18th and 19th century Celbridge Leixlip

Co. Kildare Archaeological Society Annual Excursion Meeting Part One

This article is transcribed from the Kildare Observer, 19 September 1896

Co. Kildare Archaeological Society

Annual Excursion Meeting

President – Lord Mayo

On last Thursday, the members of the Kildare Archaeological Society held their annual yearly excursion, when the tract of country selected embraced the districts of Celbridge, Leixlip and Lucan, part of he county which are rich with the remains of an antique order of architecture and civilisation, rude though it may have been which at an early period which distinguished our country and made her famous amongst the nations of Europe. Those traces of former grandeur, those seats in which learning was fostered, where the masters taught, where the friar prayed, and where the anchorite passed away his days in silence and devotion, are now almost completely swept away and are only traceable here and there by the presence of a tower, or an arch, or a pillar, which serve as marks to point out the extent of the original building and give us an idea, however faint, of men and days that belong to the far away past. Still are they rich with associations and in their melancholy desolation they speak as it were with tongues of fire and appeal to us here in the close of the 19th century to cast back our minds through the mists of years and think of them in their pristine days when they formed a sanctuary for the refugee and were the great magazines of thought and action, from whose windows burned  the bright light of education which illumined the dark cloud of ignorance that then encompassed the land. In those turbulent days when clan made war on clan, when unbridled passion and might rode roughshod over peacefulness and weakness, they formed a centre of counteracting influences to calm fierce spirits and protect the down-trodden from the free vengeance of the victor, for their portals proved, as tradition tells us, a safe haven for the defeated and here the hand of the abbot was more powerful than the sword of the soldier.

To pick up the links of their story and join them one by one into the chain of narrative is the object of this association and surely a more noble or national one it would be impossible to imagine. The names of the founders of those institutions are thus rescued  from obscurity and despite the fact that centuries have piled the oblivious years like funeral stones over them, their good intentions and their good acts are brought to light and one feels a sense of genuine admiration for men whose calmness of mind and whose broadness of idea enabled them to leave behind these monuments which even the crumbling hand of time has been unable to wholly efface. But we prefer to let the extracts, which we reproduce from the papers that were read, tell their story as they have been written by able men and with no little attention to the accuracy of fact the closeness of details.

Thursday morning broke in gloomy enough with a most unpleasant rainfall which, however, towards eleven o’clock cleared away and  the remainder of the day was fairly fine. Alighting at Hazlehatch Railway Station the entire party drove over some two miles of the Loughlinstown road to St. Wolstan’s, the seat of Major O’Kane, and after a walk of some half a mile reached the first point of the days proceedings at the ruins of the old Abbey. Prior to the reading of the paper dealing with the history of the Abbey, Mr G Mansfield, in a few well chosen sentences, expressed the regret which the members of the Association felt at the death of the Rev. D. Murphy, their vice-president and hon. editor, and a vote of condolence was unanimously voted to his relatives in their bereavement. After the reading of the paper by Mr Kirkpatrick, those present inspected  the ruins which consists of two gates and a tower from the latter of which a fine view of the park like scenery may be obtained stretching away in grove and lawn to the right, while to the left the Liffey deep and broad runs its course between banks overhung by a line of noble trees.

After visiting the Scholars’ Well and inspecting a most peculiar structure called the moss house, the frame of which is most rustic supporting a covering of beautiful moss, the party proceeded to Leixlip where a pause was made to view the famous salmon leap, and a most attractive sight it presented. It consists of five layers or ledges of rock placed at irregular intervals, the fourth being the most precipitous, over which the river water swollen by autumn rains into a boiling torrent, rushed with tremendous force until split almost into two halves by a serpentine line of boulders which runs to a small island in the centre of the stream. After some delay Leixlip Castle was next visited, and here great interest was manifested in the different apartments, particularly that known as the “King’s Room.” The castle itself commands a noble view. Away towards the north is a fine panoramic view of lawn and woodland, whilst the river “o’erhung by wild woods thickening green,” rolls outward towards the ocean.

The view from the lofty round tower is particularly fine, and though all was peace and friendliness there on last Thursday, many a fierce hand-to-hand struggle raged round its walls in the feudal days of yore. Leaning over its battlement on that calm autumn evening, the mind’s eye was irresistibly carried back along the avenue of time to the days when the English power was beginning to take root in Ireland, and this keep formed one of its strongholds, one of the bulwarks of the Pale for resisting the incursions of the native clansman. The principal actors in these scenes have long since passed away. The castle, denuded of its portcullis and drawbridge, has been transformed into a comfortable modern residence, and nothing remains of its heroes, it scares and changes but the voice of tradition, which still fondly loves to linger in the corridors of time.

