Currarevagh

Text - Mary Kyne, Hyperlinks & Maps - Antoinette Lydon

Currarevagh is in the civil parish of Kilcummin. The civil Parish corresponds with the following Church of Ireland parish of Kilcummin, Galway West. In general the civil parish and the Church of Ireland parish are the same as is the case in the Kilcummin Oughterard area.

The Irish form of the name is An Chorr Riabhach – the projecting with varitation

Currarevagh is in the Electoral Division of Letterfore, in Civil Parish of Kilcummin, in the Barony of Moycullen, in the County of Galway

Other forms of name.

Currarevagh

Currach Riabhach

Currareavagh Boundary Surveyor

Curryrievagh Barony Cess Book

Currarevagh County Map

Curraghroe Local

Currivagh Rector of Kilcummin

Carrareava Barony Map

Description:

Thomas B. Martin, Esq., Ballinahinch, Proprietor. Remarkable for a Holy Well famed for stations. Land very good, but hilly. Containing 179¼ acres about 140 acres under tillage and pasture, the remainder bog. There is a Holy Well called Tobercullier, and Burial Ground called Faughanakella situated near its southern boundary. There is a small patch of brushwood along its eastern boundary.

Situation:

Situate in the Northern extremity of the parish. Bounded on the N. and E. by Lough Corrib, W. by Balygally and Gortarola and S. by Baurnagurtheeny, Shanballymore and Cappagorriv townlands.

This is a list of townlands that share a border with this townland.

Other place names in or near this townland are:

Annaghminnoge (island) is a small piece of land in Currarevagh Bay often separated by high water during the winter.

The Glann cemetery at Faughnakilla (shelf of land with a church or burial ground) is in this townland as is St. Cutberts Well once called Tobercullier or St.Callin’s Well. According to John O Donovan Field Notes St Callin’s Well is the true name of the well. St. Cuthbert (634-687) of Lindisfarne in Northumbria was an Anglo Saxon monk and Bishop. His tomb is to be found in Durham Cathedral. He is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and Eastern Orthodox Church. The Hodgson family originated in this part of north Eastern England.

Information from the Landed Estates Database. 
The following is a list of those houses in this townland which are discussed in the Landed Estates Database.

Proprietor:

Thomas B. Martin of Ballynahinch Castle.

Martin (Ross) – The Martin family were established beside Ross Lake in the barony of Moycullen, county Galway, from the late 16th century, where they purchased land from the O’Flahertys. They were Royalist supporters and were dispossessed of their property in the city of Galway by the Cromwellians. Robert Martin received a grant of 2,909 acres in the barony of Moycullen, by patent dated 21 Aug 1677. Jasper Martin of Ross, who died in 1700, had two sons Jasper and Richard, from whom descend the two branches of the family settled at Ross and Ballynahinch. Nicholas Martin, who died in 1811, married Elizabeth O’Hara, daughter of Robert O’Hara of Lenaboy, and according to Burke’s ”Landed Gentry”, a grandniece of James O’Hara, 2nd Baron Tyrawley. Their grandson, James Martin of Ross, had sixteen children from his two marriages. His daughter, Maud, married H. Callwell and they were the parents of the author, J. M. Callwell. The youngest daughter of James Martin was Violet Florence Martin of the well known literary team Somerville and Ross. The Martins of Ross owned 5,767 acres in county Galway in the 1870s. They advertised the sale of their estate in the Landed Estates’ Court in May 1885.

