Timeline

Key dates in the history of Ardclough and its hinterland

  • Flint found by James Hannon near Oughterard

    Flint found by James Hannon near Oughterard

    2600BC The earliest evidence of human habitation at Ardclough was a flint uncovered in 1982 by an agricultural contractor at Castlewarden, a rare discovery on a dry land site.

  • AD500 A monastery was founded by the Liffey at present day Castledillon (Coordinates 53°18′31″N 6°35′01″W) by St Iollathán of the desert (feast day February 2), making it arguable the oldest sacred site in the area associated with Christianity. Later twelfth-century genealogies accorded a royal lineage for Iollathán, claiming he he was the father of St Criotán (feast day May 11th) of Mágh Credan, Acad Finnech (on the river Dodder, in the heart of Ui Donnchada territory), and Crebagh Cruagh, Co Dublin, the son of Cormac mac Ailello (King of Leinster, 506-515) and brother of Cairbre Dubh (Coirpre mac Cormaic, King of Leinster 546).
  • Martyrology of Tallaght which lists five saints from Ardclough

    Martyrology of Tallaght lists five saints from Ardclough

  • 516/520 The Féilire Oengusso/Martyrology of Tallaght (composed c830) gives this date for the death of Conlaed ua hEimri (St Conleth). It claims that Conleth, the first bishop of Cill Dara was devoured by wolves (May 3) “at Sceach Conlaid near Liamhain on the plain of Kildare” a townland identified as Skeagh, 2km north-east of Ardclough (co-ordinates 53°18′25″N 6°32′08″W), along the canal bank between Lyons and Hazlehatch.
  • c605 Monastery at Oughterard (Coordinates: 53°16′40″N 6°33′55″W) founded by St Bríga (Brigit) venerated on January 21st.

    Féilire Oengusso notes that another Oughterard saint “St Tarcairtenn of Uachtar Árd” was venerated on December 18th.

    Oughterard, drawn by Austin Cooper in 1782

    Oughterard, drawn by Austin Cooper in 1782

  • 760 Cellach mac Dúnchado succeeded to the kingship of Laighin (Leinster) and established his base in Cnoch Liamhna (Lyons Hill, coordinates: 53°17′26″N 6°32′06″W) until his death in 776, the first king of Laighin to come from the Uí Dúnchada dynasty, commencing an elaborate three-way alternating kingship in among three Uí Dúnlaigne dynasties over a 300 year period with, according to UCD historian Francis John Byrne “astonishingly few disputes.”

    Rath on top of Lyons hill, the seat of ten kings of Leinster

    Rath on top of Lyons hill, the seat of ten kings of Leinster

  • C700 Teach Srafán founded by St Srafán (feast day May 23). Srafán said to be buried at Kill.
  • 738 Victory in the Battle of Ballyshannon (Aug 18), near Kilcullen, leaves the Ui Dunlainge unopposed as kings of Leinster for 300 years.
  • 795 Finsnechtae Cetharderc mac Cellaig became the second King of Laighin to be based at Cnoch Liamhna. He seized power (May 6) with the assassination of the previous king Bran Ardchenn mac Muiredaig of the Uí Muiredaig sept and his queen Eithne by burning in a church at Cell Cúile Duma, near Stradbally, Co Laois, a gesture of rebellion against Eithne’s brother the high king Donnchad Midi (733-797).
  • c800 Feidhlim Virgin and Mughain (joint feast day December 9th) were the foundress saints of Cluain Ecclaise/Clonaghlis (Coordinates 53°18′03″N 6°33′10″W), according to the Martyrology of Donegal “two daughters of Ailill son of Dúnlang, and Cill-na-ningean in the west of Mágh Life by the side of Liamhain in the name of his place. They are of the race of Cathaoir Mor of Leinster.”

    Clonaghlis graveyard

    Clonaghlis graveyard

  • 806 High King Aed Oirdnide mac Néill invaded Laighin and deposed Finsnechtae. Finsnechtae regained the kingdom until his death in 808, something which caused dynastic strife and a second invasion by the High King Aed Oirdnide.
  • 834 Bran mac Fáeláin, nephew of Finsneachta and grandson of Cellach, became the third King of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until his death in 838.
  • 835 Bran was “ordained” King of Laighin by High King Niall Caille mac Áedo. This may be the earliest instance of “ordination” of a king in European history. The claim was made by Francis John Byrne, Professor of early Irish history at UC Dublin. Donncha O Corráin Professor of early Irish history at UC Cork claimed in 1998 this may be a misreading of the sources.

    Geneaology of the Ui Dunlainge kings of Leinster summarised by FJ Byrne

    Geneaology of the Ui Dunlainge kings of Leinster summarised by FJ Byrne

  • 854 Ruarc mac Bran became the fourth king of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until death in 862.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 884 Muiredach mac Bran, also Abbott of Kildare, became the fifth king of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until death a year later.
  • 909 Cearball mac Murecain, king of Laighin and member of the Ui Faeláin dynasty based at Nás na Riogh, a cousin lineage of the Uí Dúnchada of Cnoch Liamhna, was interred at Kill (Cill Corbain) in “a noble church of shining lustre” alongside eight of his Ui Faeláin royal ancestors. Kill thereafter became renowned as a sacred burial place of the Ui Faeláin.
  • Book of Armagh917 Fáelán mac Muiredaig became the sixth King of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until 942, when Lorcán mac Fáelán succeeded his father and became the seventh King of Leinster to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until death in 943.
  • 941 Official visit to Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna by Muirchertach mac Néill, King of Aileach.
  • 942 Lorcán mac Fáeláin became the seventh King of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until his death a year later.

    Princess Liamhain was hunted down and killed at Lyons, according to the Dindsenchas

    Princess Liamhain was hunted down and killed at Lyons, according to the Dindsenchas

  • 958 Cellach mac Fáeláin became the eighth King of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until death in 966.
  • c975 Death of Cináed Ua Hartacáin, probable composer of Liamuin, a 28-verse poem in the Dindseanchas (Dinnshenchas Érenn, Volume 3 Poem 7) which identifies Cnoch Liamhna as one of “The notable places of Leinster – wealth of valour/ Do the historians declare them?/ The notable places, and next the raths/ Many the causes whence they are named” alongside Tara, Eamhain Mhacha, Knockaulin and Cruachan, an indication of the status of the Uí Dúnchada at the time. According to the Dindseanchas, Liamhain was one of four daughters of Dubhthach Dubthaire, of Desi in Bregia, placed under géise never to marry. Lyons hill identifies the spot where she and her lover were slain by an enraged Dubthach.

    Sitric Silkbeard coin

    Sitric Silkbeard coin

  • 978 Dómnall Claen mac Lorcáin became the ninth King of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until his death at the hands of the Uí Chennselaig in 984.
  • 978-9 Dómnall Claen was taken prisoner by Danes of Dublin before being released on the intervention of Máel Sechnaill of Meath.
  • 984 Donnchad mac Dómnail Claen became the tenth and last King of Laighin to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna until deposed in 1003. His nine year combat with his Uí Fáeláin rival, Máel Mórda mac Murchada and the Vikings of Dublin was indirectly responsible for provoking a war between Máel Sechnaill mac Dómnaill (948–1022), and Brian Bóruma (c.941–1014) for supremacy and the High Kingship.

    Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh

    Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh

  • 1000 The Battle of Gleann Máma (coordinates 53°16′25″N 6°32′57″W) took place on New Year’s Day. Brian Boróime and Máel Sechnaill with Ardclough/Lyons king Donnchad mac Dómnail Claen and their Munster/Meath forces defeated the Leinster/Viking forces of Máel Mórda of Leinster, Sigtrygg of Dublin, Cuilen Eitigensson and Arald mac Amhlaibh, Harold Olafsson, who was to die in the battle. Glenn Máma was identified as a site beside Cnoc Liamhna by Joseph Lloyd in 1914 and confirmed in 2001 by Ailbhe MacShamhráin (1954-2011) in Medieval Dublin, edited by Sean Duffy, 2001. The prelude to the account of the battle in Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh (written 1110-1110) translates as “We were a night at Liamhain/ Not few were those who were seeking us/ The Leinstermen without in Gleann Máma.”
  • c1000 Construction of stone church at Diseart Iolann, Castledillon (Coordinates 53°18′31″N 6°35′01″W)
  • 1003 Brian Boróime deposed the last King of Leinster to be based at Lyons/Cnoch Liamhna, Donnchad mac Dómnail Claen and gave the kingship of Leinster to his Ui Faelan rival and Glenn Mama opponent, Mael Morda. A second revolt by Mael Morda and his uncle Sitriuc Silkbeard led to the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
  • 19th century depiction of Godred Crovan in a stained glass window at Tynwald Court.

    19th century depiction of Godred Crovan in a stained glass window at Tynwald Court.

    1094 Oughterard was burned in a raid on the area by Godfred Crovan (Gofraid Méránach), who was King of Man since 1079 and king of the Dublin Vikings since 1091. Gofraid was expelled from Dublin by Muirchertaigh Ua Briain, “High King with opposition”, and dies the following year.

  • 1111 Ardclough finds itself on the borders as The Synod of Raith Bressail defined the diocesan spheres of influence, the first attempt to determine church boundaries, for the dioceses of Cill Dara and Glenn Da Locha.
  • c1150 The heroic text Acallam na Senórachat about 8,000 lines is the longest surviving work of original medieval Irish literature, refers to a mythical game of hurling in Ardclough, one of the sons of the King of Leinster, who has escaped from the Aos Sí, tells St Patrick that three years earlier he had been hurling on Sí Liamhna when he was kidnapped by two fairy women.

    Maurice FitzGerald by his nephew Giraldus Cambrensis

    Maurice FitzGerald by his nephew Giraldus Cambrensis

  • 1152 Synod of Mellifont established Cill Dara and Dublin diocesan boundaries affecting parishes in the region.
  • 1171 Norman invasion Straffan/Trachstraphli granted to Maurice Fitzgerald by Richard de Clare (Strongbow). Lands at Lyons (Lean) and Oughterard to Adam de Hereford. A Motte and Bailey was erected near where McEvoy’s public house in Newcastle now stands, possibly the origin of “Novum Castrum de Leuan” (the New Castle of Lyons).
  • 1191 O’Clery Genealogies compiled in the 17th century entry for 1191 says: “ocus as e Geralt mac Muiris mac Gerailt fuair Magh Nudhat et an Rath Mor et Teach Sraffain et Tegh Tuagh” (and it was Gerald son of Maurice son of Gerald (or Fitzgerald) who received Maynooth, and Rathmore and Straffan and Taghadoe).
  • 1202 Thomas de Hereford grants Thillerdelan (Díseart Ilean, Castledillon) to St Wolstan’s religious community.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1210 Oughterard (Wechtrard) passes from de Hereford family to newly founded monastery of St Thomas in Kilmainham.
  • 1210 Cill Dara became one of original twelve Norman counties, originally as the “Liberty of Kildare”.
  • 1217 Reference to Lyons (Lewan) in the Calendar of State papers, other spellings include Leuan 1223, 1224, 1225, 1228, 1230 and 1260, Lyons in 1272, Lyons (Ecclesiastical Tax 1322), Lions (Calendar of Carew MS 1535 and 1537).
  • 1228 An endowment of five shillings a year was given by Angevin King Henry III to the church of Newcastle, the mother church of the King’s manor of Newcastle de Leuan.
  • 1247:  Warin, the abbot of St Thomas the Martyr, Dublin, and Ralph de Pippard agree that whole of the churches of Castle Warrin, and Oughterard, tithes, lands, rents etc., were the sole right of the said abbot; who agreed to pay yearly to John de Linford, chaplain to the said Ralph, one hundred shillings, till he had provided him with church preferments to the value of ten pounds yearly; and the abbot engaged, that Ralph, his ancestors and successors, should be forever partakers in all prayers, masses, etc., made and offered up in their church. (Mervyn Archdall, Monasticum Hibericum)
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAc1250 Date ascribed to “fine example of a moated house” at Puddlehall (Coordinates 53°17′29″N 6°35′57″W), behind Whitechurch graveyard, by Sean Ó Riordáin (Antiquities of the Irish Countryside, Cork 1942)
  • 1270 Waleran de Wellesley holds the “New Castle of Lyons” from the crown.
  • c1271-1300 Estimated dates for the arrival of the Aylmer family at Lyons.

    Reeves Castle

    Reeves Castle

  • 1288 John Fannyn conveyed Straffan and Ballespaddagh (Irishtown) to Richard Le Penkiston, witnessed by Richard de la Salle, John Posswick and Nicholas Barby, who each gave their name to townlands, Sealstown, Possextown and Barberstown. Henry Baroun gave his name to Baronrath. Other Norman families who settled in the area gave their names to townlands: Tipper (Tipperstown, coordinates 53°17′58″N 6°34′11″W), Kearneystown (after an Irish family that survived the invasion, coordinates 53°18′28″N 6°32′45″W), Pluck (Pluckstown, coordinates 53°17′06″N 6°32′47″W)) and Waring (Castlewarden, coordinates 53°15′56″N 6°32′43″W). Reeves (coordinates 53°18′25″N 6°33′49″W) may have derived from a French name for the banks of Liffey.
  • 1294 Calendar of Christ Church Deeds declared that the churches of Kylodonane and Tristeyldelane were “not worth the services of chaplains.”

    Castle at Lyons

    Castle at Lyons

  • 1297 “County of Kildare” comes into being and was defined as such by act of England’s King Edward, with a border running behind Lyons Hill at Pluckstown.
  • c1300 Whitechurch (Ecclesia Templi Albi or Ecclesia Alba, named for the Carmelite order) granted to order of St John (Coordinates 53°17′15″N 6°36′14″W).
  • c1300-1400 

    Construction of castles at Barberstown (coordinates: 53.323°N 6.61°W),

    Castledillon

    (coordinates 53°18′30″N 6°35′22″W), Ladycastle (so named because it was granted by David FitzGerald to his mother 1227, coordinates 53°17′57″N 6°38′05″W), Lyons (coordinates 53°17′52″N 6°32′17″W), Oughterard (coordinates 53°16′32″N 6°33′56″W), Rathcoffey(coordinates 53°19′53″N 6°39′57″W), Reeves (coordinates 53°18′25″N 6°33′49″W), Richardstown (coordinates 53°18′48″N 6°40′20″W) and Whitechurch (coordinates 53°17′15″N 6°36′14″W).

    Castle at Oughterard

    Castle at Oughterard

  • 1303 Oughterard parish manor valued at £12 (about €13,000 today) and vicarage 30/- a year. Lyons manor valued at £2 (about €2,500; Ecclesiastical Taxation, Sweetman Calendar of Documents Ireland).
  • 1305 Henry Tyrrell of Lyons confined to Dublin Castle dungeon until he starved to death, for acts of extortion on the highway to Naas that passed near Oughterard.
  • 1307 Castledillon and Whitechurch parishes joined for Papal taxation.
  • 1317 Ardclough district plundered by 20,000 strong army led by Edward Bruce (February-March).
  • 1332 Lyons castle was burned by the O’Tooles (manuscript of Book of Howth, Carew Papers about Ireland MSS 248 in the Lambeth episcopal library).
  • c1380 Lyons Castle passes to Aylmers after John Aylmer married Helen Tyrrell.
  • 1394 Oughterard tenanted by Patrick O’Bryen passed to rector Richard Myles.

