Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents

Churchtown House, near Killarney

Churchtown House, Churchtown townland (so called because of Knockane church in the townland).
Near Beaufort, Knockane par, Dunkerron North barony, Co.Kerry.
Half-way between Killorglin and Killarney.


Churchtown House.
From Mike Sandes. Formerly here. Used with permission.


Old name for Churchtown was Fearann na gCat ("Land of the cats").
This was an old McGillycuddy estate.
Contains the ruin of Castle Corr (built c.1450).

Beaufort Parish says it was inherited by Dennis McGillycuddy of the Reeks who married in 1717 to Anne Blennerhassett.
Beaufort Parish thinks this marriage is how Sir Rowland Blennerhassett ultimately got it (by inheritance).
It is hard to see how, though. Anne Blennerhassett is not closely related to Sir Rowland for purposes of inheritance. She is 1st cousin of his father. There are lots of other relations closer to her.
More likely Sir Rowland Blennerhassett just bought it.
And maybe someone just made an assumption about inheritance because there was a McGillycuddy-Blennerhassett marriage.

The estate became the seat of Sir Rowland Blennerhassett, 1st Baronet (born 1740 or 1741) where he built a new house, Churchtown House.
Churchtown House and Beaufort Golf Club said he built Churchtown House in 1740, but that is obviously too early for him. Maybe this is confusion with his date of birth.
[Houses of Kerry] says he built it in late 18th century.

Churchtown House built, probably 1788:
We can it seems date when it was built. From land deeds, Rowland Blennerhassett seems to have moved from Tralee/Blennerville to Killarney/Churchtown in exactly 1788, so that is probably when Churchtown House was built.
He is listed as of Churchtown in various deeds from [Deed, May 1788] to [Deed, May 1798].

In 1798, the 1st Baronet moved back to Blennerville near Tralee.
From late 1798 on, the 1st Baronet is consistently listed as of Blennerville.
The 1st Baronet's son Sir Robert Blennerhassett, 2nd Baronet is listed as of Churchtown in [Deed, May 1798] and consistently thereafter.

The 1st Baronet's nephew Robert Arthur Blennerhassett is listed as of "Churchtown" in 1804.
It is possible this is a house called Lakeville, near Churchtown, not Churchtown House.
Later Robert Arthur is listed as of Fortfield.

Churchtown House was seat of Sir Robert Blennerhassett, 2nd Baronet.
2nd Baronet died at Churchtown in 1831.
Inherited by Sir Rowland Blennerhassett, 4th Baronet.
Churchtown accounts book 1862-64 shows an active and busy farm and estate.
4th Baronet still living Churchtown as at 1867.
4th Baronet sold or long-term rented Churchtown c.1870 to Capt. James McGillycuddy Magill.
Capt. James McGillycuddy Magill then lived there for decades.
Letter of 15 Dec 1892 shows Blennerhassett still had property at Churchtown.
Letter from the future 5th Baronet, probably around 1898-1899, discusses his future plans and whether they could include living in Churchtown. He says: "I have no longer any plans as regards Churchtown, since I have no prospects now of having money in hand. As I have never even seen the place, my interest in it is not increasing."
This suggests Churchtown was still owned by Blennerhassett in the 1890s, and long-term rented out, but not yet sold.
Capt. James McGillycuddy Magill died 1904.

See Churchtown House today. It is now a high-end self-catering house rental. Also here.
The grounds are Beaufort Golf Club.


The first mention of Rowland Blennerhassett (later 1st Baronet) in the Churchtown area.
Letter of 17 Apr 1788 to Rowland Blennerhassett at "Killarney".
This is probably Churchtown. Certainly he is at Churchtown the following month.

The first mention of Blennerhassett at Churchtown.
Rowland Blennerhassett is described as of Churchtown in [Deed, May 1788].

Letter of 19 Feb 1791 to Rowland Blennerhassett at Churchtown, Killarney.

Robert Blennerhassett (later 2nd Baronet) is described as of Churchtown in [Deed, May 1798].

Robert Blennerhassett (later 2nd Baronet) is described as of Churchtown in [Deed, 1807].

"R.A. Blennerhasset" listed at Churchtown in [Leet's Directory, 1814].
This could be Robert Blennerhassett, future 2nd Baronet or (less likely) his 1st cousin Robert Arthur Blennerhassett.

Churchtown House.
From 1829 to 1842 map.
See modern map.
See street view of NE entrance.
See street view of Knockane church to the NW.

Churchtown House.

Video of the golf course showing the ruin of Castle Corr.

Tithe Survey, 1828

Entries for Churchtown in [Tithe Survey, 1828].
From here. Note these transcribed names are very inaccurate and also duplicated.

From here.
Looks like Catherine Croane.

From here.
This is the 2nd Baronet.

From here.
This would be William, son of 2nd Baronet.

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