Martin (Ballynahinch) – A branch of the Anglo Norman family of Martin, one of the Tribes of Galway, was granted the O’Flaherty lands in the Connemara region in the mid 17th century. This family were a junior branch of the Martins of Ross and under the Acts of Settlement were granted vast estates in counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Clare and Sligo. By a patent dated 1698 they were confirmed in the possession of their Connemara estate known as the Manor of Claremount by King William. The Westport Estate Papers document the sale of over 27,000 acres in the baronies of Moycullen and Ballynahinch by the trustees for the sale of Colonel John Browne’s estate to John Edwards for Richard Martin in 1699. The early generations of Martins lived at Birch Hall and Dangan, in the townland of Oranhill, parish of Rahoon, near Galway city. Richard Martin, better known as ‘Humanity Dick’, was the first member of the family to be reared as a Protestant. He was a famous duellist and founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ballynahinch Castle was built in the centre of his estate. His son Thomas Martin died in 1847 during the Famine and Thomas’s only daughter and heir, Mary Laetita, inherited a heavily encumbered estate. She married her cousin, Arthur Gonne Bell, and died in New York in 1850. The Martin estates were offered for sale in two sections in 1849. Their property close to Galway town included Dangan, Corcullen, Bushypark and Killeen. Their Connemara estate was acquired by the Law Life Assurance Society in 1852, to whom it was heavily mortgaged. In 1853 the estate of almost 200,000 acres was surveyed by Thomas Colville Scott for a prospective buyer. Richard Martin, second son of Richard ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin of Ballynahinch, is recorded as holding five townlands in the parish of Killannin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, at the time of Griffith’s Valuation although he emigrated to Canada in 1833. He was also recorded as the occupier of Clareville, a Martin home in the village of Oughterard. Many of his descendants still reside in Canada. http://www.martinhistory.net/

The Tithe Applotment Books

About the Records

Tithes were a tax on agricultural produce which was payable by the occupiers of agricultural land. They were the main source of income for the parish clergy of the Church of Ireland (the largest Protestant church and the church established by law). However, in many parishes a large part of the tithes was ‘appropriate’, which meant that they were payable to a bishop, cathedral chapter or other ecclesiastical recipient, or were ‘impropriate’, which generally meant that they were payable to a local landowner. The parishes used in the Tithe Applotment Books are civil or Church of Ireland parishes, which often differ in name and territory from Catholic parishes, Acts of Parliament of 1823 and 1832 provided for the conversion of tithes into a fixed charge on land, and specified the average price of wheat or oats in the parish in the seven years before 1821 as the basis on which the tithes would be calculated. They also extended the application of tithes to pasture, where previously they had been levied only on tillage.

This change in the law resulted in the valuation of individual holdings in almost all parishes containing agricultural land, in order to assess the portion of the tithes for which each occupier of land would be liable. The apportionment was recorded for each Church of Ireland parish in a Tithe Composition Applotment Book. The information was collected and the amounts were calculated by two Parochial Commissioners, one of whom was appointed by the cess-payers of the parish and the other by the relevant Diocese of the Church of Ireland. This procedure was carried out in over 2,500 parishes between the years 1823 and 1837.

The Tithe Applotment Books are in a variety of formats, from a few pages sewn together to elaborately bound volumes. In most cases they are written in manuscript throughout, although some consist of manuscript entries on printed questionnaires. The information in the books is broadly uniform and generally includes at least the name of occupier; the size of holding, the valuation and the tithe payable. In some cases, more detailed information is provided. Some volumes have maps and most have certificates and correspondence attached.

The sub-divisions of the parish were recorded. Some of these subdivisions, such as plough lands, ceased to be in official use after the six-inch survey of the Ordnance Survey was completed in the 1840s. Only productive land was subject to tithe, and the books usually distinguish between this tithable land and untithable land such as roads or mountains. Tithable land was in some cases classified by quality, and a money value was given to each class. In some cases, the proportion of tithe payable to the rector, vicar or lay proprietor of the tithes was set out. The column for observations was sometimes completed, with information about commonage, for example.

There are a number of other points that should be noted. The acreages given in the Tithe Applotment Books are in Irish or Plantation measure, which is 1.62 times larger than statute measure. Only occupiers of land at the time of the tithe composition are recorded, so not all heads of households living in a parish at the time are included. Only rural areas are systematically covered, although inhabitants of towns who held plots of cultivable land are included. The equivalent tax in urban areas, Minister’s Money, has left few records.

