The Decline of the Estate
Cork County Library holds the Leamlara Estate maps of 1846. This map shows that at this time the Leamlara Estate consisted of 3886 acres, 3 roods and 20 perches in 15 townlands. In just over 100 years the Leamlara house would be demolished and the Standish Barry's Leamlara Estate would no longer exist.
In 1835 Garrett Standish Barry testified to the "Poor Inquiry" that he had enlarged the farms on his property "to a great extent, but by degrees". He had "provided the former tenants and occupiers of small houses with land and sites to build on, a in part of this parish (Lisgoold) or on my property in neighbouring ones."
One of the consequences of the property-based franchise was that a landowner could maximise his political power by ensuring that his estates were leased to the maximum number of tenants qualified to vote (and whose votes, cast openly, he could in practice control).
This practice was particularly advantageous during the existence of a corrupt Irish Parliament, and of some use even afterwards as far as local government was concerned. This fact, as well as the natural results of population increase, led to holdings being subdivided, especially after 1793 when the vote was given to Catholic leaseholders for life as well as 40 shilling freeholders.
The practice of subdivision however had an adverse effect on the land and the estate. The cottiers did not always use the land wisely and were said to 'drag the life and soul out of the land'. Soon after the problem of subdivision had taken its toll on the estate the Great Famine of Ireland added to its woes.
According to the 1851 census of Ireland, the effects of the famine can be seen in the decline of the population of the Leamlara Estate's townlands from 965 to 495, between 1841 and 1851. During the same period the number of houses in these townlands fell from 151 to 100.
Many factors including the effects of subdivision and the famine culminated in the break-up of the Leamlara estate, beginning with the sale in 1851 in the Encumbered Estate Court, at which Mr. Richard Butler bought a substantial part of the estate. Nine of the lots were not bought however and were readvertised in 1852, when four of the nine lots were sold to a Mr. E.B. Roche (later Lord Fermoy), Mr. John Regan bought one lot and Mr. William Dutton and Mr. Robert Morrogh bought two lots each. Therefore, by the 1870s the Leamlara estate is only a quarter of its 1846 size. In less then 30 years the estate had shrunk from 3886 acres to 1000 acres.
By the time the estate passed to Henry Standish Barry's daughters (his son died at the age of 18) in 1945 it consisted of less then 400 acres. They later sold the estate to the Irish Land Commission for £40 per acre. Much of it was allocated to local farmers. Some new holdings were created and about 100 acres were taken over by the Forestry Division. The house was demolished in the 1960s.
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