Mary Fort House

The O'Callaghan family was an ancient Cork family resettled in Clare in Cromwellian times. In 1878 they owned four thousand, eight hundred and forty-two acres in county Clare.

The family residence of the O'Callaghans, Mary Fort, was situated some miles from Bodyke itself. Dating from the early eighteenth century, it was a three-storey, five bay gable-ended house over a high basement, facing south, southeast over terraces and parkland, with a central front door protected by a one-storey Ionic pillared portico.

The Pall Mall Gazette's correspondent, Henry Norman, gave this description in 1887:


Mary Fort House

Mary Fort is a splendid modern residence, which might have been transplanted straight from the most aristocratic West-end square of London. A square flight of stone steps, seven yards wide, leads up to the door under its four handsome columns, and the visitor finds himself  in a large and magnificently furnished hall, typical of the lavishness with which the whole mansion has been constructed and furnished.

Mary Fort was demolished in 1967 by the last member of the family to live there, Colonel Conor J. O'Callaghan Westropp. During the 1880s, Colonel John O'Callaghan was the owner of Mary Fort House and the O'Callaghan Estate.


Colonel John O'Callaghan
Photo courtesy Archives, NUI, Galway.

According to an account by Norman:

Colonel O'Callaghan is a soldierly-looking man of sixty, with iron grey hair and
exhibiting, and to such an extent as to provoke immediate sympathy, in the deep lines of his face and his haggard and worn look, the strain which his truly unenviable position has imposed upon him.

To the left, Colonel John O'Callaghan, the landlord at the centre of the controversy at Bodyke.

previousPrevious - Mary Fort House and The Bodyke Evictions
Next - Orators and Agitatorsnext

Upload to this page

Upload to this page

Add your photos, text, videos, etc. to this page.

Map Search

Related Libraries

Clare County Library
Contact this library »


History & Heritage

Popular Sections