    Castledillon stone sketch from 1909

    Castledillon stone sketch from 1909

  • C1400 Castledillon “Friar’s Stone” that was placed in graveyard c1400 can now be seen in information centre in Kildare town with inscription ICI GiST DEV DE SA ALLME EIT MERCI, Here Lies (illegible) God Have Mercy on His Soul.
  • C1400 Church and fortified priest’s dwelling chambers built at Straffan, (arguably) on site of St Srafán’s monastery – ruins can still be seen at old graveyard.
  • 1406 Custody of the lands in the town of “Surnyng” (later Turnings) granted by the king to Thomas de Preston, later to pass to Preston, Sarsfield, Jones, O’Lalor, Par and Mills families.
  • 1412 Castlewarden and Oughterard granted to James Butler (1390–1452), fourth earl of Ormond (the White Earl) in recognition of his support for the Lancastrian cause.
  • c1415 Aylmer family moved to Lyons: reference to “Richard Aylmer” of Lyons.
  • 1417 John Swayne clerk of the diocese of Kildare and canon and prebend of Lyons, before became Archbishop of Dublin
  • 1421 Richard Aylmer of Lyons appointed keeper of the peace for Dublin and Kildare.

    Whitechurch graveyard

    Whitechurch graveyard

  • 1435 Richard Aylmer of Lyons marries Catherine, widow of John Kerdiff.
  • 1495 Bartholmew Aylmer “of Lyons” appointed High Sheriff of Kildare.
  • 1508 William Preston enfyfed Archdeacon Robert Sutton and Thomas Cornwalshe, Vicar of Stamullen, with the manor of Whitechurch (alias Tullaghtipper), “containing the town and lands of le Tunryng (alias Surnyng), Clonyng, Killenmore, Killbregaghe, Killussy, Rathmore, Collenbakeston, Ardress, Cloghle, Osberiston and Clanswhiche”.

    Piatas Ruadh Bulter and Maigin Nic Gearailt, tomb in St Canice's in Kilkenny

    Piatas Ruadh Bulter and Maigin Nic Gearailt, tomb in St Canice’s in Kilkenny

  • 1513 Death of Edward Lane, Bishop of Kildare and last bishop to reside at the Bishop’s Court, (coordinates 53°15′52″N 6°34′39″W)..
  • 1527 Thomas Dillon Bishop of Kildare grants Bishopscourt to Piers Earl of Ormond and his wife Margaret FitzGerald.
  • 1531 Hospital of St John in Kilmainham forced to surrender rectoral tithes to Straffan in attempt to establish a perpetual vicerage.
  • 1534 Rebellion of Silken Thomas (1513–1537) (June 11), Aylmers of Lyons became leading opponents of Fitzgerald rebellion.
  • 1535 William Brereton (d. 1541) used Lyons as a military base for his campaigns during Silken Thomas rebellion. Maynooth castle was taken in March by William Skeffington (1465–1535).
  • 1536 Richard Aylmer of Lyons appointed chief sergeant of Kildare.
  • 1537 Lord Lieutenant Leonard Grey (1479/1492–1541) reported that three quarters of Kildare has been burned by raiders from Wicklow. As the suppression of monasteries by Henry VIII commenced, Castledillon was named among possessions of St Wolstan’s monastery in Celbridge. Whitechurch named among possessions of St John the Baptist monastery in Naas (prior Thomas Poswyck).

    Window at Whitechurch

    Window at Whitechurch

  • 1537 Whitechurch leased to the Allen family.
  • 1539 Laurence Byrlye, rector of Whitchurch prior to the suppression of the monasteries, was granted a pension of 40 shillings.
  • 1541 Parish churches passed from Catholic to Protestant (Established) church hands and parishes were consolidated under the reorganisation scheme of England’s Henry VIII. Stephen Creman was listed as Vicar of Oughterard and Castlewarden, where the church chancel was said to be in need of repair. Tithes of the Rectory of Whitechurch (18 couples of grain, £12) were granted to David Sutton of Barberstown and Richard Aylmer of Lyons. The parishes of Castledillon, Straffan, Donacumper were united with the parish of Kildrought. The parish of Oughterard may have been united with the Parish of Lyons at this time.

    Richard Aylmer-Elinor Fleming stone in Lyons

    Richard Aylmer-Elinor Fleming stone in Lyons

  • 1548 Stone erected in Lyons churchyard to commemorate marriage of Richard Aylmer to Elinor Fleming.
  • 1548 On death of William Miagh, Bishop of Kildare, the last  with a claim on the Bishop’s Court, Bishopscourt passed to John Alan, Chancellor of Ireland (February).
  • 1552 Bartholmew Aylmer became Joint Governor of Ireland.
  • 1553 Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond conveyed land in Oughtarenny to the Aylmers including the historic parish of Cloncurry between Carbury and Enfield.
  • 1555 A new coat of arms was granted to Bartholmew Aylmer of Lyons.
  • 1560 Manor of Whitechurch leased to Patrick Sarsfield, merchant of Dublin.

    Aylmers of Lyons coat of arms

    Aylmers of Lyons coat of arms

  • 1562 Richard Aylmer of Lyons granted special livery of his estates.
  • 1562 Alexander Craik, Bishop of Kildare, obtained license to alienate to Patrick Sarsfield of Baggotrath, “the manor and lands of Bishopscourt by Woghterard. “
  • 1574 Oughterard was paying 26/8 a year in black rent to Hugh McShane O’Byrne and the O’Tooles.
  • 1581 The de Penkiston family forfeited estates in Straffan and Irishtown, for joining the rebellion of James Eustace (Lord Baltinglass).
  • 1590 Straffan was the location of the first paper mill in Ireland (claim by M Pollard in “Papermaking in Ireland, Irish Booklore III)

  • 1591 Inquisition (Feb 23) identifies twelve acres bounded on east by land called “Rowe,” and on the south “by the ancient town of Cloneaglish” granted to chancery of Oughterard.

    Kildare castles in 1599

    Kildare castles in 1599

  • 1592 Richard Aylmer of Lyons brought forty horsemen to the general hosting at Tara.

  • 1599 Whitechurch and Lyons castles identified on map by Baptista Boazio and Renold Elstrack.
  • 1603 Garrison of ten soldiers placed in Newcastle.
  • 1605 Oughterard passed to Thomas Harrington. 1608 Browne listed as “Provost of Owghterard.”
  • 1609 Repairs to Oughterard Church (the date was later mistakenly given as the date for construction of the church in Lewis Topography in 1837 and other publications).

    View to 14th century window at Oughterard

    View to 14th century window at Oughterard

  • 1612 Borough of Newcastle-Lyons created (August 12th) to elect two members to Irish house of Commons – the same number of representatives as the City of Dublin. The charter of incorporation was drawn up November 26th. Thomas Reynolds was appointed first portreeve, Thomas Bridges, William Burton, Robert Davies, Patrick Frend, John Grible, Edward Kenny, John Lushe, William Parsons, William Rolles, Edward Rutledge, George White and William White are the first twelve burgesses. The new borough was one of a series of measures by George Carew (1555-1629) created by English king James 1 to pack the Irish parliament with new (all protestant) members
  • 1613 Newly enfranchised Newcastle Lyons sent two representatives at the newly enlarged Irish parliament (March 30). Ironically, William Parsons (c.1570–1650), one of the new MP’s, later ordered that the towns of Newcastle and Lyons be burned during the 1642 war. Newcastle continued to elect two members to the Irish parliament until the Act of Union in 1800.
  • 1613 John Gaydon of Straffan and Irishtown was seized “of the fee of all castles messuages lands and tenements in Straffan” of castle and 168 acres.

    Nicholas Wogan's castle at Rathcoffey.

    Nicholas Wogan’s castle at Rathcoffey.

  • 1641 William Parsons (c.1570–1650) who sat for the borough of Newcastle-Lyons in the 1613–15 parliament, was sworn in as Lord Justice (Feb 10), initially alongside Thomas Dillon but then alongside the elderly and infirm John Borlase, becoming effective colonial governor of Ireland. He deftly changed sides after Thomas Wentworth was recalled to the Tower of London (September 1639). His attempts to divide the developing consensus between Catholic and Protestant landowners in Ireland led to a rebellion on October 23rd.

    James Butler Ormonde

    James Butler Ormonde

  • 1641 Several Kildare landowners joined the Irish Confederates (October) in what was about to develop into a three-sided war: Nicholas Wogan of Rathcoffey became a member of the Council of War, Confederate supporters included Andrew Aylmer of Donadea, Nicholas Sutton of Barberstown, John Gaydon of lrishtown (including the present Straffan) and Garret Sutton of Richardstown.
  • 1641 Newcastle became the headquarters for Irish forces based in the County Dublin (October-November), when 5,000 soldiers were quartered there under Colonel Talbot, Captain Martin Scurlock and Captain Thomas Scurlock of Rathcreedan.
  • George Monck

    George Monck

    1642 Reinforcements arrive from England and William Parsons directed two separate invading armies which caused devastation throughout the area. James Butler (1610–1688), Duke of Ormonde, Richard Lambart (1628–1691), Charles Coote (1610-1661) and Simon Harcourt (1603–1642) led the first army into Newcastle (Jan 31st) with 2,000 artillery, 300 cavalry and five small field cannon. They found Newcastle deserted and burned the town, then burned Lyons and Oughterard. Other castles destroyed over three days of destruction included Athgoe (coordinates 53°17′00″N 6°31′08″W), Castlewarden (coordinates 53°15′56″N 6°32′43″W), Castledillon (coordinates 53°18′30″N 6°35′22″W) and two castles belonging to Edward Tipper of Tipperstown (coordinates 53°17′58″N 6°34′11″W). When the army moved on to plunder Naas, Ormonde was recalled to Dublin. When he re-entered Newcastle on February 2nd, he found some of the inhabitants had returned. Francis Ball’s History of County Dublin (1905) drawing on Thomas Caste’s Life of Ormonde, recounts that: After hanging six or seven of them and pillaging their houses, Ormonde’s soldiers set out for Dublin, ‘rich in plate and stuff and cattle —pillage which would have been much greater only for the severity of the storm during which the cattle were blown away.  

    Simon Harcourt

    Simon Harcourt

  • 1642 Papers of Simon Harcourt (1603-1642) record: The castle of Lyons was taken and great store of pillage of  their owner and the neighbours put there to be kept taken. By this time Harcourt had adjusted himself  to the Irish scene. ” I have provided some household stuff (which the rebels have furnished me withal) against your coming, as a very good basin and ewer, two flagons, a salt and sugar box,two wine cups of silver, some two dozen of pewter dishes and good store of ordinary household linen. All this I found in a castle we lately took, some seven miles from Dublin, called the Castle of Lyons.

    War damage at Barberstown from General Monck's campaign

    Damage to Nicholas Sutton’s castle at Barberstown from Monck’s campaign

  • 1642 Three weeks later a second military invasion devastated the countryside north of the Liffey (March-April). General George Monck (then apparently a Royalist, later a parliamentarian) decamped at the “horse’s field” in Ardrass before the siege and infamous massacre at Rathcoffey (June). The garrison of 70 men surrendered and were executed in Dublin, while numerous civilians were massacred on the spot. Their bones were found in a nearby wood nearly two centuries later. Damage to Nicholas Sutton’s Castle at Barberstown can still be seen.
  • 1642 Later accounts alluded to the devastation of the district: Thomas Carte wrote in 1738 that County Kildare burned “for 17 miles in length and 25 in breadth” (Life of Ormonde, Vol 1, p246). John Curry wrote of Kildare in Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland (1775): “There was not so many left living as could gather a twentieth of the harvest.” (pdf download 84 megs).
  • 1647 The Confederate army marching from Kilkenny on Dublin found the district devastated,. Eoghan Rua Ó Néill was sent to Newcastle but, “not being able to live on air, retired as quickly as he came.” (Earl of Castlehaven’s Memoirs). Eoghan Rua Ó Néill and Thomas Preston pitched their joint camp in Celbridge, preparing for an attack on Dublin which never took place (June).
  • 1649 The year, according to folklore, Oliver Cromwell viewed the countryside from Lyons Hill and declared “Ireland is a country worth fighting for,” a favourite story of Ardclough NS principal Brigid Maguire for her pupils in the 1940s and 1950s.

    Wolfe vault at Oughterard

    Wolfe vault at Oughterard

  • 1650 The Wolfe Family mausoleum was first opened at Oughterard, Richard and his son John were buried there by 1715.
  • 1654 Civil Survey reports there was a valuable house at Lyons which had been burned. Landowners in Whitechurch include Alerian, Weisley of Daingan, John Bath of Culpe, William Sarsfield of Lucan, John Edward Allen of Bishopscourt and Robert Rochford of Kilbride. Common of pasture of about 150 acres recorded in Killeenmore.
  • 1659 An inquisition and census after ten years of Cromwellian rule reported there were just nine people resident in Lyons. The castle was owned by George Aylmer of Hartwell who was “returned a protestant by the Jury but known to have continued with the rebels in the first years of the rebellion and to have gone to mass with them, he died a papist and bred his children all papists.”
    The base, all that remains of Castledillon castle

    The base, all that remains of Castledillon castle

    Lyons House and garden were said “to be decayed” since it was last valued at £1,000 in 1640 and its value was reduced to £500, Richard Allen’s castle at Oughterard was listed as burned and its value was reduced from £20 to £10. Two castles at Tipperstown were reported burned and their values reduced from £120 to £40. A castle in Castledillon “being since repaired by Mrs Bowells” was increased in value from £60 to £50. In the cense of landowners, all but two (Sir Philip Percivall and Valerian Weisley) were listed as “Irish papist”. The list:

    William Petty map of 1650

    William Petty map of 1650

    Oughterard: Donogh O’Nayle, John Edward Allen of Bishopscourt, Richard Allen, Philip Percivall, Mr Talbot of Dardinstown (who owned Collinhill, Clonaghnis and Ballicoman), and Mabelly Aylmer. Castledillon: Robert Rochford of Kilbride, Lady Allen of St Wolstan’s and William Tipper of Tipperstown. Ladycastle: Valerian Weilsey “of ye Deingan,” John Bath of Culpe (also Baronrath), William Sarsfield of Lucan (also Turnings and Clownings). Commons of pasture were reported in Oughterard, Tipperstown, a commons of 150 acres at Killenmore and two large commons in Baronrath and Clownings.

  • 1660 Aylmers restored to ownership of Lyons on the restoration of Charles II.
  • 1663 Maurice Eustace named as heir of Whitechurch by his father in letter to Lord Justice of Ireland.

    Lyons House and Castle view from Lyons Hill

    Lyons House and Castle view from Lyons Hill

  • 1676 Bishopscourt passed to John Margetson on the death of Lord Kingston, formerly Sir John King. Margetson was later to die at the Siege of Limerick in 1690 fighting for William of Orange. His daughter married Brabazon Ponsonby (1679–1758).
  • 1689 George Aylmer of Lyons was returned to James II’s Irish Parliament as a member for Kildare, together with John Wogan, of Rathcoffey. George took part in the battles of the Boyne and Aughrim, and in the siege of Limerick. George Aylmer’s son, Gerald, was captured during the siege of Derry.