The Tithe Applotment Books are an important source of information for a wide variety of researchers of pre-Famine Ireland. They provide the first surviving national list of the occupiers of land, and are used by genealogists as a partial substitute for returns of the 1821 and 1831 censuses of population, which were destroyed in 1922. They also record information on the quality of land, and provide information on pre-Ordnance Survey territorial divisions, some of which were not recognized after the 1840s.

The National Archives hold the original Tithe Applotment Books only for the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland. The books for the six counties of Northern Ireland are held in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast. (http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/search/tab/aboutmore.jsp)

No information available.

Information from the Down Survey Website.

The Down Survey is a mapped survey. Using the Civil Survey as a guide, teams of surveyors, mainly former soldiers, were sent out under Petty’s direction to measure every townland to be forfeited to soldiers and adventurers. The resulting maps, made at a scale of 40 perches to one inch (the modern equivalent of 1: 50,000), were the first systematic mapping of a large area on such a scale attempted anywhere. The primary purpose of these maps was to record the boundaries of each townland and to calculate their areas with great precision. The maps are also rich in other detail showing churches, roads, rivers, castles, houses and fortifications. Most towns are represented pictorially and the cartouches, the decorative titles, of each map in many cases reflect a specific characteristic of each barony. (http://downsurvey.tcd.ie)

The down survey website will tell you who owned this townland in 1641 (pre Cromwell) and in 1671 (post Cromwell).

Townland of CURRAREVAGH (Moycullen By)

Down Survey Name: Corrliah
1641 Owner(s): O’Flahartye, Murrogh McBrien (Catholic)McWilliam of the Clanvicks, Ulick (Catholic)Shoy, Thom Edmund McColla (Catholic)
1670 Owner(s): Brown, John (Protestant)
County: Galway
Barony: Rosse Half Barony
Parish: Rosse
Unprofitable land: 168 plantation acres
Profitable land: 73 plantation acres
Forfeited: 73 plantation acres

Down Survey Website

Griffith’s Valuation  1850s

In Griffith’s Valuation the area is 179 acres 37 perches with a land value of £50. Value of Buildings is £5, and the total value is £55.

Additional two small islands in Lough Corrib – area 4 perches of no agricultural value

Occupiers of the Land: Henry Hodgson –immedate leesor in fee

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml?action=doNameSearch&PlaceID=558985 

View the heads of households in the townland at this time.

Poor Law Union Ireland

In Ireland the Poor Relief Act of 1838 divided into districts or “unions” in which the local taxable inhabitants were to be financially responsible for all paupers in the area. In 1898 the Poor Law Union was adopted as the basic administrative division in place of the civil parish and barony. Further subdivision into 828 registration districts and 3,751 district electoral divisions followed. Townlands were not arranged according to these divisions with parish and barony retained as a means to make comparisons with records gathered before 1898.

The 1838 Act

The main provisions of the 1838 Act were:

  • The extension of the existing Poor Law Commissioners’ powers to Ireland, with the appointment of Assistant Commissioners who were to implement the Act in Ireland.
  • The division of the country into Poor Law Unions based on Irish electoral divisions which were themselves made up from townlands.
  • The creation of a Board of Guardians for each Union, two-thirds of whom were to be elected, the other third to be appointed ex officio.
  • The setting up of a workhouse in each Union.
  • The collection of a local poor-rate to finance the system.
  • Assistance for emigration.

Initially, 130 Unions were created, based upon 2,049 electoral divisions. The divisions were composed of townlands, a peculiarly Irish unit, traditionally of 120 Irish acres in area. (Between 1848 and 1850, an additional 33 Unions were created by subdividing and reorganizing the boundaries of some existing Unions, particularly in the west of the country.

Boards of Guardians were elected annually on 25th March. Only rate-payers were eligible for election, which effectively disenfranchised most of the native Irish who were usually tenants at this time. Rate-payers were allowed between one and six votes depending on the size of a valuation of their property.

Out Offices and Land

The out office was a farm building, a cow house, piggery or barn. The land was very poor and sterile and people were always poverty-stricken. At this time most tenants were trying to eke out a living on 5acres or less and a farmers needed at least 15.3 acres to survive.

