aug 15-24, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €7.50, OAP/ student/child €5

Slane Castle

Slane, Co. Meath

Jemma & Pamela

Tel: 041-9884477

www.slanecastle.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions):Jan4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Feb 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29, Mar 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, 12.15pm-4pm, April 1-30, May 1-31, June 1-30, July 1-31, Aug 1-31, Sept 1-30, Oct 1-31, 11.15am-5.15pm, Nov 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, Dec 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, 12.15pm-4pm

Fee: adult €12, €14 from Feb, OAP/student €10.80, €11from Feb, child €7.20

St. Mary’s Abbey

High Street, Trim, Co. Meath

Peter Higgins

Tel: 087-2057176

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 20-24, Feb 24-28, May 11-15, June 29-30, July 1-3, 13-19, Aug 15-23, Sept 7-13, 21-27, Oct 19-23, Nov 2-6, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student/child €2

Tankardstown House

Rathkenny, Slane, Co. Meath

Tadhg Carolan, Tel: 087-7512871

www.tankardstown.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): All year including National Heritage Week, 9am-1pm

Fee: Free

Monaghan

Castle Leslie

Glaslough, Co. Monaghan

Samantha Leslie

Tel: 047-88091

www.castleleslie.com

(Tourist Accommodation Facility)

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year, National Heritage Week events August 15-23

Fee: Free

Offaly

Ballybrittan Castle

Ballybrittan, Edenderry, Co. Offaly

Rosemarie

Tel: 087-2469802

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Feb 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29, Mar 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, May 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31, June 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, July 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Aug 15-23, Sept 5-13, 2pm-6pm.

Fee: free – except in case of large groups a fee of €6 p.p.

Corolanty House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Shinrone, Birr, Co. Offaly

Siobhan Webb

Tel: 086-1209984

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan, Feb, July, Aug, Sept, daily 2pm-6pm

Fee: Free

Crotty Church

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Castle Street, Birr, Co. Offaly

Brendan Garry

Tel: 086-8236452

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): All year, except Dec 25, 9am-5pm

Fee: Free

Gloster House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Brosna, Birr, Co. Offaly

Tom & Mary Alexander

Tel: 087-2342135

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 6-31, Mon-Fri, May 1-31, Aug 15-23, 9am-1pm

Fee: €6

High Street House

High Street, Tullamore, Co. Offaly

George Ross

Tel: 086-3832992

www.no6highstreet.com

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-30, May 1-12, Aug 15-23, Sept 1-20, 9.30am-1.30pm

Fee: adult/student €5, OAP €4, child under 12 free

Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly

Maurice Conway

Tel: 057-9327740

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 2-Dec 24, 28-30, 9.30am-6pm,

Fee: adult €17, OAP/student €15, child €13

The Maltings

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Castle Street, Birr, Co. Offaly

Brendan Garry

Tel: 086-8236452

(Tourist Accommodation Facility)

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year

Roscommon

Strokestown Park House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Strokestown Park House, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon

Ciarán

Tel: 01-8748030

www.strokestownpark.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 2-Dec 23, Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec 10.30am-4pm, April-Oct 10.30am-5.30pm, Mar 1-16 10.30am-4pm, Mar 17-31 10.30am-5.30pm

Fee: adult €14, €12.50, €9.25, OAP/student €12.50, child €6, group €11.50, family €29

Tipperary

Beechwood House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Ballbrunoge, Cullen, Co. Tipperary

Maura & Patrick McCormack

Tel: 083-1486736

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 3-6, 10-13, Feb 28-29, Mar 1-2, 6-9, Apr 24-27, May 8-11, 15-18, June 5-8, July 10-13, 24-27, Aug 15-23, Sept 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 10.15am-2.15pm

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student €2, child free, fees donated to charity

Westmeath

Lough Park House

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath

Liam O’Flanagan

Tel: 044-9661226

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 1-7, Mar 15-20, Apr 9-15, May 1-7, June 1-7, 27-28, July 18-26, Aug 1-5, 15-24, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult /OAP €6, child/student €4

Wexford

Clougheast Cottage

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Carne, Co. Wexford

Jacinta Denieffe

Tel: 086-1234322

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 11-31, May 1-31, August 15-23, 9am-1pm

Fee: €5

Wilton Castle

Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Bree, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Sean Windsor

(Tourist Accommodation Facility)