    Read family grave at Oughterard

    Read family grave at Oughterard

  • 1690 William Read was granted a license to sell ale on the roadside in Oughterard, near the graveyard where he was later to be buried. His trade included soldiers passing en route to the Siege of Limerick. His brewing skills were passed down to a grandson called Arthur Guinness, who reputedly worked as a footman for Brabazon Ponsonby in the 1740s, established a brewery in Celbridge, then Leixlip (September 1756) and finally St James’s Gate in Dublin (1759).
  • 1691 George Aylmer of Lyons, having fought in Patrick Sarsfield‘s army in the cause of James II, was identified in the articles of the Treaty of Limerick as eligible to retain the ownership of Lyons.
  • 1691 Lady Tyrconnell (Frances Jennings 1647-1730), widow of Richard Talbot (1630-1691), retained possession of Barberstown, despite the opposition of the Williamites, after the defeat of James Ii in the War of the Three Kings,. The castle was known was Tyrconnell’s Castle until the turn of the 20th century. She was described as “La Belle Jennings” in 1848 by Thomas Macaulay (1800 –1859) in his History of England from the Accession of James II,, (links volume 1vol. 2vol. 3vol. 4vol. 5).
  • 1693 Oldest headstone in Lyons churchyard, dedicated to Edmond Moore and his son James.

    Moore grave at Lyons

    Moore grave at Lyons

  • 1697 A survey of Catholic clergy by the new Williamite regime recorded William Tipper, a priest, living on his own farm at Tipperstown.
  • c1700 A lead mine in Lyons was leased by Mr Pettigrew. Mining later carried out in Whitechurch by the Royal Irish Mining Company.
  • 1704 Gilbert Cullen was listed as Parish Priest of Lyons, Oughterard, Whitechurch, Kill, Bodenstown, Johnstown, Forenaughts, Tipper and Sherlockstown, lived on the family farm which was owned by Edmond Cullen at Bishopscourt. Edmond Cullen and “Morgan Galvan of Alasty, farmer” provided his sureties. William Tipper of Tipperstown provides surety for John Hackett, last Catholic PP of Castledillon.

    Frances Jennings, Lady Tyrconnell of Barberstown

    Frances Jennings, Lady Tyrconnell of Barberstown

  • 1714 A Catholic mass house was erected at Lyons (Diocesan return of November 16 1731). Under the penal laws it was forbidden to erect a Catholic church in stone (coordinates 53°17′24″N 6°34′41″W).
  • 1717 Robert Delap became owner of Straffan estate and village.
  • 1724 East window installed in established church parish church at Newcastle.
  • 1724 Catholic mass house erected at Painestown.
  • 1731 Diocesan return of (November 16) lists population of Lyons and Kill parish as 800 Catholics and 80 protestants. John Doyle listed as PP of Lyons, Oughterard, Whitechurch, Kill, Bodenstown, Johnstown, Forenaughts, Tipper and Sherlockstown.
  • 1731 Memorial erected by John Doyle PP of Lyons to his parents at Lyons church.
  • 1733 Four year old Michael Aylmer inherited the family estates, including Lyons House. His indebtedness was eventually to cause the Aylmers to lose Lyons after 525 years.

    Joseph Henry of Straffan caricature by Joshua Reynolds

    Joseph Henry of Straffan caricature by Joshua Reynolds

  • 1731 Dublin Banker Hugh Henry purchased Straffan house for £2,200. Bridge over Liffey constructed at Straffan.
  • 1751 Joseph Henry from Straffan included among the characters in the caricature “School of Athens” painted by Joshua Reynolds in Rome, where Henry was residing with his uncle Joseph Leeson, First Earl of Milltown. Joseph Henry purchased the painting, it remained at Straffan until 1870 and is now in the National Gallery of Ireland.
  • 1752 Noble & Keenan map of Co Kildare shows road passing through the site of the mass house, where St Anne’s church was constructed in 1810.
  • 1755 Corke Journal reports that “There was a grand game of hurling between the gentlemen of the counties of Dublin and Kildare played lately on the commons of Lyon at which the Marquis of Huntingdon, Lord Lieutenant and a most brilliant appearance of nobility and gentry were present.” (22 September)

    Noble & Keenan's Ardclough

    Noble’s Ardclough, 1753

  • 1756 Work began on the Grand Canal scheme from Dublin to Shannon harbour. The stretch of canal from the 11th lock at Adamstown to 13th lock at Ardclough was the first to be excavated. It would be 1803 before the canal was completed. The first boat passed from Dublin to the Shannon in 1804.
  • 1756 John Ponsonby, second son of Brabazon Ponsonby, elected speaker of Irish House of Commons.
  • 1758 On the death of Brabazon Ponsonby (July 4), William Ponsonby inherits Bessborough and his second son John “Speaker” Ponsonby (1713-1789) inherits Bishopscourt.

    Spellisy grave in Castledillon

    Spellisy grave in Castledillon

  • 1758 Last and only surviving gravestone at Castledillon graveyard: HIS This Burial place Belongs to Cornelues Spellicy & posterity Where Lyeth ys body Of Ann Spellicy who Died Augst ye 1th 1758 Age 15. Allso Iudeth Lesther, & John Spellicy.
  • 1760 An untraced report in Finn’s Leinster Journal (transcribed in the 1930s but unverified since then)”A subscription is being raised for a purse of 27 guineas and a half to be disposed of for public diversions upon the commons of Saggart in the County of Dublin. Twelve guineas to the winners of a Match of Hurling 12 on a side, to be chosen in the field from the parishes of Rathcoole, Saggart and Tallaght against the same number from the parishes of Kill, Newcastle and Lyons. Six barrels of ale and 30 gallons of whiskey, 30 loaves of bread and some cheese, with salt herrings for use of the company: The hurling to begin at 11 in the morning.” (March 19)

    John Speaker Ponsonby

    John Speaker Ponsonby

  • 1761 John Ponsonby of Bishopscourt re-elected speaker of the Irish House of Commons for the second time.
  • 1763 Canal excavation reaches Ardclough, according to a commissioners’ report which reports that 13 locks were completed. The 13th lock at Ardclough (coordinates 53°18′04″N 6°33′19″W) was a double lock 137 feet (42 m) in length, built with Pozzuolona mortar. It is wider than required, as it followed to the ambitious design of the canal’s original engineer, Thomas Omer rather than the scaled down design of his successor John Trail. Bridges were named for local landowners, Aylmer Bridge in Kearneystown, Henry Bridge for Joseph Henry of Lodge Park, and Ponsonby Bridge in Baronrath. One document indicates Henry Bridge was originally to be known as “Bruton’s Bridge,” presumably after the family buried in Oughterard. The canal overflowed almost immediately, leaving the neighbourhood under four feet of water (Oct 4).

    Canal design for Ardclough

    Canal design for Ardclough

  • 1765 John Ponsonby of Bishopscourt was re-elected speaker of the Irish House of Commons for the third time.
  • 1768 The construction of the Grand Canal ran into serious financial problems. With the Clonaghlis lock at Ardclough already completed, John Trail took over from Thomas Omer as supervising engineer. Due to cost overruns Trail decided that the proposed canal capacity should be reduced from 170 ton barges to 40 ton barges and the width of the lock and the canal reduced.

    Ten mile stone on the Grand Canal

    Ten mile stone on Grand Canal at Ardclough

  • 1768 William Stuart and John Butler were elected by their nephew Brinsley Butler, Lord Lanesborough to the Irish Parliament of 1768 as members for the Borough of Newcastle-Lyons.
  • 1774 Nicholas Lawless (1733-99) converts to protestantism at St Bride’s Church in Bride St on the site of where the Iveagh trust buildings now stand (May 30)
  • 1775 Whiteboys active in Kill parish.
  • 1776 Nicholas Lawless (1733-99) woollen merchant and banker, was created a baronet and begins his climb up the social scale two years after converting to protestantism (June 20).

    Canal banks burst Oct 4 1763

    Canal banks burst Oct 4 1763

  • 1777 To gain access to funds from Dublin Corporation, the Grand Canal company proposed that the Morrell river, which runs from Blessington to Straffan, should become the main water supply for Dublin city, taking in water at Sherlockstown and using the canal water course through Ardclough. This became the main water supply for the city until the construction of the Vartry scheme in 1869.
  • 1779 The first passenger boats were towed along the canal from Dublin to Sallins (February)

    1783: Ardclough's first appearance on a map

    1783: Ardclough’s first appearance on a map

  • 1781 Michael Aylmer takes first of several loans from High St, Dublin woolen merchant and banker Nicholas Lawless using Lyons House as security.
  • 1783 Alexander Taylor’s map of Kildare mentions Aclagh for the first time at a site opposite where St Anne’s church was built in 1810. The townlands of Cloghnallis, Cairnystown, Glasgow, Lyons Parish, Tipperstown and Reeves are also mentioned.
  • 1783 Grand Canal records confirm that “ Lyons or Clonaughles lock” was reduced in size. The canal through the thirteenth lock serves as a reminder of Thomas Omer’s original plan, 20 feet (6.1 m) wide, compared with the 14 feet (4.3 m) width adopted by his successor as supervising engineer John Trail.

    Michael Aylmer, last of the Aylmers of Lyons, in 1787

    Michael Aylmer, last of the Aylmers of Lyons, in 1787

  • 1783 Newcastle-Lyons two seats in parliament purchased from the Butler family by the Latouche banking family. David and John la Touche were the initial MPs, Thomas ‘Buck’ Whaley (1766-1800) represented Newcastle in the Irish House of Commons from 1785 to 1790.
  • 1784 First passenger boat towed from Robertstown to Dublin on the Grand Canal. It was 19 more years before the canal was completed as far as Shannon harbour.
  • 1786 Oliver Grace was commissioned to build the original Lyons House for a cost of £12,000 (equivalent of about €1.4m today).
  • 1787 Straffan Catholic Church was built on land donated by Joseph Henry.

    Caricature of Tom Conolly of Castletown and William Ponsonby of Bishopscourt mission to London during the Regency Crisis, 1789

    Caricature showing Tom Conolly of Castletown and William Ponsonby of Bishopscourt mission to London during the Regency Crisis, 1789

  • 1789 Tom Conolly of Castletown (1738–1803), William Ponsonby of Bishopscourt (1704-1793) and William FitzGerald of Carton (1722–1773, Duke of Leinster), are amongst a delegation of six Irish politicians who travel to London (February 12, see caricature) to meet with George Guelph, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George III and the future George IV, at his home in Carlton House in London to make a case for a separate Kingdom of Ireland during the Regency Crisis of 1788 (inspiration for the 1994 film, The Madness of King George). 

    William Ponsonby

    William Ponsonby

  • 1789 Nicholas Lawless (1733-99) created the first Lord Cloncurry (Sept 22), he owned Lyons as a result of the indebtedness of Michael Aylmer but never resided there.
  • 1789 On death of John “Speaker” Ponsonby (December 12) Bishopscourt passed to William Ponsonby (1744-1806), the man who was to keep the best hunting establishment in Ireland’ according to GE Cokayne in The Complete Peerage. (Volume X, page 576).
  • 1790 Construction of Bishopscourt House (coordinates 53°15′52″N 6°34′39″W).

    Mary Ponsonby wife of Earl Grey

    Mary Ponsonby wife of Earl Grey

  • lady grey teabag1793 Date Valentine Browne Lawless is said to have joined United Irishmen at the age of 15.
  • 1794 Mary Ponsonby (1776-1861) from Bishopscourt married Charles Earl Grey who was to became English Prime Minister 1830-34 and have the brand of tea named in his honour, Mary Ponsonby is thence the Lady Grey of teabag fame.
  • 1796 Map of Pluckstown/Athgoe area features field called “football meadow.”
  • 1796 A legal action resulted in Lyons house being awarded to Nicholas Lawless and valued at £37,450. Most of this was to pay off Michael Aylmer’s gambling debts of £33,994 (equivalent about €3.2m today), of which £12,000 (equivalent to €1m) was owed to Lawless.
    Rent roll for Michael Aylmer at Lyons

    Rent roll for Michael Aylmer at Lyons

    Tenants listed in the Aylmer-Lawless case included John Bourke (2nd Earl of Mayo), Edward Kennedy of Johnstown, Co Dublin, James Byrne of Newcastle, Bartholomew Gerard of Coolgrogan/Skeagh, Michael Boyne, Patrick and Judith Byrne of Tandragee, Peter Locke, Hugh Coffey, John Shaw and eight unnamed cottiers who agreed to pay “a guinea and a half by their labours” in Pluckstown, Thomas and Peter Sheridan of Kearneystown, William Carroll of Lyons, Richard Griffith of Ardclough (Doran the occupant), Digby Brooks of Talbot’s Mills (now Templemills, Stephen Lushington and Joshua Pim, listed as manager). Folklore records Aylmer lost the last of his fortune gambling on the colour of a woman’s dress in Brussels.

  • Cross in Oughterard to memory of 1798 rebel Michael Phipps

    Cross in Oughterard to memory of 1798 rebel Michael Phipps

    1797 Valentine Browne Lawless suggested in a letter that Lyons tenants resent the Lawless takeover of Lyons estate (May 23).

  • 1798 Initial rebellion broke out on May 23rd at Clane and Naas but failed to capture Naas, Athy and Rathangan. The rebels from Kill, Ardclough and Straffan met under Straffan Bridge on June 18 and spent some time in the stables of Straffan Lodge before going to General William Aylmer‘s camp and participating in the Battle of Ovidstown (June 19, known as “Kildare’s Vinegar Hill“). Captain Michael Phipps from Blackchurch was among the rebels who participated in the battle, during which 300 rebels died. He later emigrated to America. Rebellion papers listed William Aylmer from Painestown among leaders and Patrick O’Connor, a lawyer from Straffan. Valentine Browne Lawless, 20-year-old heir to the Cloncurry peerage, was arrested in June in London on suspicion of making contact with the United Irish organisation and its English counterparts in London, the United Britonsas a result of associations with James Coigly (1761-98). He was the last proprietor of The Press, the United Irish newspaper both in Ireland and in London. where Coigly was arrested and executed (June 7). Thomas Reynolds, the informer from Castledermot, claimed Valentine B Lawless was elected a colonel of the United Irish in Kildare.
    1798 memorial at Ovidstown where 300 Kildare people died, including several from Ardclough

    1798 memorial at Ovidstown where 300 Kildare people died, including several from Ardclough

    Lawless’s agent in Co Kildare Thomas Braughall was also arrested. Legal documents concerning the court action between Lawless and Aylmer were among the papers seized. Hazelhatch bridge was also mentioned as a rendez-vous for rebels in enquiries into disturbances. John Wolfe of Forenaughts (from the Oughterard family) was among the leaders of Loyalist forces. His relative Theobald Wolfe of Blackhall was godfather to Theobald Wolfe Tone.

  • 1799 A rumour that Yeomen were planning a massacre of Catholics in the parish caused residents to leave their homes (Aug 6).
  • 1799 Valentine Browne Lawless (1778-1853) was in prison in the Tower of London when he succeeded to the title of second Lord Cloncurry on the death of his father (Aug 28). Valentine B Lawless’s grandfather and his fiancée, Mary Ryall, all died while he was imprisoned. United Irish historians claimed that Nicholas Lawless voted for the Union, against his conscience, in the hope of obtaining his son’s release. Death and burial at Lyons of Nicholas Lawless (1733-99), the first Lord Cloncurry, he was sometimes deprecated as “the blanket earl” because his father Robert Lawless (d1770) had risen from an impoverished childhood to become a wealthy wool merchant based in High St. Mourners included Lord Chancellor of Ireland John ‘Black Jack’ FitzGibbon. Fitzgibbon married Nicholas Lawless’ niece Margaret, and was therefore cousin-in-law of Valentine B Lawless.

    Survey map of Lyons estate 1801

    Survey map of Lyons estate 1801

  • 1800 Suppression of the Irish House of Commons caused Newcastle Lyons to lose the two seats in the House of Commons it had selected since 1613. The borough had just 11 registered voters. David and John La Touche from the Harristown banking family were the last Newcastle-Lyons MPs.
  • 1800 Valentine B Lawless was re-arrested (Jan 18) and held in the Tower of London until March 1801.
  • 1800 Bishop Delany told a Government commission there were 2,000 residents in Kill parish, the aged PP John Andoe (probably from Broguestown) was living at Blackchurch, gave half of his £75 income to his curate and had chapels to serve at Pluckstown, Hartwell and Sallins, as well as Kill.
  • c1800 Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) engaged Richard Morrison to redesign Lyons House (coordinates 53°17′26″N 6°32′42″W) and commences £200,000 renovation programme, equivalent to €15.27m today.

    Magazine account of marriage of Valentine Browne Lawless

    Magazine account of marriage of Valentine Browne Lawless

  • 1801 Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) married Elizabeth Georgiana Morgan in Rome (April 16) a month after his release from the Tower of London. He is 23, she is 16. Later the couple were to become the subject of Ireland’s first celebrity divorce case.
  • c1802 Statue of Venus excavated at Ostia, Italy 2,000 years ago, was purchased by Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) for shipment to Lyons.
  • 1803 Oughterard’s two most famous burials: founder of the brewing empire Arthur Guinness (died Jan 22) and Arthur Wolfe, Lord Kilwarden (July 23), the highest profile victim of Robert Emmett’s rebellion.

    Arthus Guinness, most famous grave in Oughterard

    Arthur Guinness, most famous grave in Oughterard

  • 1803 Ruan O’Donnell’s research suggests that Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry), then based in Paris, was a financier and member of Robert Emmet‘s “Government in exile” in the event of success with his rebellion (July 23). Valentine B Lawless was related to Robert Emmett and according to his 1859 memoir dined with Emmett before Emmett returned to Dublin and “pleaded with him” not to go ahead with the rebellion. Robert Shelton MacKenzie suggests that Valentine B Lawless was the one to whom Emmet alluded in his speech from the dock to the presiding judge at his trial, John Toler, Lord Norbury: “There are men concerned in this conspiracy who are not only superior to me, but even to your own conception of yourself, my lord.” A letter to Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) in Rome from his agent Thomas Ryan described how a party of British troops raided Lyons house (May 24). The British demanded entry to his cellar and broke the seal on the wine cellar. One of the officers, Philip Yorke, Lord Hardwick intervened to prevent them drinking the wine but they took family papers from the library and “a very valuable silver tea-urn.” Straffan men marched to Dublin to join Emmett’s rebellion, Barney Daly’s pub in Baronrath was used as a rendez-vous (June 23). A large party of rebels assembled at Windgates, captured Maynooth and raided Celbridge before dispersing. Michael Aylmer claimed a party of rebels was sighted on Lyons Hill poised to join Emmett rebellion (July 24). Robert Emmet’s uniform was among four generals’ uniforms found in Rathcoffey (October 29th).

    Statue of Venus brought by Valentine Lawless from Rome and installed at Lyons

    Statue of Venus brought by Valentine Lawless from Rome and installed at Lyons

  • 1804 Construction commenced on a new road from Kearneystown to Newcastle. Excavations were begun for a 22-acre spring-fed artificial lake, the largest artificial lake in Ireland, at Lyons house. Letters from this year by Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) record a dispute with a Mr Griffith over sinkhole for quarry site in Ardclough, and note that “the children of Lyons will not attend their school.”
  • 1804 Daniel Nolan, originally from Myshall, became PP of the parish of Kill and Lyons. He was responsible for constructing St Anne’s church on the canal bank and later moved the parish base from Lyons to Painestown and later to Kill village.
  • c1804 Reconstruction of Lyons house began. Two pillars from the Emperor Nero’s palace in Rome, originally looted from Egypt, were lodged in Lyons. The third of four shipments of Italian art, including sculptures bound for Lyons, sank off the Wicklow coast.
  • 1805 Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) returned to Lyons from exile in Paris and Rome (November). Neo-classical landscape painter Gaspare Gabrielli (1770-1828) came with him from Rome to paint frescoes for the new house. Gabrielli was to remain at Lyons for three years and remained in Ireland until 1814, being elected president of the Society of Artists in Dublin in 1811. A fourth shipment of Italian art was brought to Lyons, including the white marble font later bestowed on Ardclough church.
  • Painting of Lyons by Gabrielli before the wings were added

    Painting of Lyons by Gabrielli before the wings were added

    1806 William Ponsonby of Bishopscourt was created Lord Ponsonby of Imokilly Co Cork in the English Peerage (March 13). William’s youngest son, Frederick Ponsonby succeeded to Bishopscourt estate on William’s death (November 5th).

  • 1807 Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) brought an action for “criminal conversation” against John Piers, whose misdemeanours with Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Cloncurry were witnessed by the fresco painter Gaspare Gabrielli while he was at work (Feb 21-24).
  • 1808 George Ponsonby, born at Bishopscourt, became leader of the Whig party and leader of the opposition of the House of Commons in Westminster.

    Magazine account of divorce of Valentine Browne Lawless

    Magazine account of divorce of Valentine Browne Lawless

  • 1810 Construction began of St Anne’s Ardclough church, officially the “parish Church at Lyons,” built by Dan Nolan, Parish Priest of Kill and Lyon’s largely with funds contributed by Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry). Pope Pius VII sent a bronze crucifix as a personal gift and Valentine Lawless presented a baptismal font of white marble brought from Rome (coordinates 53°17′24″N 6°34′41″W).
  • 1810 Two side wings were added to Lyons House.
  • 1811 Valentine B Lawless’s (Lord Cloncurry’s) marriage to Elizabeth Georgiana Morgan was dissolved by Act of Parliament (April 7).
  • 1811 A schools survey listed the location of schoolrooms and names of local schoolteachers: in Oughterard, Bishopscourt. Sallins and Baronrath. Edmund Butler aged 70, taught 59 pupils at Oughterard in a schoolroom 18 feet by 14 feet, thatched, boarded and ceiled,
    Ardclough chapel, built 1810

    Ardclough chapel, built 1810

    Sylvester Murray aged 23, taught 48 pupils in Sallins in a thatched cabin 14 feet by 13, Daniel Gallagher taught 32 pupils in a vestry room of the chapel in Kill, Edmund Carty taught 60 pupils in a common cabin at Kill, and Patrick Kelly taught 18 pupils in a thatched cottage at Ponsonby bridge, Baronrath. Another school was open every working day at Ardclough chapel and 200-250 children received religious instruction every Sunday and holyday 9am to 2pm.

    Columns from Nero's palace in Rome brought by Valentine Lawless to Lyons

    Columns from Nero’s palace in Rome brought by Valentine Lawless to Lyons

  • 1811-12 St Anne’s parochial school, Ardclough was built by priest and parishioners, and grant of £10 (equivalent of €616.50 today) from Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry), patron of the school, a slated building with two rooms, two windows, two fireplaces, 23ft by 13ft.
  • 1812 Magistrates reported that 100 persons assembled at night in Irishtown with carts for the purpose of retrieving hay which had been seized in lieu of rent, leading to a confrontation during which Patrick King was shot dead (Jan 22). The military seized the carts, one car was restored to its owner, a widow, but the authorities “did not restore any others” as they were “satisfied that the cars had been taken out with the connivance of the owners or their tenants.”
  • 1813 Vandals removed coping stones and trackway from Henry Bridge and throw them in the canal.
  • 1813 John Joseph Henry left Straffan House after falling into financial difficulties (lands were advertised to let Feb 13, house was advertised to let Mar 20).
  • 1813 The foundation stone of a new Catholic church was laid in Newcastle (July 13) in the presence of four local landlords, Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) from Lyons House, Simon Bradstreet (1772–1853) from Stacumnie and Riversdale House in Kilmainham, John Kennedy (1785-1848) from Johnstown-Kennedy in Rathcoole and William Gerald Bagot (d1818) from Castle Bagot in Kilmactalway near Newlands.
  • 1814 Kildare Farming Society was founded by Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry).
    Woodcut of O'Connell v D'Esterre duel drawn many years after the event

    Woodcut of O’Connell v D’Esterre duel drawn many years after the event

    Tommy Christian points out the site of the O'Connell-D'Esterre duel in 2003

    Tommy Christian points out the site of the O’Connell-D’Esterre duel in 2003

  • 1815 Daniel O’Connell shot and fatally wounded Conservative politician John D’Esterre in a duel on the Ponsonby estate at Oughterard (Feb 1). D’Esterre, a bankrupt, issued the challenge in the hope of securing the position of High Sheriff of Dublin after O’Connell described Dublin Corporation’s provision for the poor as “beggarly.” The Freeman’s Journal reported “We need not describe the emotions which burst forth all along the road, and through town, when it was ascertained that Mr O’Connell was safe.”
  • 1815 William Ponsonby (1772-1815), born in Bishopscourt, a major-general in the British army, was killed after leading a charge at The Battle of Waterloo (June 18) that was later to be cited as a tactical misjudgment.
  • 1815 First publication of The Burial of Sir John Moore by Charles Wolfe of Blackhall, originally of the Oughterard family, in Carrick’s Morning Post.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1817-21 Enclosure Acts for Commons at Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart and Lyons.
  • 1820 Construction of buildings commenced at Lockyard Village in Lyons, including mill, barracks and boat repair yard (coordinates 53°18′00″N 6°33′24″W).
  • 1819-23 Correspondence between Lyons Parish Priest Daniel Nolan and Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin James Warren Doyle (“JKL”) after complaints by Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry), probably over rent owed on the Priest’s brother’s farm. Nolan eventually transferred to the newly created parish of Paulstown in Kilkenny in 1823 but was buried in Kill after his death in 1829.

    Bishop James Warren Doyle (JKL) portrait in Maynooth

    Bishop James Warren Doyle (JKL) portrait in Maynooth

  • 1821 England’s King George IV passes through Celbridge and Straffan en route to the races at the Curragh. He was expected to stop at Celbridge mill but was suffering from diarrhea.
  • 1821 Famine and rumours of revolution among local people led to boons being erected on the main roads to Dublin. Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) reports the Lyons area as quiet.
  • 1822 A pastoral composed by Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin James Warren Doyle (“JKL”) condemning activity by the Whiteboys was read from the altars in the parish of Kill and Lyons in response to activity in the district.
  • 1824 Schools surveyed: John Geoghegan, appointed by PP six years earlier, taught 56 pupils at St Anne’s parochial school, The average attendance is 30 males 30 and 25 females 25, there are 54 Catholics and one Established Church.  Pupils pay from 3s.3d. to 4s.4d. Bishop Doyle prohibits people in parish from attending confession to Jesuits in Clongowes (Esmond to Doyle Apr 23 1824). PP Tom Nolan reports 1,234 half-yearly communicants in the parish, and only 8 or 9 who did not attend Easter.

    Lyons House drawn by JP Neale in 1825

    Lyons House drawn by JP Neale in 1825

  • 1825 Charles Wolfe’s poetry was collected and published.
  • 1825 Parish returns to the Catholic Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin show Dan Nolan has been succeeded as PP by his brother Tom, although he was not included in list of pastors for the parish compiled by Michael Comerford in 1883. Comerford records William Keenan (Cainen), originally from Ballyfin, as PP of Kill and Lyons from 1823.
  • 1827 Parish returns to the Catholic bishop of Kildare & Leighlin from Tom Nolan showed there were 2,691 Catholics and 192 protestants in the parish (including four Presbyterians and 11 Methodists). There were 70 students in St Anne’s school (one protestant).

    The lockyard village at Lyons developed in the 1820s by Valentine Lawless

    Valentine Lawless’s 1820s lockyard village at Lyons before its restoration

  • 1828 The viceroy, Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, comes to reside at Lyons with Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry).
  • 1828 Richard Ponsonby (1772–1853), born in Bishopcourt, was consecrated bishop of Killaloe and Kilfenora (March 16). He was later to be translated to Derry diocsese (September 21 1831)
  • 1831 Census records population of Lyons as 158.
  • 1831 Cholera cases in Straffan (April).
  • 1831 Valentine Browne Lawless created a Peer in the English House of Lords as Lord Cloncurry, this is in addition to his Irish peerage and entitles him and his successors to a seat in the House of Lords at Westminster (Sept 14).

    Hugh Barton

    Hugh Barton

  • 1831 Straffan House and estate purchased by Hugh Barton (1766–1854), of a Hiberno-French vineyard family, the house and estate later passed through family to Nathaniel Barton (1799-1867), Hugh Barton

    (1824-1899), Bertram F Barton (1830-1904), Bertram H Barton (1858-1927) and Frederick ‘Derick’ Barton (1900-1993).

  • 1831 Tithe Returns recorded. Skeagh: James Gerrard. Dangan: Pat J Gorman. Dangan & Edwardstown: Pat Cavanagh. Edwardstown: Bridget Nolan, Richard Farrell. Upr Commons: James Moore. Kearneystown: John Andrews. Tandragee: John & P Shea, Cornelius Rudd. Pluckestown: Doyle & Coffey. Lyons Commons: Christopher Daly, John Buggle Junior, John Langfield, John Buggle Sen, James Kelly, William Kirkpatrick. Ardclough: Thomas Healey, Denis Henry, William Pidgeon.

    Barracks at the 13th lock

    Barracks at the 13th lock

  • 1832 A protest meeting against the tithes took place at Lyons hill addressed by Dublin trades unions leaders Marcus Costelloe and Thomas Reynolds (July). A general strike followed that affected Celbridge mill and the harvest collection on Lyons estate. “A horn was sounded through the adjoining parishes of Rathcoole, Saggard, Tallaght, Newcastle, Kill and Celbridge, and at the signal every labourer on the grounds of obnoxious individuals shouldered their spades, scythes, etc and returned home. Amongst the number thus treated are Lord Cloncurry at Lyons, Matthew Read Esq of Farm-hill, and Graydon Esq of Newcastle, adjoining; Colonel Conolly at Castletown, and Frederick Bourne Esq of Terenure, all of whom have lately paid tithes to their respective rectors. Lord Cloncurry is fully as much perplexed. His fine meadows on the hill of Lyons lie uncut, save by his livery servants. Yesterday he obtained the aid of Alderman Darley, chief magistrate of police, with a military escort from Dublin, to proceed to Lyons and investigate the circumstances of what he represents as the conspiracy of the labourers against the landholders, but this will have little effect. His lordship has already a strong police station in his gate-house, and has nothing to dread from violence on the part of the country people. He has since been constantly (and conspicuously) in communication with Lord Anglesey, at the Castle, but nothing satisfactory to the tithe interest, or to his Lordship, has resulted from the interference of the chief magistrate. (London Times, July 9)
  • Straffan Church of Ireland

    Straffan Church of Ireland

    1833 Straffan Church of Ireland constructed by Hugh Barton and consecrated in 1837. Transepts and raised sanctuary were added in 1875 and it remained a family church until 1933. Signature Catherine O’Brien stained glass windows were added in 1949.

