Colonel James Grove White: Marybrook

Kilbrin Parish

Sheet 23, 6 inch O.S. Sheet 175, 1 inch O.S.

Barony of Duhallow. Parish of Kilbrin.

The townland of Marybrook contains 171a. or. 7p. In 1881 the pop. was 23, and val. £156 10s. od. (Guy).

It lies about 4 miles, by road, N.E. of Kanturk.

What was the old Irish name for this townland? I see on the Down Survey that the following townlands were near this place, viz., Ballyvushine,

Garan, Subulter, Ballyhusty.

In 1814. Edward H. Reardon, Esq., resided here (S.D.N.P.).

By Lewis (pub. 1837) E. Reardon, Esq., was here.

Dr. G. Bolster, R.N., of Springville, Kanturk, who takes much interest in local research, informs me that a former occupant of Marybrook had a lease of the place granted to him by Bartholomew Gibbings, Esq., of Cork, in 1851, and that according to local belief, the house was built by the Gibbings family.

The house is well built, with two upper floors and high gabled. Sixty acres go with the building.

There are still (1905) three fine orchards. Under the house is a very fine spring well, the water coming out of the solid rock.

It is stated that in former days potheen was manufactured here,

The pond, in front of the house was much larger formerly, a part having fallen in.

On visiting Marybrook in 1905, in company with Dr. Bolster, R.N., J.P., I heard the following anecdote:- Mr. Reardon, who was known as an enthusiastic sportsman, had a party here one evening. He made a bet with one of his guests that he had a pony in his stable that would jump over the dining table at which they sat, and in doing so would not disturb any of the glasses nor the whiskey on the table, and that a boy would ride him.

The bet was taken. A boy rode the pony into the room, jumped over the table, clearing everything, and the bet was won by Mr. Reardon. The cheering of the convivial party frightened the pony, who bolted for the door, dashed through, and the rider's head striking against the lintel, his skull was smashed, and the poor boy was killed on the spot.

The Kilshannig (C. of I.) Parish Registry gives the marriage of Francis Crossley, of Marybrook, in co. Cork, and Elizabeth Gardiner, of Mallow, on 24th March, 1824.

The Field Book of 1838 gives:- “Marybrook House. A good house, with woods round it. Mr. Edward Henrick Reardon, proprietor.

"Marybrook Townland.—This is a middle-sized townland, nearly all arable, about half demesne. It contains a gentleman's house and premises, one Danish fort, a remarkable stone, some limestone quarries, and three ponds." (Ord. Sur. Off., Dub.)

About 1845, I am informed, that Mr. Patrick O'Connell lived here. He succeeded Mr. Edward Henrick Reardon. Mr. Patrick O'Connell died about 1900.

According to Guy, the following have occupied the house :-

1875. John O'Connell and James Hennessy (under Kanturk).

1886. John and Patrick O'Connell and James Hennessy (under Kanturk).

1896. Patrick O'Connell (under Castlecor).

1899. Thomas Hennessy and Thomas Cronin (under Castlecor)

1909. Thomas Hennessy and Thomas Cronin (under Castlecor).

Mr. Thomas Hennessy occupies a farm, part of the townland of Marybrook. His family have been in possession of it for many years.

The present occupier of Marybrook House (1909), Mr. Thomas Cronin, married the niece and heiress of the late Mr. Patrick O'Connell.

The present landlord (1909) is Capt. Lowe, who succeeded his father Mr. Frank Wyse Lowe, of Killshane, Co. Tipperary.

Dr. G. Bolster further adds (1910):—"The tenants now hold under agreement to purchase. The 'remarkable stone,' mentioned in the Field Book of 1838, stands in a level field, some two miles distant from the house, direction west. There are really two stones about 3 feet apart. On approaching from the road, one sees a rugged cone over six feet high, with about 12 feet circumference; beyond this there is the 'altar stone, flat, a rough triangle with flattened apex, about 3 feet high, length 5 feet, breadth 3 feet. There is a tradition that it was used in the time of the penal laws for celebrating Mass, but for all we know it might have been a sacrificial stone in the days of Druidical worship. The stones are shaded by two lichen covered blackthorn trees, very large, and evidently of great age.


Colonel James Grove White

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