Leaving the castle, the parish church was next visited. The principle tablets being pointed out to the visitors; one being erected to the memory of a member of the white family, and bears the date 1654, and also, strangely enough, two in connection with the Devonshire family. In the centre of the nave is a large flagstone, which tells us that it covers the remains of Dr Price, a former Archbishop of Cashel, who passed hence on the 17th July, 1753, at the ripe age of 74 years. After quitting the church, the party again remounted the cars, and a magnificent drive through Col Vesey’s domain, parallel with the river, brought it to the Lucan Spa Hotel, where luncheon was served; after partaking of which a start was made for Castletown house, the noble family seat of the Connollys, but at present in the occupation of the Lord Chief Justice. Here two interesting papers, dealing specifically with the building and the family, were read; after which his Lordship and her Ladyship kindly showed the visitors over the house.

Donacomper graveyard then claimed attention, and here a brightly written and attractive paper was read by Mr Kirkpatrick. This being finished the part repaired for tea to the residence of the author. Donacomper is an extremely interesting house, occupying a very pretty situation, and containing within its four walls many articles of great interest. On the walls of the drawing room are two splendid specimens of tapestry work, which are of great value. The guests were here most hospitably entertained by Mrs Kirkpatrick, who is a most charming hostess, after which the party dispersed after a most enjoyable day.

Amongst those who took part in the excusion were: – Lady Mayo, Lord and Lady Drogheda; Most Rev Mgr Denis Gargan, President Maynooth College; Rev Dr O’Dea, Vice-President Maynooth College; Mr George Mansfield, D L; Mr M J Synnott, Major and Mrs Rynd, Mr J Loch C I, R I C, Mrs and Dr Woolcombe, Mr Supple, RIC; Mr L Dunne JP; Rev P O’Leary, Maynooth College; Mr and Mrs Green, Mr and Mrs Sweetman, Mr C Molloy, Mr and Mrs Carroll, Mr and Mrs Davidson Houston, Mr A D Cooper, B L; Mr Grove White, Solicitor; Miss Margaret Stokes, Mr W Mooney, Leixlip Castle; Lady Henry Fitzgerald, Lady Eva Fitzgerald, Lady Mabel Fitzgerald, Lord Frederick Fitzgerald, Lord George Fitzgerald, Lord Henry Fitzgerald, Lord Walter Fitzgerald, Lord Desmond Fitzgerald, and the Duke of Leinster, the Lord Chief Justice Sir Peter O’Brien Bart; the Rev L R Somers, Dunboyne; Charles Daly, Esq, Sub-Sheriff, Co. Kildare; Thos. E O’Kelly, M.D., Maynooth; Rev C I Graham, Celbridge; Earl of Drogheda, Countess of Drogheda, Geo. C A Colley, Esq., Dr Norman Bath; — Clarke, Esq., Athgoe Park; William Mooney, Esq. Leixlip Castle; W A Murphy, Osberstown House, Naas.

At St Wolstan’s, before reading the paper, Mr Mansfield said he had been asked, in absence of their president, Lord Mayo, to remind those present that that was to be the first meeting they held since the death of the Rev Father Murphy, who was their vice-president and hon. editor, and one of their first duties would be to pass a resolution of sympathy with his relatives in their sad bereavement. The late Rev gentleman was one of the foremost archaeologists in Ireland, and he had always evinced the greatest interest in their society. They owed a deep debt of gratitude to him, and he felt sure it would be hard to replace him.

The resolution was carried unanimously in silence.

In the course of his paper, Mr Kirkpatrick said the Priory of St Wolstan’s was founded in the year 1202, or according to Ware, 1205, for Canons of the Order of St Victor by Richards, first Prior of the place, and Addin de Hereford in memory of St Wolstan, bishop of Worcester, then newly canonised by Pope Innocent III. The first part of the building was commonly called Sala Coeli, or the Steps of Heaven. De Hereford granted to Richard, the first Prior, the lands on the river Liffey and the church of Donacomper, which had existed before the foundation of the monastery. In 1271, William, seneschal to Fulke, Archbishop of Dublin, granted to the Prior the lands of Castledillon, and increased the number of canons and obliged  them to celebrate his own and his wife’s anniversary, on which day they were to feed 30 poor persons or give them instead a penny each under penalty of 100 shillings. In 1310 when Stephen was Prior, Nicholas Taffe gave to this Priory the manor of Donacomper, which was valued at £8 6s 8d yearly, but having been granted without a license it was subsequently seized.