  • 1833 Diocesan report to Bishop by PP states there are six suits of vestments and three chalices between Kill and Ardclough, 70 members of confraternities and 200 monthly communicants.

    Police barracks at Boston

    Police barracks at Boston

  • 1833 Death of the country’s oldest resident William Mortimer of Straffan at the alleged age of 125, he was reputedly the last surviving veteran of the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolution. (Nov 13)
  • 1834 Flyboats increased the average speed for passenger boats from 3 mph (4.8 km/h) to 9 mph (14 km/h) Ireland’s first railway was already under construction.
  • 1836 Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) told the Westminster poor law enquiry that the common diet in Ardclough was “potatoes and milk, with a little bread and butter occasionally, the clothing is frieze and for the most part good and comfortable.” He said an average labourer earned £15 a year.
  • c1836 RIC barracks opened on Boston road (coordinates 53°17′32″N 6°33′53″W). Map of c1850 describes this as “police barracks” and the building at 13th lock (coordinates 53°18′00″N 6°33′24″W) as a “police station.”
  • Ardclough National School, constructed 1839

    Ardclough National School, constructed 1839

    1837 Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Directory described Ardclough chapel as “a neat plain building”. It noted that small farmers prefer “the old Irish long-horned cattle, crossed with the Durham”.

  • 1837 Lyons hill (coordinates: 53°17′26″N 6°32′06″W) is chosen as one of the ten triangulation points for the Ordnance Survey based on the low water mark of the Spring tide at Poolbeg (April 8).
  • 1838 Bishopscourt sold by Frederick Ponsonby to John Henry Scott, 3rd Earl of Clonmell (1817–1866), grandson of the infamous “Copper-faced Jack.”
  • 1839 Clonaghlis Mill at 13th lock leased to William Palmer and John Palmer.
  • 1839 Ardclough National School for 110 males and 90 females built at cost of £323/4/9 (equivalent of €25,588 today). Dimensions 50ft, 21ft high, 20 ft wide, old school to be used for accommodation of schoolmaster (National archives 1840 ED/143).

    Date stone on Ardclough Natioal School, 1839

    Date stone on Ardclough National School, 1839

  • c1840 Patrick Barry leased a hotel in part of the Barracks building at 13th lock. His name was preserved in the placename: Barry’s bottoms.
  • 1840 John Murray, previously a curate in Ballinakill and Suncroft, became PP of Kill and Lyons.
  • 1841 Population of Lyons listed as 379, occupying 69 houses.
  • 1842 Martin Nolan, previously curate in Clonbullogue and Edenderry, became PP of Kill and Lyons.
  • 1844 Sculptor John Hogan (1800-1858) created Hibernia and Cloncurry for Valentine B Lawless, the work took two years to complete. In Lyons until 1962, it was moved to the Smurfit Business School at UCD.

    Hibernia & Cloncurry by Hogan

    Hibernia & Cloncurry by Hogan

  • 1844 William McCormack and William Dargan awarded contract for Dublin-Hazlehatch and Hazlehatch-Sallins sections of Great Southern and Western Railway (Nov 1).
  • 1845 Construction of railway through the parish. Charles FitzGerald (Duke of Leinster) cut the first sod at Adamstown (Jan) and by June the railway had reached Sallins.
  • 1845 Emily Lawless was born at Lyons House, she was later to become one of the leading Irish writers of her generation.
  • 1845 Closure of Joseph Atkinson’s Straffan Flour and Oatmeal mill at Turnings (March)
  • 1846 Death of John Joseph Henry in Chaton, near Paris (July 4). “Owing to his extravagance from one of the richest commoners in Ireland he became so embarrassed that he was obliged to sell Straffan and live abroad. Among other foolish things he built an underground passage from Straffan House to the stables.”
  • 1846 Canal passenger traffic peaked at 120,615
  • 1846 Dublin-Carlow train ran for the first time (Aug 4).
  • Triangulation stone on Lyons Hill

    Triangulation stone at Lyons

    1846 Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland claims that thirteen counties can be seen from the Rath on Lyons Hill, records that 63 boys and 35 girls attend the National school and 400 attend Ardclough church weekly.

  • 1847 Valentine B Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) offered a prize of £50 (equivalent to €4,000 today) to tenant who has tilled the most land.
  • 1848 “Straffan Station” opened (Aug 1) on the mainline Dublin to Cork railway two miles from the village of Straffan in the townland of Clownings (coordinates 53°17′46″N 6°35′05″W). Passenger trains served the station for 99 years.
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  • 1849 James Hayden became PP of Kill and Lyons. Publication of Valentine Lawless’ memoir, Personal Recollections of the Life and Times of Valentine, Lord Cloncurry, which appears to have been ghost-written.
  • 1850 Meeting in the Hotel at Lyons (July 23) finalised Griffiths Valuation survey of the parishes, townlands and tenements of South Salt.
  • 1852 Last passenger boat on the canal.

    Edward Lawless 3rd Lord Cloncurry

    Edward Lawless 3rd Lord Cloncurry pictured two years before his death by suicide

  • 1853 Joseph F Shackleton, second cousin of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, took over Clonaghlis mill which had “six pairs of stones”, before moving to Lucan in 1860. The mill was later operated by William Shackleton (1867-1935) whose son was William Shackleton (1899-1980) and whose second cousin was the Arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.
  • 1853 Valentine Browne Lawless (second Lord Cloncurry), the “patriot peer” of Lyons, died after catching a cold (Oct 28) and was buried at the family vaults at Lyons. He was succeeded by Edward Lawless (1816–69) who became third Lord Cloncurry. Valentine B Lawless’ younger son Cecil-John Lawless (1820–53), was an MP for Clonmel between 1846 and 1853, but caught a chill at his father’s funeral and died a week later (Nov 5 1853).Railway headline 001
  • 1853 The Straffan rail disaster (Oct 5) became headline news around the world. A goods train ran in to the back of a stalled passenger train in heavy fog at a point 974 yards south of Straffan Station at Clownings (coordinates 53°17′26″N 6°35′36″W). The 18 who died in the accident included four children. Daniel O’Connell’s nephew Daniel McSwiney was among the dead, alongside his wife Anastasia, 37-year-old solicitor Christopher McNally on his way to a high profile perjury case, John Egan a grocer and draper from Birr, Co Offaly who had a large family, Jesse Hall from Co Kildare, William Bateman, a leading Cork solicitor on his way to the Great Exhibition in Iveagh Gardens, Mrs Kate Smith née Haimes, the wife of a Mallow mill owner and Cherry Agnes Knapp, an English tourist who had come to sample the new service which had been introduced just a few month earlier to boost tourism in Killarney. After an inquiry, £27,000 compensation was paid to victims, the equivalent of €2.37m today, Three crew members were put on trial for being “accessories to the death. ” Blame was settled on the guard, Paddy Berry, and on the stoker John O’Hara who had set off with a lamp to warn the onrushing goods train. Ireland’s Own records a railman’s legend that “Black Jack” O’Hara can still be seen at night wandering up and down the railway line at Clownings forlornly waving his lamp, in distress at what he had caused. The tragedy was the subject of a poem by William Allingham (1824-1889). Among those who came to assist were William Hutchinson from Clownings, Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) of Lyons and Edward Kennedy of Baronrath, who had been hunting nearby. At the time it was Ireland’s worst rail disaster, and the third worst in the world. In Ireland the casualty rate has since been surpassed by Armagh (80 killed, 1889) and Ballymacarret Junction Belfast (23 killed, 1945).
Straffan House c1900

Straffan House c1900

  • 1854 Death of Hugh Barton (May 25th) age 89, and leaves estate worth £500,000 (€58m today). He is buried beside the Church of Ireland he founded in Straffan.
  • 1855 Publication of William Fitzpatrick’s biography of Valentine B Lawless, The Life, Times and Contemporaries of Lord Cloncurry.
  • 1855 Léoville-Barton classified as “deuxième cru” adding greatly to fortunes of the Barton family of Straffan who own extensive lands in the area.
  • 1857 Ireland’s first golf course was laid on the Curragh by David Ritchie, resident of Oughterard House and member of Musselburgh golf club.

    Bishopscourt by Orpen, 1856

    Bishopscourt by Orpen, 1856

  • 1859 On death of John Henry Scott, Bishopscourt passed to a cousin, John Henry Reginald Scott (1839–1891).
  • 1861 Revision of townland boundaries in Lyons and Clonaghlis at request of Edward Lawless (Lord Cloncurry).
  • 1861 William Fitzpatrick’s Life and Times of James Warren Doyle makes disparaging references to the Lyons Parish priest Daniel Nolan: “He was much more a pastor of sheep than of souls.” The epithet was changed for the 1880 edition to “He fed the lambs and sheep but not always in a spiritual sense.”

    Pit where Mary Redmond created her first clay models

    Pit where Mary Redmond created her first clay models

  • 1861 On his epic and ill-fated trek through southern Queensland, Galway born explorer Robert O’Hara Burke named the Cloncurry river in honour of his cousin, Edward Lawless’s wife, Elizabeth Kirwan of Castle Hackett, then Lady Cloncurry of Lyons House. The town of Cloncurry, Queensland took its name from the river in 1867.
  • 1865 Charles Bannon, originally from Portlaoise, became PP of Kill and Lyons, the first PP to have previously served as a curate in Kill.
  • 1865 Cargo traffic on the canal peaked at 379.045 tons when an average of 90 barges a day passed through Ardclough.
  • c1867 Mary Redmond, whose family had recently arrived from Nenagh, started school in Ardclough NS and was complimented by the teachers for her skills at clay modelling. She was to become the most famous Irish sculptress of the 19th century.

    Lawless family group in Maretemo in 1867

    Lawless family group in Maretemo in 1867

  • 1869 On death by suicide of Edward Lawless, Valentine Frederick Lawless became fourth Lord Cloncurry (Apr 4th). Two of his sisters later also commit suicide, Mary (1885) and Rose (1891).
  • c1870 Road realigned to create Ardclough triangle, later to become the focal point of the community (coordinates 53°17′53″N 6°34′08″W).
  • 1870s Peak production of Ardclough quarries (coordinates 53°17′25″N 6°34′24″W). Stone was brought by light railway to the nearby quays and by canal barge to Sullivan’s lime kiln in Dublin. Ardclough limestone used on construction of Naas jail and hospital.

    Graham's quarry and water pumping tower

    White (Graham’s) quarry and water pumping tower

  • 1872 Suspected murder of Henry Mitchell from Clare, thrown out of train at Straffan Station (Aug 20)
  • 1876: Valentine F Lawless, Lord Cloncurry, was recorded as the seventh largest Landowner in County Kildare with 6,121 acres (plus 1,512 acres in Co Dublin); Hugh L Barton of Straffan House was eleventh with 5,045 acres. Thomas Conolly of Castletown owned 2,605 acres (plus 920 acres in Co Dublin); John HR Scott of Bishopscourt (Lord Clonmell) 1,906 acres; John Maunsell of Oakley Park 1,309 acres; Samuel Mills of Turnings 1,142 acres; Alex Kirkpatrick of Donaghcomper 630 acres; FH Henry of Lodge Park 435 acres; Edward Cane of St Wolstan’s 294 acres; Alexander Love of Westown 174 acres, Edward Broe of Tipperstown 54 acres and James Whitelaw of Straffan Lodge 44 acres.  Charles Fitzgerald (Duke of Leinster) of Carton (67,227 acres) was the largest landowner in the county with Henry Moore (Lord Drogheda) of Monasterevan second (16,609 acres), William Aylmer of Donadea (15,396 acres) third and John la Touche of Harristown (11,282 acres) fourth.

    Lawless coffins at Lyons

    Lawless coffins at Lyons

  • 1877 George Gowing became PP of Kill and Lyons. Another George Gowing, later PP in Tinryland, served under him as curate in the late 1880s.
  • 1877 Mary Kelly principal of Ardclough NS, Brigid Hayes assistant.
  • 1879 Ardclough quarries closed after death of Thomas Sullivan, proprietor,
  • 1880 Bishopscourt tenants play cricket match, two cricket teams were registered in Straffan.

    Valentine F Lawless, 4th Lord Cloncurry

    Valentine F Lawless, 4th Lord Cloncurry

  • 1880 First brass and reed band formed in Ardclough.
  • 1880 Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) became first chairman of the Property Defence Association, formed by landlords as a response to the Captain Boycott episode in Mayo “to uphold the rights of property against organised combination to defraud.” The landlord later ordered the building of “Lord’s Road” to Hazlehatch station because he fears an attempt will be made on his life.
  • 1881 Prosecution issued against Kill, Ardclough and Rathmore branch of the Land League on the instigation of Dermot Bourke, Earl of Mayo who lived at Palmerston House near Naas. The writ named Kill PP George Gowing, Curate Joseph McCrea, Thomas Fitzpatrick of Johnstown, Laurence Malone of Broguestown, Patrick Victory of Painestown, Daniel Kearney of Boherphilip, Mattew Dunne of Rathmore, Joseph O’Neill of Bodenstown and John Barry of Blackchurch (Jan 22).

    Lord's Road

    Lord’s Road

  • 1881 Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry)’s hounds poisoned (Nov 26). Around this time he has the Lord’s Road constructed to shorten his journey to Hazlehatch stadium and make attacks on his carriage more difficult.
  • 1882 Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry), by now heavily indebted, gained national prominence when he refused a request for a 20pc reduction in rent and evicted 400 people from his estates in Murroe, Co Limerick (April), and was condemned by the Land League. Those whom Lawless evicted included the parents of Canon John Hayes (1887-1957), founder of Muintir na Tíre.
  • 1882 Publication (anonymously) of A Chelsea Householder, the first book by Valentine F Lawless’ (Lord Cloncurry’s) sister Emily Lawless.

    Kildare hunt at Bishopscourt 1880

    Kildare hunt at Bishopscourt 1880

  • 1882 Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) married Laura Winn of Nostell Priory in York. Their second daughter Kathleen was to become the last Lawless owner of Lyons house until her death in 1963.
  • 1883 Foot and mouth disease order in Ballyhays, Clownings, Ladycastle, Turnings and Whitechurch (Oct 16)
  • 1884 Celbridge held their first athletic sports (August). When the GAA was founded in Thurles (November 1), Leinster Leader editor John Wyse Power was among seven founder members.
  • 1885 Daniel Hallissey became principal of Ardclough NS. His assistant Rose Buggle was employed on the recommendation of the Presentation Sisters in Lucan.
  • 1885 Publication of A Millionaire’s Cousin by Emily Lawless
  • 1885 Straffan GAA club played in one of the first ever matches of Gaelic football (Feb 13).
  • 1886 attempts to reopen Ardclough quarries are not successful and they close for the final time (Oct 28). The names of the owners are still preserved as Treacy’s Quarry, Blue Quarry and White Quarry. Coonan’s pub on the canal bank closed shortly afterwards. The premises survived as Maggie Foynes’ shop until the late 1960s.

    Foyne's shop, formerly Coonan's on the canal.

    Foyne’s shop, formerly Coonan’s on the canal.

  • 1886-1954 Annual North Kildare Point to Point races staged at Windgates (last week in February).

