Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Ballintemple House

THE BUTLER BARONETS, OF CLOUGHGRENAN, WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY CARLOW, WITH 6,538 ACRES 

The family of BUTLER is one of the most ancient and illustrious in the British Isles; and for the services which, at different periods, it rendered to the Crown, it obtained titles of honour in each of the kingdoms of the realm.

THOMAS BUTLER, of Cloughgrenan, County Carlow, supposed to be lineally descended from Sir Edmund Butler, Knight, second son of James, 9th Earl of Ormond, was created a baronet in 1628.

Sir Thomas represented County Carlow in Parliament in 1639.

He married Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Colclough, Knight, of Tintern Abbey, County Wexford, and widow of Nicholas Bagenal, by whom he had four sons and three daughters.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDMUND BUTLER, 2nd Baronet, who wedded Juliana, daughter of Bernard Hyde, of Shinfield, Berkshire, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
James;
Eleanor.
Sir Edmund died ca 1650, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS BUTLER, 3rd Baronet, who espoused firstly, Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Dr Richard Boyle, Lord Bishop of Leighlin and Ferns; and secondly, in 1700, Jane, daughter of Edward Pottinger.

By his first wife he had two sons, of whom the elder,

SIR PIERCE BUTLER (1670-1732), 4th Baronet, MP for County Carlow, 1713, wedded, in 1697, Anne, daughter of Joshua Galliard, of Enfield, Middlesex.

This gentleman died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his nephew,

SIR RICHARD BUTLER (1699-1771), 5th Baronet, MP for Carlow, 1729-61, who espoused, in 1728, Henrietta, daughter and co-heiress of Henry Percy, by whom he had four sons and six daughters.

Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS BUTLER (1735-72), 6th Baronet, MP for Carlow, who married Dorothea, only daughter of  the Ven Dr Edward Bayley, of Ardfert, Archdeacon of Dublin, and niece of Sir Nicholas Bayley Bt, by whom he had four sons and as many daughters.

Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD BUTLER (1761-1817), 7th Baronet, MP for Carlow, 1783-1800.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Thomas Pierce Butler (b 1966).
Sir Richard Pierce Butler, 11th Baronet, served as High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1905 and was a DL for the county.

His son, Sir Thomas Pierce Butler CVO DSO OBE JP, 12th Baronet, was a colonel in the Grenadier Guards.

As of 2010, the title is held by the latter's son, Sir Richard Pierce Butler, 13th Baronet, who succeeded in 1994.



BALLIN TEMPLE, near Tullow, County Carlow, was a fine three-storey Georgian house with a five-bay entrance front.

The centre bay was distinguished by a Venetian window and a pedimented Grecian-Doric porte-cochere.

The centre of the garden front had a colonnaded semi-circular bow.

The house existed as a shell for a number of years, having been burnt; and has been demolished.


The following is a section of Turtle Bunbury's article about BallintempleAncient World, Ancient Fish:
Sir Richard Butler’s successful restoration of his family’s ancestral riverside estate at Ballintemple, County Carlow, has earned his small stretch of the River Slaney a well deserved alphabetical placement between Ashford and Ballynahinch Castles in the highly elite Great Fishing Houses of Ireland.

The project, commenced four years ago in conjunction with Robin Eustace Harvey, involved restoring both river banks, rebuilding the weirs and creating twenty four salmon pools.

Ballintemple started life as a sanctuary for members of the Knights Templar on leave from the Crusades. The estate formed part of William Marshall's vast inheritance through his marriage with Strongbow’s daughter in the late 12th century. 500 years later, the land was granted to Sir Thomas Butler of Cloghrennan, a first cousin of the “Great Duke” of Ormonde.

Sir Richard is the thirteenth generation in descent from Sir Thomas. His forbears generally played a modest role in the affairs of state. Perhaps the most notable family member was Piers Butler, sometime Senator of South Carolina and co-signatory of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

One hundred years ago the Ballintemple estate amounted to some 7,000 acres, upon which Sir Richard’s grandfather developed his passion for breeding Aberdeen Angus and Clydesdale shire-horses. He married Alice Mease, a granddaughter of the American actress Fanny Kemble.

On moving to the ancestral manor house at Ballintemple, the well-travelled Lady Alice described the estate as "one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen … in the spring the woods are literally carpeted with bluebells, the bluest and largest I have ever seen, often having fifteen bells on one stalk".

The burning of Ballintemple House in 1917, attributed to a plumber's blow-lamp and dry-rot filled rafters, was a great loss to Carlow’s architectural legacy. The shell was later demolished and only the 19th century classical portico now remains.

The Butler family then relocated to England where Sir Richard’s father, Sir Tom Butler, served as Resident Governor of the Tower of London. Subsequent confiscation’s and compulsory purchases by the Irish Land Commission whittled the Butler estate down to a few acres when Sir Richard inherited the property.

Sir Richard Butler, a former director with Chase Manhattan and founder of the Pestalozzi Children's Trust, could never shake off his desire to return to his Irish homeland. His family likewise continue to view Ballintemple as an intrinsic part of their heritage. Over the past decade, Sir Richard and his neighbour Robin Eustace Harvey have been steadily resurrecting the estate.

An ancient wood of some 20 hectares running along the riverbanks has been designated a Special Area of Conservation by Duchas. Sir Richard’s eldest son Tom has created an exceedingly nutritious 10-hectare organic farm while Tom’s Canadian wife Pam (aka Kamala Devi) runs a popular yoga retreat at Ballintemple during the summer.


The reopening of the Ballintemple fishing beat in 2003 met with widespread approval by fishermen and conservationists alike. The Slaney is one of Ireland’s longest rivers, wending its way 120 kilometres from the Glen of Imaal in the Wicklow Mountains south through Carlow and Wexford and into the sea at Wexford Harbour. It offers salmon in spring and sea trout in summer.
 First published in February, 2012.

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