In 1837 Mathias McDonnell was given an assignment of the lease of the Octagon House in Westport, by the Revenue Commissioners, who held it on a very long lease from the Marquess of Sligo. The McDonnells, mill owners, were also leasing lands at Thornhill in the parish of Oughaval and at Cloonagh, parish of Aghagower, both in the barony of Murrisk, county Mayo from the late 1820s. Thomas MacDonnell of Cloona Lodge, Westport, subleased some of the Houstoun's vast farm at Dhulough, barony of Murrisk, from 1875. In 1876 he is recorded as owning 1878 acres in county Mayo. The Misses McDonnell had accepted an offer from the Congested Districts' Board for 1876 acres in county Mayo by March 1916.