Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
Kilbride, Co Carlow
The first Echlin home in Carlow was at Millpark, Kilbride, built in the 17th century for one of the four daughters of the Rev. Henry Echlin, Bishop of Down and Connor, from 1613, who came to Ireland from Scotland during the reign of King James I. It was his great-grandson, Henry Echlin, second Baron of the Court of Exchequer, who was created a Baronet in October 1712. His eldest son, who was an M.P., first for Downpatrick, and later for Newry, married Penelope Eustace, daughter of Sir Maurice Eustace of Harristown, County Kildare.
Millpark House was either leased or bought by the Tomlinsons around 1670, and remained in the ownership of this family until the death, in 1958, of Harriet Tomlinson. The estate, which comprised 452 acres in 1839, was sold to the Land Commission by William Tomlinson, and after the division of the land, the house was purchased by Sheila Eustace Harvey, a member of the Eustace family of Newstown. It is now the home of her son. Robin Harvey, and his wife Carole Joan.
The present drawing-room at Millpark. originally the kitchen, still retains some of its original features, including the wooden rafters, now well darkened by turf smoke The arch of the old fireplace is of local cut granite, and inside is a rounded fire-bricked oven for bread making. The large chimney had a crane fitted halfway up. enabling sides of bacon to be pulled into the flue and cured to perfection. Hooks are still in place on the rafters of the room where meat and other food items were hung. The drawing room ceiling is very unusual for a farmhouse. In 1720, Italian students who had been befriended by the Tomlinsons, returned the hospitality by completing elaborate Rococo plasterwork in the form of a hub and circle of wheat cars and stalks. The cornice was completed in the "small egg and dart" style.
Source: THE ADVERTISER 1995
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