Bloomsbury House

Bloomsbury House is located on the banks of the river Blackwater, south of Kells.  Erected as an estate house for the Tisdalls of Martry, the house was originally called Mount Tisdall and the area known as Jackstown.  A simple two-storey Georgian house, it was extended and re-modelled in 1858 for Richard Barnewall by Kells builder Francis Nulty.  In 1911 it had twenty five rooms, nine windows to the front and forty one outbuildings.  There is a fishing temple at the meeting of the Blackwater and Moynalty rivers – a boathouse below and a temple above. Casey and Rowan describe it as a pretty building made useless by the lowering of the level of the Blackwater.  A large courtyard and walled garden stands to the north.

In the winter of 1739 the rivers froze for a period of seven weeks.  Charles Tisdall roasted a bullock on the ice to feed his tenants.  Henry Brooke held the estate in 1802.

In 1829 the house was leased by Joseph Barnewall, heir to the title of Lord Trimbleston.  Joseph was married to Mary Everard of Randlestown and died in 1852. Their son, Richard Barnewall of Bloomsbury, married Helena Maria Hunt.  Richard died in 1866. His son, Thomas, who was born in 1825 succeeded at Bloomsbury.  In 1876 Thomas Barnewall of Bloomsbury held 2,782 acres in County Meath.  In 1901 Miss Katherine Barnewall was living at Bloomsberry. Katherine died in 1907. She was succeeded by her cousin. In 1911 Charles Trimleston and his wife resided at Bloomsberry.  Their son, Reginald, was killed in 1918 during the First World War.  The Barnewall family held the house until 1916. In 1916 the estate was sold.

The house has a dining room, drawing room, saloon, library, morning room, seven principal bedrooms, comfortable servant's apartments, kitchen, dairy, pantries, store rooms, scullery, bathrooms, w.c.s, etc.  The surrounding lands amounted to 312 acres. John Whaley, Downings, Prosperous, Sallins purchased the house and lands for £5000.  The Whaleys were said to be descendants of the notorious Dublin rake, Buck Whaley, who walked to Jerusalem to win a bet.  John Whaley died at Bloomsbury in 1944. Jack Whaley of Bloomsbury was the secretary of the Co. Meath Cricket Club and also involved in the Kells Bridge Club.  The modern gardens were created by Jack Whaley who wrote a number of books on gardening in Ireland.