Appendix A

The Bomford Irish Houses

 

Note: some of these houses may be in the growing records of the Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.  One way to search that site is with a Google Advanced Search.  Put www.buildingsofireland.ie into the 'Search within site or domain' box at the bottom and the name of the house in 'this exact wording or phrase box'

Clarkestown House 

      Townland:

Gallow

      Parish:

Gallow.

This house was built by Samuel Pratt (1688 - 1771) of Agher, mentioned in his will and left to the Winters. It was probably two storied and thatched. George Bomford the elder lived there between May 1807 and Feb 1812. In July that year Samuel Pratt Winter and his wife Frances Rose Bomford, daughter of Trevor Bomford moved in after their marriage, and their first five children were born in the house; they left in 1820 for Paris and then to England. Samuel Winter probably lived there whilst Agher was leased until 1825. The house was accidentally burnt down in 1829 and rebuilt of stone and slated. It is possible that George the younger and Arbella (Winter) occupied the house after their marriage in 1832 until they moved to Oakley Park in 1837. Later it was occupied by the Potterton family. About 1950 the house was pulled down and a modern house built instead. The yard was left and includes a row of fine arches one of which has ‘1829’ on its keystone, which indicates that some of the yard was rebuilt after the fire.

Ref: 18.1.318.6.218.9.124.1.127.3.1

Clonmahon House (Clonmaghan)

      Townland:

Clonmahon

       Parish:

Laracor

Colonel Laurence Bomford and his wife Eleanor were living there in July 1692 but their tombstone indicates that they might have been there about 1670. There is no record of the house they occupied and the Down Survey of 1654 does not record any house on Clonmahon Townland. It is therefore likely that they built the house, which, from a process of elimination, was probably on the west side of the road between Dangan Castle and Summerhill. The Colonel died there in 1720 and Eleanor just over a year later in January 1722. The place was then sold.

Ref:  1.81.8.1

Clounstown House

      Townland:

Clounstown

       Parish:

Trevet

The land lies across the Navan - Dunshaughlin road but the house is to the north of the road near Ross Cross-roads; it is now called Tara Stud. When Oliver Bomford bought the land in 1710 there were two thatched farmhouses on it, one of them was rebuilt of stone and slated for Oliver’s eldest son Thomas. Thomas was living there in 1729, the year of his marriage, so the house may have been done up about that date. Thomas lived there until his death in 1757 when it went to his second son, Thomas the younger; however he was only 18 and an apprentice in Dublin at that time, so his mother Jane lived on in the house probably until Thomas married Alice Jessop in 1764. In 1784 Thomas the younger had to sell the place in order to pay his father’s settlement on his three sisters. The house and land went for £4,500 to Owen Daly in trust for Augustine Penthoney.

Ref:  2.73.33.3.414.5

Cushenstown House

      Townland:

Cushenstown

       Parish:

Cushenstown

Oliver and his wife Elizabeth (Wilson) were living at Cushenstown House when their eldest son Thomas was born there in 1703, however Oliver had leased the land about 1689. The Down Survey of 1654 records a stone house on the land, which at one time was owned by the Cushin family of England. Oliver’s house may have been this one in the south-west corner of the Townland next to Crossmacoole and close to the turnpike on the Ashbourne to Slane and Duleek roads. When Oliver died in 1721, Elizabeth lived on in the house with her family of eight minors. In 1728 Thomas, the heir, moved to Clounstown and leased “the Great House” of Cushenstown to John Grierson and later to his brother-in-law George Shinton who lived there off and on until he died in 1780. However between 1759 and 1771 Thomas’s eldest son William lived in Cushenstown House, perhaps from his marriage in 1754 to Charity Ryder. In 1772 William moved to Lake Tay and the house was again occupied by George Shinton, and later by Patrick Dowdall followed by Edward Semple. In 1803 the last Bomford to live in the house was William’s eldest son Thomas who died without children in 1827. The house and lands were then divided between his married sisters, and their children sold their plots sometime after about 1870.

Cushenstown House was demolished before 1836 but another one, was built called Crossmacoole House. The present Crossmacoole House, a two storey farmhouse, looks as though it was built in the beginning of this century so may be yet another version; however it could be on the site of Oliver’s house.

Ref:  2.112.12 3.33.3.4 (1),  11.413.113.5.117.117.2.7

Drumlargan House

      Townland:

Drumlargan

       Parish:

Drumlargan

The Parish of Drumlargan was first leased to George Bomford the elder in 1787 by Dixie Coddington; George bought the place ‘fee farm’ in perpetuity in 1795 though the final payment was not made until 1815 just after George had died. The house on Drumlargan was called Bloomfield and in the late 1600s it had a centre part for the family with two wings, one wing for the male and the other for the female servants; in the early 1700s the wings were pulled down and the centre part adapted to form the basis of the present Drumlargan House. The rebuilding probably took place in 1724, the date on the tablet above the front door; the tablet also contains a Tudor rose and the letters ‘B’, ‘T’ and ‘E’. It is a two storey double gable-ended house and one of the reception rooms is octagonal.

