Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Lisnevagh 1847

Source: Michael Purcell c.2012

Lisnevagh 1847

Pat Purcell Papers.

Newspaper cutting, undated. (retaining capitals as printed in article).

From MOATABOWER to LISNEVAGH, the future seat of Captain McCLINTOCK BUNBURY, M.P., improvements are everywhere visible, although the road contractors are not entitled to praise for the integrity of their intentions in the fulfilment of their contracts, the roads being in many places much neglected.

To Lisnevagh we next direct the attention of the reader; and here CAPITAL, which in every civilised country is understood as "money" has worked miracles within two years.

Bog land has being reclaimed, rocky ground has been converted into pasture, and a wide-spread field of 700 acres, (the property of one of our COUNTY MEMBERS), a portion which for years has been almost unprofitable, presents, under his superintendence, ( and a judicious outlay of capital), the appearance of a well-cultivated district, and in a short time will not only repay the PROPRIETOR, but exhibit practically what can be done by capital, labour, and industry, on the part of a landed proprietor.

We have heard a great deal of what English factory capitalists can do in England; we are, therefore, inclined to be minute in details, when we find a landed proprietor prove what capital well applied can effect in Ireland.

The future magnificent residence of Captain McClintock Bunbury, M.P., situate at Lisenvagh, is one creditable not only to the county, but to the country.

In magnitude and extent it is not surpassed in the kingdom, and of the pure ELIZABETHAN style of architecture, erected from the plans and under the personal superintendence of D. Robinson, Esquire, upon elevated ground; there are few edifices present so noble an appearance.

The first stone of this extensive mansion was laid on the 23rd of January, 1847, nearly on the site of the ancient residence of the BUNBURY family, erected in 1686, which was dismantled during the progress of the present structure.

The present residence is complete in every part, as far as the exterior is concerned ; and in a few months - such is the exertions that are being made, and the liberal outlay of capital - it will be ready for the reception of the family in every department before the ensuing summer a circumstance in building seldom or never surpassed, and could not be accomplished but for the building materials being on the spot, such as granite, brick, lime, etc. and the vast number of workmen employed to carry out the design.

The elegant mansion on the north side presents the appearance of an extensive quadrangle, every view that presents itself on the approach from that side being chaste and classical, combined with elaborate taste and skill - harmony and proportion (combined with comfort and convenience) being evidently the object of the architect.

Lisnevagh 1847 - 1849 (continued)

The south side, comprising a magnificent suite of apartments, viz.

- the drawing-room, library, dining-room, ante-chambers, etc., commands a splendid view of the surrounding country, with Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs in the foreground of the picture - while from the same wing on the east the beautiful scenery of the Wicklow Mountains attracts attention.

>From the upper rooms a vast and beautifully cultivated tract of the county Carlow is visible, presenting every variety of scenery, enhancing in the eye of even the artist the value and beauty of the site chosen for the erection of a family mansion of such extent.

In a future publication we shall enter more into details, but for the present we shall content ourselves with a brief description of some of the adjuncts to the mansion of Captain Bunbury.


The farm yard is situate about a quarter of a mile from the mansion, in a valley, and on what, on the fourth of May last, was apparently an irreclaimable bog.

This mass of buildings all enclosed, but covering an immense space of ground, presents the appearance of a large manufacturing village, with its chimney shaft 60 feet high.

The farm-yard comprises buildings of every description for agricultural purposes, under the superintendence of a very intelligent and scientific steward, Mr Malone, a native of the county Louth, for whom a handsome residence is built on the spot.

Attached to the building is a steam engine of great power, by which flour and oatmeal are manufactured for the use of the mansion, and by which steaming, winnowing, threshing, etc. are performed Independently of the several purposes to which the steam mill is applied, it is used for forcing water from this point through an elevated plane, to a tank on a rising ground above the mansion, which contains 700,000 gallons of water.

From this point, invisible from the house, the water is supplied to every apartment, and if required, there are FOUR escapes, or cocks in the event of accidents by fire, by which the water may be raised 20 feet above the roof of the mansion.

We are thus circumstantial in details, with the view of showing what capital can effect since the 31st of January, 1847; but we may here go further by stating that the steam mill, its towering shaft and the immense mass of buildings surrounding them, all erected on what was a bog on the 4th of May, in the present year; and the GRANITE with which the buildings were erected were taken from the fields now covered with a rich and luxuriant crops of Swedish turnips for stall feeding in the buildings erected on the "bog" which "bog" we might however add, is now thorough drained, and reduced to its present state by the powerful agency of capital, and skill in its application.

We cannot now enter into further details, but in a future number we hope to enter more fully into the subject, with a view of exhibiting substantial proofs that by the combined agency of A RESIDENT GENTRY, and the industry of the people, the county of Carlow may fairly look forward to future progress and prosperity.

[Note added in 2012 - to be continued.].

Transcribed by M. Purcell c2012

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