Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Ballyconra House

THE VISCOUNTS MOUNTGARRET WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KILKENNY, WITH 14,073 ACRES


This is a branch of the noble house of BUTLER, Earls and Marquesses of Ormonde, springing from

THE HON RICHARD BUTLER (1500-71), second son of Piers, 8th Earl of Ormonde, who was created VISCOUNT MOUNTGARRET, in 1550. 

He married firstly, Eleanor, daughter of Theobald Butler, of Nechum, County Kilkenny, and had one son, Edmund.

He wedded secondly, Catherine, daughter and heir of Peter Barnewall, of Stackallan, County Meath, and had Barnewall, who died unmarried, Pierce, and other issue.

His lordship espoused thirdly, in 1541, Anne, daughter of John, Lord Killeen, from whom he was divorced in the first year of his marriage.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDMUND, 2nd Viscount (c1562-1602), who married Grizzel, daughter of Barnaby, 1st Baron Upper Ossory, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 3rd Viscount (1578-1651), who wedded firstly, Margaret, eldest daughter of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, by whom alone he had issue, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDMUND, 4th Viscount (1595-1679), 

Earls of Kilkenny (1793)



Viscounts Mountgarret (continued)


The current heir presumptive is the present holder's brother, Edmund Henry Richard Butler (b 1962). 
Piers James Richard [Butler], 18th and present Viscount,  is de jure 27th Earl of Ormonde and 21st Earl of Upper Ossory following the death of the 7th Marquess of Ormonde in 1997. 


BALLYCONRA HOUSE is a seven-bay, two-storey over basement house with dormer attic, dated 1724, on an L-shaped plan, possibly originally a mill owner's house with two-bay two-storey side elevations, and single-bay two-storey double-pile return to north-west. Now in use as offices.

This is a well-appointed substantial house representing an important element of the early 18th century architectural heritage of County Kilkenny.

It may originally have had associations with the nearby Ballyconra Mills, though its primary significance was for the connections with the Butler Family, Viscounts Mountgarret, late of Ballyragget Castle (1495) together with the Cahill family.

Ballyconra is located on a slightly elevated site.

This house makes an important impression in a landscape dominated by late 20th-century industrial ranges.  

The house is said to be haunted by the ghost of Edmund, 12th Viscount Mountgarret and first and last Earl of Kilkenny, who died in 1846 and was the last Mountgarret to live there. 

Following Lord Kilkenny's death, the house was occupied by Michael Cahill, agent to the 13th Viscount, by whose descendants it was afterwards acquired.

The Mountgarrets' other seat was Nidd Hall, near Ripley, Yorkshire; sold in 1968.

First published in February, 2012.   Mountgarret arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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