Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Ballinacor House

THE KEMMIS FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH 8,041 ACRES

THOMAS KEMMIS (1710-74), of Shaen Castle, Killeen, Straboe, Rossnaclough, and Clonin, Queen's County, married Susan, daughter of John Long, and by her left issue,
John, of Shaen;
James, major-general;
Thomas;
Joshua;
William Edward;
Elizabeth.
The third son, 

THOMAS KEMMIS JP (1753-1823), of Shaen, Killeen etc, married, in 1773, Anne, daughter of Henry White, Dublin.

In 1792, this gentleman was admitted to the Irish Bar, holding a progression of legal appointments, including the post of deputy keeper of the seals for the exchequer court, and crown and treasury solicitor for Ireland.

He was also law agent to the Board of First Fruits.

In 1808, he was elected a member of the Dublin Society, his proposers being Arthur Maguire and the Rev Dr Thomas Smyth.

Mr Kemmis, who owned the Shaen estate, Maryborough, County Laois, had issue,
Thomas, of Shaen, his heir;
Henry;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
James;
Richard;
Anne; Susannah; Elizabeth.
His third son, 

WILLIAM KEMMIS (1777-1864), of Ballinacor, County Wicklow, and Killeen, Queen's County, Crown and Treasury Solicitor for Ireland, espoused, in 1805, Ellen, second daughter of Nicholas Southcote Mansergh JP, of Greenane, County Tipperary, and had issue,
WILLIAM GILBERT;
Thomas;
George (Rev);
Richard;
James;
Elizabeth.
Mr Kemmis was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM GILBERT KEMMIS JP DL (1806-81), of Ballinacor and Ballycarroll, who died unmarried, when he was succeeded by his nephew,

COLONEL WILLIAM KEMMIS JP DL (1836-1900), of Ballinacor and Ballycarroll, who wedded, in 1862, Ellen Gertrude de Horne Christy, eldest daughter of George Steinman Steinman, FSA, of Sundridge, Kent, and left issue,
WILLIAM HENRY OLPHERT, his heir;
Marcus Steinman (Rev);
Lewis George Nicholas;
Edward Bernhard;
Gilbert (Rev).
His eldest son, 

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILLIAM HENRY OLPHERT KEMMIS JP DL (1864-1939), of Ballinacor, espoused, in 1888, Francis Maude, second daughter of the Rev Charles Beauclerk, chaplain of Holy Trinity Church, Boulogne, France, and had issue,
WILLIAM DARRYL OLPHERT;
Thomas Steinman;
Karolie Kathleen.
His eldest son,

CAPTAIN WILLIAM DARRYL OLPHERT KEMMIS MC (1892-1965), Inniskilling Dragoons. When Captain Kemmis died in 1965, Ballinacor was inherited by his maternal cousin, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Lomer.


BALLINACOR HOUSE, Rathdrum, County Wicklow, is a two-storey, late 18th century house, enlarged, re-faced and re-roofed in the 19th century.

It has a three-bay entrance front with an Ionic portico.

The end elevation has six bays, three of which are in a shallow, curved bow.

There is a gabled office wing with an adjacent conservatory; an Italianate campanile at the junction of the main block and wing.

The clock has been said to keep time for the surrounding countryside.

The entrance hall is stone-flagged, with a plasterwork Victorian cornice; a large, top-lit, two-storey hall with oval lantern; oval gallery with iron balustrade.

The demesne is said to be magnificent, with wooded hills topped by high mountains; a mile-long oak walk; and a mile-long avenue from the front gate to the house, bordered by rhododendrons and firs.

There is a deer-park and the River Avonbeg flows by with abundant cascades and gorges.

*****

THE PRESENT owners, Sir Robert and Lady Goff, bought Ballinacor Estate in 2001 as a working farm and shoot.

The house underwent an extensive renovation and modernisation project, which was completed in 2009.

This renovation was sympathetic to the time in which the house was built and is furnished appropriately.

The estate has a strong tradition of driven shooting and has game records going back well over a century.

Grouse were previously shot on the estate, and it is hoped to revive the moor in future years.

First published in May, 2013.

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