Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ballingate House Upper

Out of the blue I recently received an email from CM who was researching his family, and who had discovered one of my very early posts on this blog: Ballingate House Upper - Where I Grew Up. This house stood on the spot where my Mum and Dad's house now stands. CM Googled "Ballingate" and found my Blog post - it turns out that CM's Grandfather was born in this house.

Photo used with permission (courtesy of CM).
CM sent me an old photograph of the house - I had never seen any pictures of it before. My Grand Uncle Pat Hurley bought the house (and surrounding farm) for £1,200 in 1942. Ballingate House Upper was demolished in two parts. According to my Dad, during World War II (possibly 1944) the roof was removed to avoid paying rates, and an auction was held to sell all the slates and timber from the house. This auction realized more than the £1,200 it cost to buy the farm - a nice piece of business despite the fact that a fine house was ruined. Dad bought the farm from Uncle Pat in 1959 - by then the house was a ruin and it was demolished to make way for our family house in 1960. The rubble from the house was piled beside the avenue leading to our farm for many years.

Image link to BuildingsOfIreland.ie.

I visited Mum and Dad today and showed them the photo above - it did not take Dad long to figure out what building was in the photo. While he remembers the house well, not everything was as he thought. Ballingate House Upper is shown in the mid 19th century ordinance survey map to the left. The house is the square shape at the north east end of the buildings shown - we had some good fun today walking around the existing house and the remaining buildings trying to figure out the aspect of the house in the photo. We are certain that the photo was taken from a south-west angle.

Once again the power of the Internet is making the world smaller. A simple blog post has prompted CM (who lives in France) to check out his family history and an old photo can now be shared for all to see. I know CM now plans to visit Ballingate before Christmas.

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