Thursday, 2 August 2018

Ballyheigue Castle

THE CROSBIES WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KERRY, WITH 13,422 ACRES

This is a branch of the CROSBIES OF ARDFERT, extinct Earls of Glandore, themselves scions of a family long settled in the Queen's County and in County Kerry, and latterly represented by the Crosbie Baronets, of Maryborough.

The common ancestor of the Baronet's family and the two branches of Ardfert and Ballyheigue was

THE RT REV JOHN CROSBIE, Lord Bishop of Ardfert, appointed to that See in 1601.

The Queen's letter to the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Lord Mountjoy, dated from the manor of Oatland, in 1600, directing his appointment, describes him as "a graduate in schools, of English race, skilled in the English tongue, and well disposed in religion."

The Bishop was previously Prebendary of Disert, in the Diocese of Limerick.

He married Winifred O'Lalor, of the Queen's County, and had, with four daughters, six sons,
Walter (Sir), 1st Baronet, of Maryborough;
DAVID, of whom presently;
John (Sir), of Tullyglass, County Down;
Patrick;
William;
Richard.
The Lord Bishop of Ardfert died in 1621.

His second son,

DAVID CROSBIE, of Ardfert, Colonel in the army, Governor of Kerry, 1641, stood a siege in Ballingarry Castle for more than twelve months.

He was afterwards Governor of Kinsale for CHARLES I; and in 1646 he inherited a portion of the estate of his cousin, Sir Pierce Crosbie Bt, son of Patrick Crosbie, who had been granted a large portion of The O'More's estate in Leix.

Mr Crosbie wedded a daughter of the Rt Rev John Steere, Lord Bishop of Ardfert, and had, with four daughters, two sons,
THOMAS, his heir;
Patrick.
Colonel Crosbie died in 1658, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR THOMAS CROSBIE, Knight, of Ardfert, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1668, knighted by His Grace the Duke of Ormonde, in consideration of the loyalty of his family during Oliver Cromwell's rebellion.

He was MP for County Kerry in the parliament held in Dublin by JAMES II in 1688, and refused to take the oath of allegiance to WILLIAM III.

Sir Thomas married firstly, Bridget, daughter of Robert Tynte, of County Cork, and had issue,
DAVID, ancestor of THE EARLS OF GLANDORE;
William;
Patrick (Rev);
Walter;
Sarah; Bridget.
He wedded secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Garrett FitzGerald, of Ballynard, County Limerick, by whom he had no issue; and thirdly, in 1680, Elizabeth, daughter of William Hamilton, of Liscloony, King's County, and had issue,
THOMAS, of whom hereafter;
John;
Charles;
Pierce;
Ann.
By a very peculiar, probably unique, settlement, executed on the marriages of Sir Thomas Crosbie and his eldest son respectively, to the two sisters, on the same day (1680), a new settlement and redistribution of all the family estates was made, by which those of Ballyheigue were appointed to the issue of the last marriage.

Under this settlement Ballyheigue passed to the eldest son of his third marriage,

THOMAS CROSBIE, of Ballyheigue, MP for County Kerry, 1709, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1712 and 1714, who espoused, in 1711, the Lady Margaret Barry, daughter of Richard, 2nd Earl of Barrymore, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Anne Dorothy; Harriet Jane.
Mr Crosbie died in 1731, and was succeeded by his son and heir,

JAMES CROSBIE, of Ballyheigue, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1751, who married Mary, daughter of Pierce Crosbie, of Rusheen, and had issue,
PIERCE, his heir;
James;
Catherine; Henrietta.
Mr Crosbie died in 1761, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

PIERCE CROSBIE, of Ballyheigue, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1797, who wedded Frances, daughter of Rowland Bateman, of Oak Park, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Pierse;
Elizabeth; Frances Anne.
The elder son,

JAMES CROSBIE (c1760-1836) of Ballyheigue, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1792, MP for County Kerry, 1797-1800, espoused, in 1785, his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of Rowland Bateman, of Oak Park, and had issue,
PIERCE, his heir;
James;
Francis;
Thomas;
Letitia; Frances.
Colonel Crosbie died in 1836, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

PIERCE CROSBIE (1792-1849), of Ballyheigue, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1815, who espoused firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of General John Mitchell. She dsp.

He married secondly, in 1831, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas William Sandes DL, of Sallow Glen, County Kerry, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Margaret Catherine.
Mr Crosbie wedded thirdly, Margaret, daughter of Leslie Wren, and had further issue,
William Wren;
Pierce;
Leslie Wren;
George Wren;
Francis;
Elizabeth Margaret; Alice Julia.
Mr Crosbie was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES CROSBIE JP DL (1832-79), of Ballyheigue, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1862, Colonel, Kerry Militia, who espoused, in 1860, Rosa, daughter of Sir John Lister Lister-Kaye Bt, of Denby Grange, Yorkshire, and had issue,
Piers Lister (1860-78), died at Harrow;
JAMES DAYROLLES, of whom hereafter;
Kathleen Matilda; Rosa Marguerite; Marcia Ellen.
Mr Crosbie was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

BRIGADIER-GENERAL JAMES DAYROLLES CROSBIE CMG DSO JP DL (1865-1947), of Ballyheigue, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1894, who married, in 1894, Maria Caroline, daughter of Major James Leith VC, Scots Greys, and granddaughter of Sir Alexander Leith, of Glenkindie, and had issue, an only child, OONAGH MARY.


BALLYHEIGUE CASTLE, near Tralee, County Kerry, was originally low, long and thatched, facing on to an enclosed courtyard, where there was a stone tower, part of an ancient castle.

The original house on this site was constructed about 1758, but was renovated and enlarged to the design of Richard Morrison ca 1809.


The last member of the family, Brigadier Crosbie, sold Ballyheigue Castle in 1912.

The building was used as a prison at the time of the Irish civil war in 1920.

It was burnt in 1921.


Very little of the original remains, but some renovation has taken place and there is holiday accommodation at the site, now surrounded by the Golf Course.

A wing was reconstructed and remodelled about 1975, to accommodate use as apartments, with the remainder of the building now ruinous.

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