La Gane Castle

La Gane Castle

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The Château de la Gane is an historic castle in Saint-Exupéry-les-Roches, Corrèze, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France built in 1286 for Pierre-André de la Ganne.

The western tower was built in the 15th or 16th century. It was inherited by Guillaume de La Brosse in 1432. In 1510, it was acquired by Antoine Andrieu, a bourgeois who married into the nobility and was subsequently ennobled.

La Gane Castle history

The castle was founded in 1286 by Pierre-André de la Ganne. Composite building, the castle has several parts from different eras arranged in the shape of a square.

To the west, a round tower from the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century, flanked by a turret enclosing a spiral staircase, houses a chapel covered with a vault with radiating ribs. The interior was covered with neo-Gothic paneling. To the east, the rectangular main building dates from the same period. It is flanked by a square staircase turret, internally screwed. It has three floors with exposed joist ceilings.

In 1772, it was acquired by Jean-Joseph de Parel d’Espeiruc de la Chatonie and the main building was extended, on the south side, by a lower wing.

In 1804, it was acquired by Louis-Paul de Selve de Bity. After this the tower and the main building were reunited, probably in place of a missing connecting element.

La Gane Castle today

The castle was listed in the inventory of Historical Monuments in December 1980.

Getting to La Gane Castle

The easiest way to reach La Gane Castle is by driving, the castle approach is just off the D45.

Newgrange - World Heritage Site

Newgrange is a 5,200 year old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley in Ireland's Ancient East.

Newgrange was built by Stone Age farmers, the mound is 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high, an area of about 1 acre.

A passage measuring 19m (62ft) leads into a chamber with 3 alcoves. The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun on the mornings around the Winter Solstice.

Newgrange is surrounded by 97 large stones called kerbstones some of which are engraved with megalithic art the most striking is the entrance stone.

Access to the Newgrange monument is via the Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre.

Newgrange is a Stone Age (Neolithic) monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, it is the jewel in the crown of Ireland's Ancient East. Newgrange was constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.) which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Newgrange is a large circular mound 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high with a 19m (63ft) stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols called megalithic art.

Newgrange was built by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.

Newgrange is a large kidney shaped mound covering an area of over one acre, retained at the base by 97 kerbstones, some of which are richly decorated with megalithic art. The 19m long inner passage leads to a cruciform chamber with a corbelled roof. The amount of time and labour invested in construction of Newgrange suggests a well-organized society with specialised groups responsible for different aspects of construction.

Newgrange is part of a complex of monuments built along a bend of the River Boyne known collectively as Brú na Bóinne. The other two principal monuments are Knowth (the largest) and Dowth, but throughout the area there are as many as 35 smaller mounds.

Castle Rock

What Makes it Special?

Castle Rock is the most formidable geological landmark in Sweetwater County. Castle Rock overlooks the city of Green River and is located near downtown. This rock formation has been called many different names through the years including Citadel, Indian Head Rock and Green River Butte. Castle Rock consists of horizontal strata, and many of the layers of rock are rich with fossilized fish and plants, a testimony to the vast lake that used to encompass most of the region.

Where is it?

High above the town of Green River along I-80. Castle Rock can also be reached by hiking up the north end of 3rd West Street in Green River.

La Gane Castle - History

Early History (1100-1650s)

We begin with our earliest written records related to the area. However it is worth remembering that there is unwritten history in the landscape. For example, the 'fairyforts' in the parish e.g. in Tubrid, were early farming houses, dating from cir 400AD. So these people would have built up a mound of earth, fortified it and built a dwelling house, of which usually only some of the mound remains in the landscape. They usually were on elevated ground so the inhabitants had a good view of the area. There is estimated to be around 45k 'fairyforts' in Ireland. However, as there has been no excavations on these prehistoric farms in the locality, we need to start with the written history.

One of the earliest recorded pieces of information in relation to Mooncoin is in the 'Catalogue Of the Bishops of Ossory' (British Museum - London). It states that in 1220, the Bishop of Ossory (De Turville) 'acquired a wood near Clonmore'. We now believe that this wood is where Kilnaspic is currently, and subsequently where 'Kilnaspic' got its name i.e.Coill-na-easpag - 'the Bishops Wood'. Ironically, the name is nothing to do with a church, which was built there much later. 'Kill' usually is usually the anglicised version of the Irish word for church. The Bishop of Ossory owned a lot of land in Clonmore also, and this is the reason we have these records. The church owned these lands for many centuries and in 1460 Bishop Hackett built a mansion in Clonmore along the banks of the Suir. It was more or less a summer home he could retire to from Kilkenny City during the summer months, most likely by taking a boat down the Nore and back up the Suir.

The current parish of Mooncoin is generally referred to as the 'Burgagery of Rathkieran' in these early Ossory records of cir 1200 (in many records right up until the 1800s, what we now know as the parish of Mooncoin is actually referred to as the 'Parish of Rathkieran'). This was because the main parish church was in Rathkieran for hundreds of years. In fact, there is a record of Donnail O' Fogertach, then Bishop of Ossory, being buried there on the 8th May 1178 (this early church has long since disappeared and there seems to be a number of churches built on the site). The church ruins currently in Rathkieran today are of the Protestant church rebuilt and re-roofed in 1727 (this church was knocked around 1880 with just an arch now remaining) - however this church is recorded as being nearly identical to the previous Catholic church. There is also evidence that pre 1118, Rathkieran was its own holy sea, that is, it was its own sub-diocese and was absorbed into Ossory after this date. About 200 yards north east of Rathkieran, near Ashgrove, there is a Rath or hill/mound called 'the Corrig'. This is where the monks attached to Rathkieran church were said to have had their residence nearly 1000 years ago.

It is worth remembering that any church that existed in the parish at the time of the Reformation of the 1540s, would have been reconsecrated as Protestant churches (Anglican/Church of Ireland) quite literally overnight. The Church of Ireland became the official state church. Conversion rates, however, were very low in Ireland. But this did not stop the building of multiple churches in the parish to encourage the locals to join the new state religion. In fact, what is now Mooncoin Catholic parish, was made up of five separate sub parishes, with a church in each of these sub-parishes (also known as civil parishes). These were Rathkieran (the main church), Aglish/Portnascully, Tubrid, Polerone, Ballytarsney and Clonmore. Ardera was later its own Civil parish. There was also a private church, likely built by the Bowers family, known as 'Kilaspy' (not to be confused with Kilnaspic) - although there is evidence that a church existed on this site in medieval times also. The ruins of this church are located in a field in Grange near Silverspring. Also, Polerone Church ruins can still be seen near the River Suir (Church of Ireland), some church ruins and graveyard are still in Rathkieran (Church of Ireland), some foundation ruins and headstones of Tubrid can be accessed through a field (Church of Ireland), Aglish (Church of Ireland) is mostly gone but the later Portnascully church still is visible. The most recent Church of Ireland church built was Graigavine church near Cloncunny/Emil, which was in Clonmore civil parish. It served members of the Church of Ireland faith from 1818 to 1906 after the other five Church of Ireland churches had closed down. Surprisingly, considering there were at one stage between 5 and 6 Church of Ireland churches in Mooncoin, there are none currently remaining. Graigavine lasted less than ninety years, with the Church of Ireland parishioners then having to worship in Piltown (the roof and walls of Graigavine were mostly removed in the 1960s).

There was some slight differences between the Roman Catholic parish used today (made up of Kilnaspic, Mooncoin and Carrigeen) and the civil parishes, in that, some don't overlap as you would expect. For example the townland of Cashel is in the current Roman Catholic parish of Mooncoin, but in the Civil parish it was in Fiddown (now in Templeorum Parish). Likewise, some parts of the current Kilmacow parish were under Rathkieran civil parish.

Outside of church history, we know the main landowners in the area from cir 1400 were the Butlers of Grannagh (Granny) Castle - (who were a branch of the Butler family based in Kilkenny Castle). In later years, the Earl of Bessborough based in Kildalton, Piltown, was the main landowner in the Barony of Iverk. The Barony of Iverk took in the modern parishes of Mooncoin, Kilmacow, Piltown and Fiddown. The barony originally consisted of 41,369 acres and got its name, 'Uibh Eire', the 'descendants of Ere' from an ancient sept/family. Originally the main seat of power for Iverk was Granagh castle and later Bessborough in Piltown (the Bessborough estate still owned cir 25,000 acres by 1875).

Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland

There is also detailed information surviving in relation to Mooncoin from the 1650s when Oliver Cromwell and his army conquered Ireland and subsequently made official records when locals were transplanted. In fact, Oliver Cromwell passed close to Mooncoin after taking control of Wexford Town and New Ross. He came over the Walsh mountains and on looking down on Mooncoin and the surrounding area is reputed to have said "This is land worth fighting for".

Firstly, some background to Cromwell's 'conquest' of Ireland. There was a rebellion in Ireland, mainly in Ulster, in 1641 were many Protestants planters were killed by the local Irish (cir 5000 killed). There was roughly the same number of Catholics killed in retaliation. The 'tabloid' news-sheets in London went into overdrive in the years proceeding this, greatly exaggerating the number of Protestant settlers killed. Cromwell saw his invasion in 1649 as revenge against the 'barbarous Irish wretches' for these acts committed in 1641. He also needed to regain control of the country as there was a Confederation (type of government) in Kilkenny City which was governing most of the country. The Confederation of Kilkenny was made up of a mixture of Catholic and Protestant members loyal to the King of England (Charles I) whom Cromwell had arrested and eventually executed. Cromwell sided with the Parliament at Westminster instead. When Cromwell sailed for Ireland, it was his first time ever leaving England and he arrived (with severe seasickness) in Ringsend, Dublin in August 1649.

Cromwell is most infamous in Ireland for the genocide he committed in Drogheda, Co Louth, where 3000 men, women and children were massacred (this occurred on Sept 11, 1649, their own '9/11'). The dead were mostly Catholic. Even at the time it was considered shocking, as women, children and the elderly were usually spared in 17th century warfare. He is also accused of not giving 'quarter'. This is when people surrender, they are meant to be spared and taken prisoner. Cromwell felt however he was doing Gods work, and that God was on his side. If things worked out for him, which they often did (weather etc), it was God guiding him to victory. The only town that gained any success was Clonmel. Here Cromwell lost around 2,000 men.