Townlands

A town land is one of the smallest land divisions in Ireland. They range in size from a few acres to thousands of acres. Many are Gaelic in origin, but some came into existence after the Norman invasion 1169. Currarevagh is a townland.

Population & Census Information

People who lived here: 

You can retrieve a list of people who lived in this townland from 1827 to 1911. This list is compiled from the following resources.

  • The Tithe Applotment Books
  • Griffith’s Valuation
  • 1901 Census
  • 1911 Census

List of nineteenth century and early twentieth century inhabitants of this townland.

1841-1891 Census

1841 – 5 houses with 35 people

1851 – 1 house with 5 people

1861 – 1 house with 13 people

1871 – 4 houses with 21 people

1881 – 2 houses (2 inhabited) with 14 people (4 males, 10 females). There were 11 outbuildings.

The valuation of Houses & Land in 1881 was £95 0s 0d.

1891 – 2 houses (1 inhabited) with 13 people (5 males, 8 females). There were 10 outbuildings.

The valuation of Houses & Land in 1891 was  £95 0s 0d.

 

1901 Census Currarevagh

This is a return of the members of the family, visitors, boarders or servants who slept or abode in their house on the night of Sunday March 31st 1901 in Currarevagh

There were 2 houses listed in the Townland of Currarevagh. The people belonged to the Church of Ireland and the Church of England while many of their servants were Roman Catholic. There were 6 males and 14 females – 9 Roman Catholics and 11 belonging to the Protestant church. The two houses were private dwellings. The roofs were slated unlike their tenants whose houses were thatched. There were 23 out houses which included, a store, stables, cow houses, barns, piggeries, coach house, shed, boat house, turf house, dairy, potato house, workshop, store and a fowl house.

Class of House:

The class of house depended on the materials used in the roof, walls, number of rooms and number of front windows. A 1st class house was considered the highest standard. The two houses were a class 1 house.

Walls of the houses: The walls were of stone, brick, concrete or of mud, wood or other perishable material. The houses in Currarevagh were built of stone, brick or concrete.

Landholder of the property unless otherwise stated was the lawful owner.

Roofs were of slated..

House Occupancy: Each of the 2 houses was occupied by one family.

The people listed as Head of the Family were also listed as the lawful Landholder of the property.

Enumerators Extract

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000840323/ 

House & Building Return

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000840324/ 

Out Office & Farm Steadings

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000840325/ 

House 1: Henry Hodgson was head of the family, a landlord aged 60 born in Dublin and married to Mary Theodosia 59 born in County Wicklow and living with their son Henry Dudley aged 33 born in Co. Galway and married to Anne Rose aged 32 born in the U.S.A. They had one child Daisy Norah aged 1 born in Galway. They belonged to the Church of Ireland. They spoke English and they could read and write.

Living with them were their servants Martha Byrne 31 a widow from Co. Monaghan who was a nurse – a domestic servant, Mary Lear 28 a parlour maid, domestic servant from Co. Louth, Mary 29 a cook, Margaret Wall 26 a housemaid from Co. Tipperary, Bridget Kelly 18 a kitchen maid and Thomas Burke 23 a groom – domestic servant born in Co. Galway.  The servants could read and write and they spoke Irish and English.

11 persons occupied 6 rooms and they lived in a Class 1 house with 8 front windows. They had 14 outhouses; stable, coach house, horses room, cow house, dairy, piggery, fowl house, turf house, potato house, workshop, shed, store, and boat house.