Tel: 053-9247738

www.wiltoncastleireland.com  

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year

Wicklow

Castle Howard

Avoca, Co. Wicklow

Mark Sinnott

Tel: 087-2987601

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): Jan 13-15, Feb 3-7, Mar 2-4, 23-25, June 8-13, 20, 22-27, July 6-12, 20-23, Aug 14-23, Sept 7-12, 26, Oct 5-7, 12-14, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €8.50, OAP/student €6.50, child €5

Mount Usher Gardens

Ashford, Co. Wicklow

Caitriona Mc Weeney

Tel: 0404-49672

www.mountushergardens.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): all year 10am-6pm

Fee: adult €8, student/OAP €7, child €4, no charge for wheelchair users

Powerscourt House & Gardens

Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

Sarah Slazenger

Tel: 01-2046000

www.powerscourt.ie

Open in 2020 (but check due to Covid restrictions): All year, closed Christmas day and St Stephens day, 9.30am-5.30pm, ballroom and garden rooms Sun, 9.30am-1.30pm

Fee: Mar-Oct, adult €11.50, OAP €9, student €8.50, child €5, family ticket €25, Nov-Dec adult €8.50, OAP €7.50, student €7, child €4, family ticket 2 adults + 3 children €18, children under 5 free

Tankardstown Estate & Demesne, Rathkenny, Slane, Co. Meath

Contact: Manager, Brian Conroy, Tel: 087-2888925

www.tankardstown.ie

Opening dates in 2021 (check in advance due to Covid restrictions): All year including National Heritage Week, 9am-1pm

Fee: Free

DSC_0947

Stephen and I went to Tankardstown on the way to Monaghan in 2019, where we were staying a night on our drive to Donegal to visit his Mum.

Tankardstown is now a boutique hotel, although the manager Tadhg who showed us around prefers it not to be called a hotel, as it is more like an opulent modernized seventeenth century home. Unfortunately we were not staying the night!

In his Guide to Irish Country Houses (1988) Mark Bence-Jones describes Tankardstown as a two storey late-Georgian house. According to wickipedia, the Georgian period is 1740-1837.

DSC_0977

He writes that the entrance front consists of three bays and an end bay breaking forward, as you can see in the photograph above. The entrance doorway has a pediment on consoles, not in line with the window above. [1] There are steps up to the front door.

DSC_0979

It has a three bay side elevation, with ground floor windows set in arched recesses with blocking (the use of alternating large and small blocks of stone, or of intermittent large blocks, in a doorcase, window surround or similar feature. Also known as rustication), with blocking around the first floor windows also. Bence-Jones also mentions its parapeted roof (“a low protective wall along the edge of a roof, bridge, or balcony”).

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DSC_0948 (1)Tankardstown Estate was formed from land confiscated by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century from Irish or Hiberno-Norman families, principally the Teelings. Teelings were an Anglo-Norman family associated with Meath since the 13th century. In 1686 it formed part of a grant of land to John Osborne. It passed into the hands of the Coddington family in 1710, by marriage, when John Coddington married Frances Osborne, daughter of Captain John Osborne of Drogheda [2].

John Coddington purchased nearby Oldbridge Estate from the Earl of Drogheda in 1729 (Oldbridge is now the Battle of the Boyne museum). It looks as though a nephew of John’s, Dixie Coddington, Sheriff, lived in Tankardstown at some point, perhaps with his wife Catherine de Burgh and seven daughters.

Coincidentally, a brother of Dixie, Henry Coddington of Oldbridge (1728 – 1816) had a daughter, Elizabeth Coddington, who married Edward Winder of Bellview in 1798. This Edward Winder is an ancestor of Stephen’s! So our relatives, by marriage, owned Tankardstown!

DSC_0957

The house, as you can see from the photographs, is incredibly opulent with many period features which I assume are original. Above, one can see the unusual black rose patterned wall panels in the inner doorway of the hall, with an arch of alternate black panelling and stuccowork. The drawing room has painted stuccowork on the ceiling and a carved marble fireplace.

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DSC_0959

DSC_0954 (1)The plush furnishings and decor are so overwhelming that the place that touched me most, in terms of feeling a link with the former residents, feeling the house’s history,  were some worn stone stairs:

DSC_0961

The Coddingtons sold the house to Brabazon Morris. According to Ireland’s Blue Book [5], Brabazon Morris built a neo-Classical villa on the land in 1789, in part on the foundations of a tenth century castle, close to pre-existing stone yards which were built in 1745. The present Tankardstown house must be his neo-Classical villa so the house the Coddingtons inhabited was probably incorporated into this house.