18th and 19th century Celbridge 20th Century Celbridge

Walks in County Kildare

This article is transcribed from the Kildare Observer 30 December 1916

Walks in County Kildare

Interesting History

Castle of Lyons.

The Hill of Lyons is an object of beauty attracting us by the strident verdancy of its graceful slopes descending to the plains. On its summit the design of its forestry suggests a battle. Advancing from opposite directions the woods abruptly halt, leaving a green space of no man’s land in between. In the 12th century Henry II possibly surveyed the hill, marked it as his own, and formed it into the first Royal manor. In a State paper we are told, in all Leinster, he kept for himself only the barony of Newcastle-Lyons, “and we cannot see that the King had in all Ireland any inheritance of the Crown, only the lordship of Newcastle.” The first Norman holder was Walleran de Wellesey, who was a travelling Justice of Ireland in 1261. Ten years later he held the New Castle of Lyons from the Crown, and was slain in 1303. He was succeeded in the 13th century by the Aylmer family, who held the property through five centuries; then it passed into the possession of the Lawless family.

Farm Hill.

Crossing Henry Bridge over the canal, the road leads up Lyons Hill. The first lodge on the left admits to the lands of Clonaghlis, an ancient parish in County Kildare. During the Ordnance Survey of 1837 inquiries were made locally, and the report was: — “Clonaghlis goes now in common by the modern name of Farm Hill. Clonoclis is not at all known as a parish name among the people, who do not even remember there was a church called by such a name.” The place is still known as Farm Hill and the Irish name is never applied. The parish church and cemetery have wholly passed into oblivion.

A Welsh Colony.

In the 12th century Conquest of Ireland the invaders were the4 Welsh, Normans and Flemings. Their chief settlements lay between Naas and Lyons, where a strong Welsh colony was established. The first Welsh holder of the lands of Clonaghlis was Peter of Carmarthen, who gave the church of Clonacles and all its appurtenances to the Abbey of St Thomas the Martyr, which was founded in Dublin in the presence of Archbishop Laurence O’Toole in the year 1177. The grant was ratified by the Bishops and Canons of Kildare, when the churches of Clonaghles, Ougterward and Castle Warden were also granted to the Abbey. An exchange of lands between Clonaghls and Oughterard is also recorded. Clonaghlis is mentioned in Inquisitions in the reigns of James and Charles.


A short distance from these lands, adjacent to one of the entrance gates of the Lyons demesne, and ancient cemetery was discovered called The Relick, perhaps a vestige of the old parish graveyard. A moat at the top of the hill probably gave the place its name. The total culmination of parish, church and cemetery is a curious occurrence, and the only explanation I might venture to make is that they were absorbed in the Norman parish of Newcastle Lyons. The hill on the opposite side of the road is known as Boston Hill.


The road on the right, higher up, leads all over the hill, a long delightful country walk, with fine views over the Kildare plains; but as an alternative we come back to the Canal and turn to the left along its banks. It is a long stretch of over two miles to Ponsonby Bridge, which bears date 1794. An old windmill stands in a flooded field, but its sails are missing. One does not expect to find a lovely chapel on the uninhabited banks of a canal. Yet one is to be seen in the hamlet of Ardclough, with a National School, erected in the year 1839, and a few houses. Further on is an old toll-gate near a thatched cottage. Crossing the bridge, we pass into Baronsrath, the country of the Fitzgeralds, Barons of Naas. The place, however, evidently got its name from Henry Baroun, who held lands in Barony. In 1318, William of London, who owed Walter Istelep £169 sterling, was obliged to give all the lands of Baronsrath in discharge of his debt. no trace of rath or castle is found in this old baronial property. A handsome modern house stands vacant.

Whitechurch: Two Holy Wells.