Soon after Cromwell's conquest of Ireland he started a policy of 'transplantation'. This involved moving the native landowners who had not sided with him to western counties (where the land was poorer "to hell or to Connaught"). This was decided under the 'Act of Settlement'. This Act defined that, to pay the wage bill of Cromwell's army who were in Ireland since 1649, it was decided to pay them with land from the conquered Irish, as opposed to actual money which was scarce. At one stage the leaders in Dublin and London were pushing to remove all catholics to Connaught. However, it was then decided to move just land owning catholics and give them a third or two thirds in value, of their conquered land, in Connaught. Poorer catholics and labourers stayed put, so to work the land for their new landlords. Protestants already based in Connaught had the option of exchanging their land for better land in Leinster or Munster. All catholic priests were also told to leave the country. A man who had supplied thousands of horses for Cromwell was given vast tracks of lands in south Kilkenny, Tipperary and Carlow for his payment. He was known as Ponsonby, but the family later received the title the 'Earls of Bessborough'.

Here is an extract from the official documentation in London dated April 1653:

They (Catholic landowners) have until 1st of May 1654 to remove and transplant themselves into the province of Connaught and the county of Clare, or one of them there to inhabit and abide.

In January 1654, in Grocers Hall London, representatives of adventures and soldiers met to draw lots on which land they would take in Ireland. A kind of a lucky dip depending on rank etc.

When families were to be transplanted, the man of the family had firstly to go to Loughrea, Co Galway. Loughrea was the centre of administration for the transplantation. Here he had to register and stake provisional claim and throw up a shack while leaving the family to look after crops and animals. He then returned for his family and 'cattels' (mainly 'black cattle and horses'). However many families could not meet the 1st of May 1654 deadline and so applied for extensions. Some were granted, which allowed the women and children to stay behind in Kilkenny in the summer of 1654 to harvest crops. However, they had to give a lot of these crops to the new landowners as compensation. All of the native Irish outside their own locality had to carry identity cards to facilitate the upheaval.

Mooncoin did not escape this transplantation plan. It is worth noting that 58% of the land in County Kilkenny was confiscated and given to the Cromwellian/parliamentarian soldiers. Some evidence of this upheaval is still on the landscape today with the ruins of Corluddy castle and Grange castle which were abandoned in 1653, with their owners, the Grants and the Walshs respectively, moving to Connaught. It is hard to imagine the trauma these people went through at this time. Many would have been old and had to make the hard journey to Galway on foot, or horse if lucky, never to see Mooncoin or their old homes again. Just a few years before, Kilkenny City had been prosperous and the 'capital' of Ireland, with the local economy doing extremely well. Closer to home, just five years previously, the Walsh family that lived in Grange Castle had hosted the Papal Nuncio from Rome which was a huge privilege. The Papal Nuncio would have been one of the most powerful and influential people in Europe at the time. Now the family of seven were on their way to Connaught.

Here is an extract from certificates granted to the native Mooncoin people transplanted from the Mooncoin area (1653-1655) - Cromwellian soldiers would have taken over their land in Mooncoin, perhaps subleased from Ponsonby. Note: the different families with the name of 'Grant' were all related in some way. So they were all 'tarred with the one brush'. 'Glengrant' got its name from this family. Also note: place spelling is how it was written at the time:

Counter-Reformation 1700s+

The Protestant churches in the parish found it very hard survive as the population of the Protestant community continued to be very low. After the Reformation, the idea was that the Catholic population would decline and the Protestant population would increase as people converted to avoid the harsh penalties. Thus, after a few generations the Catholics would be in the decline. Conversion figures in England and Wales were high but they failed to take into account Irish peoples perseverance (/stubbornness)! Even after the most stringent anti-Catholic laws were introduced - the Penal Laws which came into being between 1690 and 1710 - the Catholic inhabitants of Mooncoin still refused to convert. Where a Catholic priest could be found, Mass was usually celebrated outdoors at a 'Mass bush' or 'Mass rock'. For example, there was a Mass rock near Polerone, and Mass trees in Tubrid and Ardera. Religious service was infrequent then for Catholics, with just baptisms, marriages and funerals the only contact with priests. When a Catholic died, they usually got permission from the local vicar to be buried in the Protestant church grounds (usually Rathkieran). Records show that in 1776 - just as the Penal laws began to be relaxed (or ignored) - the Vicar in Portnascully parish only had three members in his congregation, compared to 433 Catholics who lived in that parish. But it is possible some Catholics would possibly attended service in Protestant churches as they had no church of their own. So it would be considered a 'grey' area with many of the local vicars turning a 'blind eye' to the Catholics attending their service.

There was no physical Catholic places of worship in the parish until 1752, when the Catholic Church started to reemerge. Then we have a record that a 'Mass house' was built in Kilnaspic. Catholics were not allowed to have 'churches' per se, so a thatched house was used to circumvent the law. First thing that comes to mind is how remote the location was. It was on the far side of a hill and certainly quite hidden and not in peoples face (it was located just down the hill from the current church in Kilnaspic - at the end of the current graveyard). Secondly, the land where the Mass house was built was owned by the Earl of Bessborough, so he obviously was agreeable to it.

The father of the modern day parish - if you excuse the pun - was Father James Purcell who was the first Catholic priest to base himself wholly in the parish since the Reformation. He arrived in 1748 and was responsible for not just Mooncoin parish but also most of Kilmacow parish. Fr Purcell rented a house and 40 acres in Middlequarter close to the home - described as a mansion - of the Church of Ireland vicar for the parish who lived in Polerone. Fr Purcell was from Kilkenny City and born in 1707. He moved his brother and parents down to Mooncoin to live with him and work on the farm. His parents died just two years later in 1750, within four months of each other, and were buried in Rathkieran churchyard (of course then still controlled by the Church of Ireland which shows the relationship between the two religions was quite amicable).

