Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Co. Carlow

The Construction of Johnstown

In about 1725, Joseph Bunbury built a house at Johnstown which architectural historians have described as 'a detached four-bay two-storey double-pile house with dormer attic on an asymmetrical plan with projecting chimney breasts'. Bence-Jones claims that the house was built on the site of a monastery (Bence-Jones 1978, p.161). The two recorded archaeological sites at this immediate location are the castle site and a graveyard. No archaeological remains of a monastery site per se have yet been identified at this location or in the immediate vicinity.

Joseph Bunbury who settled at Johnstown, was married on July 1st 1713 to Hannah Hinton, a daughter of the Venerable Archdeacon Dr. Edward Hinton, Dean of Ossory. In November of that same year, Joseph, a former High Sheriff of County Carlow, and his brother Benjamin, the then High Sheriff, were drawn into a controversy over an apparent fixing of a result in the election of that year.  Joseph began to make an increasing impact in Carlow at this time, purchasing a substantial interest in the town itself. The Dublin Land office contains a memorial of a mortgage dated March 12th 1713 between John Green 'of the town of Catherlogh, Gent' and 'Joseph Bunbury of Johnstown'.

Having had a lifelong fear of land law ever since I purchased Wylie's magnum opus, I do not understand the actual linguistics of the memorial. However, it seems that, for £165 pounds, Joseph purchased the estate right, title and interest on 'all that tenement and plot of ground situated in Dublin Street in the Town of Catherlogh', as well as a tenement and plot 'in Southcott Lane in the town of Catherlogh along the River Barron'.

Among the witnesses was his younger brother, Thomas Bunbury.  Another deed, dated June 5th & 6th 1717, concerns a memorial of mortgage 'by way of lease and release between Hugh Fagan of Kilewick, co. Carlow, gent of the one part and Joseph Bunbury of Johnstown, co. Carlow Esq. of the other part'. By this deed, Fagan 'conveyed unto Joseph Bunbury part of the lands of Rathdean, co. Carlow, lately Wentworth Harmanís part containing 130 acres profitable land'.

The lease also covered 'the lease for three lives renewable for ever made to the premises by Wentworth Harman to Richard Butler, Gent who assigned the same to Hugh Fagan to hold unto Joseph Bunbury, his heirs and assigns during the three lives in the lease'. Once again, Thomas Bunbury of Cloghna was a witness, as was John Smith, Publick Notary in the City of Dublin. 

Read more about the Bunbury family

Source: Turtle Bunbury website.

Johnstown House

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