Landed Estates
NUI Galway



Benjamin Guinness of Dublin bought part of the Cong estate of the O'Donels of Newport, Co Mayo in the early 1850s and Ashford House and estate from Lord Oranmore and Browne in 1854. Sir Benjamin was created a baronet in 1867 and was father of Arthur Guinness who inherited the Ashford estate in 1868 and was created Baron Ardilaun in 1880.


Name Description
Elwood (Strandhill) An estate in the parish of Cong, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo leased from the Bishop of Tuam from the mid 18th century. At the time of Griffith's Valuation the Elwoods held four townlands in the parish. Most of the Elwood estate of 621 acres was sold to Sir Arthur Guinness in 1871. The Irish Times reported that the sales realised over £21,000. This branch of the Elwood family were related to the well known collector of Japanese folklore, Lafcadio Hearn.
Jameson (Cong) At the time of Griffith's Valuation the Reverend William Jameson, brother-in-law of Benjamin Lee Guinness, held three townlands in the parish of Cong, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo, previously part of the O'Donel of Newport estate. In 1876 he owned 1831 acres in county Mayo and 316 acres in county Galway. At the same time another member of the Jameson family, John Jameson of Dublin, owned 7012 acres in county Mayo valued at £106.
McNamara (Cong) From 1722, George McNamara held the Abbey lands in the parish of Cong, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo and associated land from the Tasburgh family. George McNamara was involved in litigation over the ownership of the Abbey lands in the 1730s. By the 1770s at least 500 acres, including the Abbey and the lands of Cornamona and Clogher, county Galway, formerly held by George McNamara (died 1760), were being leased by his brother-in-law, Stephen Creagh Butler, to his son, Bartholomew McNamara. The Irish Tourist Association file records that Bishop Pococke described the Abbey House in 1770 as the most delightfully situated residence he had seen in the course of his travels. In 1786, Wilson refers to "the beautiful seat" of George McNamara. The Abbey lands were acquired by Sir Richard O'Donel of Newport in the 1780s and sold to Joseph Lambert of Brookhill, parish of Crossboyne, barony of Clanmorris, in 1852.
Pitcairn At the time of Griffith's Valuation Reverend David Pitcairn, son in law of Arthur Guinness of Dublin and brother in law of Benjamin Lee Guinness of Ashford Castle, Cong, county Mayo, held the townland of Castletown, parish of Cong, barony of Kilmaine, previously part of the D'Arcy of Houndswood estate. In 1876 he owned 704 acres in county Mayo and 364 acres in the county Galway.
Waller (Newport) The first Waller came to Ireland as a soldier in Cromwell's army. Branches of the family settled at Castle Waller, Newport and Prior Park, county Tipperary. The site of Newport House is marked on the first edition Ordnance Survey map. Samuel Waller married Anne Jocelyn, an aunt of the 1st Earl of Roden. Their eldest son Robert was created a baronet in 1780 and a younger son founded the Prior Park branch of the family. In 1828 Sir Edmund Waller 4th Baronet married his cousin Selina Maria daughter of George Waller of Prior Park. In 1844 he married Rebecca Guinness as his second wife. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Lady Waller, youngest daughter of Arthur Guinness, held 5 townlands in the parish of Cong, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo and at least 9 townlands in the parishes of Kilvellane and Kilcomenty, barony of Owney and Arra, county Tipperary. In 1876 her son Sir Edmund A. Waller of London owned 1,011 acres in county Mayo, 2,962 acres in county Tipperary and small acreages in counties Cork, Kildare and Limerick. The Waller estate in county Mayo was sold to the Congested Districts' Board in January 1913.
Guinness 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.
