Charlton, Curraghtown House


Curraghtown House is located to the west of Navan. Curraghtown House is a two storey house erected about 1860. There is a single storey porch. The main house in the townland before this was Curraghtown or Mount Charlton. In 1836 this mansion lay in ruins at the east end of the townland. Curraghtown was home to the Charlton family and is where the Charlton fund originated. Captain William Charlton of Curraghtown, alias Mount Charlton, Co. Meath died in 1737 and was succeeded by his son Thomas Charlton born 1702 and died unmarried 1792.

The Charlton Bequest began in 1792. At the age of seventy five Thomas Charlton decided to marry. This raised the possibility of an heir and the night before the marriage his sisters did something to him to prevent him every becoming a father. He had planned to build a new house on his Mountfarrell estate, near Edgeworthstown. The building was never finished. Charlton willed the rental income from his estate at Curraghtown and the rent from his property at Edgeworthstown to be invested and provide funds for a charity. Two thirds of the money was to be distributed to newly-weds in Meath and one-third to newlyweds of Longford. Thomas Charlton was buried in Ardbraccan graveyard.

Thomas conveyed the house and demesne lands at Curraghtown to his kinsman John Charlton, officer in the 60th Foot for the life of John and his wife Elizabeth and son James. John was an ensign in 1760 and created lieutenant in 1777. He was with Wolfe at Quebec and is said to have been one of the officers in whose arms Wolfe died.

By Act of Parliament in 1800 the estate was vested in Trustees. By 1837 marriage portions were being paid to Roman Catholics. Captain James Wolfe Charlton, son of Ensign John instituted proceedings and after protracted litigation the fund was again devoted solely to Protestants. In 1836 Captain Charlton lived in the old mansion house in Curraghtown. By 1874 there were not enough applicants and the capital began to accumulate. In 1895 under an 1885 Act the marriage portion was to be equally divided between Protestants and Roman Catholics. James had two sons. Rev. James Wolfe Charlton became vicar of Clonmacnoise in 1843 while his other son, William, became established at Clonmacnoise House, Co. Offaly.

In1906 the trust‟s property at Curraghtown was sold to the four resident tenants. The Trust continues to issue grants annually. In the 1850s Alexander Roberts was leasing a substantial house and 49 acres of lands from Chidley C. Barnes. At that time 102 acres of Curraghtown was in trust for the Charlton fund. Partrick Smith of Curraghtown was a member of the Young Mens‟ Society in Navan in the 1860s. Patrick Smith, Auctioneers, began at Curraghtown and then opened offices in Navan. In 1911 Michael Smith owned and lived in Curraghtown House, the biggest house in the townland. It had twelve rooms and five windows to the front. In 1901 there were five farm labourers at Curraghtown House. In 1922 Curraghtown House featured in a battle between the Free State and Irregular Forces. Following overnight fighting a ceasefire was arranged and the Irregulars surrendered and were taken to Trim Workhouse.

J.C.H. Shaw wrote an article on the family of Charlton which was published in the Irish Genealogist in 1969.

Source: meath-roots.com