Buncraggy House

Buncraggy House
Lawrence Collection - NLI
Buncraggy

Buncraggy House

Associated families, etc.

Marquess of Conyngham (Burton), Armstrong, Finucane, O’Gorman, Caher.

Townland

Buncraggy (Clareabbey)

 Location

E of the Kildysart road 8 km S of Ennis.

Present condition

House: Standing. inhabited.

Demesne: Many mature trees, including ilex, yew, beech, oak and a three hundred year old ilex type of evergreen. Original gateway and gate lodge are standing. Yards and farm buildings standing and used.

Features

An interesting mainly eighteenth-century, basically brick three-storey, hip-roofed house over a basement, facing south- south-west, with a large, two-storey return. There is an unusual two-storey bow to the east and interesting bow windows inside. Extensive yards and buildings stretch to the northeast. Approached through magnificent cast iron gates beside which there is a one-storey, three bay lodge, with a central chimney stack and large windows, the house is at the end of a drive through a line tree-scattered park. On the river side of the house to the south-east there is a ha ha, and the remains of a horse drawn churn to the north-west. The walled garden is to the south-west. There is also a masonic sign incorporated into the dwelling. This residence is situated on a four hundred and twenty-four acre demesne.

History

The shape of the house has changed considerably over the years. Possibly it was at one time much larger to the front, and the front door was in a different position. The brick used in the building was reputedly made to the east of the house. Francis Burton of Buncraggy was M.P. for Ennis from 1692 until his death in 1714, when he was succeeded by his son. He was the Right Honourable Francis Burton, who represented Coleraine, County Derry, from 1721 to 1727, and County Clare from 1727 to 1743. Born in 1696, he married Mary Conyngham ofS1ane, County Meath, whose younger brother was the first Baron and Earl of that name. Their eldest son, Francis Burton, who succeeded to his childless uncle’s title of Baron Conynham, married Elizabeth Clements, by whom he had twin sons, born in 1766. He also assumed the surname of Conyngham. The eldest sort became the first Marquess, while Francis Burton, his brother, was M.P. for Clare from 1790 to 1827. His family moved to Carrigaholt Castle (q.v). Although Colonel The Honourable Francis Burton is recorded as living here in 1814 directories, Peniel, who was a daughter of Edmund Armstrong of Buncraggy by his wife Hannah Westropp, married Thomas I. Lenigan of Castle ffogarty, County Tipperary, in 1794. In 1870, Buncraggy was possessed by Thomas O’Gorman, who at one time owned one thousand and seventy-six acres in the county. His father, James, was living here in 1855. They were members of an old West Clare family, which had been driven from the Carlow area after the Norman invasion. Thomas, who was a Justice of the Peace, died here in 1903. Buncraggy then became the property of the Caher family, whose forebears are reputedly one of the oldest clans in the county. Island McGrath House (qv) was once part of this property.

Weir, Hugh, W.L. Houses of Clare, Ballinakella Press, 1985

With kind permission of the author.

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