Saturday, 25 February 2017

Thomastown Park

THE BENNETTS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN THE KING'S COUNTY, WITH 5,480 ACRES


NICHOLAS BENNETT married Mabel O’Kelly, of County Roscommon, and had issue,
Nicholas, died unmarried;
FRANCIS, his heir;
Mabel, m to John Ball;
Anne, died unmarried.
The eldest surviving son, 

FRANCIS BENNETT, of Thomastown, wedded Elizabeth Laffin, of County Kilkenny, and had issue,
Thomas, died unmarried;
VALENTINE;
Mary Catherine, m to Lt-Col L'Estrange;
Elizabeth Emily, m to John Farrell.
The younger son,

VALENTINE BENNETT JP DL, of Thomastown, High Sheriff of King's County (Offaly), 1830, married, in 1894, Elizabeth Helen, daughter of George Ryan, of Inch House, County Tipperary, and had issue,
FRANCIS VALENTINE, his heir;
George Henry;
Thomas Joseph;
Henry Grey;
Valentine;
FREDERICK PHILIP, succeeded his brother;
Albert;
Elizabeth Marian.
Mr Bennett died in 1839, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS VALENTINE BENNETT JP DL (1826-90), of Thomastown Park, High Sheriff, 1854, who died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

FREDERICK PHILIP BENNETT JP DL (1830-1905), High Sheriff, 1895, who died at Monaco.

Mr Bennett left his estate to Mr Valentine Ryan, on condition that he adopt the name of BENNETT.


THOMASTOWN PARK HOUSE, Frankford, near Birr, County Offaly, was built in the mid-18th century.

There is said to be an old castle within the demesne.

The house, built during the mid-18th century for the Leggat family, and in the ownership of the Bennett family during the 19th century, was once a large and important demesne within County Offaly.

The house even had a private chapel.

Though the country house itself is no longer extant, the associated structures of the demesne remain.

Notable elements include the large walls which surround what once was a deer park; the finely tooled limestone entrance gates; the walled garden; and the outbuilding with ashlar bellcote.

The walled garden, outbuilding, deer park and former entrance gates and lodge to former Thomastown Park House, built ca 1750.

Main entrance gates (above) with square-profile, ashlar limestone gate piers with frieze and capping stones with wrought-iron gates flanked by pedestrian entrances with tooled limestone surrounds flanked by quadrant walls; large, walled deer park to north of former demesne with random coursed stone walls.

Walled garden to west of former house site with random coursed stone walls and red brick internal wall to north.

Outbuilding to farmyard complex with rough-cast rendered walls, corrugated roof and ashlar limestone bell-cote to south-east elevation.

Segmental and square-headed carriage arch openings with corrugated doors.

The estate was sold by Group Captain Richard Stephen Ryan CBE RAF in 1951.

First published in January, 2013.

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