Lambert (Brookhill) The Lamberts of county Mayo were descended from the county Galway family located at Cregclare and Aggard. From the early 18th century the county Mayo branch were leasing land in the barony of Kilmaine from such families as the Veseys, Ruttledges and Bowens. They lived at Togher and Rusheen or Thomastown but moved in the late 18th century to reside at Brookhill, parish of Crossboyne, barony of Clanmorris, leased from the Gonne Bells. They were closely linked to the Ruttledge family, Joseph Lambert of Brookhill having married in 1784 Barbara Ruttledge sister and heiress of Robert Ruttledge of Bloomfield. Their second son the Reverend Francis Lambert changed his name to Ruttledge and continued the family of that name at Bloomfield. Joseph Lambert married secondly Mary Clendining and their sons Joseph and Alexander C. were agents to many of the landowners in the locality. Alexander Clendining Lambert bought almost 1000 acres of the O'Donel of Newport estate in the Cong area in 1852 and sold it to Benjamin Lee Guinness in 1858. In 1854 he bought much of the land he was already leasing from the Brownes of Castlemagarret in the Encumbered Estates' Court and other property in 1860 from the sale of the Brownes of Claremount estate. In 1876 Alexander C. Lambert owned 1409 acres in county Mayo and 1121 acres in county Galway. His property in the barony of Ballynahinch was purchased from the Thomson family of Salruck. The Brookhill estate was gradually sold in the 1920s and 1930s and the house and about 100 acres in 1946 to Gerald Maguire, a solicitor in Claremorris. In the mid 20th century Alexander Fane Lambert, wrote a detailed account of the history of his family and its land holding, based on family papers still in the possession of a family member in London.
Clements & Caulfeild The Rosshill estate in the parishes of Ross, Cong and Ballinchalla, barony of Ross, county Galway, was inherited by the Earls of Leitrim and Charlemont through their marriages with the two heiresses of William Bermingham who died in 1799. The Fair family of Clonbur were for many years agents for the Rosshill estate. Apparently the estate was put up for sale in June 1860 to buy out the Charlemont interest and part of it was sold, mainly to the Guinness family. The remainder stayed in the possession of the Clements' family until the early 20th century. It appears to have been augmented by some purchases from the Landed Estates' Court including the Gildea estate in the parish of Ross in 1865 and in the 1870s the estate amounted to over 18,000 acres. The 3rd Earl of Leitrim left his estate in the barony of Ross to his cousin Colonel Henry Theophilus Clements of Ashfield Lodge, county Cavan and not to his nephew and successor the 4th Earl of Leitrim. By March 1916 Henry J.B. Clements had accepted an offer from the Congested Districts' Board for the purchase of his estate in counties Mayo and Galway.
D'Arcy (Kiltullagh & Clifden Castle) The D'Arcy family of Kiltullagh, parish and barony of Athenry, county Galway, was founded by Patrick D'Arcy, a younger son of James Riveagh D'Arcy in the early 17th century. The D'Arcy's Connemara estate was granted to them under the Acts of Settlement. It had been confiscated from the O'Flaherty clan and by the 19th century amounted to over 12,000 acres mainly in the parish of Omey, barony of Ballynahinch. The head of the family at the turn of the 19th century was John D'Arcy (1785-1839) who founded the town of Clifden. Shortly before his death he mortgaged his estates to 2 English brothers Thomas and Charles Eyre of Bath and London. Following the Famine his son Hyacinth D'Arcy was in severe financial difficulty and his estates were one of the first to be sold in the Encumbered Estates' Court. The sales included 697 acres at Kiltullagh and part of the D'Arcy of New Forest estate in the barony of Tiaquin, county Galway, the two D'Arcy families had intermarried. Much of Hyacinth D'Arcy's Connemara property was purchased by the Eyre brothers and Thomas Eyre subsequently bought out his brother's interest. A consortium, which included James Sadlier, appears to have bought the townland of Kylemore which they advertised for sale in the Landed Estates' Court in May 1859 and was purchased by Benjamin Lee Guinness. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Thomas Eyre was the occupier of the part of the New Forest estate that had belonged to the D'Arcys of Clifden.