  • 1886 publication of Hurrish by Emily Lawless brings the Lyons-born writer international notice for the first time

  • 1887 Clonaghlis mill converted to a roller mill.
  • 1887 Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) gives evidence that houses near Ardclough are unfit for human habitation (report Feb 5).
  • 1887 Celbridge and Straffan National League Branch established (Sept 24)
  • 1887 Kildare GAA board established under chairmanship of Dr William O’Connor from Clane, later the dispensary doctor in Celbridge and resident of The Grove (Nov 1).

    The 13th lock and lock keeper photographed circa 1890 by Jane Shackleton (1843-1909)

    The 13th lock and lock keeper photographed circa 1890 by Jane Shackleton (1843-1909)

  • 1887 Publication of The Story of Ireland and Major Lawrence, a novel by Emily Lawless
  • 1888 GAA match between Hazlehatch Irish Harpers and Straffan JL Carews. Hazlehatch play Rathcoole John Steeles (Feb 25). Hazlehatch lose to Moorefield in Kildare championship (April 7).
  • 1889 GAA tournament in Hazlehatch (June 15).
  • 1890 RIC reports on GAA lists two clubs in the district, the Hazlehatch Irish Harpers, officers include Ambrose Dwyer, Christy Fitzsimons, Michael Saunders, and John Cantwell, and Straffan JL Carews, officers include James Ennis, Edward Melia, James Pitts, Pat Leonard and M Bourke. Hazlehatch’s colours were green and crimson. Ardclough based players became associated with both clubs and the “Harper” was a nickname associated with one player in to the 20th century.

    Mary Redmond with model

    Mary Redmond with model

  • 1890 Publication of With Essex in Ireland by Emily Lawless. William Gladstone was amongst those who thought it was a genuine historical document.
  • 1891 A footnote in the census returns attributed the decline in population from 75 to 21 in Ardclough townland to the closure of quarries.
  • 1891 On death of John Henry Reginald Scott, Bishopscourt passed to Thomas Charles Scott, 5th Earl of Clonmell (1840–1896), the first of three rapid successions within the Scott family in an eight-year period.
  • 1892 Publication of Grania: The Story of an Island by Emily Lawless
  • 1893 Unveiling of statue of Father Theobald Mathew in O’Connell Street (Feb 8), the most famous work by Ardclough sculptress Mary Redmond. According to Nora J Murray’s
    Unveiling of Fr Mattew statue in O'Connell Street, Dublin, 1893

    Unveiling of Fr Mattew statue in O’Connell Street, Dublin, 1893

    article in the Capuchin annual (1932). the model for the Fr Mathew statue took the concept of getting plastered a little too far, was dismissed for drunkenness and was later convicted of vandalising her work.

  • 1894 Publication of Maelcho by Emily Lawless.
  • 1894 Extract from Frederick Lawless diaries: ”Sunday 22nd July 1894. I walked to Newcastle Church alone, young Morris of  Canal Lock House was buried at Oughterard this afternoon, he died of locked jaw from a slight wound on upper side of foot.” (entry thanks to Aileen Murray, Celbridge)
  • 1894. ‘Denis Lawless with his Lieutenant and two Sergeants came to Lyons to try haliograph  from top of hill to the Curragh, “very hazy day and east wind, but could see no reply from the Curragh.” (May 23rd)
  • 1895 Netting in Whitechurch graveyard to “stamp out the rabbit nuisance.”
  • 1896 On death of Thomas Charles Scott, Bishopscourt passed to Beauchamp Henry John Scott, 6th Earl of Clonmell (1847–1898).

    Ardclough National School roll book from 1900

    Ardclough National School roll book from 1900

  • 1898 Publication of Traits and Confidences by Emily Lawless
  • 1898 On death of Beauchamp Henry John Scott, Bishopscourt passed to Rupert Charles Scott, 7th Earl of Clonmell (1877–1928).
  • c1900 Brennan’s pub in existence near Baronrath Bridge.
  • 1901 Infirmity of George Gowing leads to Henry Dunne, originally from Rosenallis, becoming administrator of RC parish.
  • 1901 Oldest surviving roll book for Ardclough NS, first child registered was Annie Buggle.
  • 1901 Publication of A Garden Diary by Emily Lawless

    Emily Lawless

    Emily Lawless

  • 1902 Publication of With the Wild Geese which included the best-known poetry by Emily Lawless, born in Lyons House. Her most quoted lines are from the poem Clare Coast 1710 and read: War-battered dogs are we,/ Fighters in every clime;/Fillers of trench and of grave,/Mockers bemocked by time./War-dogs hungry and grey,/Gnawing a naked bone,/Fighters in every clime/Every cause but our own
  • 1902 Figures obtained by John Dillon (Feb 18) showed that Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) was responsible for 28pc of the evictions of tenants nationwide since 1879.
  • 1902 “Straffan Station Stud” founded by Edward “Cub” Kennedy at Baronrath, establishing Straffan Station as one of Europe’s leading racehorse breeding studs with champion sires such as Fortunio, King Crow, Alice Hawthorn, Beeswing and Roi Herode (introducing a French line of blood into Irish thoroughbred breeding). Roi Herode gave birth to Ardclough’s most famous four-legged celebrity, The Tetrarch.
  • 1902 Kildare Archaeological Society outing to Bishopscourt, Oughterard, Lyons and Newcastle (Aug 27, see report in Kildare Observer).Canoe pic redrawn
  • 1903 Infirmity of George Gowing led to Daniel O’Rourke, originally from Lorum (Bagnelstown), becoming administrator of RC parish.
  • 1903 Bertram Barton built a post office house in Clownings, beside the railway station, to serve people of Straffan (coordinates 53°17′45″N 6°35′17″W). Mr Sullivan was the first post master.
  • 1903 Road repairs inventory includes 535 perches Celbridge to Kill between Newtown bounds at Commons Upper and Tipperstown, 3 roads near Henry Bridge at 1s 2d, and 437 perches between Oughterard, three roads, and the county bounds at Deerpark at 6d (report April 18)
  • 1904 Shackleton’s Mill at Thirteenth Lock accidentally burned down and never worked again.
  • 1904 publication of Maria Edgeworth by Emily Lawless
  • 1906 publication of The Book of Gilly by Emily Lawless
  • 1907 Infirmity of George Gowing led to Edward Kinsella, originally from Leighlin, becoming administrator of RC parish.
  • 1907 Accident at Straffan Station, a stationary goods train was run into by another good train but there are no casualties.

    Ardclough brass band

    Ardclough brass band

  • 1907 Ardclough Brass and reed band revived.
  • 1909 Death (Nov 16) of “Honest Tom” Kinsella (1821-1909) , originally from Baronrath.
  • 1911 Edward “Cub” Kennedy bred The Tetrarch at Baronrath. The Tetrarch was expected to emulate Orby’s Derby success for Ireland before he scratched from the Derby late in 1914 but was described by John Welcome in Irish Horeseracing (1982) as “probably the fastest two year old ever foaled.”

    The Tetrarch with Steve Donoghue up

    The Tetrarch with Steve Donoghue up

  • 1911 Celbridge Volunteers formed. Ardclough band played at head of the parade. PH Pearse spoke at the meeting and said that the words of Emmet to Moore would soon be fulfilled: “a hundred thousand men marching on the plains of Kildare.” Other speakers included James O’Connor, Art O’Connor, William Gogarty, LJ Kettle, Ned Mulligan and HM O’Connor.(June 5)
  • 1911 The infirmity of George Gowing led to John Donovan becoming administrator of RC parish.
  • 1912 Clara Reddy, Mary Lawless and Kathleen Lawless from Lyons became subscribers to the suffragette movement. Meanwhile. their aunt,  the celebrity writer Emily Lawless was opposed to women getting the vote.

    Lawless family 1913

    Lawless family 1913

  • 1912 Bertram Barton from Straffan lodges his first complaint against schoolteacher Nora J Murray about the teaching of history in Ardclough National School (Dec 15)
  • 1913 Death of Emily Lawless in England (Oct 19) following the publication of a novel  based on the 1798 rebellion The Race of Castlebar.
  • 1913 Mary Lawless from Lyons House drove a cow along the canal tow path to dispense milk to James Larkin‘s locked out workers and their families. Her father Valentine F Lawless, Lord Cloncurry, was a former chairman of the Property Defence Association and a friend and supporter of William Martin Murphy.
  • Grave of Emily Lawless in Peaslake Surrey, where her home was named

    Grave of Emily Lawless in Peaslake Surrey, where her home was named “Hazle Hatch.”

    1913 Eliza Norton from Ardclough met with serious accident at Straffan Station when she fell between train and platform.

  • 1913 New public pump erected at canal bank at Ardclough (decision Aug 8).
  • 1914 Ardclough National School concert, highlights include a suffragette speech by one of the students, Miss Barnwall. Mr Edward Kennedy, Baronrath, lent his gramophone. “You may get good singers, but you won’t easily get practically a whole school of country children giving a stage performance which never dragged.” (Reported Feb 18).
  • 1914 Bishopscourt sold by Rupert Charles Scott, 7th Earl of Clonmell (1877–1928) to racehorse breeder Edward ‘Cub’ Kennedy from Baronrath.
  • 1914 Posthumous publication of The Inalienable Heritage by Emily Lawless
  • 1914 Ardclough brass band performed at Bodenstown commemoration at which Thomas Clarke and Seán MacDermott spoke (June 27).

    VF Lawless Lord Cloncurry and his daughter Kathleen in the flax field at Pluckstown.

    VF Lawless Lord Cloncurry and his daughter Kathleen in the flax field at Pluckstown.

  • 1914-18 The British Army set up a firing range on “The Butts,” McKenna’s land in Castledillon. Local casualties in the war included James Cash, (died May 27, 1918.), DA Carden, (Sept 4, 1915), Thomas Goucher, (Jan 22, 1918). Ronald B.C Kennedy (died of illness Aug 18, 1917), G Kinahan, (October 14, 1916), William Lawless (Sept 15, 1917), and Peter McLeish, (Jan 21, 1918)
  • 1915 Fr John Donovan PP presented a new banner to the Ardclough brass band (August 28)
  • 1916 Easter Rising casualty Francie Sammon from Straffan accidentally shot during rebellion and buried in Lyons churchyard.
  • 1916 Tarring of road from Dublin to Naas commenced at Blackchurch.
  • 1917 Ardclough school teacher Nora J Murray presented with a gold wrist watch by John Kelly whose life she saved by rendering first aid when he met a severe accident (November 27).Nora Murray book 001
  • 1917 Commissioners of National Education notified Fr John Donovan PP, manager of St Anne’s NS, Ardclough of their attempts to bring a prosecution for sedition, instigated by Bertram Barton of Straffan House, against Nora J Murray (1888-1955) because of her teaching of Irish history and the poetry of Emily Lawless in the school, and for allowing songs written by Thomas Davis and Peadar Kearney to be sung in the class (October, see account in military archive by Michael O’Kelly. The attempt to prosecute was thwarted with support from the Irish National Teachers Organisation and from the community (Report in Freeman’s Journal November 29).
  • 1918 Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) and Walter E. Callan appointed to Land Conference Committee,
  • 1918 Publication of The Wind Upon the Heath, poetry by Ardclough school-teacher Nora J Murray (Maunsel & Co).

    Diary entry on the night of the fire

    Diary entry on the night of the fire

  • 1919 Accidental fire destroys wing of Lyons House, cyclists despatched to summon fire brigade which arrives from Tara Street at 10.30 to save remainder of building.
  • 1919 Edward Kennedy’s stallion The Tetrarch, standing at Bishopscourt, was confirmed as the most successful sire in the world.
  • 1919 John Donovan became PP of Kill & Lyons on death of George Gowing. WH Reid of Clonaghlis and GJ Broe of Tipperstown were among founders of Celbridge branch of Farmers’ Union (February).
  • 1920 Annie E Murray became principal of Ardclough NS. Mary Brennan, later Mrs Tully, came to Ardclough NS.

    Bullet holes in an outhouse at the George Wardell homestead, caused during Battle of Stacumny

    Bullet holes in an outhouse at the George Wardell homestead, caused during Battle of Stacumny

  • 1921 War of Independence activity in Ardclough: Straffan Bridge attacked and briefly rendered impassable, Celbridge bridge attacked and badly damaged (Jan 8, a horse and carriage belonging to Mr Behan from Ballygoran fell into the hole on Celbridge bridge on Jan 23), local homes burned by British forces (January-March). Telephone wires cut at Bishopscourt (June 18). Planned ambushes at Pluckstown and Stacumny were abandoned by IRA volunteers. The battle of Stacumny (July 5) was one of last engagements of the War of Independence (see account in military archive by Matthew Barry). Ardclough NS closed for two weeks because of outbreaks of diphtheria (Nov).
  • 1921 Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) became a senator in the new Southern Ireland senate and was one of just 15 who attended its first meeting (June 28). The Senate never functioned and only held three meetings.
  • 1922 Robbery at Tipperstown, £10 belonging to Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) was stolen from Mrs Wilson by Patrick Domican and James Kelly (Sept 14).

    Lyons Cottage, the Barnwall homestead

    Lyons Cottage, the Barnwall homestead

  • 1922 Civil war activity in Ardclough: Ford motor car belonging to Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry’s) commandeered by party of republicans (June 28). When it was returned, it cost £119/2/7 to repair having cost £447/12/1 to purchase the previous June. Local anti-treaty families condemned from the altar during Kill mass (October). Explosion on railway near Straffan Station, heard in Naas, causes closure of line (Oct 15) Straffan signal box burned (Oct 17). Lyons Cottage, the Barnwall homestead, near 13th lock serves as brigade headquarters of anti-treaty forces in the area under Vice Commandant Jim Dunne, covering an area to Hollywood, Crehelp, Dunlavin, Ballitore, Ballyshannon, Kilcullen, the Curragh and Bracknagh and as far as Rhode, Edenderry, through Prosperous to Kill and the Dublin boundary. Dispatches went through the Misses Barnwall (Bridget Barnwall) and Misses B. and Fanny (Frances) O’Connor, Elm Hall, Celbridge, May and Fanny Dunne of Greenhills, Kill, and Miss Grehan, Naas.
  • 1922 Mary and Julia Dunne get married on the same day in Ardclough church (June 8).
  • 1923 Anthony O’Reilly from Kearneystown became the 44th anti-treaty prisoner to be of 77 executed during the Civil War, one of eight Free State soldiers executed for suspected anti-treaty sympathies in one day (Jan 8).
  • 1923 The home of the Toal family (Hazlehatch Post Office) was raided and burned (Mar 7).

    Grave of Anthony O'Reilly in Donaghcumper

    Grave of Anthony O’Reilly in Donaghcumper

  • 1923 Reference was made to compensation claims for war damage in Ardclough (Apr 21).
  • 1924 First attempt to establish GAA club in Ardclough when Valentine F Lawless (Lord Cloncurry) gave the GAA the use of a playing field free of charge. Ardclough’s first fixture was against Leixlip in the North Kildare junior league (June 8).
  • 1924 Catherine Griffin became principal of Ardclough NS.
  • 1924 Edward ‘Cub’ Kennedy got one of the first motor vehicles in the district, with Mick Buggle becoming the driver.
  • 1927 Thomas Wade of Clownings was the first farmer in the district to grow sugar beet.

    Funeral of Bertram Barton form Straffan house.

    Funeral of Bertram Barton from Straffan house.

