Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Kilcolman Abbey

THE GODFREY BARONETS OWNED 6,331 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY KERRY

COLONEL JOHN GODFREY, of Ludlow's cavalry regiment (a member of the ancient family of GODFREY, of Romney, Kent), obtained for his services in Ireland during the rebellion of 1641, a grant of 6,331 acres of land in County Kerry, and settled there.

He married Miss Davies, and was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM GODFREY, of Bushfield, County Kerry, and Knockgraffon, County Tipperary, who wedded Deborah, only child of Alderman Luke Lowther, of the city of Dublin, and was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

JOHN GODFREY, of Bushfield, who espoused Philippa, daughter of Anthony Chearnley, of Burncourt, County Tipperary, and had issue,
William, dsp;
JOHN, his successor.
Mr Godfrey died in 1712, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

JOHN GODFREY, of Bushfield, who married Barbara, daughter of the Rev Mr Hathway, and granddaughter (maternally) of the 1st Earl Coningsby, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Luke (Rev Dr), Rector of Middleton, Co Cork;
Edward;
Anthony;
Letitia; Phillippa.
Mr Godfrey dying in 1782, was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM GODFREY (1739-1817), of Bushfield, who was created a baronet in 1785.

Sir William, who represented the boroughs of Tralee and Belfast in the Irish Parliament, wedded, in 1761, Agnes, only daughter of William Blennerhassett, of Elm Grove, County Kerry, by whom he had surviving issue,
JOHN, his heir;
William (Rev), Rector of Kenmare;
Luke, a major in the army;
Letitia; Agnes; Phillippa; Arabella; Margaret; Elizabeth.
Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN GODFREY, 2nd Baronet (1763-1841), who espoused, in 1796, Eleanor, eldest daughter of John Cromie, of Cromore, County Londonderry, and had issue,
WILLIAM DUNCAN, his heir;
John (Rev);
Henry Alexander;
Robert;
James George;
Richard Frankland;
Anne; Agnes; Eleanor.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM DUNCAN GODFREY, 3rd Baronet (1797-1873), JP, DL, who married, in 1824, Mary Teresa, second daughter of John Coltsman, of County Kerry, and had issue,
JOHN FERMOR, his heir;
William;
Henry Arthur;
Christiana; Eleanor Isabella.
Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN FERMOR GODFREY, 4th Baronet (1828-1900).
  • Sir John Fermor Godfrey, 4th Baronet (1828–1900);
  • Sir William Cecil Godfrey, 5th Baronet (1857–1926);
  • Sir John Ernest Godfrey, 6th Baronet (1864–1935);
  • Sir William Maurice Godfrey, 7th Baronet (1909–1971).
The baronetcy expired following the decease of the 7th Baronet, without male issue.


KILCOLMAN ABBEY, formerly Bushfield, Milltown, County Kerry, was granted by CHARLES II to Major John Godfrey "for his services against the rebels" in 1641.

Sir William Petty, in his Reflections on Matters and Things in Ireland, called this donation "by no means an equivalent for the Major's services".

Kilcoleman: ruinous in 1976
It was built ca 1800 by Sir William Godfrey, 1st Baronet, comprising a fairly plain, Georgian, three-storey block.

The house was altered in 1819 by Sir John, 2nd Baronet to designs of W V Morrison, who gave it a Tudor-Revival makeover, with four slender turrets on each corner, topped by cupolas (not dissimilar to Glenarm Castle and Borris).

A two-storey service wing was added later.

Morrison created a two-storey galleried hall, which opened with arches on to the hall.

The Godfrey family continued to live at Kilcolman until about 1960, when it was abandoned.

It was demolished in 1977.

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