Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Rathdaire House

THE ADAIRS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN THE QUEEN'S COUNTY, WITH 9,655 ACRES

The family of ADAIR were originally from Scotland and settled in Ireland about 1690, at the time of the battle of the Boyne.  

THOMAS ADAIRE, son of Archibald Adaire, married Mary Hamilton, and settled in the Queen's County (Laois). His son,

ARCHIBALD ADAIRE, married and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN ADAIR, of Rath, Queen's County, High Sheriff, 1782.

Mr Adair died in 1809, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE ADAIR JP DL (1784-1873), of Rath, High Sheriff, 1822, who married Elizabeth, second daughter of the Very Rev Thomas Trench, Dean of Kildare (brother of the 1st Lord Ashtown), and had an only son,

JOHN GEORGE ADAIR JP DL (1823-85), of Rathdaire, Queen's County, and of Glenveagh Castle, County Donegal, High Sheriff, 1867, High Sheriff of Donegal, 1874.
George and his son John George, better known as Jack, built a "state of the art" farmyard at Belgrove in 1851. To justify their investment they ejected their tenants from the best land in Ballyaddan, Rathroinsin, Belgrove, etc., expecting to run the land more efficiently in a larger unit, rather than depending on what they could extract from their tenants.
Jack himself acquired more land in Tipperary, Kildare, and Donegal, and also a large ranch in Texas called the JA Ranch. He died in 1885 on his way home from the States, aged 62 years. Thanks to Dr. Bob Spiegelman of New York we have learned a great deal more about the JA Ranch and Jack's connections with it, as well as Glenveagh in Donegal. When the Irish Land Commission acquired the Estate in 1935 they divided it among some of the Estate employees and enlarged many of the small farms in the area.
The farmyard was divided between four families, and four of the farm buildings were converted into dwellings. Later on three of the families moved elsewhere or changed from farming. As the other families left the Murphy family bought out the rest of the yard. Michael Murphy Sr. was yard-man on the estate when he was a youth and he got a quarter of the farmyard in the 1935 division; he survived to see his family own the whole farmyard eventually.
Mr Adair married Cornelia, daughter of General J S Wadsworth, US Army, in 1867, and died without issue.

Former seats - Rathdaire, Monasterevin, County Laois; Glenveagh Castle, County Donegal.


RATHDAIRE HOUSE, or Bellegrove, was a two-storey over basement Italianate house of ca 1835, with the entrance bay to the centre having full-height flanking bows.

It was burnt in 1887 and is now in ruins with the basement filled-in.

The fittings are now gone; the interior ruinous.

The house is set back from road in its own grounds, now in use as a tillage field.

Stable complex, pair of detached gate lodges, gateway and site of former winter garden to site.

First published in June, 2012.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Adair was known as the "Spoiler of Glenveagh", the eviction by him of 47 families in 1861 became the most notorious incident of the time in a region already devastated by the famine. The night before his funeral a dead dog was thrown into his open grave to mark his passing, and subsequently a stone erected in his memory was destroyed by lightning. Ut sementem feceris ita metes.

Anonymous said...

the basement was never filled in of rathdaire house as our family have owned this house since 1935

Anonymous said...

I was told that The State owned the house and attached land ..