By 1836 Bloomfield was a “tolerably good house but it is going into a further ruinous state”. Around 1865 the house was improved by George the younger for his son John Francis who moved in with his family about 1870; he was the only Bomford to live in the house which by then had been renamed Drumlargan House. The improvements included new enlarged windows and a porch around the front door. In April 1900 John Francis and his family moved to Oakley Park and Drumlargan was sold in 1903 to George Wilson of Oberstown at Tara for a little over £3,000. Today the house is still occupied and appears very much as it must have done when John Francis lived in it.

Ref:  15.13.825.729.129.3.132.2.1

Ferrans House

      Townland:

Ferrans

       Parish:

Gallow

Although Ferrans was first leased by Thomas Bomford around 1672, no house was built on it until the 1820s. The house was built by young Isaac North, soon to become Isaac North-Bomford, though it was probably paid for by his uncle Isaac Bomford, the attorney of Dublin who owned the place. It was enlarged during the 1860s and became a two-storied house with five bays and an eaved slated roof. The house was continuously occupied by the North-Bomfords until Isaac North’s grandson, John George, died in 1965. It was burnt down by the IRA in 1923 and rebuilt with improvements. Six years after it was sold in 1967 it was again burnt down though this time accidentally and again rebuilt. Ferrans is now a stud farm.

Ref:  23.3.227.3.128.6.1

Gallow House

      Townland:

Gallow

       Parish:

Gallow

Gallow was bought by Thomas Bomford in 1709 from Francis Isdell who had been living there, one assumes, in the ‘castle’ of the 1654 Down Survey. In 1711 Stephen the elder took over the place from his brother and moved into the house, living there until he died in 1759. As Stephen’s family increased and money became available, it is thought that around 1730 he enlarged and improved the house, and it would be this house, “two storied and slated” which was mentioned in the survey of 1836. After Stephen died the Rev John lived there until his death, then followed a gap of 10 years when David Bomford moved there from Dublin. David died in 1809 and was the last Bomford to occupy the house. Gallow was sold by J .G. North-Bomford in 1943 and the house was pulled down during the 1960s. A new house was built on the site but parts of the yard remain. It is now a stud farm.

Ref:  2.52.22 (.5),  11.419.523.323.3.227.3.128.6

Hightown House, County Westmeath

      Townland:

Balloughter (or Hightown)

       Parish:

Killucan

First leased to Thomas Bomford around 1700. Perhaps about 1725 Thomas leased it to his brother Edward who may have built Hightown House; at any rate he was living there well before 1740. The 1836 Survey shows only one house on Hightown, named Heathstown; one wonders if this is a misprint, perhaps not because in 1750 the lease of’ Hightown includes the proviso that Edward “expends £80 to complete the building of the house and offices which he had begun”, and this sounds to be a new house rather than improvements to the older house of Hightown. The property was sold to Mark Whyte to pay the debts of Thomas the elder, and Mark Whyte leased most of it back to Edward who bequeathed it to his daughter Catherine Hamilton on his death in 1756. However, once Edward’s wife Margaret had died around 1764, no other Bomford lived at Hightown House. The place was sold by Stephen Bomford of’ Rahinstown in 1790.

Ref:  5.310.2

Killeglan House

      Townland:

Killeglan

       Parish:

Killeglan (later renamed Ratoath)

Cill Déaglán anglicised became Killeglan and it is now known as Ashbourne, a village about half way between Dublin and Slane. In 1712 the third son of’ Colonel Laurence, another Laurence, was ‘of Killeglan’, which he had leased in 1710 and where he brought up his family. In the Down Survey Killeglan included a small village which ‘contained a castle, a stone house with out houses, a church, a mill and divers cabins’; that stone house probably became Laurence’s house. Laurence died in 1721 and his wife and five young children left Killeglan for Dublin soon after. The house was only occupied by the Bomfords for about 10 years and the land itself was sold in the early 1760s.

Ref:  1.8.11.102.82.122.22(.3)

Oakley Park

      Townland:

Oakley Park (formerly Laurencetown)

       Parish:

Dulane

One of the Betagh (Beatty) family lived in the castle on Laurencetown during the reign of Henry VIII and before. The castle was in ruins at the time of’ Cromwell but some type of’ a house had been built by 1649, and this may well have been where the Oakley family lived. They renamed the place Oakley Manor but had left by 1700 and the name reverted to Laurencetown. By 1709 Joseph Williams was in residence and it was probably he who built the new house about 1715. However he had left by 1730 when the Crawford family moved in and they stayed there until 1829. The Crawfords brought back the name Oakley Park and were responsible for many improvements about the place, though no major change was made to the house; the main Kells to Moynalty road was moved further away from the house in the late 1700s and the old road became the front and back avenues; as a result the parkland was set out and, a yard, was built about 1815.