A short walk up a pretty, wooded country road leads to the parish of Whitechurch. Two iron gates bar the way to the ancient cemetery, but they are easily crossed. There is a strong castle tower here, if we could see it naked, but it is heavily encumbered with dense masses of ivy. Its strong outer walls are stained with lichens. A well-preserved circular flight of stone steps leads up to the first storey, where we find a ground floor, but the overgrowth of ivy obscures every outline. Over the bronzed ivy leaves rise thousands of light green floral plumes, the stamens resembling tiny drumsticks. A great breach in the wall near the foundation gives a glimpse of a deep, gloomy dungeon, and makes us shudder when we think that human beings were confined here, perhaps in chained captivity. A large ruined chapel is attached to the tower, and here again we find a surfeit of vegetation. Outside and inside are crowded with the ready sprouts of ancient elder trees. Immense branches of purple berries hang pendant, from which birds extract the juice, which in olden times was brewed by frugal housewives into elderberry wine. There are two splayed windows, supported on the lintels, on each side of the ruined chapel. There is no chancel. The end window is large and some later masonry has been inserted. On the ivy-carpeted floor, among moss green stones, lies a large, square-holed font. Outside the ruins there are two holy wells, one called the Lady’s Well, the other nameless. Time has worn the older gravestones jagged and thin, and the inscriptions have long been erased. There are also one or two squat granite crosses. Some tall dark Irish yews add to the solemnity of the place.

Turnings House.

It is stated that these fortified ruins were once a Carmelite monastery, but there is no corroboration. In the year 1329 we find William of London granting the lands of Whitechurch to John Plunkett. Nearly two centuries later, in 1508, it belonged to Sir William Preston, second Viscount of Gormanstown. Then Jenice Preston, third Earl, leased the manor of Whitechurch on February 16, 1560 to Patrick Sarsfield, merchant of Dublin, and brother of Sir William Sarsfield of Lucan, who afterwards acquired the property. 

At the head of the road we keep to the left and cross the quaint old bridge over the Great Morrel river, which in the 18th century supplied the Grand Canal with water. In close proximity stands Turning House, a grey, modern three-storeyed mansion, covered with the glorious fiery red foliage of Virginia creeper. In its back wall there is a carved stone window with four curious figures of animals, resembling some of the signs of the Zodiac. These probably date from the 14th century. On another tablet is engraved: “Thomas Par, 1711.” In the year 1414 Thomas Brit granted to Christopher de Preston, Knight, the manor of Turmag.

A Ghostly legend.

We now pass on to Sallins road and keep to the right. A gate here is known as the Gallows Gate, and a stretch of land is called Crookawn. Further on the weatherworn great walls of Straffan estate come in sight, and we get a magnificent exhibition of the fading glories of autumn. The birches, with silver holes, are putting forth all their golden splendour in their final change of raiment this season. A high, wood-encased pump is the sole outstanding object. A few perches to the left reveals a row of small cottages, the only habitable part of Ladycastle.

Travelling by train to Straffan we find our way to the village. The road runs straight into Lower Turnings, but at a white gate we keep to the right through the townland of Ballyhaise, and reach the bridge over the Liffey. The wayside is full of rural charm. The white flower of the Yarrow and the faint blue of the Scabieus still linger. The hedges are bright with the yellow rosy berries of the dog-rose, and the clustered purple beads of the corymbs of the elder trees. The glory of autumn is freshly painted on the tinted foliage. Haws are scarce, but the thorn bushes are black and red with berries awaiting the pickers. Beside the bridge a high wall thickly covered with ivy suggests the ruins of the old medieval castle. Tall feathery pines, lichened in quaker grey, stand about it like ghostly sentinels. Investigation, however, proves it an old disused flour mill.

Straffan House

Glancing upstream, along a line of silvered willows, we get a view of Straffan House. It was built in the year 1832, and resembles a French chateau. Right in front of the house is a large island, called Inismore, around which the impetuous torrent of the Liffey sweeps, till it reaches a weir, over which the waters tumble in muddy froth.

The Bartons are said to have come over to Ireland from Lancashire with the army of Essex in Elizabethan days, but they did not acquire this property till the year 1831. Their predecessors were the Henrys. The Reverend Robert Henry was Presbyterian minister of Carrickfergus, who died in Dublin in the year 1633. His son Hugh was a successful banker who built up a huge fortune, and purchased the Straffan House estate in 1717. He married Anne, daughter of Joseph Leeson, sister of the first Earl of Miltown. A descendant was wedded to a daughter of the princely House of Leinster. The Henry family squandered their great wealth, and were obliged to sell their Straffan property and live abroad. An underground passage from the mansion to the stables may be described as a Henry folly. Passing down the road, the trees overhang the estate walls. The dark bronze of the oaks contrasts with the prevailing orange and rich, ruddy brown; while underfoot the fallen chestnuts pebble the ground with mahogany.

Churchyard Pathos

Further on we pass the parish church with tower and spire, built by the Bartons in 1837; then comes the village, with a neat row of cottages and gardens. Treasure trove was found in the end garden last year – 29 large French silver coins, the size of an English crown piece, dated the 16th century. Beyond lies the churchyard, “where the rude forefather of the hamlet sleep.” Christianity separated them in many ways during their lifetime, and in death their ashes are permanently divided. The Catholics are buried on one side, the Protestants on the other. A pathetic touch, strong enough to bring tears to our eyes, is found on one tombstone. “here lies Biggy Tommy, a mother’s son. Rest in Peace. Also two brothers.” It is the family grave of the Carey’s of Kilmainham. In another grave a woman has buried her three husbands. The village sculptor spells July with a G.

In the midst of the cemetery rises a picturesque “ivy-clad” castled tower with a ruined chapel attached. Little is recorded of these buildings. Straffan first appears as Trachstraph when it was granted by Strongbow to Maurice Fitzgerald. After the dissolution of the reign of Henry VIII we find that Richard Weston, last Prior of St. Wolstan’s, held property in Straffan. In the Inquisitions of James I and Charles I there are references to the parochial church of Straffan.

Lady Castle

A short distance down the Bohereen lane as it is called we arrive at a field with a mansion in the background. It was inhabited by a family named Whitelaw, and the house still bears the family name. The field has a circular raised rampart with a double circle of ditches. The circumference is considerable, and it must have been the site of a large military encampment. Ramparts and ditches are well preserved. It is stated that it was an ancient boundary of the Pale. The succeeding field has an old Irish rath.

Doubling back here we recross the bridge, and further on the fingerpost points the way to Sallins. This road brings us to Ladycastle. Some vestiges of the old estate existed in the early part of last century, but they have disappeared.

On March 23, 1227, there was a great assembly of lords and high officials to make provision for the mother of Baron David of Naas. The Baron granted to his mother the manor of Ladycastle and Tolachtyper, and all the appurtenances. David Fitzgerald was evidently a loving son for he stipulated that if the lands of Ladycastle did not produce sufficient revenue for his mother’s upkeep that it should be supplemented from other sources. In the 11th century Ladycastle was in the possession of the Wellesley family.

The Count of the Grail

The adjoining townlands are Upper and Lower Turnings. The chief motive of this paper is to put forward a notion of mind as to the significance and origin of the Turnings. I have long been convinced that Sir Perceval lived in Ireland and evidences in support of this belief have been frequently put forward by me in these articles. Arthurian romances show that his father came to Ireland, and that Sir Perceval was educated and trained for the Knighthood by Gorneman , an old Irish knight. In the first volume of “Perceval de Gallois on le conte du Graal,” a manuscript preserved in the Burgundian Library in Brussels, there is an account of a battle between Sir Perceval and the Knight of the Dragon at Turning Castle.

This romance has been brilliantly translated by Dr. Sebastian Evans, under the title of “The High History of the Holy Grail” – a book of exceptional fascination and interest. The romance is full of stories of bewildering magic and enchantment, which are purely imaginative and must be brushed aside before we reach the rock-bottom facts. The lady who owned the castle here was called the Queen of the Golden Circlet, and the romance tells us “she had for name Elysa, and a good life she led and right holy, and she died a virgin. Her body still lieth in the Kingdom of Ireland, where she is highly honoured.

My studies in the Perceval romances have led me to fix the date of his adventures as taking place in the last decades of the 12th century. These lands were given to Maurice Fitzgerald in 1171, including Trachstraph, or Tech Straffain – the house of Straffan. He died in 1176. His wife’s name was Alice or Alicia, and I assume she must be the Elysa of the romance. She, as in the case of the later widow of Baron David, was given the house of Straffan as her dower, and from her originated the name of Ladycastle, and also Ladychapel and Ladyhill in the same neighbourhood. The statement that she was a virgin is probably an assumption.

Now it is curious to find that the first reference to Turning castles are found in an old Irish manuscript of the 8th century, “The Voyage of Maeldun,” which Tennyson made the subject of one of his poems. Máeldun comes to an island around which runs a fiery rampart. “After that they sight another island, which was not large, and a fiery rampart was around it, and that rampart used to revolve round the island. There was an open door in the side of the rampart, and whenever that doorway came opposite to them they saw the whole island, and all that dwelt therein.” There are several references to Turning castle in the Arthurian romances.

Knight Of The Dragon

Now the field at Straffan, which I have described, appears to offer a solution of the mystery of this flame encircled field.  Fire was evidently used for defence purposes. These two great ditches were, perhaps, filled with wood and other inflammable matter, and when the enemy approached were set ablaze. The surging flames moving around in these vast circles may have created an illusion of a revolving island.

To return to the story, Perceval had his quarters in the island of elephants, which may be identified with the island in the Liffey, which is only a short distance from Ladycastle. This may be a corruption of an Irish name. We are reminded that, in Dublin, about two centuries ago, Mellifont Lane was corrupted into Elephant Lane. The Knight got his title from a great shield which he carried with a “dragon’s head in the midst that casteth out fire and flame in great plenty, so foul and hideous and horrible that all the field stank thereof.”  The lady of the castle prays Sir Perceval to go out and slay the Knight, “for the longer you tarry, the more lands will be desolate, and the more folk will be slain.” Sir Perceval advances to the attack, but the Knight of the Dragon ejected a jet of fire that burned his shaft up to his hand. Then we are told that “a further flame that issued from the Dragon’s head turned back again, as it had been blown of the wind, so that it might not come nigh Sir Perceval.” Then Perceval plunged his sword into the dragon’s mouth, which turned towards his lord, who was scorched and burned to dust.

There are things symbolic and mysterious in all this, which we will not attempt to interpret. The revolving turrets and the jets of flame and poisonous gasses are not unknown to us to-day in modern warfare. The greatest of the Arthurian romances were composed in France and Germany.

The best of all is the Parzifal of Wolfram von Eschenbach, the Bavarian of knightly family, who tells us in his immortal poem that he could not read or write. Probably the incident related told from the Norman side, is the story of some Irish chieftain who descended from the hills to drive out the new settlers, and recover the inheritance of his race.

18th and 19th century Celbridge Castletown People of Celbridge Sport


The following article is transcribed from the Kildare Observer, 24 May 1902.


On Monday Prince Henry of Prussia brought his visit to the Marquis and Marchioness of Ormonde at Kilkenny castle to a close. He left Kilkenny by the 11.30 a.m. train, and journeyed by mail to Hazelhatch.  He was accompanied by the Hon. Gerald Cadogan, A. D. C., and Captain Egidy, A. D. C.

At Hazelhatch a Viceregal carriage, which had come down from Dublin early in the day, was in waiting, and Prince Henry on alighting was received by Colonel Sir Gerald Dease and Captain Walter Lindsay.  His Royal Highness and party then drove with Sir Gerald Dease to the latter gentleman’s handsome residence, Celbridge Abbey, and were entertained at luncheon.  After luncheon Prince Henry drove with his host and the Hon Gerald Cadogan across to the grounds of the County Kildare Polo Club in Castletown Demesne.  Here there was a considerable gathering in anticipation of a polo match between a team, for which Prince Henry was to play.  On the grounds of the polo club His Royal Highness was received by Colonel de Robeck, M. F. H., Captain Hall, secretary of the club, and several other members.  Shortly afterwards Her Excellency the Countess Cadogan, accompanied by the Countess of Rossmore, Mrs. Greet, and Miss Farquharson, arrived on the polo ground, having driven from the Viceregal Lodge in open carriages.  Greetings having been exchanged with Prince Henry, the latter joined the Viceregal team and engaged in a very interesting and spiritedly-contested game of polo.  The day was splendidly fine, and the magnificent demesne of Castletown looked exceptionally well.

Later in the afternoon the distinguished visitors were entertained at afternoon tea in Castletown House.

At the conclusion of the polo game Prince Henry drove back to the Viceregal Lodge, in company with the Countess Cadogan and party.

The Polo Match

The going was in the finest condition, the recent rain having a good effect on it. The ground is one of the finest in the Three Kingdoms, both from the extent and surroundings, and the rich woodland of Castletown demesne looked to the best advantage.  The day was splendidly fine, but a strong west wind made it somewhat inconvenient to the onlookers, of whom there was a large gathering of the gentry of the locality and surrounding districts.  Amongst those present were:- Sir Gerald Dease, Colonel Clements, and party; Colonel H. Gore Lindsay, Lady Kathleen Lindsay, Miss Kathleen Lindsay, Mrs. and Miss McNeill, Ballinstown; Miss Johnston, Roselawn; Miss Ponsonby, Ryeville; Mr. and Mrs. Howard, Mr. and Mrs. H. McNeill, Mr. Leycester Penrhyn, Mr. J. Whiteside Dane, Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, Capt. and Mrs. Steeds, Mr. William, Mrs. and Miss McNeill, Miss Perry, Mr. R. and Miss Maunsell, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Rowley, Col. and Miss Parsons, Mr. Metcalf, Rev. Canon and Mrs. Graham, Misses Bellaney, Mr., Mrs. and Misses Hamilton, Major Hamilton, Capt. Keogh, Col. de Robeck, M. F. H.; Capt. Hall, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. de Burgh, Miss Zoe de Burgh, Miss Lindsay Fitzpatrick, Lady Olivia Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. H. F. Hardy, Mr. and Mrs. Cramer-Roberts, Mr. Maunsell, D.I., Mr. Crane C. I., R.I.C.; Madame Leonie, Miss Broe, Miss C. Broe, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, Mr. Cloonan, the Misses Fennell, etc.

Soon after 4 o’clock the teams lined out as follows:-

Viceregal Team:- Mr. Nash, Prince Henry, Captain Hall, Captain Walter Lindsay (back).


County Kildare:- Mr. Howard, Mr. E. Bellaney, Mr. Leycester Penrhyn, Col. de Robeck, (back).


The Viceregal team opened by getting possession, and had a short advantage, which was nullified by Mr. Howard aided by Colonel de Robeck.  The Kildares then got away to the Viceregal territory, but Prince Henry and Captain Lindsay relieved the pressure in front of the posts, knocking aside.  A lengthened scrimmage followed, and the Kildare team pressed hard, but were not driven off, and the first score went up to their credit.  The visitors again led the way, Captain Hall and Captain Lindsay being most prominent.  The Prince got an opening and made a good effort, but just missed sending through.  On the hit out the Kildares led with a fine gallop down to their antagonists’ quarters and after some light hitting on both sides the second goal was recorded for the home side.  The first bell went soon after.  Resuming on neutral ground, Kildare went away with a rush, and Mr. Penrhyn put on the next goal.  The home team played splendidly now.  Colonel de Robeck got away, but fast riding by the Prince pulled him up close on the lines, and hard riding down the field soon put the home side defending.  Colonel de Robeck, with a fine back stroke, gave relief for a moment, but the Viceregal team could not be got away, and after a fine drive by Prince Henry Captain Lindsay converted.  There was now a general interchange of play on both sides.  A run was made to the Kildare quarters, but some loose hitting brought play away, and the home team put on their fourth goal just at half-time.  The Viceregal now showed in the ascendant, Captain Lindsay doing effective hitting, but broke his stick at the critical point, when the press was relieved and play brought to the opposite quarter.  The onslaught was relieved, and the Viceregal team soon had their opponents defending, but a few good hits brought play to mid-field.  Here a fine rush was made by Kildare, but Prince Henry beat the attack off.  The Viceregal team now attacked, and had the ball over their antagonists’ line three times in succession.  From the hit out relief came, but they renewed the attack and put up the second goal to their credit just as the third interval arrived.  Resuming, the visitors led off, and were on the Kildare line, and Captain Lindsay made a fine rush, but not having a backer, the side lost a good opening.  The attack was continued from the near side quarter, Prince Henry making a good pass, which was taken by Captain Hall and the third goal recorded.  The visitors again led off, and hard playing on both sides followed.  Prince Henry hit a fine back-hander, and Captain Lindsay put up the next goal, and in less than a minute from changing over they put up the fifth goal, leaving the score equal.  Soon after the Viceregal side got away and scored their sixth goal.  They seemed now to have their own way, overriding the Kildares.  The ball was sent twice over the line close by the posts, and it was hard luck the visitors did not score again.  Mr. Nash had a lot to do in keeping off Colonel de Robeck.  The local team were held a long time defending, but they could not ward off the attack, and the seventh goal was scored.  The game soon afterwards ended with the visitors having the better of the argument in their opponents’ lines.


Viceregal………………7 goals

Co. Kildare…………….5 goals

Prince Henry rode ponies placed at his service by Captain Steeds.  He played remarkably well in the latter part of the match, showing great dash and strong driving powers.