There was three Catholics churches/Mass houses in use from the late 1700s. It is perhaps not coincidental that the three Catholic divisions in the parish - Mooncoin, Carrigeen and Kilnaspic - did not take any of the names of the older civil/Church of Ireland parishes (such as Tubrid, Rathkieran etc.). Thus, their could be no confusion or mix up between the Church of Ireland and Catholic parishes. Their was a Catholic Mass house (later a church) built in Ballytarsney. Then from the early 1800s, after the Penal Laws were relaxed even further, churches were built in the three parishes with an adjoining parish school in each. A new church was built in 1802 in Mooncoin and was located in what we know as the 'old graveyard' on Chapel street (hence where that name came from). This replaced the Ballytarsney church. In general in Mooncoin, there is not much evidence of conflict between the differing believers through the centuries. Many Catholics attended mass (and as stated were buried), in Protestant churches as they had no church of their own until the 1700s. So it would be considered a 'grey' area with many of the local vicars turning a 'blind eye' to the Catholics attending mass.

Here are some Extracts from the Ossory records from 1837 which reference the Church of Ireland churches in the area:

(* note 'Glebe house' is the local Rectors house)

"Moncoin", Mount-Coin, or [Mooncoin], a village and extra-parochial place, locally in the parish of Poleroan, barony of Iverk containing 102 houses and 495 inhabitants. In the R. C. divisions this place is the head of a union or district, comprising the parishes of Rathkyran, Aglishmartin, Portnescully, Poleroan, Clonmore, Ballytarsna, Tubrid, and part of Burnchurch, in which union are three chapels.
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)]
Church Records
Civil Parish: RC Parish: Mooncoin
Earliest Records: births. Dec 1797 marriages. Jan 1772.

"Polerone", or Poleroan, a parish, in the barony of Iverk, county of Kilkenny, and on the north-eastern bank of the river Suir containing 1245 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, united by act of council, in 1680, to the vicarages of Potnescully and Illud, together consituting the union of Poleroan, in the gift of the Corporation of Waterford, in who the rectory is impropriate. There is a glebe-house [vicar's home] with a glebe of 4 1/4 acres. About 60 children are educated in a private school.


"Rathkieran", or Rathkyran, a parish, in the barony of Iverk, county of Kilkenny containing 1408 inhabitants, of which number, 120 are in the village. The parish comprises 4197 statute acres, and the village contains 22 houses. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, and in the patronage of the Vicars Choral of the cathedral of Kilkenny the rectory is appropriate to the dean and chapter. At Moncoin is a school under the superintendence of the nuns, in which are about 250 girls and in a private school are about 200 boys there is also a Sunday school.

"Aglish", or Aglishmartin, a parish, in the barony of Iverk, county of Kilkenny, on the river Suir, and on the road from Waterford to Carrick-on-Suir containing 401 inhabitants, of which number, 142 are in the village. It comprises 2414 statute acres, and is a rectory, in the diocese of Ossory, and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes amount to £96.18.5 1/2. There is neither church nor glebe-house the glebe consists of 2 1/2 acres.


"Ballytarsney", a parish, in the barony of Iverk, county of Kilkenny the population is returned with the parish of Poleroan. The parish is situated on the road from Waterford to Limerick, and is about five British furlongs in length and breadth, comprising 1116 statute acres. It is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, and forms part of the union of Clonmore.

"Clonmore", a parish, in the barony of Iverk, county of Kilkenny, and province of Leinster, 2 1/2 miles (S. S. E.) from Piltown, on the mail coach road from Limerick To wateford. Containing 702 inhabitants. The principal seats are Silverspring and Cloncunny. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, united to those of Ballytarsney, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The glebe-house [vicars house] was built in 1817: the glebe comprises 11 acres. The church was erected in 1818 [Graigavine], In the R. C. divisions this parish is in the union or district of Mooncoin.

"Portnascully", or Portnescully, a parish, in the barony of Iverk, county of Kilkenny containing 1084 inhabitants. It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ossory, forming part of the union of Poleroan the rectory is impropriate in the corporation of Waterford. contains the chapel of Carrigeen. About 240 boys are educated in two private schools there is also a Sunday school.

"Tubbrid", or Tubrid, a parish, in the barony of Iverk, county of Kilkenny containing 213 inhabitants and comprising 980 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. It is a rectory, in the diocese of Ossory, forming part of the union of Fiddown. In the R. C. divisions it is part of the union or district of Mooncoin. A day school, in which about 100 children are taught [beside Kilnaspic Church], is aided by contributions from the parish priest and a Sunday school is held in the R.C. chapel.

Historical Geography
Townlands (1851)

1821 Census and Genealogy

As many people with an interest in genealogy would know, the earliest complete census return in Ireland is the 1901 census. This census is freely available on the Irish National Achieves website (the Tithe Applotment books which list the heads of most households in Mooncoin cir 1830 are available freely there also -Tithes were a tax on all people for the upkeep of the state Protestant Church at the time - it was later considered an unfair tax considering over 85% of the population were Catholic).