  • 1927 Death of Bertram H Barton in a hunting accident at Coolcor Co Meath (Dec 5). When the Straffan and St Julienne estates were divided Derick Barton inherited the Straffan estate and his brother Ronald inherits St Julien vineyard. The estate accounts at Straffan revealed operating losses of £5,000 a year
  • 1928 On death of Valentine F Lawless (Feb 12) at Lyons, his brother Frederick became fifth and last Lord Cloncurry.
  • 1928 Kilkee-born Brigid O’Donoghue, later Mrs Maguire, became principal of Ardclough NS, later daughter in law of a previous principal, Mrs Maguire.
  • 1928 Amid a resurgence of interest in GAA after Kildare’s second successive All Ireland victory, Ardclough curate and GAA enthusiast Fr O’Brien gave the welcome address to victorious Kildare team in Newbridge.
  • 1929 On death of Frederick Lawless (July 18, the fourth Lawless/Cloncurry family suicide in two generations), the title Lord Cloncurry became extinct. Lyons house and estate passed to Kathleen Lawless.
  • 1929 Patrick Campion became PP of Kill & Lyons, John Donovan dies (July 20).
  • Mary Redmond

    Mary Redmond

    1930 Death of Mary Redmond, the famous Ardclough sculptress, in Florence (Jan 16).

  • 1930 James O’Brien, originally from Athlone, became PP of Kill & Lyons after death of Patrick Campion (Oct 11). A GAA supporter, he was instrumental in establishing the football team in the school that led to the rebirth of Ardlcough GAA club.
  • c1930 Road to Celbridge and Straffan tarred.
  • 1931 Ardclough Cumann of Fianna Fáil was established before the Kildare by-election. Founders and early officers included Sean Ashe, (a brother of patriot Tomás Aghas), Brigid Maguire, P Clarke, E Vaughan, Sean Tully, M Buggle, P Burke, Thomas McLoughlin,P Delahunt, P Hannon, J Hanafin, J Kelly, J McCreevy, F Burchell, M Bourke, J Healy and Richard Harris, and parish curate Fr Carton. Originally from Cloncurry, Dick Harris moved to the farm in Turnings that had been held by the Mooney family since the 1820s. Dick’s brother Tom Harris (1895-1974) had been the Commandant of Kildare Volunteers during the War of Independence and won the by-election of July 1, 1931.
  • 1932 Lena Higgins from Alasty started teaching Irish dancing in Ardclough NS. Application to close road between Henry Bridge and Ponsonby Bridge to heavy traffic due to deteriorated condition of the road (Jan 23).

    School football team which started GAA revival in Ardclough

    School football team which started GAA revival in Ardclough

  • c1932 Ardclough GAA club lost their playing field to the Land commission. Club disbanded.
  • 1932 Laois born Mick Houlihan comes on as a sub for Kildare in the Leinster junior hurling championship final in which Kildare narrowly lost to Dublin by three points, Ardclough’s first inter-county hurler.
  • 1936 Fr O’Brien’s Ardclough-Kill National School team reaches Kildare final. New GAA club founded at meeting in Mick Treacy’s boot and shoe repair workshop, with Mick Treacy as chairman, Johnny O’Grady secretary and Dan Graham (treasurer).
  • 1936 Drama produced by Brigid Maguire in National School on canal bank revives tradition going back to Nora J Murray’s time.
  • 1938 Ardclough GAA club acquired their playing field from Jim Christian, who agreed to swap for Land Commission site (coordinates 53°17′49″N 6°34′01″W).

    1939 Leinster camogie final in the rectory field in Kill

    1939 Leinster camogie final in the rectory field in Kill

  • 1938 Bishopscourt passed to Patricia Kennedy and Dermot McGillycuddy (of the Reeks).
  • 1939-40 Building of Ardclough Hall with the help of voluntary labour by community members (coordinates 53°17′49″N 6°34′01″W). Lyon’s quarries in Kill provided gravel and sand free of charge. Bands who played in the first year of Hall 1940-41 included; Sheila Dunne’s Rhythm Boys , Christy Bolger’s Band, Billie Mulvany’s Second Band, Ceany’s Ritz Melody Band, Greavy’s Dance Band, Jerry Byrne’s Band and Jerry Serenader’s Dublin Band.
  • 1940 Wheatfield houses completed.
  • Ardclough 1940s1941 Ardclough won the Junior football championship.
  • 1941 Ardclough branch of LDF/FCA founded (Nov 8)
  • 1941 Foot and Mouth disease in Straffan (Feb 20).
  • 1942 Comedy staged by Ardclough dramatic society
  • 1942 Mrs Buggle was visited by Ella Walshe general organiser of the Irish Countrywoman’s Association (April 3) leading to the foundation of Ardclough branch of the ICA with Cathy Harris as chair. An ad was placed for an instructress in spinning (April 18).
  • 1942 Ardclough won Minor F championship.
  • 1943 Ardclough cumann of Fine Gael founded by the Graham family.
  • Broe's gatehouse, HQ to three political parties

    Broe’s gatehouse, HQ to three political party cumainn at the same time

    1943 Ardclough branch Labour Party founded with Brigid Maguire and later Jackie Molloy as early officers, the house of Labour supporter Margaret Cullen (née Nolan) by Broe’s gate where they met became known as “Liberty Hall.” Her husband Leonard was an officer in Ardclough Fine Gael branch and her son, Leonard, an officer with Ardclough Fianna Fáil.

  • 1943 Ardclough guild of the Irish Countrywoman’s Association held its first birthday party (June 5). Committee includes Miss Connolly Mrs Crowley Mrs Cruise Mrs Harris Hon sec Mrs Moore Mrs Philips. The branch disbanded soon afterwards,, perhaps as a result of the parish priest expressing his displeasure.

    Cathy Harris, founder of Ardclough ICA

    Cathy Harris, founder of Ardclough ICA

  • 1943 Thomas Lawler selected as independent farmers candidate in 1943 election (April 24).
  • 1943 Edmund Campion, originally from Bracknagh, became PP of Kill & Lyons on death of James O’Brien (June 15).
  • 1944 Castle Sand Co takes over Lyons’ quarry and other private pits in Kill and became Roadstone in 1948, Johnny O’Grady was the first of a large Ardclough contingent who worked there.
  • 1945 Rural electrification scheme put Ardclough on ESB national grid.
  • 1945 Brigid Maguire was selected as Labour Party candidate for the local elections (April 5)
  • 1945 Ardclough/Straffan branch of the Irish Red Cross formed.

  • 1947 Last scheduled rail service to Straffan Station (Nov 10).
  • 1947 Basil Phipps launches motor straffan stationcycling career.
  • 1948 Ardclough Hurling club founded with Mick Houlihan as chairman, Mick Johnson as secretary and Paddy “Sonny” O’Connor.
  • 1948 Old IRA association established, James Dunne chairman, Sean Tully of Ardclough secretary (June 18)
  • Ardclough Kildare senior football champions 1949

    Ardclough Kildare senior football champions 1949

    1949 Ardclough won the Kildare SF championship before record 10,035 attendance in replay against the Army (See pics). Ardclough brass and reed band led the teams on to the field. Hurlers won their first Kildare JH championship.

  • 1948 Discussion of sites for housing on what would become the Boston Road development, under the Kildare County Council “Murray Cottage” housing scheme.
  • 1949 Charlie McCreevy born in Sherlockstown, later to become Irish Minister for Finance and European Commissioner (Sept 30).
  • 1949-51 Houses built on Boston Road in what was to prove a prolonged stop-start process.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1950 Last play in the old Ardclough National School staged by Brigid Maguire (March 17).
  • 1950 St Anne’s National School Ardclough (coordinates 53°17′50″N 6°34′04″W) officially opened on new site beside GAA field near Henry Bridge (October 15). The school has two teachers and 47 pupils.

    1950s School trip to Farrington's in Rathcoffey with Brigid Maguire

    1950s School trip to Farrington’s in Rathcoffey with Brigid Maguire

  • 1950 Telephone cable links Ardclough to national system for the first time.
  • 1953 Mary Harney was born in Ballinasloe (Mar 11), the family moved to Newcastle shortly after her birth, she later became the 16th Tánaiste.
  • 1953 Thomas Hughes became PP of Kill & Lyons on death of Edmund Campion (Dec 9).
  • 1953-1960 Brigid Maguire’s shop opened at Ardclough triangle.
  • 1954 Gerard Sweetman who lived in Kill became Minister for Finance (June 2, until Feb 12 1957)
  • 1955-1964 South County Dublin Hunt point to point staged in Pluckstown on lands attached to Lyons estate.
  • 1955 Ardclough branch Macra na Feirme established.

    Supper rooms at Ardclough Hall

    Supper rooms at Ardclough Hall

  • 1955 Gerard Synnott, originally from Clonegal, became PP of Kill & Lyons.
  • 1955 Rathcoole-born champion jockey Pat Taaffe purchased Alasty stud.
  • 1956 The first public performance of Come Down From the Mountain Katey Daley, written by Biddy Rainey, was performed in Ardclough Hall by the Rainey family of travelling musicians. The song was later popularised by Tom Dunphy.
  • 1956 Kill village was by-passed and a new, straightened single carriageway road opened (June 1). The tragic death of Margaret Hanafin from Turnings was the first casualty on the new road, a week before its official opening.
  • 1957 William Mathews became PP of Kill & Lyon on death of Gerard Synnott (Feb 6).
  • 1957 On death of Kathleen Lawless, Lyons House and estate passed to her cousin Mark Winn.
  • Johnny O'Grady opening the gate of the new GAA field at Ardclough

    Johnny O’Grady opening the gate of the new GAA field at Ardclough

    1958 Ardclough Branch Macra na Tuaithe presented a prize to schoolchildren in Ardclough for the gardens kept at St Anne’s National School.

  • 1958 Publication of John Betjeman poems Ode to a Lake and Sir John Piers, inspired by a visit to Lyons House some years earlier. Betjeman also participated in a 1978 documentary on the John Piers v Valentine B Lawless criminal conversation case, The Bold Bad Baronet, produced for BBC Northern Ireland and presented by Frank Delaney. See Delaney’s Rewriting History, address to the Federation of Historical Societies, 2001.
  • 1959 Ardclough won their second Junior F championship.
  • 1960 Last barge left Dublin for Limerick with a cargo of Guinness.

    Fr Matthews makes a retirement presentation to Ardclough NS principle Brigid Maguire, 1963

    Fr Matthews makes a retirement presentation to Ardclough NS principle Brigid Maguire, 1963

  • 1961 Lyons House and Estate sold to UCD for £100,000 (equivalent of €2.17m today).
  • 1961 Ardclough branch National Farmers’ Association founded with Basil Phipps first chairman, and Sean Harris first secretary, proposed by Joe O’Connor and seconded by Ted O’Connor, Jim Geraghty also attended. The NFA later became the IFA.
  • 1961 Brigid Maguire retired as principal of Ardclough NS and was succeeded by Maurice Friel from Baybush, Straffan (Sept).
  • 1962 Ardclough camogie club founded, Margaret Buggle first chairman, secretary Ann Johnson and Breda Johnson, treasurer.
  • 1962 Auction of contents of Lyons House, many precious objects were sold to State Apartments in Dublin Castle (October 23).
  • 1963 Dual Carriageway opened between Kill and Naas (June 24).

    Ardclough Comhaltas session

    Ardclough Comhaltas

  • 1963 Straffan Station used for last time for special train (Sept 8).
  • 1965-66 John Guillermin’s film The Blue Max filmed in the district, using Darby Kennedy’s Weston Airport as its base.
  • 1966 Foundation of Ardclough branch of Cómhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann with Cooraclare born musician Paddy Corry as first chairman and Breda Cullen as secretary. Kildare could now form a county board as Ardclough was the third branch to be established in the county.

    Ardclough Kildare camogie champions 1968

    Ardclough Kildare camogie champions 1968

  • 1968 John MacDonald, originally from Ashfield in Arles, became PP of Kill & Lyons on death of William Mathews (July 15).
  • 1968 The year of the five cups. Senior hurling and camogie teams won their first Kildare championships, the footballers won the Junior A championship and Jack Higgins Cup, and the minor hurlers won the championship. The footballers also won the IFL and hurlers won the SHL.
  • 1968 Water scheme brought piped water to Ardclough from Celbridge. Harry Marsh, Paddy Abbott and Paddy Corry were committee members on the scheme.
  • Bobby Burke

    Bobby Burke

    1969 Tragic death of nine-year-old Ann Travers in a drowning accident when returning from Ardclough National School.

  • 1969 Bobby Burke captained Kildare to the All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling title against Cork
  • 1971 Pat Taaffe from Alasty rode Gay Trip to victory in the English Grand National at Aintree. Ted O’Connor’s horse Fairweather Friend won the Bishopscourt Cup at Punchestown.
  • 1973 Ardclough hurlers won the Kildare Senior championship for the second time.
  • 1973 Dick McKenna of Kearneystown, a member of Ardclough’s 1949 championship winning football team, won three races with Lady Aylmer, who went on to breed many more winners.

    Maura Costello and Ardclough ICA members

    Maura Costello and Ardclough ICA members

  • 1974 Ardclough guild of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association was revived by Stillorgan-born Maura Costello (1924-2011), former president of Kill branch.
  • 1974 Captain Christy trained at Allasty by Pat Taaffe, won the Cheltenham Gold Cup (other wins included the 1972 Irish Sweeps Hurdle, Power’s Gold Cup 1974 and King George VI Chase at Kempton Park in 1974 and a 30 lengths win over Bula in the 1975). Furry Glen, bred by Jim Geraghty won the Irish 2,000 Guineas by a head from Pitcairn.

    Ardclough shock: Michael Brophy's report of the murder of Christy Phelan and a bomb in Baronrath

    Ardclough shock, June 22 1975: Michael Brophy’s report of the murder of Christy Phelan and a bomb in Baronrath

  • 1975 Tragic murder of Whitechurch resident Christy Phelan when he engaged some men who were attempting to plant a bomb on the railway line near Baronrath (coordinates 53°17′09″N 6°36′03″W). The bomb was designed to derail a train bound for the Bodenstown Tone commemoration. Christy was stabbed to death but it was stated by Gardai that he prevented greater loss of life through his intervention (June 22). The death became the subject of investigation into covert operations by British forces in Ireland by the Barron commission.
  • 1975 Star Appeal, bred at Baronrath Stud, won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a five year old.
  • 1975 Ardclough senior hurlers won their third senior championship.
  • 1975 St Anne’s, Ardclough, National School Board of Management met for the first time (Oct 24).
  • 1976 Wheatfield estate built, the first housing scheme to be built in Ardclough for 25 years.

    Irish Independent report of train robbery, Mar 31 1976.

    Irish Independent report of train robbery, Mar 31 1976.

  • 1976 The biggest train robbery in Irish history occurred at Kearneystown when £150,000 (equivalent of €1.24m today) was taken from Dublin-Cork mail train (Mar 31). The house of Connell O’Toole was taken over by five armed men carrying revolvers and rifles at 2am and the family were locked in a bedroom. A Volkswagen van belonging to Raymond Reynolds hijacked in Palmerstown earlier was driven to the level crossing in a field behind O’Tooles  (coordinates 53°18′32″N 6°33′00″W). The men donned flourescent jackets and laid three detonators at the 11 and a half mile marker on the railway. The train was brought to a halt by driver Tom Roche under Carey’s Bridge and reversed, under instructions from the raiders, back to the level crossing. The O’Toole family’s Peugeot and Renault cars were used in the getaway. Nobody was convicted of the crime, and the investigation into the robbery resulted in a major miscarriage of justice case concerning Osgur Breathnach, Brian McNally, and Nicky Kelly.
  • 1976 Extended Ardclough GAA clubhouse and bar opened at cost of £50,000 (April).
  • 1976 Ardclough senior hurlers won the Kildare senior hurling championship for the fourth time.
  • 1976 Paul Maher, originally from Rathleague in Portlaoise, became PP of Kill & Lyon when John MacDonald moves to Allen (Fr McDonald died on Feb 18 1985).

