Landed Estates
University of Galway

Kirwan (Castlehacket)

In the 16th century the Castlehacket and Cahermorris estates near Tuam in county Galway belonged to a branch of the Burkes of Clanricarde. These Burkes lost this estate under the Cromwellian regime and moved to a smaller estate at nearby Ower. The Castlehacket estate was purchased by the Kirwans from Sir Patrick Barnewell in the late 17th century and by the mid 19th century it included lands in the parishes of Annaghdown, Killower, Belclare, Cummer, Kilcoona, Donaghpatrick and Kilmoylan, barony of Clare, county Galway. In the 1870s the estate amounted to 8,374 acres. Following the death of John Kirwan in 1875 the estate was inherited by his sister Mary. She was married to Captain Percy Brodrick Bernard, son of the Bishop of Tuam and nephew of the 3rd Earl of Bandon. Their son Denis followed a military career and retired to Castlehacket where he died in 1956. The estate was inherited by his nephew Percy Paley, a keen genealogist, who accumulated a fine library at Castlehacket. Denis J. Kirwan and Sons of Tuam were the land agents for this estate in the second half of the 19th century.

Associated Families


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Castlehacket Castlehacket Killower Tuam Killower 26 Clare Galway OSI Ref: M357 499
OS Sheet: 42
Discovery map: 46
Cahermorris Cahermorris Annaghdown Tuam Killower 206 Clare Galway OSI Ref: M337 426
OS Sheet: 56
Discovery map: 46
Dennistown House Carheens Belclare Tuam Killower 206 Clare Galway OSI Ref: M356 471
OS Sheet: 42
Discovery map: 46

Archival sources

  • Glynn Notebook, copies of deeds and documents re the Kirwan family, 17th & 18th centuries. MS 4183; National Library of Ireland
  • John Kirwan v Sir Walter Blake re marriage articles re lands at Cloneen, barony of Carra, Kinlogh, barony of Kilmaine, Co Mayo and Ballidonough, barony of Ross, Co Galway, June 1721. House of Lords' Appeals, Vol 4; King's Inn Library
  • Bernard family papers, c 1840-1946. Acc. No. 5489; National Library of Ireland
  • Kirwan Papers, legal, family and estate papers, 1765-1917. LE8; James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Estate records of Denis J. Kirwan and Sons, land agents, Tuam, mid 19th - mid 20th centuries, includes ledgers of rent receipts for Castlehacket estate, 1848-1867, 1880-1893 [-1904] & other accounts. Kirwan of Tuam & Dalgin, Collection List 142; National Library of Ireland
  • Castle Hacket photos. 022/034; Irish Architectural Archive
  • Catalogues for the sale of furniture, paintings, silver, books, etc, at Castlehacket by Christie's and Edmiston's, Glasgow. 2-4 July 1986 ; James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources