Stackallen

 

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845: Adapted to the New Poor Law. Volume 3.

STACKALLEN, a parish, containing a village of the same name, in the barony of Upper Slane, co. Meath, Leinster. Length, south-eastward, 2 miles; breadth, from 14 to 1; ; area, 2,351 acres, 30 perches, —of which 20 acres, I rood, 24 perches are in the river Boyne. Pop., in 1831, 837; in 1841, 748. Houses 137. The land is aggregately good; and declines slowly south eastward to the Boyne. The interior is traversed by the road from Navan to Slane.
The seats are Hormanstown House, Causestown House, Firmount House, and Stackallen or Boyne House, the last the former residence of Viscount Boyne.

“This fine residence is situated, with impressive propriety, near the banks of the river, which imparts a title to its noble owner, and was the scene of the exploits which led to the selection of that title, when his lordship's ancestor was advanced in the Irish peerage. Gustavus, first Viscount Boyne, among other important services in the wars consequent upon the expulsion of the Stuart family, headed a regiment at the battle of the Boyne, and narrowly escaped death, having his horse killed under him. He was created Baron Hamilton of Stackallen in 1715, and Viscount Boyne in 1717. His lordship died September 16th, 1723, in the 84th year of his age, and is buried in the church of Stackallen, where also are interred his lady, and many other members of this distinguished family.”

The village of Stackallen stands on a cross-road, half-a-mile north of the Navan and Slane road, 3 1/4 miles north-east of Navan, and 3 1/2 west-south-west of Slane. It contains the parish-church and a recently established college for communicating a knowledge of the Irish language to students of divinity belonging to the Established church.—This parish is a rectory, in the diocese of Meath. Tithe composition, £192; glebe, £24. The rectories of Stackallen, Gernantown, and Dunmoe constitute the benefice of Stackallen. Length, 5 1/2 miles; breadth, 2 1/2. Population in 1831, 1,874. Gross income, £551 10s. 4d. ; nett, 4.457 10s. 3d. Patron, the Crown. The church was built about 200 years ago. Sittings 140; attendance, from 40 to 50. In 1834, the Protestants of the parish amounted to 124; and the Roman Catholics to 693; the Protestants of the union to 158, and the Roman Catholics to 1,731 ; two daily schools in the parish were partially suppported  by respectively the rector and the Hon. Mrs. Hamilton, and had on their books 45 boys and 60 girls; and there was also a daily school in Germanstown. In 1843, a National school at Stackallen was salaried with £12 a year from the Board, and had on its books 76 boys and 58 girls.
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Firmount House

 

Firmount House, Stackallen was described in 1835 as a modern two storey farm house in good repair. Dating to about 1780 Firmount was a gentleman farmer‟s residence erected by Lord Boyne. A two storey house there was a small plantation between the house and the road in the 1830s. It was vacant for a period in the late twentieth century until it was reconstructed and restored in 1984. Captain Michael Crinion farmed at Firmount for a period after the First Wold War.

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Causestown House is located near Stackallen, Slane. A plaque at Causestown records the foundation date of 1748 and a reconstruction of 1845. The house includes an oratory. Causestown is a Victorian Tudor-Gothic style house. There is a lodge at the entrance. The Grainger family were the main family associated with Causestown. Bishop Plunket of Meath stayed at Causestown, home of Mr. Grainger on his visitation of parishes in 1795. He visited them again in 1796. In 1820 the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Curtis, dined with Bishop Plunket and Mr. Grainger at Causestown. In 1822 John Mears Grainger is recorded at Causestown. In 1835 Causestown was described as a good farm house, a neat modern two storey slated house in good repair. There was a plantation to the north and west of the house. The house was reconstructed in 1846 by Mr. Grainger. In 1834 William Edward Grainer, a magistrate, was living at Causestown. William Grainger married Anna Maria Eyre and died in 1872 at Causestown. In the 1850s John Allen was leasing the house and 284 acres from Lord Boyne. In 1876 Captain A. W. Shirley Ball of Causestown held 369 acres in County Meath. In 1901 the house was in the ownership of Edward Roundtree but unoccupied. In 1911 Edward Roundtree and his family were living at Causestown House. The house had seventeen rooms, eight windows to the front and eighteen outbuildings.

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Stackallen House.

Stackallan House is located between Navan and Slane. Erected by Gustavus Hamilton, 1st Viscount Boyne, Stackallan has two formal fronts and is three storeys high with wide eaves. The house was originally known as Boyne House and is generally dated to 1716 making it one of the first of the grand mansions of the eighteenth century. Stackallan is of an older design and so is possibly older again. The house may have been erected in the 1690s. It is a rare example of a pre Palladian style house. Built largely on a square plan, the house is said to have been designed by Thomas Burgh and John Curle. The interior of Stackallan is dominated by one of the largest staircases in Ireland – one broad long flight of stairs. The staircase ceiling depicts the Hamilton coat of arms surrounded by military trophies. In the 1830s there were two fish ponds and a pigeon house in the grounds. In recent years the house and gardens have been restored and a classical folly and canal have been constructed in the gardens.

 

Stackallan belonged to the Barnewalls in medieval times and they erected a castle. The lands became the property of John Osborne of London in 1666. John Osborne of Stackallan was M.P. for Meath in 1692. In 1704 the widow of John Osborne sold much of the estate to Gustavus Hamilton and the remainder to Henry Osborne of Dardistown. The Hamilton family gave their name to the town of Manorhamilton in Co. Leitrim. The Christian name, Gustavus, entered the family in honour of the Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus whom Sir Frederick Hamilton served during the Thirty Years War.

 

Born about 1642, Gustavus Hamilton, was the youngest son of Sir Frederick Hamilton and grandson of 1st Lord Paisley. Gustavus, was the privy councillor to King James II but changed sides to William. He defended Enniskillen and Coleraine against the forces of James in 1689 and also defended Derry. He commanded a regiment at the Boyne where his horse was shot out from under him. He waded across the river Shannon to attack Athlone and became governor of the town. He fought at the Battle of Aughrim. He rose to the rank of Privy Chancellor and Major General. From 1692 to 1713 Hamilton served as M.P. for County Donegal. In 1715 Gustavus was created Baron Hamilton of Stackallan and in 1717 raised to the title Viscount of Boyne. He served as a privy counsellor to Queen Anne and then to George I. He died aged 84 in 1732 and was buried at Stackallan.

 

He was succeeded by his grandson, Gustavus, son of Frederick Hamilton who had died before his father. Gustavus Hamilton, was the oldest son of Frederick Hamilton, eldest son of Gustavus Hamilton, 1st Viscount Boyne. He was a Privy Councillor for Ireland, M.P. for Newport (Isle of Wight) and commissioner of the Irish Revenue. He died unmarried and was succeeded by his cousin, Frederick Hamilton.

 

When Frederick died he was succeeded by his brother, Richard, 4th Viscount, who married Georgina, heiress to Charles Moore, Earl of Charleville and Baron Tullamore. Richard served as M.P. for Navan from 1755 to 1761. He was High Sheriff of County Meath in 1766.

 

Richard and Georgina had seventeen children and their son, Gustavus, became the 5th Viscount. In 1773 Gustavus married Martha Matilda, only daughter of Sir Quaile Somerville of Somerville. Their son, Gustavus, succeeded at Stackallan in 1789.

 

In the 1830s the house was uninhabited but was described as a spacious mansion in a fine well planted demesne. The demesne was described as being in bad order. One surveyor said that the house was badly situated on low ground. A countryman remarked

“I wonder, sir, they should build a house there; it looks quite drowned.”

St. Columba‟s College was founded in 1843 by the Rev. William Sewell, the Lord Primate of Ireland, the Earl of Dunraven and others. They took a seven year lease of Stackallan House. Six years later the school moved to south county Dublin where it continues to this day.

 

In 1850 the seventh Viscount assumed the additional surname of Russell, from his father-in-law. In 1866 he was created Baron Brancepeth, of Brancepeth in the County of Durham. The family resided at Brancepeth Castle, Durham and also held lands in Shropshire. In 1883 Lord Boyne held 2,739 acres in Meath with his overall estates in England and Ireland amounted to 30,205 acres.

 

The house remained in the Hamilton family until 1920 when it was sold to Daniel O‟Mahoney Leahy. During the Second World War the Irish army was based at Stackallen House. Stackallen was purchased by Major Anthony and Mrs. Elizabeth Burke in 1953. Major Burke‟s family edited the series of genealogical books. In 1964 Major Burke was killed when a horse collapsed on top of him while hunting with the Ward Union. Mrs. Burke opened a stud farm at Stackallen in 1960.

 

The house was sold in 1992 by Mrs. Burke who moved to a former rectory in Beauparc.  In June 1992 Margaret Heffernan of Dunnes Stores agreed to purchase Stackallen House for £1.65 million but decided not to move to the house later that year and so the house was put back on the market. She decided that the house was too much for her and she calculated that the restoration and running costs of the house were too expensive for her. In November 1992 Stackallen House was purchased by Martin Naughton. He is the owner of Glen Dimplex which is the world's leading manufacturer of electrical heating products and also produces a wide range of other appliance

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