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Galway/Letterfore/Currarevagh/1394462/ 

House 2: Patrick Willoughby Anketell-Jones: Gentleman farmer aged 33 from Essex was head of the family. Living with him was his wife Catherine 29 their son Edward Moutray 9 and Aileen Frances 8 both scholars and they were born in Dublin. They belonged to the Church of Ireland. Living with them were their servants; Edith Emily Blackwell 21 a governess from Mullingar who belonged to the Church of England, Kate Reilly 27 a house maid domestic from Kinsale, Rose Mc Nulty 25 a domestic cook from Foxford, Co. Mayo, Kate Agnes Chaplin a nurse form Ballinasloe and Pat Kelly  from Oughterard aged28 a male servant  – coachman. The servants spoke Irish and English and they could read and write.  They were Roman Catholic and single. The family lived in a Class 1 house with 7 front windows. 9 persons occupied 6 rooms. They had 9 farm buildings – stable, horses room, coach house, fowl house, 2 cow houses, workshop, shed and boathouse.

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Galway/Letterfore/Currarevagh/1394463/

Currarevagh  Census 1911

This is a return of the Members of families in Currarevagh, their visitors, boarders and servants who slept or abode in the house on the night of Sunday the 2nd of April 1911.

Description of the Houses

The 2 houses in Currarevagh were listed as private dwellings and were built of concrete or stone.  The roofs of the houses were slated. The head of the family were listed as the landholders. One family lived in each property. The Class of the house depended on the material used in the roof, walls, number of rooms and number of front windows. Both houses were listed as a class 1 house having more then 4 front windows.

There were 13 persons 5 males and 8 females living in the townland in 1911. There were 18 farm buildings between the two houses.

Enumerators Extract

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002434827/

House & Building Return

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002434829/

Out Office & Farm Steadings

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002434831/

House1; James William Oliver aged 60 was head of the family who were born in Co. Wicklow and belonged to the Church of England. Living with him was his sister Catherine Oliver aged 63. Living with them were their servants; Mary Jane Moran 26 a domestic cook from Scotland, Mary Byran 22 a house palour maid from Co. Dublin, Matthias Tierney 23 born in Co.  Galway – a yard hand. The servants were single and they spoke Irish and English while the Olivers spoke English. They lived in a class 1 house with 14 front windows. 5 persons occupied 5 rooms. They had a stable, coach house, horse house, fowl house, turf house, workshop and shed.

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Galway/Letterfore/Currarevagh/912158/

House 2: Henry Dudley Hodgson aged 43 a landlord and J.P.for Co Galway and D.C. was head of the family. Living with him was his wife Anne Rose 41 born in the USA, children Daisy Norah 11 and Henry 6. Visiting them on the night of the census was Constance Lucy Jakson aged 36. This group belonged to the Protestant Episcopalian Church. Their servants resided with them; Mary Bridget Harte 41 a widow from Co Longford who was a housemaid, Mary Kennedy 25 a cook from Co. Cork and Michael Feeney 25 a groomsman. They spoke Irish and English and they were Roman Catholics. The couple were married 22 years and they had 2 children born alive and 2 still living. The occupants of the house could read and write. They lived in a class 1 house with 18 front windows. 8 persons occupied 6 rooms. They had 10 farm buildings: stable, coach house, horse house, cow house calf house, fowl house, barn, workshop and 2 sheds.

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Galway/Letterfore/Currarevagh/912159/ 

Church records of births, deaths and marriages:

Church records of births, deaths and marriages are available online at http://www.rootsireland.ie. To search these records you will need to know the ‘church parish’ rather than the ‘civil parish’. (The civil parish is the pre-reformation parish and was frequently used as a unit of administration in the past.)
Currarevagh is in the civil parish of Kilcummin.
Roman Catholic parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Roman Catholic parish or parishes.
  • Carraroe
  • Kilannin
  • Kilcummin/Oughterard
  • Rosmuc
Church of Ireland parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Church of Ireland parish.
  • Kilcummin
In general, the civil parish and the Church of Ireland parish are the same, but, this is not always the case.

Maps

It is located at 53° 27′ 54″ N, 9° 21′ 25″ W.

Original OS map of this area.
Ireland was first mapped in the 1840s. These original maps are available online.
Original OS maps at the Ordnance Survey of Ireland website.
Below is a link to the Ordnance Survey of Ireland website. It displays the original OS map that was created in the 1840s.
Information from Google Maps. 
You can use this link to find this townland on Google Maps.
Information from the National Monuments Service. 
You can use this link to view a map of archaelogical features.
This link brings you to a website wherein you will have to search for your townland.