Mooncoin parish, however, has been staggeringly luckily in relation to information recovered from earlier censuses. Firstly, the background to the completion of censuses in Ireland censuses were taken every 10 years from 1821 (1821 being the first official census by the British government who ruled Ireland at the time). Many people then ask so what happened to all the census records from 1821-1891? The 1861 and 1871 censuses were purposely destroyed by the government shortly after all the data had been analysed. The 1881 and 1891 censuses were &lsquopulped&rsquo by the British government during World War I because of a paper shortage at the time. The vast majority of the remaining censuses extracts were destroyed during the Irish Civil War in June 1922 when the Four Courts in Dublin was burned. The Irish records office was located in the same complex and over 1000 years of history was burned also at the time.

As stated, Mooncoin parish has been very fortunate (in comparison to many areas of Ireland), in relation to the what survived from the earlier censuses

1841/1851: The only transcripts in relation to the whole of County Kilkenny to survive from the 1841/51 censuses are the townlands of Aglish and Portnahully (viewable in the national genealogy centre, Kildare St, Dublin 2).

1831: The only transcripts in relation to the whole of County Kilkenny to survive from the 1831 census are the townlands Aglish, Clonmore, Kilmacow, Pol(e)rone, Rathkieran and Tybroughney (viewable in the National Library, Kildare St, Dublin 2).

1821: For the 1821 census, there survives a full complete transcript of the census for the Parish of Mooncoin. Again, Mooncoin is very fortunate, as a man by the name of Edmond Walsh Kelly (who's family came from Glengrant and Licketstown (Carrigeen)) , who had an interest in genealogy, transcribed the original 1821 census for the local area before it was destroyed in 1922 (he is also responsible for the other census transcripts mentioned above). The Census transcripts were later copied by his niece Kathleen Kelly (Tramore) in 1976, who made them available for publication. These transcripts are all stored in the National Library of Ireland and are known as the 'Walsh-Kelly notebooks' (GO MS 684). This census was first published in the book 'Mooncoin - 1650-1977'.
As the 1821 census was the first of its kind, the information would have been less detailed than it is today. The transcripts of the 1821 census are available to view below. Just click on the specific townland to open the return. Note: the person listed is son or daughter of the head of the household unless otherwise stated.

Family Roots / Mooncoin Genealogy

Many people have emigrated from Mooncoin parish over the years. Here is some advice when trying to locate ancestors

-Gather as much solid information as possible, this is vital e.g. roughly the dates when you ancestors left Mooncoin. Likewise, the townland the person is from is very important. Its not enough to know that your ancestor came from Kilkenny(!) or even Mooncoin. The specific townland is very important (e.g. Dournane). This is especially vital if your ancestor had a very common name like Walsh, Delahunty or Mackey, which are very popular in the area. Also, the tradition in Ireland was to the name the first son after the paternal grandfather and the first daughter after the paternal mother. The second son/daughter was then named from the maternal side. So if a grandfather had a large family, many of his grandchildren could have the same name as himself! This is why dates are very important. It is also, for example, why there as been so many Michael, Patrick, John and Richard Walsh's from Mooncoin over the years! It helps also, when we don't know exactly the name of further back generations, we can make a guess when researching by comparing the names of the oldest grandchildren.
Also, be careful of spelling changes in names over the years. Many people that emigrated to America could not read or write, so officials on the American side often spelt the name phonetically. This was compounded probably by the accents of the Irish! For example, Henebery, which is still a popular name in the area, has had many variations through the years Henneberry, Henebery, Henebry and also an American version Hanabery (which was probably corrupted as defined above). The same can be said for the local townlands, they have changed spelling considerably (mostly abbreviated) over the years e.g. Polerone was Polleroan. Kilnaspic was Killinaspic (so try a number of combinations when searching).

-One of the best, and freely available sources of information is the 1901 and 1911 censuses of Ireland (from the national achieves of Ireland website). Also, on this Mooncoin website, the census of 1821 for the parish is published (above), which we are very fortunate to have surviving.

-Civil records the vast majority of Births, Deaths and Marriages were recorded in Ireland from 1864 for Catholics and 1844 for peoples of the Church of Ireland faith. These are available from

-Catholic Church records these are very important as they predate the civil records. In Mooncoin's case, genealogists are very lucky once again, as most marriages and births from 1779 onwards are recorded (Mooncoin was ahead of its time as many parishes did not do this for many years after). These are available from the National Library of Ireland website.

-Other sources include Griffiths Valuation (cir 1850) which is freely available online. This was a land survey but recorded the head of each landowning household in the parish. Likewise, many genealogy websites have records (for a fee) of ship passengers who emigrated from Ireland. These would include the address where the person was travelling from and going to.

The Rev. Carrigan's history of Mooncoin

A volume of books called "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory" (1905) by the Rev William Carrigan (d 1924), has become the de facto reference when completing any type of research or study about Kilkenny. The books (in four volumes) were the result of fives years work by a local priest William Carrigan who was born in Ballyfoyle Co Kilkenny and have a thorough breakdown of the history of Kilkenny villages.

The books are no longer in print but are available in local libraries. Also, priests ordinated in the diocese of Ossory received the books as a gift on their ordination.