In 1837 Oakley Park was bought for about £15,000 and occupied by George Bomford. He immediately doubled the size of the house by adding an extension to the front; during the 1860s he added a smaller north wing which included running water and water closets; a walled 2 ½ acre garden was laid out during the Famine to the west of the house. Oakley Park became the major Bomford house until 1955 when George’s great-grandson sold the place for around, £14,000. The new owner pulled down two-thirds of the house and now lives in the 1839 extension and redesigned the interior. About 1960 he also demolished the last remains of the old Betagh castle, the chimneystack.

Ref:  24.625.229.130.134.1.134.9.136.3

Oldtown House

      Townland:

Oldtown

       Parish:

Rathcore

This property was in Bomford hands from about 1662 to about 1745, and there are no clues about the house except that Christopher Hussey was living there in 1640. When Thomas the elder left his parent’s house at Clonmahon he lived at Oldtown and was definitely there at the time of his marriage in 1691. He remained there until he had completed Rahinstown House in the 1690s. One can assume from this that Oldtown House was not up to much, perhaps a single storey mud and thatch house. When Thomas handed over Rahinstown to his nephew in 1738 he was recorded as being ‘of Oldtown’. He may have lived there then though I suspect he lived in Dublin until he died in 1740. The lease of Oldtown was given up about 1745.

Ref:  1.8.16.2

Rahinstown House

      Townland:

Rahinstown

       Parish:

Rathcore

The land was first leased in 1691 to Thomas the elder who built Rahinstown House in which he was living in 1702. In 1738 the place was passed to his nephew Thomas who died suddenly in 1740, and so it came into his father’s hands, Stephen the brother of Thomas the elder. Stephen was living in Gallow House so his son Stephen the younger lived at Rahinstown House from about 1741. Judging by the mortgages the house may have been improved for Stephen’s marriage to Elizabeth Sibthorpe, and perhaps again in 1787. A drawing of the house dated 1830 shows a six bay house of three storeys above a basement. The top floor has steeply pointed windows in gables. However the front door is to the left, one bay in, and the house has a lop-sided appearance. It is thought that perhaps Thomas the elder’s house ‘of the 1690s was of three bays only and that Stephen added a further three bays to the right in either the 1740s or the 1780s. The house passed to Robert Bomford eventually in 1808 on the death of his mother, and on his death in 1817 to his son Robert George. The 1836 survey states “Rahinstown House is a very good one but the pleasure gardens appear very much neglected. The demesne is well planted with fir and round trees”. Robert George died in 1846 and his mother in 1848, the property was then sold and the proceeds divided between his sisters. The house and land was bought by Robert Fowler (1797 - 1863) in 1852 or ‘53. About 1875 the old house was accidentally burnt down and a new one built on the same site; the Fowlers still live there.

Ref:  1.9.16.2 (1),  9.311.415.3.218.1.322.322.9

Rathfeigh House

      Townland:

Rathfeigh

       Parish:

Rathfeigh

This place was first leased to Oliver Bomford of Cushenstown in 1706 for 61 years and was not released in 1767. It joins Cushenstown to the west, and the Down Survey records a small village at Rathfeigh consisting of “one castle, a church, a water mill, divers small cottages and an open quary”. The 1836 survey describes the land as ‘poor’. It is unlikely that Oliver ever lived at Rathfeigh though three of his sons did, and were recorded as ‘of Rathfeigh’, but it is difficult to know who actually owned the place after Oliver died. In 1745 Laurence, Oliver’s fourth son, was ‘of Rathfeigh’ and leased some acres to his older brother Arthur. Four years later another brother Oliver was at Rathfeigh and was still there in 1761; certainly during the later years it was the younger Oliver who farmed the place. Nothing is known about the house they occupied.

Ref:  2.22.127.137.1411.412.2.5

Robinstown House

      Townland:

Robinstown

        Parish:

Kilskeer

Riversdale House 

       Townland:

Cookestown

       Parish:

Balrath Boyne

Priory Cottage 

           Townland:

Kilmainham

      Parish:

Teltown

These three houses were occupied by Charlie Bomford, fifth son of John Francis of Oakley Park. Charlie moved out of Oakley Park on his marriage and was living in 1915 at Robinstown, one mile on the Kells side of Kilskeer; then in 1922 the family moved to Riversdale, four miles from Kells on the road to Charlesfort and Ballybeg. Finally around 1928 Charlie bought some land on the Kells - Dublin road just outside the Headfort Estate wall and there built himself a large bungalow where he brought up his family. After the war in which his two sons were killed, Priory Cottage was sold in 1950 and Charlie and his wife Bobbie went to live near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. All three houses are still in use.

Ref:  33.835.6

 

Next Chapter: Appendix B

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