Currarevagh

An extract from ‘A Valley Remembers Glann’ 2013

Towards the end of the 17th century, Henry William Hodgson (1796-1878) moved from the north of England to Arklow to commence mining for lead. He bought land from Lord Powerscourt which had Sulphur mines which proved to be very profitable since the supplies of sulphur from Mt Etna were cut off by Garibaldi’s seizure of Sicily. The profits in 3-4years amounted to ca £50,000 per year. All records are in the Public Records Office Dublin.

Henry had a nephew, Edward Barnes, who was resident engineer and MD of the Wicklow Copper Mine Co. Henry had originally purchased Ballymurtagh and the adjoining Ballygahan mines in the Avoca Valley in about 1821. He later floated the Wicklow Copper Mine Co. to take over Ballymurtagh in 1834, retaining Ballygahan, which was operated as a private concern. He also operated a mine at Glenmalure, and may have had some connection with the Royal Irish Mining Co, incorporated in 1825.

Currarevagh ‘s Old House

The old house at Currarevagh which was built by the O’fflahertie clan in the mid 1700s was a Queen Anne design. After the ousting of the O fflaherties it became part of the Martin Estate. It was then purchased by the Hodgson family, who used it as a hunting lodge before building the current house at Currarevagh.

A keen angler and shot, Mr. Hodgson travelled much of Ireland and during a visit to the west he decided to prospect for copper. This he found along the Hill of Doon road. At much the same time he discovered lead on the other side of Oughterard. He moved to Galway and bought Merlin Park from the Blake family in 1852. He wanted to move closer to his mining activities so he bought a house (not the current one) at Currarevagh then part of the Martin estates.

On Monday 28th February 1853 according to the diary of one Tomas Colville Scott who was sent by the Law Life Assurance Company of London to survey the vast Martin Estate, a house at Currarevagh was occupied by the farm animals of the Caretaker. This is was the Gatekeeper’s house at Gortnaganiv.

There is a ‘story’ that Mr. Hodgson may have won it and 28,000 acres in a game of cards.

The Currarevagh Estate of 1,331 acres stretched to Maam Cross and beyond Maam Bridge at that time. Merlin Park was sold to the Waithman family in 1876 but still held some 17,000 acres in Co. Galway. Interestingly the Hodgson, Waithman and Previte families(all related) had all spent time at Merlin Park. Many years later the Waithmans moved to Murrough House which is opposite Merlin, and the Prevites moved to Drimcong House in Moycullen.

Steamers transport the ore

According to William Wilde’s ‘Lough Corrib’ he quotes, “At Leckavera and Glann, Mr Hodgson carried on Mining operations for some time, and shipped copper and sulphur from the port of Galway”. Two steamers (t he Lioness and Tigress) were used to transport the ore to Galway. The were the first steamers on the

Corrib and they used to bring goods and passengers from the city stopping along the way at the various village piers. Copper, iron and pyrite ores were mined on the Glann hill. The area is littered with test holes and mine holes. A tramway ran along the hill from Barratleva through Curraghduff to Shannawaugh to carry the ore

to the timber jetty on the lake shore at Curraghduff West. Men and women worked in the mines which were excavated by hand. The ore was smashed into small pieces with a lump hammer and carted via the tramway to the loading point on the lakeshore. It was

then loaded on the steamers bound for Galway. The remains of the tramway and the jetty are visible to this day. Both are marked on the historic 6” map.

Currarevagh – a Fishing Lodge

Currarevagh is home to one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous

fishing lodges with ‘Blue Book’ status where anglers from all over the world have enjoyed the great fishing and friendly hospitality

offered by the Hodgson family since the 1890’s.Currarevagh has always been an important employer in the locality providing seasonal employment at the hotel and work for local gillies. Charles O Brien worked as their gardener and handyman for 49 years. The present house at Currarevagh was built in 1842.