Click the link below to read extracts from "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory" that are specific to Mooncoin

Mooncoin Extracts from Carrigans Book (volume 4)

Sinnott's Cross Ambush

A Black and Tan ambush occurred at Sinnott's Cross, Tubrid (at the Piltown end of Clogga) during the Irish war of independence(1919-1921), on the 18th June 1921. At this time Ireland was under the control of the British Empire and many of the people of Ireland rebelled against their control to try and gain Independence. Michael Collins (nationalist icon from Cork), along with Richard Mulcahy, were the main driving forces behind the Irish Independence movement after 1918. Michael Collins was the IRA Director of Intelligence and was actively involved in providing funds and arms to the IRA units that needed them. In early 1921 Michael Collins sent a dictate to the commanders in Kilkenny City ordering them to proceed with ambushes and other activities in County Kilkenny. The reason for Michael Collins anguish was the fact that a lot of the British army resources, including the Black and Tans, were being focused on Cork, Tipperary and Dublin. So Collins needed the Crown Forces to start spreading their resources more widely, so to take the pressure off other areas. In this vicinity, most of the activities during the War of Independence were focused in west Kilkenny (with the 7th Kilkenny Battalion in Callan being the most active). In light of this order by Collins and others in high command in Kilkenny, an ambush occurred near Sinnott's Cross, Mooncoin, in June 1921.

It is with great credit to these Mooncoin men that they actually proceeded with an ambush. It would have been easy and less dangerous to do nothing and wait for others to do the 'dirty work'. But these local men felt it was right and the most just thing to do. They had nothing to gain in the short term, but perhaps had a lot to lose. These losses could have included their farms, their jobs, their freedom or their own lives. This was because Marshall law was running in Kilkenny at this time in 1921 which meant they could be executed without trial. In fairness to these Mooncoin men, they were quite ordinary people. They did want war or killing. Sometimes its hard for people to understand the need for this by looking through the lens of the Ireland today. But it was because of their sacrifice that we now live in a thriving Republic with its own parliament, culture and identity.

Now just to set the national scene as it was in June 1921 when the Sinnott's Cross ambush occurred. The country was in turmoil for nearly two years at this stage due to the 'Tan War' as it was called, or what we now call the Irish War of Independence. People in Mooncoin would have been glued to the daily newspapers. And in general, the tide of sympathy was turning towards the Irish revolutionaries even from people that would previous have had moderate views. If we flash back just 8 months before the Sinnott's Cross ambush, the world was following with bated breath to Terence MacSwinney's hunger strike in England. His subsequent death was an international sensation reaching the front pages in the U.K. and America. Then just a few weeks later (7 months before Sinnott's Cross), the Croke Park Massacre occurred. This was a response to Michael Collins's assassination of British detectives. Then to make matters worse, the Black and Tans burnt down Cork city centre, just 6 months before Sinnott's Cross. As a quick summary, the Black and Tans were a mercenary force setup by the British. They basically had a licence to 'do what they liked' with no repercussions from their superiors. History would show that this backfired badly on the British, as the majority of people that were affected by the Black and Tans were law abiding, innocent people. The Black and Tans enemy was basically all Irish people which is why they burned down creameries and farmhouses or killed innocent people without trial. This ironically was beneficial to Michael Collins and the leaders as people really started backing them. That was their downfall.

To provoke the Black and Tans to come to Clogga the local IRA men broke into and stole objects from the local landlord who lived near the mill. The Landlord reported this and this caused the Black and Tans to come to Clogga. Also, the previous year (1920), Piltown Courthouse was burnt down. Pat 'the fox' Walsh (Richtén Walsh's later Swithin Walshs) of Clogga was the leader that day.

At a turn on the road, very near Sinnott's Cross, the local IRA members waited and then ambushed the Black and Tans killing one and injuring another. The Black and Tans did not know who committed the attack and vowed to "burn every house in Clogga to the ground". But thanks to the local miller, this did not happen. The miller at the time, Mennell, was from England and told the Black and Tans that it was an outside unit of the IRA. The Black and Tans trusted him and so did not harm anyone in Clogga.

It is important to highlight the fact that all men that took part that day were from the Mooncoin area. They came from all different walks of life, big and small farmers,labourers, shop keepers etc. They put their own life's and their families lives at risk to fight for a cause in which they truly believed in. There was no financial or other rewards, but the sacrifices could have been huge. It would have been a lot easier not have taken part but they obviously believed strongly enough to do so.

In Limbo

Tyrrell is a common Irish surname but as with so many others, its origin is Anglo-Norman. At a date around the 1170s Hugh Tyrel (or Tirrell) came to this country and acquired the Barony of Fertullagh, County Westmeath running to some 39,000 acres, as well as land in Castleknock closer to Dublin. The Tyrrells thereafter flourished, in part because like so many others of their ilk they gradually became integrated with the indigenous population. The best-remembered member of the family is Captain Richard Tyrrell who in July 1597 defeated a superior force of English soldiers at a place in Westmeath thereafter known as Tyrrellspass. The Berminghams likewise were a Norman family, the first of whom Richard de Bermingham came to Ireland in the 1170s. Initially they settled in County Galway but also became established further east. Thomas Bermingham, the last Baron of Athenry and Earl of Louth died without a male heir in 1799 and with his death the main branch came to an end. More than half a century earlier, the Tyrrells and the Berminghams had coincided when in 1735 Walter Bermingham sold Grange Castle, County Kildare to Thomas Tyrrell.

Today set in the midst of a series of stone enclosures Grange Castle is most likely a 15th century tower house, one of a number of defensive properties built by the Berminghams in this part of the country, not least nearby Carrick Castle, which is earlier in date but now in poorer condition. Grange has survived better no doubt because it remained in use as a domestic residence. In addition, at some date in the late 16th/early 17th century it was modernised, as can be seen by the larger window openings, the tall chimney stacks (indicating an increased number of hearths) and the ornamental crenellations around the roofline. Further improvements appear to have occurred not long after the castle was acquired by the Tyrrells when a single storey house was added to the immediate west. Linked to the castle at the rear, this evidently contained the main reception rooms, with the older section presumably being utilised as sleeping quarters. The main point of access was through the house, via a fine carved limestone doorcase, its pediment containing the Tyrrell coat of arms and their motto Veritas Via Vitae (a variant of Christ’s words in St John’s Gospel, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’).