Brabazon Morris married Anne Hamlin (she died before 1800 aged just 52) [3] and had a daughter Anne, who married Reverend Frederick Cavendish (1803-1875) in 1834, son of Frederick Cavendish and Eleanor Gore, sixth daughter of Arthur Gore the Second Earl of Arran [4].

Brabazon Morris mortgaged the house in 1791 until it was bought by Francis Blackburne in 1815, as his country residence.

According to an article in the Irish Independent newspaper by Anthony Smith, Francis Blackburne was born in 1782 and lived to be 84 years old [6]. He married Jane Martley of Ballyfallen, County Meath. [7] He was called to the bar in 1805 and became Attorney General of Ireland in 1831. He was a devout Protestant and Unionist and prosecuted Daniel O’Connell. In 1852 he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

With his new position, Francis Blackburne must have felt he needed something more grand, and purchased Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin. However his position as Lord Chancellor ended later the same year. He obtained the position again in 1866 shortly before his death. He gave Tankardstown to his second son, Judge Francis William Blackburne (d. 1921). His older son inherited Rathfarnham Castle.

Judge Francis Blackburne married Olivia Beatrice Louisa Anstruther-Thomson, and had a son Jack and two daughters, Elena and Amable. The Blackburnes carried out extensive additions, refurbishment and redecoration in the 1880s. Jack Blackburne inherited the estate and worked the farm though his first love was racing cars. (see [6])

Judge Blackburne’s daughter Elena married Charles Maurice Waddington Loftus Townshend (called Maurice) (1899-1966) of Castle Townshend, County Cork, in 1928. They moved to Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) for a while, where two of his brothers as ex-British officers were granted free land, but returned to Ireland when WWII broke out. They lived in Tankardstown after Jack died in the 1940s. They had two children, Francis b. 1930 and Maurice born 1932 [8]. C. Maurice Townshend sounds to have been a little eccentric as he believed he had a sort of second sight – he was able to point to a place on a map where his sister’s missing friend was located. He also pursued the art of water divination. [9]

When Maurice Townsend died in 1966, Judge Blackburne’s other daughter, Amable, moved back to Tankardstown, and she and her sister ran the farm as best they could. Anthony Smith, writer of the Irish Times article, remembers the two elderly ladies giving him treats in the kitchen while his father serviced Jack’s Aston Martin racing car. The article does not mention Elena’s sons but one moved to Australia and the other studied agriculture and farmed in Meath.

Eventually in the 1970s the sisters Elena and Amable sold the house and moved into a smaller house built at the rear entrance to the estate. I am not sure who owned the house directly after the Blackburnes. Both sisters died in 1996. Brian Conroy bought the estate when it came on the market in 2002. [2]

Brian and his wife Patricia spent four years restoring the mansion from complete disrepair. It was to be their dream home.

In the lead up to the Ryder Cup golf tournament which was being held in Ireland that year, a scout contacted Trish and asked if they could rent her property for the duration of the tournament. When the scout visited Tankardstown, she noticed the stable block next to the house and proposed that if it could be refurbished in time, they would rent that out for the tournament as well! The stable block now holds self-contained accommodation.

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Tankardstown has a café for lunch and afternoon tea and a dining room, supplied by their own fresh farm produce.

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The restaurant, the Brabazon, which was originally the milking parlour, retains the old walls and arches.

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the tea rooms

It has a large function room, formerly the Orangerie, for weddings and events.

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The house is situated on an 80 acre estate with woodland, rolling parkland and walled gardens. There is also a pampering treatment room in a “hide-out” beside the walled garden.

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Brian Conroy is an entrepreneur with a successful track record in property development, restoration of heritage buildings and operation of hospitality venues. Having grown up in Monkstown, Co Dublin, he moved to the UK and built an engineering and property business before returning with his family to Tankardstown, Co Meath. He also owns another property on the section 482 register in 2019 which is also now a hotel, Boyne House, Slane (formerly known as Cillghrian Glebe). [10]

[1] architectural definitions

[2] https://www.tankardstown.ie

[3] https://historicgraves.com/kilberry/me-klby-0037/grave

[4] http://www.thepeerage.com/p25513.htm#i255125

[5] https://www.irelands-blue-book.ie/itinerary-detail.html/hotels-history-html

[6] https://www.independent.ie/regionals/droghedaindependent/news/pink-floyd-drummer-and-the-old-aston-martin-38038851.html

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Blackburne

[8] http://www.thepeerage.com/p35219.htm#i352181

[9] http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~townsend/tree/record.php?ref=5C17

[10] https://www.boynehouseslane.ie