Philpotstown House – Dunderry Park

Philpotstown House is two kilometres north east of Dunderry.  An early 18th century house with a high pitched roof of two storeys it is in Churchtown civil parish.  The house has a large hall and four main reception rooms.  Sitting on brow of a hill the house overlooks parkland including a two acre lake.  Churchtown House was the dower house for Philpotstown House.

Today Philpotstown is named Dunderry Park.  John Young held Philpotstown in the early nineteenth century and was living there in 1814.  John Young was born about 1747, married Mary Thompson and died at Philpotstown in 1822.  The family were from Carragocuran, Co. Cavan.  His son, John Thompson Young, born about 1815, married Anna Sophie Orpen in 1834. John discovered a prehistoric socketed axe in the bog between Philpotstown and Athboy which he gave to his nephew the historian, Goddard Orpen. The axe is now in the National Museum of Ireland.  In 1834 John became a life member of the R.D.S.  He presented samples of floor tiles from Bective Abbey to the Society on 29 June 1843.  The house was the residence of John T. Young in the 1830's.  John died in 1850. In the 1850's the house and property was in the possession of Anna Sophia Young and in 1876 she is recorded as holding 548 acres in County Meath.

Philpotstown House was the site of one of the first croquet lawns in Ireland. The Meath Hounds and hunt regular met or hunted at Philpotstown. Anna Sophia died in 1897 without any children to succeed to the estate. The house was renamed Dunderry Park. The house changed hands on a number of occasions. In 1901 Captain Philpots held the house and in 1911 Arthur Philpots of Dublin held the property.

In 1901 Frances Fletcher and Australian lady was living at the house.  In 1910, the wealthy American business man, John Pierpont Morgan, leased the house for the hunting season.  Morgan would have been in his early seventies at this stage.  He died in 1913. Paddy Keely told the researcher that even in the 1930s people were still talking about the visit of J.P. Morgan.  The telegraph at Robinstown Post Office was kept very busy with trans-Atlantic correspondence.  A tip for the delivery of one of the telegraphs could be worth a few week‘s wages.  The Meath Hunt regularly met at Philpotstown during Morgan‘s visit and enjoyed his generosity.

In 1911 the house was vacant.  Another famous person to rent Philpotstown was Ambrose Brose Clark, an American whose family held 50% of the Singer sewing Machine company.  Brose Clarke bred Kellsboro Jack, the winner of the 1933 Grand National.

Captain Eccles and his family lived at Philpotstown in the 1930's. Captain Eccles was the Secretary of the Tote Board and Master of the Meath Hounds.  Captain Eccles died at Dunderry Park in 1940 aged 60. Dunderry was developed as a stud farm.  His only daughter married the son of Count John McCormick, the famous singer, in 1941. His son, Captain Dennis Eccles then held Dunderry Park into 1955.

In the late 1950s Dunderry was held by the Sharp family, the same family which owned the toffee and sweet company.  The Mulhaire family owned Dunderry Park for a period.  In the early 1990s Dublin property developer Pat Phelan owned Dunderry Park.  The house was sold in 1997 and acquired by the Transpersonal Institute which is operated by Oaktree Charitable Trust, a non profit organisation set up to help people deal with the stresses of life.  The Transpersonal Institute, incorporating the Irish Centre for