    Hurling team of 1975

    Hurling team of 1975

  • 1976 Ardclough senior hurlers created one of the biggest chocks in Leinster senior club championship history when they defeated Wexford Champions Buffers Alley in the Leinster club hurling championship (Nov 21).
  • 1977 Wexford-born Johnny Walsh wins All-Star hurler replacement award, tours America with All Ireland selection and wins most valuable player award of the tour.

    Function in Ardclough Hall

    Function in Ardclough Hall

  • 1977 Death of Brigid Maguire, charismatic local school principal, writer, historian, playwright and long time tipster for Evening Herald greyhound section under the nom-de-plume Bow Wow.
  • 1979-83 Ardclough won five Kildare SH titles in succession.
  • 1980 Dom Maguire captained Kildare to win the All-Ireland Senior Hurling “B” title.
  • 1980 Roadstone Quarries in Kill closed, followed by the Readymix plant which closed in 1982.

    Ardclough St Anne;'s church in 1985

    Ardclough St Anne’s church in 1985

  • 1980 Ardclough NS principal Maurice Friel retired and was succeeded by Maureen Houston (née Corry) from Clownings.
  • 1982 Ardclough camogie club revived by Phyllis Finneran, won the Kildare junior championship in 1982 and the Intermediate championship in 1983.
  • 1984 Last wedding in the old St Anne’s church, Paul Molloy from Boston Road married Rosemary Vivash.
  • 1985 St Anne’s church opened near the National School and GAA field (coordinates 53°17′52″N 6°34′12″W), It replaced St Anne’s on the canal bank (coordinates 53°17′24″N 6°34′41″W) which had been in use since 1810 and completing the relocation of the focal point of Ardclough community to Tipperstown (May 19). Architect Paul O’Daly said the church was designed to contrast with the flat landscape behind.

    St Anne's church Ardclough, opened 1985

    St Anne’s church Ardclough, opened 1985

  • 1985 Ardclough won their tenth SH championship.
  • 1985-85 Peter Ormrod’s film Eat The Peach was filmed in the locality.
  • 1986 Ardclough GAA club celebrated their 50th anniversary (Oct 5).
  • 1986-88 Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Cinderella and Troubled Bachelors by Pauline Johnson were performed in Ardclough GAA club.
  • 1988 Raymond King succeeded Maureen Houston as principal of Ardclough NS.
  • 1989 Lishandra Estate built.
  • 1989 Ardclough camogie club disaffiliated.

    Wheatfield Upper

    Wheatfield Upper

  • 1990 Lyons House purchased by Michael Smurfit.
  • 1991 Paddy “Sonny” O’Connor won the Hall of Fame at Kildare GAA awards. 1992
  • 1992 Susan & John Buggy open a shop in Ardclough
  • 1993 Ardclough won the All-Ireland under-14 championship at Féile na nGael in Athenry, defeating Trim in the final.
  • 1993 Tom Cunnane succeeded Raymond King as principal of Ardclough NS.
  • 1993 Mary Harney from Newcastle became (Oct 26)  Leader of the Progressive Democrats (until September 11 2006 and again May 25 2007-April 17 2008).
  • 1993 Emmet Stagg from Straffan becomes (Dec 15) junior Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal.

    Sean Meaney & Tom O'Brien

    Sean Meaney & Tom O’Brien

  • 1994 Ardclough District Development Council established by Tom O’Brien, Sean Meaney and others “to make Ardclough a better place to live” (April). Priorities of the new Association were to clean up the Ardclough triangle, to rebuild the cut stone walls in the area, to build a new cut stone wall around Wheatfield as far as the school and to ensure maintenance of the graveyards at Lyons and Oughterard.

    Tony Ryan

    Tony Ryan

  • 1994 Emmet Stagg from Straffan became (Dec 15) Minister for State in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Communications (until June 26 1997).
  • 1995 Ardclough Dramatical Society founded by Stephen Connaughton and Pauline Johnson and performed a play called The Ardclough Chalice.
  • 1996 Lyons House purchased by Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair and Guinness Peat Aviation.
  • 1996 Ardclough camogie club revived by Noel Burke and Paddy “Sonny” O’Connor.
  • 1997 Patricia King succeeded Tom Cunnane as principal of Ardclough NS.
  • 1997 Willie O’Byrne, originally from Ballon, became PP of Kill & Lyons on retirement of Paul Maher.
  • 1997 Ardclough Camogie club revives the senior citizens party.
  • 1997 Cabinet formed on June 26 named Charlie McCreevy who was born in Sherlockstown and played under-age GAA for Ardclough as Minister for Finance (until Sept 29 2004). Mary Harney from Newcastle became Tánaiste (until Sept 13 2006) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (until Sept 13 2004).
  • Presentation to Kildare hurling team of the Millennium in Monasterevan, with five Ardclough players

    Kildare hurling team of the Millennium, with five Ardclough players

  • 1997-8 Pop singer Ronan Keating lived briefly in Tipperstown.
  • 1998 Ardclough entered the Tidy Towns competition for the first time, gaining 150 marks out of 300. The report concluded: “You have some nice features and a basis on which to further improve in this competition. The ultimate prize is not coming first in the competition but the community spirit and the pride generated by the residents themselves.”
  • 1998 Frank Patterson concert in Ardclough church.
  • 2000 Five Ardclough players were selected on Kildare hurling team of the millennium: Richie Cullen, Tommy Christian, Bobby Burke, Johnny Walsh and Mick Dwane (presentation in Hazel Hotel Monasterevan. July 25).
  • 2000 Ardclough camogie team won the Kildare junior championship.
  • 2000 The bodies of two victims of a Dublin gangland murder, 20-year-old Darren Carey, and 19-year-old Patrick Murray from Islandbridge were placed in canal at Kearneystown (Jan 1). Murray had been arrested at Dublin airport the previous month in connection with a £250,000 heroin seizure.
  • 2000 Ardclough footballers won the Junior A championship for the fourth time and added the Jack Higgins Cup.

    Jack Higgins success in 2001

    Jack Higgins success in 2000

  • 2001 Publication of novel Paddy Indian by Chennai-born Clownings resident Cauvery Madhavan (Sept 11), her second novel The Uncoupling follows in 2003.
  • 2001 Tony Ryan’s restoration work in Lyons House won a European heritage award from Europa Nostra, an organisation dedicated to preserving Europe’s finest architectural heritage.
  • 2003 Tragic death of Caoimhe Freyne in a house blaze. (Jan 1)
  • 2003 Flooding in Straffan and Ardclough (Feb).
  • 2003 Sports centre and community centre opened in Ardclough on site of old hall (May 17, coordinates 53°17′49″N 6°34′01″W). Billy Cullen won clubman of the year at the Kildare GAA awards.
  • 2003 Death (Nov 14) of Battle of Britain RAF pilot Tim Vigors who lived in Clownings House 1951-1960 (obituaries in London Telegraph, in Bloodhorse.com and Racing Post, also see Wikipedia article). His memoir was published posthumously (Apr 14 2008). His ex-wife Jan continued to lived in Clownings until 1983 after the couple’s divorce in 1968. After leaving Ardclough Vigors set up Coolmore Stud which he inherited in 1968 in partnership with racehorse trainer Vincent O’Brien, who was to spend his last days within a mile of Vigors’ Clownings home.
  • 2004 Mary Harney from Newcastle became Minister for Health and Children (September 29 until January 19 2011).
  • Kicking King and jockey Barry Geraghty leading over the last at Cheltenham

    Kicking King and jockey Barry Geraghty leading Take the Stand over the last at Cheltenham.

  • 2004 Senior hurlers defeated Coill Dubh 2-12 to 0-11 to win their 11th county championship with goals from Andy Whelan and Pádraig O’Malley.
  • 2004 Charlie McCreevy who was born in Sherlockstown and played under-age GAA for Ardclough became European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services (Nov 22 until Feb 9 2010)
  • 2004 Work on upgrade of N7 be can (November)
  • 2005 Kicking King, trained at Portree Stables on Boston Hill by Tom Taaffe. won the Cheltenham Gold Cup (Mar 18).
  • 2005 Ardclough hurlers won the Senior Hurling League for the 14th timeIMG_3075
  • 2005 Ardclough scored its highest points in the national Tidy Towns competition under the pre-2005 scoring system (maximum 300 points). Ardclough were awarded 188 points, having increased its score every year since entering.
  • Ardclough’s Tidy Towns marks achieved under the old pre-2005 scoring system, (maximum marks 300) were 1998: 150 (50pc). 1999: 154 (51pc), 2000: 164 (53pc), 2001: 175 (58pc), 2002: 181 (60pc), 2003: 183 (61p)c, 2004: 185 (62pc), 2005: 188 63pc).
  • 2006 Upgrade of N7 was completed (road in use from April, officially opened August 14) with new flyovers at Rathcoole (Junction 4), Steelstown (J5), Castlewarden (J6) and Kill (J7).
  • 2006 Straffan staged the Ryder Cup golf competition between Europe and USA, the most important team event in professional golf (Sept 22-24).

    Leinster champions 2006

    Leinster champions 2006

  • 2006 Ardclough senior hurlers defeated Confey 3-9 to 0-14 to win the Kildare senior hurling championship for the 12th time, with a goal from Paul Fitzgerald inside the first minute and two goals from corner forward Andrew Whelan in the space of 60 seconds, all before half time. Ardclough then defeated Raharney from Westmeath by 2-6 to 2-4 in Mullingar to become the first winners of the Leinster Intermediate Club Hurling Championship, with goals from Ronan O’Malley and Richie Hoban. Ardclough narrowly lost the All-Ireland quarter-final.
  • 2006 Ardclough minor hurlers won the Kildare championship for the fifth time.
  • 2006 Hospitality rooms at restored Village at Lyons opened (Sept 8), they included La Serre & Canal Cafe, run by celebrity chef Richard Corrigan.
  • 2006 Straffan won the Kildare county award in the Tidy Towns competition for the first time, they were to get the best mark in county Kildare in seven successive Tidy Towns competitions (to 2013).
  • 2007 First edition of Ardclough bi-ennial newsletter

    Fionn Carr in Blackrock colours

    Fionn Carr in Blackrock colours

  • 2007 Ardclough branch of Cómhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann disbanded after 51 years.
  • 2007 Ardclough Community Council founded by Pauline Johnson, Barbara Christian and others
  • 2007 Death of Tony Ryan (Oct 3), owner and restorer of Lyons House and the Lockyard Village, leaving the house to his sons Cathal, Declan and Shane.
  • 2008 Death of Cathal Ryan of Stacumny, three months after his father, Tony Ryan.
  • 2009 Publication of Ardclough Village Design Statement which sets out planning policy for the community.

    Aerial view of Lyons House, 2012

    Aerial view of Lyons House, 2012

  • 2009 Fionn Carr was top try scorer to Connacht in Magniers Cup, later signed for Leinster before returning to play for Connacht in 2013.
  • 2009 MayKay Geraghty. lead singer for Fight LIke Apes, won the Irish Music Television Video Music Award for Most Original Concept.
  • 2009 Death (June 1) in Baronrath of Vincent O’Brien, the most successful trainer of racehorses in Irish history. He was buried in Straffan graveyard.

    Drawing room at Lyons House

    Drawing room at Lyons House

  • 2010 With the sales pitch of “Ireland’s most expensive property,” Sherry FitzGerald and Christie’s Great Estates were instructed to put Lyons House on the market place with an initial asking price of €80m, reduced to €50m some months later and to €30m in 2013. Since the house was purchased for £3.5m in 1996, Tony Ryan had spent an estimated €110m restoring the main house, replanting the formal gardens and introducing an equestrian centre. Renovation revealed the original drawing room ceiling that had been hidden beneath lining paper and paint, and the overmantel trompe l’oeil of a martial trophy gracing the entrance hall. House collections of Irish furniture and paintings was said to be worth €11m.

    Dining room at Lyons House

    Dining room at Lyons House

  • 2011 Construction began (Jan 24) on new 16-teacher St Anne’s National School located at Tipperstown (coordinates 53°17′52″N 6°34′26″W).
  • 2013 Ardclough Drama Society production of Aladdin (January).
  • 2013 A protest by pupils at Ardclough primary school over the delay in opening their near-completed €2.7m St Anne’s school (Apr 22), featured on the RTÉ television’s primetime bulletin the Six-One news, RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, also in the Irish Times, in the Irish Independent, in the Leinster Leader, on Thejournal.ie and on KFM radio.ardclough school on six-one news 300
  • 2013 Ardclough hurlers defeated  Celbridge by 1-12 to 2-7 to win the Kildare Senior Hurling League title for the 15th time (June 22).
  • 2013 Straffan won “Best Kept Small Town” in the all-Ireland Best Kept Towns Awards run by the Departments of the Environment in Dublin and Belfast (July 2).
  • 2013 St Anne’s National School opened (Sept 2) after construction activity that saw speed bumps installed and the road resurfaced between Henry Bridge and the railway bridge.
  • St Anne's NS opened Sept 2 2013

    St Anne’s NS opened Sept 2 2013

    2013 Richard Aldous’ Biography of Tony Ryan, responsible for the restoration of Lyons House, is launched in Dublin by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary (Sept 6).

  • 2014 St Anne’s NS opened by Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin Denis Nulty (April 11). Prefabs removed from former St Anne’s NS, Ardclough Village Centre (July 10-14).
  • 2016 Dismembered body of Kenneth O’Brien from Lealand Road, Clondalkin found dumped in the canal beside the 13th lock (Jan 16)
  • 2016 UCD Lyons Dairy Research and Education Facility opened by Minister of Agriculture, Simon Coveney and UCD President Professor Andrew J Deeks (Jan 20).
  • 2017 Ardclough score in the Tidy Towns competition was a record 310 points (maximum points 450) in the 2017 Tidy Towns competition to finish second in their category and tenth in Kildare, behind Straffan 325; Naas 324; Maynooth 323; Kill 320; Broadford 316; Rathangan 315; Ballymore Eustace 313; Leixlip 312 and Celbridge 311. Ardclough maintained a record of having increased their score every year since first entering in 1998.  Ardclough’s record in previous Tidy Towns competitions: 1998: 50pc (150/300). 1999: 51.3pc (154/300), 2000: 54.7pc (164/300), 2001: 58.3pc (175/300), 2002: 60.3pc (181/300), 2003: 61pc (183/300), 2004: 61.7pc (185/300), 2005: 62.7pc (188/300), 2007: 54.8pc (219/400), 2008: 59.5pc (238/400), 2009: 62pc (248/400), 2010: 63pc (252/400), 2011: 64.8pc (259/400), 2012: 67.8pc  (271/400), 2013: 70.5pc (282/400), 2014: 64.7pc (291/450). 2015: 66.7pc (300/450), 2016: 67.8pc (305/450) 2017: 68.9pc (310/450).
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