New adventures – Peat Production

In the 1850s copper was discovered in Spain and America and new export taxes were introduced by England. This heralded a change of fortunes for Currarevagh so the Hodgson family had to diversify trying fish farming and turf production – inventing the peat briquette in the process. The Fishhouse Field which is on the left of the avenue on the way into Currarevagh gets its name from the location of a trout hatchery operated at Currarevagh. The ruins

of an old turf drying room are to be seen at Lecavera west of Glann near the Failmore river. In fact Charles Hodgson can be credited as the inventor of the Peat Briquette Press. In the early 1860s there was a bit of an industrial revolution in relation

to making the harvesting of Peat more efficient and mechanised. An English inventor named Gwynne had designed a machine to compress dried peat. In 1854 Charles Hodgson build a version of this which he used in Galway to make dried peat. The machine was not successful. In 1858 he patented his own extrusion press with coolers. The machinery was ingenious – the most comprehensive and technically perfect system of peat production in Ireland in the 19th century and to this day it forms the basis for briquetting worldwide.

In 1861 he patented his peat milling process. He bought some bog at a place called Derrylea part of the Clonsast Bog between Portarlington and Monasterevin. He set up a most unique business there employing 200 workers at its peak, making briquettes to sell in Dublin. His company was called Patent Peat Company Ltd. His brother Henry was involved also they set up a factory at Derrylea which was self sufficient making their own iron to manufacture their machinery and producing gas from the peat mixed with coal. They used the gas to produce light. They built a village to house workers. The peat was milled on the bog using huge harrows 300 foot wide pulled along on rail tracks by steam engines. It was air dried to 55% water before it was piled in long rows for use in the factory. The factory produced 180 tons of briquettes per week which sold at 10 shillings a ton in Dublin.

Decline in Peat Production

It was difficult to compete with coal and when the price became higher than coal the company ran into difficulties as it was undercapitalised and experienced technical difficulties with continuity of supply. It was a great shock to the region when the factory closed in the late 1860s.

Charles and Henry’s Exploits abroad

Charles and Henry emigrated to Russia and then to Bilboa in Spain where they were involved in mining. Charles invented an overhead wire railway system for mining. He later moved to Florida to grow oranges finally returning to England where he died aged 68 in 1901. Some of the machinery that he invented can be seen at the Bord Na Mona museum.

Currarevagh – Famous Guest House

Currarevagh started keeping paying guests in the 1890s. After the civil war in the 1920’s large estates were broken up and divided amongst tenants. Landlords were assured they would get 5 shillings an acre.  This was never honoured and Currarevagh had to depend on the paying guests for income. An attempt to blow up the house by ‘out of town’ Free Staters was discovered and the explosives were made safe. After that members of the local IRA kept guard saying Currarevagh was not to be touched. The Hodgson family were not absentee landlords they were kind landlords during the famine years helping to alleviate the suffering at that time. A famine graveyard exists at Faughnakilla on their lands beside the family’s own Protestant consecrated grounds. Times were very difficult during the Second World War. The contents of the old house at Currarevagh were sold.  It was later pulled down.

In 1947 Currarevagh was the first country house to open as a restaurant and continues in the family to this day. Harry Hodgson and his wife June and their son Henry and his wife Lucy and their children, Holly and Faye, live there at present.

Galway Library Website

http://places.galwaylibrary.ie/place/52200 

Townlands.ie Website

https://www.townlands.ie/galway/moycullen/kilcummin/currarevagh/ 

This page was added on 13/02/2015.

Comments about this page

  • Hi. Is there any chance a correction could be made about the 1901 cencus for Currarevagh House 2 where there has been an error in transcription. Patrick Wisteragaly Aucketintones should read PATRICK WILLOUGHBY ANKETELL-JONES. I say this so that future generations of our family have a better chance of tracking PW A-J down.
    Many thanks.

    By Rosie Anketell-Jones (20/01/2016)
  • This has now been updated. Much appreciated. Ed.

    By David Collins (08/02/2016)

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