Grange Castle remained in the ownership of the Tyrrells until 1988 when responsibility for the mediaeval structure was handed over to the state. However the later house, and surrounding outbuildings remain in the ownership of the family. In the mid-1990s a charitable trust was established to restore the property with the intention that it be opened to the public. Over the course of several years a considerable amount of work was undertaken to improve both house and grounds. However in 2003 this enterprise came to a close and it appears that ever since the place has sat empty, and a prey to vandals. The castle itself is secure, the only access being via a locked door to the rear of the house. The latter however is easily accessed and accordingly has suffered some despoliation. At the same time the damage is not so grave to render the project beyond re-activation, and perhaps this will occur. For the moment Grange Castle appears to be in limbo.

Strategies for playing Midnight Castle

When you are doing a round of HOS do you pause to collect all 3 morphing flowers before going to the next scene?

I'm happy if I get 2. It seems like they'll morph as I'm clicking to go to another room. I've found I can go back into the room (even after doing a HOS) and it will still be there for me to snap up.

Do you play the new HOS scenes quickly or do you play them slowly so they don’t level up so soon?

In my main game, at first quickly, then slooowly, then quickly again. As other players have said, you get more coin in the longer wait times.

In my second game, I use wands to collect the six objects for 6,000 + 3,100 for time and use 6 wands.

How many rounds of HOS do you usually complete a day? In my main game I only play what i have to. In my second game I don't have much open and play rounds, don't keep track.

Do you feed pets as soon as food is available or do you wait for a Daily Quest that requires feeding pets?

I was feeding right away, but now am saving up food.

Do you ever use diamonds to bring the Airship back early so you can send it more often than every 4 hours?

Do you play the Game Table every 12 hours? Do you have any strategy for which character to play and when?

Main game yes, second game didn't even open it.

Do you have a limit that you will not go beyond when spinning the Fortune Wheel?

Main game 300, but have spent more on occasion. 2nd game only the freebie!

When doing quests, do you read what the character says at the top of the quest before and after the quest? (I often forget to do this and lose parts of the story line.)

How many games of Midnight Castle do you have as different players?

How do you keep your pointer finger or wrist in shape?

Don't have that problem. My shoulder gets sore.

Statistics: Main / 2nd
Level and tasks? 28 lvl 775 quests / 15 227
Time spent playing? 12d 6h 44m / 2d 12h 30m
Flowers collected? 12,224 / 2726
HOS completed? 4,835 / 1179
Achievements? 67 / 37
Pets? 10 / 2 xmas 2 regular

Do you have any other tips for players?

You can scroll through the vertical list of friends and click on them to go to them in the horizontal list. And the scroll wheel on the mouse has saved my pointer finger.

Re:Strategies for playing Midnight Castle

Currently, I am on level 25 and have 26 HOS. It took me 37 minutes to run through them today.

I usually get at least 2 flowers, sometimes too impatient to wait for the third.

I never seem to be ready to quit when I've run through all the HOS so I run back to those new ones because they don't take an hour to become available again. When I open a new area and have a few HOS that are not built up, I start my "rounds" with them and catch them again at the end.

How many rounds of HOS do you usually complete a day? It depends a lot on how busy I am. Right now I'm getting in a lot of play because I got sick - a cold that's threatening to turn into a sinus infection. I have a lot of time on my hands right now but that's going to dry up when I get my health back.

Do you feed pets as soon as food is available or do you wait for a Daily Quest that requires feeding pets? The thought of pets going hungry is too strong for me to do anything but feed them as soon as I can. Silly, isn't it?

Do you ever use diamonds to bring the Airship back early so you can send it more often than every 4 hours? No.

Do you play the Game Table every 12 hours? Do you have any strategy for which character to play and when? I play the characters that have items, then finish the round trying for coin. I haven't acquired the achievements for winning items and coins yet so I play whenever I can. Also, I haven't had the opportunity to play the dragon.

Do you have a limit that you will not go beyond when spinning the Fortune Wheel? It depends a lot on how much I have and what's on the wheel. It took me a while to figure out why coins matter.

When doing quests, do you read what the character says at the top of the quest before and after the quest? yes

How many games of Midnight Castle do you have as different players? 1

How do you keep your pointer finger or wrist in shape? (mine is sore) I use a cordless trackball mouse. I never have any discomfort. I love it.

What level are you on and how many tasks have you completed? 25, 623 quests
How much time have you spent playing? 7d 11h 42 min
How many flowers have you collected? 1461
How many HOS completed? 4056
How many achievements? 58
How many pets? 4

Do you have any other tips for players? The best thing I've done for my game is to read the forums. Thank you all so much for posting. I've been a slow learner, stumbling through the game, until I found the forum and started reading.

Return to Rosthwaite

The Cumbria Way leaves the river after a short distance and beings to ascend slightly, before taking you through a gap in a boundary wall. You will then reach a junction where you will need to turn left (it is signposted for Rosthwaite). You will pass a large cave during this section of the walk that is worth viewing. You will eventually reach a gate that you will need to go through, and the track then follows the River Derwent back to the stone bridge that you crossed at the beginning of the walk just outside of Rosthwaite.

