Corbalton Hall

Corbalton Hall, located between Skryne and Dunshaughlin, was home to the Corbally family. A three storey house was constructed in the eighteenth century to which a new wing was attached about 1801. The two storey villa wing was designed by the distinguished Irish architect, Francis Johnston.  Casey and Rowan suggested that the extension was as a result of the prosperity in the Irish corn market due to the Napoleonic wars.  The older building and the new were joined at an acute angle.  Three vaulted rooms as well as associated walls of the original house were incorporated into the main 1801 house and are currently underneath a paved terrace.  The front of Johnston's addition became the new entrance front.  The older section, called Cookstown House after the townland name, was demolished in 1970, leaving a gap between the stable block and the 1801 house.  The farmyard was located away from the house on one of the entrance avenues.

The Barnewalls held the property in the seventeenth century.  Elias Corbally, a rich miller, purchased Cookstown about 1800 from Mr. White.  The Corbally family were a Catholic family and Bishop Plunkett was a regular visitor at their original home at nearby Sydenham.  As a lieutenant in the Ratoath yeoman cavalry Elais Corbally was captured by rebels on the first day of the 1798 rebellion, but rescued by members of the Clonsilla yeoman cavalry.  Corbally was active in various Catholic committees in Dublin and Navan attempting to secure better rights for Catholics.  Corbally was a major contributor to the chapel at Skryne and donated the site for a new parochial house.  In the 1830s Corbalton Hall was described as the elegant and spacious mansion of Elias Corbally, Esq., standing in a remarkably wellwooded demesne of about 1000 acres.  Elias died in 1837 and is commemorated by a memorial in the ruined Rathregan church.

In 1817 Arthur James Plunkett, Lord Killeen, and later 9th Earl of Fingal, married Louisa, the only daughter of Elias Corbally of Corbalton Hall.  The Plunkett family lived at Corbalton Hall and their children were born there.  Arthur James, the eldest son of the 9th Earl, held the position of High Sheriff of Meath in 1845.  A major in the 8th Dragoons he served at the Siege of Sebastopol during the Crimean War.  William Plunkett was the third son of the 9th Earl of Fingal. Born at Corbalton in 1824 he joined the army, serving in the West Indies and Canada before joining the church.  William was the first Irishman to join the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1851. He worked in Manchester, Limerick, Clapham, Scotland and Australia as a Redemptorist priest.  Sir Francis Richard Plunkett was born the sixth son of the 9 th Earl Fingal at Corbalton Hall in 1835.  Francis joined the diplomatic service and served throughout Europe before being made Minister in Tokyo in 1883. In 1900 he was appointed ambassador at Vienna, a post from which he retired in 1905.

Matthew Elias, son of Elias, was born in 1791. Living until 1870 Matthew was M.P. for Meath, a justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for County Meath.  Matthew married Matilda Preston, daughter of the 12th Viscount Gormanston in 1842. Matilda died in 1889 aged 72 and husband and wife are buried in the vault in Skryne church.  They only had one child, Mary Margaret, who was born in 1845. Matthew is said to have planted 14 lime trees along the cowfield and asked his daughter to have as many children.  In 1865 Mary married Alfred Joseph, 23rd Lord Mowbray, 24th Lord Segrave, 20th Lord Stourton and they had ten children, six boys and four girls.  In 1876 Hon. Mrs. Corbally of Corbalton held 5,033 acres in county Meath. Alfred Joseph died in 1893, aged 64, in Paris. Mary Margaret died in 1925 aged 79.  Their son, Edward Plantagenet Joseph, inherited the estate in 1925 and took the additional surname of Corbally.  He sold the estate in 1951.