Thursday, 13 October 2016

Barretstown Castle

THE BORROWES BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KILDARE, WITH 6,089 ACRES


This family derives (as proved by the patent from Sir William Roberts, Ulster King-of-Arms, granting an augmentation to the arms of Sir Erasmus, 1st Baronet) from a scion of the ancient house of DE BURGH, for centuries so eminent, both in England and Ireland, under the names of Burgh, Bourke, Burke, and Borough. 

HENRY BORROWES, who settled in Ireland during the reign of ELIZABETH I, married firstly, Jane, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Arthur Savage MP, of Rheban, County Kildare; and secondly, in 1585, Catherine Eustace, of Gilltown.

He was succeeded by his son, 

ERASMUS BORROWES, of Gilltown, MP

This gentleman, who was high sheriff of County Kildare, at the breaking out of the rebellion in 1641, testified, upon oath, that he was unable to resist the Irish by the Posse Comitatus; and that he had lost in goods, corn, and cattle, at his several houses of Grangemellan, Gilltown, and Carbally, £9,396; in debts, £11,932; besides a yearly income of £1,200, or thereabouts; in consideration whereof, and of his goods and rightful services, CHARLES I, in 1646, created him a baronet.

Sir Erasmus married Sarah, daughter of Walter Weldon MP, of Woodstock Castle, and granddaughter maternally of the Rt Rev John Ryder, Lord Bishop of Killaloe, by whom he had, with a daughter, two sons, by the survivor of whom he was succeeded, viz.

SIR WALTER BORROWES, 2nd Baronet (c1620-85), who wedded firstly, in 1656 (the ceremony being performed with great pomp, before the Rt Hon Ridgeway Hatfield, Lord Mayor of Dublin), the Lady Eleanor FitzGerald, third daughter of George, 16th Earl of Kildare.

He married secondly, Margaret, fifth daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Adam Loftus MP, of Rathfarnham.

By the former he had, with a daughter, an only son, his successor,

SIR KILDARE BORROWES, 3rd Baronet, MP (c1660-1709), who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Dixon, and sister of Robert Dixon, by whom he had two sons and three daughters.

Sir Kildare, who represented County Kildare in parliament for nine years, was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WALTER DIXON BORROWES, 4th Baronet (1691-1741), MP for the borough of Athy, who inherited the estates of his maternal uncle, Robert Dixon, already mentioned, in 1725.

He married, in 1720,  Mary, daughter and co-heir of Captain Edward Pottinger, by whom he had three sons; the second and third died unmarried, and the eldest succeeded to the baronetcy, and became, 

SIR KILDARE DIXON BORROWES, 5th Baronet (1722-90), High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1751, for which county he had been some years before (1745) returned to parliament.

He married firstly, in 1759, Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of John Short, of Grange, Queen's County, by whom he had three sons and one daughter; and secondly, in 1769,  Jane, daughter of Joseph Higginson, of Mount Ophaley, County Kildare, by whom he had four sons and two daughters.

Sir Kildare was succeeded by his eldest son, 

SIR ERASMUS DIXON BORROWES, 6th Baronet (1759-1814), who wedded, in 1783, Harriet, youngest daughter of the Very Rev Arthur Champagné, Dean of Clonmacnoise, and great-granddaughter (maternally) of Arthur, 2nd Earl of Granard, and had issue,
WALTER DIXON, his successor;
Arthur;
Kildare;
ERASMUS, 8th Baronet;
Marianne; Harriet; Elizabeth.
Sir Erasmus was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WALTER DIXON BORROWES, 7th Baronet (1789-1834), who, dying a bachelor, was succeeded by his only surviving brother, 

THE REV SIR ERASMUS DIXON BORROWES, 8th Baronet (1799-1866), Rector of Ballyroan, Queen's County, who married, in 1825, Harriet, daughter of Henry Hamilton, and niece of Hans Hamilton, MP for County Dublin, and had issue,
Kildare (1828-37);
ERASMUS;
Walter Joseph;
Henrietta Mary; Adelaide Charlotte Marianne; Eleanor Caroline.
Sir Erasmus was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

SIR ERASMUS DIXON BORROWES, 9th Baronet (1831-98), of Barretstown Castle, High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1873, and of the Queen's County, 1880, who espoused firstly, in 1851, Frederica Eaten, daughter of Brigadier-General George Hutcheson, and had issue, a son,
KILDARE, his successor.
He married secondly, in 1887, Florence Elizabeth, daughter of William Ruxton, and had issue,
Walter (1892-1915);
Mary Adelaide Vernon.
Sir Erasmus was succeeded by his son,

SIR KILDARE BORROWES, 10th Baronet (1852-1924), who married, in 1886, Julia, daughter of William Holden, by whom he had no issue.
Sir Kildare was Captain in the 11th Hussars and aide-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He retired from the army with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
The baronetcy expired on the death of Sir Eustace Dixon Borrowes, 11th baronet, in 1939.


BARRETSTOWN CASTLE, Ballymore Eustace, Naas, County Kildare, is an old tower-house with a two-storey, Gothic-Victorian addition.

The latter has rectangular, pointed and segmental-pointed plate glass windows.

One side of the front has a four-storey tower with a stepped gable.


The first historical mention of the place is in a 1547 inquisition held after the dissolution of the monasteries, when Barretstown Castle was listed as the property of the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, from whom it was promptly confiscated by the Crown.

Thereafter the Castle was held by the Eustace family on a series of "permanent leases."

In the 17th century, Sir Walter Borrowes married a daughter of the Earl of Kildare and acquired the estate, and the family retained possession for over two centuries.

Members of the family, such as Sir Kildare Borrowes, 5th Baronet, represented Kildare County and Harristown in the former Irish Parliament.

Unlike the Eustace Baronets of the 16th and 17th centuries, the five Borrowes Baronets, who spanned the 19th century, played no part in public life.

Sir Kildare, 10th Baronet (1852–1924), whose father, the Rev Sir Erasmus, 8th Baronet, had significantly modified the residence in a medieval, romantic, asymmetrical style, was the last of the family to live at Barretstown.

In 1918, the Borrowes family left Ireland and Barretstown was purchased by Sir George Sheppard Murray, a Scotsman who converted the estate into a fine stud farm, and planted many of the exotic trees that dominate the landscape.

In 1962, Elizabeth Arden acquired the castle from the Murray family. Over five years, Arden extensively reconstructed, redecorated, and refurnished the castle.

Her influence dominates the look of the house to this day.

The door of the castle is reputed to have been painted red after her famous brand of perfume Red Door, and remains so to this day.

After Arden's death in 1967, the billionnaire Garfield Weston took up residence.

Under his ownership the grounds were significantly improved, particularly through the addition of a magnificent lake in front of the castle.
The Weston family, which owns Dublin's famous Brown Thomas department store, presented the estate to the Irish government in 1977, during which time it was used for national and international conferences and seminars, as well as being used as a part of the Irish National Stud.
The Irish government has leased the castle and its grounds to the Barretstown Gang Camp Fund for the next 90 years.

First published in September, 2012.

1 comment :

Garvagh said...

Very interesting.
The daughter of Sir Erasmus Borrowes, 1st Bart., married Oliver Walsh of Ballykilcavan, Queen's County.