Who Was H. H. Holmes?

H. H. Holmes was born Herman Webster Mudgett in New Hampshire in 1861. As an adult, he abandoned his young wife and child in 1885 to move to Illinois. Once there, he changed his name to Holmes, reportedly as an homage to the fictional English detective Sherlock Holmes, the literary creation of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Soon after his arrival in the Chicago area, Holmes took up work at a pharmacy located near Jackson Park. Eight years later, Jackson Park would become the site of the 1893 World’s Fair.

The Columbian Exposition, as it was called, was designed by some of America’s leading architects, including Frederick Law Olmstead, and included exhibits from more than 40 countries.

The event attracted more than 27 million visitors to Chicago, an incredible number considering the limited transportation options of the time. Holmes took advantage of some of the many visitors to the city, including young women who came to Chicago for jobs at the fairgrounds.

The Most Endearing of All Castles in Dublin: Drimnagh Castle

The grey-limestone Drimnagh Castle is another of the smaller castles in Dublin. It’s located three miles from the city centre within the suburb of the same name. It, too, has a claim to fame as it’s been featured repeatedly in the TV series The Tudors.

As Seen in The Tudors: Some sections depicting the rooms of Hever Castle were shot in the innards of Drimnagh and the steps leading into its moat were used to depict ‘Traitor’s Gate’ in the Tower of London.

Drimnagh in black and white. (Robynlou Kavanagh) CC-BY-2.0.

Drimnagh (pronounced Drim-Na) is an interesting little spot, and it dates from Norman times. It was built in the early 1200s, and was the home of the de Berneval family, although it passed into the hands of other nobles. It came close to being demolished back in 1986, and was narrowly saved from destruction by conservationist Peter Pearson.

The castle has an impressive, beamed, Great Hall and the entrance is through a grandiose front gate – a perfect arch topped by three tall windows. However, the feature that makes Drimnagh so special is its peaceful moat, which surrounds 2/3 of the castle. The moat is naturally fed by the nearby stream.

It’s an easy trip from the centre of Dublin city and is being extensively restored – but it isn’t really a major tourist attraction (it’s adjacent to a noisy all-boy’s school). However, the guides are knowledgable, the castle is interesting, and it is surrounded by lovely, well cared for c17th gardens, filled with delicate clipped hedges and a tweeting dovecote.

Grange Castle Co Kildare

Above Image: A boundary wall entrance from the estate.

Above Image: A walled garden entrance

Above Image: A view from the overgrown garden

Above Image: What appears to be part of a mill wheel

Above Image: Part of the abandoned visitor centre

We have spent quite a bit of time in the Kildare/Offaly border area visiting among others Carrick Castle and Blundell Castle (See earlier posts here & here) and we were informed of on one trip of another De Bermingham Castle called Grange. This Castle lay fairly close to Carrick so we diverted to take a look.
Grange Castle is a tower house constructed in 1460 by the aforementioned De Berminghams and is admired for its ornate battlements and chimneys which were added to the original structure in the 1600's. The Castle remained in De Bermingham hands until 1735 when it was sold to the Tyrell family who held ownership until 1988. It was then passed to the OPW by Robert Tyrell. The lands are held by the Tyrell trust who received grants to help restore the Castle to its former glory. Unfortunately any further plans were abandoned in 2003 even though a lot of restorative work had been carried out including restoration of the great hall inside and the addition of a visitor tearoom and an office. The trust had tourism in mind but alas it now lies abandoned and is unfortunately looking as if it might return to its semi ruinous state.
We found entry by a field gate on the western perimeter of the estate and this seemed the best way to approach as the gate on the northern end was further away from the Castle. There was no distinct pathway so we just followed the direction of the Tower until we came across and entrance way to it. It is partly surrounded by more modern buildings one being a 19th century house. I was surprised to see glass in some of the windows as I was expecting more of a ruin. At this point, although there were no prohibitive signs, we began to wonder if anybody was occupying any of the adjacent buildings, security guards or such, as we were unaware initially on our visit that it had undergone some restoration. It didn't take long to realise that it was in fact abandoned and had been for some time.
We peered through the window of one of the ancillary buildings to see if there was any access but there was just debris strewn around. Many of the windows have been broken and interiors tampered with, signs of the mindless vandalism that abandoned buildings tend to attract. We walked around the area and found further outbuildings one containing some bags of plaster left over presumably from the restoration work. The gardens which look as if some landscaping had taken place are now overgrown including a very wild walled garden with an arched entrance. I've often seen a great castle and it's land in latter ruination but it was interesting to witness what it looks like in its onset.
The Tower itself is to my eyes magnificent and still holds a lot of its charm. It is very slightly marred by the derelict buildings adjacent but its architecture is so unusual to the general tower house types that it is definitely worth the time to seek it out. It would be nice to get a chance to see inside but with its large padlocked gate it doesn't look like this will be anytime soon.
To find Grange Castle take the R401 out of Edenderry and about 4KM along the road you will spot the ruins of Carrick Castle on your right. About 250m past the ruins there is a left hand turn It has Grange Castle signposted. Follow this narrow road until you reach a T-Junction. Turn left and about 100m down the road you will find a field gate angled away from the road. It is possible to park on the grass margin in front of the gate. Once over the gate use the Tower as a guide to head in the right direction

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