Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ballingate House Upper - Where I Grew Up

I grew up in the townland of Ballingate which is about three miles from Carnew in Co. Wicklow, and five miles from Bunclody in Co. Wexford. It is located here. Mum and Dad built the house where they now live in 1960 and moved in during September that year when I was almost one year old.

The house was built on the site of Ballingate House Upper - I don't recall seeing any photographs of it. For years as kids we played on the rubble of this house which was in a field between the farm and the main Carnew-Bunclody road - this mound of rubble is now gone. I know that the roof of the house was removed due to taxes - I believe in the 1930s or 1940s. Once this happened, the house fell into ruin and was demolished. Much of the outhouses and sheds still survive - they were used over the years as garages, hen houses, and store rooms. Mum and Dad now have their growing room for plants in one of these old sheds.

I came across a reference to Ballingate House Upper on the Buildings of Ireland website. This does not contain much information, but it does have two pictures that are interesting:

The first is a modern aerial photograph that I know is a few years old - this is because you can see two shadows of two Monkey Puzzle trees to the east of the farmyard. One of these trees fell down several years ago - much of the valued timber is now part of the stairs in my sister Kathleen's house in Kells, Co Kilkenny. Click on the photo thumbnail to see the photo on the Buildings of Ireland website.

The second picture is a reproduction of an Ordinance Survey map. Few features of the designed landscape shown on the 1836 - 1846 OS map are visible in aerial photography. It is almost unrecognisable as the house and buildings are long since gone. The layout of the surrounding fields is largely unchanged except that Dad had much of the trees cleared in the 1960s and 1970s. The two fields to the south of the house are part of a hill which is now covered in forestry. Click on the map thumbnail to see the map on the Buildings of Ireland website.

I have printed off a copy of the map and sent it to my Dad to see if he has ever seen it before. I know there is an early 20th century map in Ballingate which no doubt is very similar.


  1. Interested in your comments Eugene. My grandfather was brought up in Ballingate House and I have a photo + details of its history. Contact me offline at colin[at]ennabyte.co.uk