Killakee, Kilnamanagh and Kiltalown
Killakee House was built in the early nineteenth century. Although the exact date is not known, it is clearly marked on a map of the White Estate, dated 1806. No longer standing, Killakee House was a two-storied stucco-faced house of symmetrical aspect with a curved bow in the centre front and similar bows in the elevations. Luke White, a millionaire bookseller who owned lands in the area of Killakee, originally owned the house. He also owned Luttrellstown Estate in Lucan. He died in London in February 1824 and the property passed to his second son, Colonel Samuel White of the county militia, who was a Member of Parliament for County Leitrim. Colonel White lived at Killakee in considerable style. He owned 2,900 acres there, half of which was let out to tenants. The gardens were spectacularly landscaped and contained many exotic plants, some of which were contained in large glass houses. Terraced lawns were laid out with shrubs and trees and a large fountain graced the front lawn.
The estate subsequently descended on the female side of the family to Lord Massy who married Colonel White's youngest sister. Unfortunately the Massys were evicted in 1924 and the contents of the house were auctioned. Killakee House was demolished in 1941. The estate was taken over by the land commission.
Kilnamanagh Castle was situated in the Kilnamanagh estate, close to the Greenhills Road. One of the fortified castles in the Tallaght region that also included Tymon and Bancroft castle, none of these three survived. The tower at Tallaght, which is incorporated into St Mary's Priory, is the best surviving example of this series of defensive tower houses or fortified castles.
Kilnamanagh Castle was a fine example of a former defensive castle, which continued in use as a domestic dwelling. Originally part of the Belgard Estate, in the 18th century the castle was in the ownership of Philip Duke of Wharton, Marquis of Malmesbury and Carlow. He in turn sold to Sir William Connolly (known as Speaker Connolly). In 1778 the castle and land of Kilnamanagh was bought by a local farming family, called Farrell. The Farrells had farmed the area for some time, as the townland Aghafarrell, meaning Farrell's field, is named after them. They farmed the area until 1947 when a relation of theirs, H. A. Steen, inherited the land. He donated the iron-studded oak door from Kilnamanagh Castle to the National Museum. This door was described by O'Curry, on a visit to Kilnamanagh in 1837, as "an old oak door put to the kitchen which is built against the castle This door is cased with oak and thickly studded in front with iron nails having thick heads about three quarters of an inch square with the corners thinned down." Unfortunately Kilnamanagh Castle was demolished as the area was being developed in the 1970's.
Kiltalown House is an elegant country house situated on the Blessington Road in the townland of Jobstown. Kiltalown has some fine features, particularly the windows, portico and doorway. The portico has a pair of Doric columns and full entablature, and the doorway has a carved timber surround with fanlight. Kilatalown has a hipped slate roof and extensions and barns / outbuildings at the side - to the rere of the house. It is in use today as an holistic health centre.
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