Digby (Aran) The Aran Islands comprised three parishes: Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore, all in the barony of Aran, county Galway. At the time of the Acts of Settlement the islands were granted to Richard [Butler], Earl of Arran. From the mid 18th century they belonged to the Digby family of Landenstown, county Kildare, a junior branch of the Digby family granted the title Baron Digby of Geashill in 1620. The Digbys bought the islands from John Richard Fitzpatrick and Sir Stephen Fox. The issue of ''The Connaught Journal'' dated 4 June 1840 reported the marriage of John William Digby of Landenstown and landlord of the islands of Arran with Frances Georgina Townsend. By the time of Griffith's Valuation the Aran Islands were in the possession of Peter Barfoot, his wife Henrietta and her sister Elizabeth Digby. Henrietta and Elizabeth were sisters of John William Digby. In the 1870s Henrietta Barfoot and Elizabeth Digby each owned 5596 acres in county Galway. In 1851 Sir Thomas St Lawrence, 3rd Earl of Howth married, as his second wife, Henrietta Barfoot, daughter of Peter Barfoot and Henrietta Digby and they had a son and two daughters, one of whom married Captain Benjamin Lee Guinness, a brother of Lord Ardilaun. By March 1916 an offer from the Congested Districts' Board for the purchase of the islands had been accepted by the St Lawrence and Guinness families. In the early 19th century Digby Devenish, revenue officer, was a prominent resident of the Aran Islands. In 1803 he married Elizabeth Digby of Aran and during the following 20 years their children were baptized in St Nicholas Church, Galway.
Barfoot Peter and Henrietta Barfoot were major lessors of property in the barony of Aran at the time of Griffith's Valuation. Peter Barfoot is recorded as the proprietor of over 11,000 acres in county Galway in the 1870s. This represents much of Aran Islands estate of the Digby family as Peter Barfoot was married to Henrietta Digby. The Barfoot's only child Henrietta married in 1851 Thomas St Lawrence 3rd Earl of Howth and a daughter of this marriage married Captain Benjamin Lee Guinness, brother of Baron Ardilaun. The St Lawrence and Guinness interest in the Aran Islands was sold to the Congested Districts Board circa 1915.
Herbert (Muckross) The Herberts were granted land in Kerry during the reign of Elizabeth I. Smith indicates that two members of the family received lands in Kerry after the Desmond rebellion, Sir William Herbert received over 13,000 acres while Charles Herbert received over 3000 acres. The Herbert who eventually settled there was Thomas, descended from a family in Montgomery, Powys, in Wales. Over the next three centuries they were to remain amongst the foremost families in Kerry. Henry Arthur Herbert, MP, was one of the principal lessors of property in the baronies of Dunkerron North and Magunihy, as well as holding some property in the barony of Trughanacmy, at the time of Griffith’s Valuation. In the 1870s his estate amounted to over 47,000 acres in county Kerry. The centre of this large estate was at Muckross, close to Killarney, much of it now included in the Killarney National Park. The family fortunes declined systematically in the late 19th century and most of the estate was sold in the 1890s. An offer was made by the Congested Districts Board on over 400 acres of the Herbert estate in 1914.
Guinness The Guinness family purchased large portions of the Herbert estate at Muckross and surroounding areas.
Hyde (Castle Hyde) A family who settled in county Cork in Elizabethan times. In the early 1850s John Hyde's estate was located in the baronies of Fermoy, Condons and Clangibbon, and Barrymore, county Cork and Ardmayle and Holycross, barony of Middlethird, county Tipperary. The first division (over 11,600 acres) of the estates of John Hyde comprising the manor, town and lands of Castle Hyde with other lands in the baronies of Fermoy, Condons and Clongibbons and Imokilly, county Cork, Coshlea, county Limerick, Clanwilliam Eliogarty, Kilnemanagh and Middlethird, county Tipperary, Galmoy, county Kilkenny, was advertised for sale in December 1851. Printed papers accompanying this rental in the National Archives refer to the history of the Hyde family and the surprise at the sale of their estates which is "attributed to mismanagement of the estates by agents rather than to any faults on the part of the possessors". There is also a [newspaper cutting] listing the purchasers of the various lots. This information was also carried in the Freeman's Journal on 8 December 1851. John Sadleir, Member of Parliament, bought Castle Hyde in trust for £17,525. Some of the purchasers of the county Cork lots were Michael Burke, Mr Teulon of Bandon, Alexander Deane and William Burke in trust for Arthur Guinness. Samuel Grubb bought some of the county Tipperary estate. The county Limerick portion was bought in trust for Arthur Guinness. The total amount raised from the sale was £83,620. In 1861 Castle Hyde was for sale again, the estate of John W. Burmester, William Corry and James Andrew Durham (bankers). In the 1870s John Hyde of Cregg, Fermoy, owned 8,919 acres in county Cork. Reverend Arthur Hyde was the owner of townlands in the parish of Ross, barony of East Carbery, at the time of Griffith's Valuation. His grandson, Douglas Hyde, became the first President of Ireland.