Landed Estates
NUI Galway

O'Rorke (Clonbern & Bermingham)

The Clonbern estate in the barony of Ballymoe, county Galway, was bought from the family of Archbishop Beresford of Tuam by Reverend John O'Rorke in 1828. From 1801 Reverend John O'Rorke was curate of the Church of Ireland parish of Moylough, county Galway. He also leased land from the Bellews of Mountbellew and held land in the parish of Taghboy, barony of Athlone, county Rsocommon. In the 1870s the late Reverend John O'Rorke of Moylough is recorded as owning over 1,600 acres in county Roscommon and 217 acres in county Westmeath. He was not at all popular in the Moylough locality and frequently was involved in law suits, particularly with the solicitor and neighbouring landholder, Daniel Moore Kilkelly. In the 1840s Reverend O'Rorke was appointed rector of Foxford, but he continued to reside in Moylough. He married three times and died in 1849. His third wife was Elizabeth Dennis and their eldest son, Charles Dennis O'Rorke, built Clonbern House in the early 1850s and inherited Bermingham House, near Tuam, from his uncle, John Dennis, the famous huntsman. By the 1870s Charles O'Rorke owned 1,302 acres in county Galway and over a thousand acres in county Kerry. By the early 20th century he was advertising for sale an estate of about 1800 acres in the baronies of Dunmore and Ballymoe. In June 1927 the ''Tuam Herald'' reported that the Land Commission had acquired an estate of over 5,200 acres belonging to Charles Trench O'Rorke of Clonbern.


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Clonbern Park Clonbern Clonbern Tuam Clonbern 195 Ballymoe Galway OSI Ref: M566 567
OS Sheet: 31
Discovery map: 39
Moylough Glebe Moyloughmore Moylough Mountbellew Mount Bellew 155 Tiaquin Galway OSI Ref: M617 488
OS Sheet: 45
Discovery map: 46
Bermingham/Birmingham House Birmingham Demesne Tuam Tuam Tuam Rural 222 Dunmore Galway OSI Ref: M468 532
OS Sheet: 30
Discovery map: 39
Taghboy House Taghboy Tisrara Athlone Taghboy 8 Athlone Roscommon OSI Ref: M820496
OS Sheet: 44
Discovery map: 47
Moylough House Moylough More Moylough Mountbellew Mountbellew 155 Tiaquin Galway OSI Ref: M622489
OS Sheet: 45
Discovery map: 39

Archival sources

  • Sale of Clonbern estate, 1828. Book 831, page 160; Registry of Deeds
  • Land Judges' notices relating to the estates of Charles Dennis O'Rorke in Co Galway, 1895 & 1901. M.5723(1-2); National Archives of Ireland
  • O'Rorke of Moylough, will of Rev John O'Rorke, 1849 (1920). GSO1/7; Galway County Council Archives
  • Landed Estates Court consolidated final notice & rental 1901 & sale rental, 1904, O'Rorke, baronies of Ballymoe & Dunmore. D1610 & D1629; Galway County Library
  • Estate records of Denis J. Kirwan and Sons, land agents, Tuam, mid 19th - mid 20th centuries, including account book of rents received, 1909-1921. Acc. No. 5124; National Library of Ireland
  • Bermingham photos & press cuttings. 093/061 & 047/016; Irish Architectural Archive
  • Clonbern Park photos. 022/032; Irish Architectural Archive
  • Miss O'Rorke Collection, volume of rentals & accounts re estates of Miss O'Rorke of Taughboy, 1889-1930. Ms 241; Representative Church Body Library

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources