Landed Estates
NUI Galway


The Godley family held lands in the barony of Carrigallen, centred around the house at Killygar, sometimes spelt Killegar. Martin Morris writes that the estate was originally bought in 1734 by Richard Morgan, a successful Dublin merchant and land agent. His daughter Mary married the Reverend Dr William Godley of Mullabrack, Co Armagh and their grandson John Godley built the present Killygar House which was completed in 1813. John Godley is also recorded as the lessor of several townlands in the parish of Drumreilly, barony of Mohill. John's eldest son John Robert Godley (1814-1861) founded the province of Canterbury, New Zealand and his son John Arthur Godley (1847-1932) was a distinguished diplomat who was raised to the peerage as Baron Kilbracken of Killegar in 1909. Members of the Godley family were High Sheriffs of Leitrim in 1818 and 1843. In the late 1870s Archibald Godley owned over 2000 acres in county Leitrim as well as lands in county Louth. Denis Godley, with an address in Dublin, owned over 1000 acres in county Leitrim. In 1906 Archibald Godley held over 200 acres of untenanted land at Killygar as well as the mansion house valued at £43. The 3rd Baron Kilbracken, journalist, author and adventurer, lived at Killygar House until his death in August 2006.

Associated Families


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Killygar Killygar Carrigallen Bawnboy Killygar 17 Carrigallen Leitrim OSI Ref: H260065
OS Sheet: 30
Discovery map: 34

Archival sources

  • Deeds relating to property of Godley family in counties Laois, Leitrim, Meath and Westmeath. D.20,349-20,408. ; National Library of Ireland
  • Lord Kilbracken. The story of Killygar. File 352.; Leitrim County Library
  • GODLEY, John C. Short history of Killygar House. File 1207. ; Leitrim County Library
  • Killegar. Press Cuttings. 011/013.; Irish Architectural Archive
  • List of rentals, accounts, wills, deeds, correspondence, legal documents & miscellaneous items in the possession of Lord Kilbracken, Killegar in June 1976, indicating which items were copied, 17th - 19th centuries. Business Record Survey, Leitrim 1; National Archives of Ireland
  • Killegar Archive, papers of the Morgan and Godley families including correspondence, leases, rentals, accounts, legal documents, mid 17th century - early 21st century.; Leitrim County Library

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources