Landed Estates
NUI Galway


Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness of the famous brewing family began to purchase Connacht estates for sale in the Encumbered Estates' Court from 1852. He bought the Ashford estate from Lord Oranmore and Browne, the Doon estate from Sir Richard O'Donel, the Cong estate from Alexander Lambert, part of the Rosshill estate from Lords Charlemont and Leitrim, parts of Connemara from Christopher St George and Kylemore from a banking consortium in 1859. Guinness acquired lands in county Kerry in the 1850s and was a principal lessor in the parish of Kilcrohane, barony of Dunkerron South at the time of Griffith's Valuation. He bought the Elwood estate of Strandhill, just across the river from Ashford, Cong, in 1871 and Lord Kilmaine sold him Inishdoorus, islands on Lough Corrib and lands in the barony of Ross, part of Nymphsfield in 1875. William Burke of Lisloughry was his agent. Arthur Guinness (1840-1915) was granted the title Baron Ardilaun in 1880. In the 1870s Arthur Guinnes owned 19,944 acres in county Galway, 3,747 acres in county Mayo and smaller acreages in counties Wicklow and Dublin. In 1906 Lord Ardilaun's estate held over 1700 acres of untenanted demesne land at Moyode, Loughrea as well as the mansion house at Moyode. By March 1916 final offers had been accepted from the Congested Districts' Board for over 2000 acres of the Guinness estate in county Mayo and for almost 28,000 acres in county Galway. The Board paid £50,000 for the Galway acreage. An offer had also been accepted for the purchase of the Aran Islands by the Board. The Guinness and St Lawrence families had inherited the Aran Islands from the Digbys through the Barfoots. The Guinness family retained Ashford Castle and the surrounding woods until 1939 when the property was sold to the Irish Government.


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Strandhill Strandhill Cong Ballinrobe Cong 31 Kilmaine Mayo OSI Ref: M150 547
OS Sheet: 120
Discovery map: 38
Doon Drumsnauv Cong Oughterard Cong 158 Ross Galway OSI Ref: M025 495
OS Sheet: 39
Discovery map: 45
Ashford Castle Ashford Cong Oughterard Cloonbur 157 Ross Galway OSI Ref: M148 546
OS Sheet: 27
Discovery map: 38
Rosshill Kilbeg Lower Ross Oughterard Cloonbur 157 Ross Galway OSI Ref: M087 569
OS Sheet: 27
Discovery map: 38
Moyode Moyode Demesne Kilconierin Loughrea Moyode 117 Athenry Galway OSI Ref: M531232
OS Sheet: 96
Discovery map: 46
Kylemore Lodge Kylemore Ballynakill Clifden Cushkillary 30 Ballynahinch Mayo OSI Ref: L762 578
OS Sheet: 23
Discovery map: 37
Macroom Castle Lackaduff Macroom Macroom Macroom 227 West Muskerry Cork OSI Ref: W338 728
OS Sheet: 71
Discovery map: 79
Lisloughrey Lislaughera Cong Ballinrobe Cong 31 Kilmaine Mayo OSI Ref: M155 544
OS Sheet: 120
Discovery map: 38

Archival sources

  • Pedigree of Guinness of Dublin, Ashford & Rosshill, Co Galway, c 1730-1867. GO MS 179: 235-240; National Library of Ireland
  • Sale catalogue of Ashford, Doon etc. May 1939 & press cuttings. 0094/016; Irish Architectural Archive
  • Photos. 022/085 (Rosshill House) & 004/039 (Ashford) ; Irish Architectural Archive
  • Irish Tourist Authority. Topographical and General Survey, 1941-1945. File Mayo East 1-24, parish of Cong, Cross & The Neale; Mayo County Library
  • Bantry Papers 1671-1980s, include many documents relating to Lord & Lady Ardilaun and the conferring of the title Baron Ardilaun of Ashford to Sir Arthur E. Guinness. IE BL/EP/B; University College Cork, Boole Library Archives

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources