Ashill Tower, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

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Where: Limerick, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Staying in Limerick but going down to the country town of Kilmallock and what appears an ancient castle/home nearby. Being out of doors today we will not have engravings and identifiable sculptures to assist us but the sleuthing of the Photo Detectives will no doubt make short work of that!

As the masters of the AshhillDOTcom website do a nice job of summarising the history of the place, I won't attempt to top it. That said, an intruiging snippet from this summary, as B-59 and BeachcomberAustralia note, tells us that "due to excessive rates [..] some parts of the house, including the towers, were removed in the early 1960s". Today's contributors (as well as indulging some horsey tangents :) ) also tell us that the house was built and owned by the Coote family in the 18th century, passed through the Evans and Weldons in the 19th century, before being ultimately bought by Mrs Johnson in the 20th century. It's fantastic to see such a grand building still in use as a home. And B&B....

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_10352

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 50212
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    • 09/Jan/2018 08:40:59

    Interestingly, I seem to be able to identify Robert French's photography before reading any of your description.

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    • 09/Jan/2018 08:43:09

    It seems that the towers are missing now:

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    Carol Maddock

    • 09/Jan/2018 09:17:51

    It's not every house that was once home to the family of the man who ended French rule in India. But Ash Hill Towers in Kilmallock is the Limerick home that once housed the Coote family, descendants of Lt. Gen. Sir Eyre Coote of the British army who defeated the French and ended their rule in India in 1783.
    (Limerick Leader, 10 June 2000)

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    • 09/Jan/2018 09:32:55

    From the B&B history page - " ... some parts of the house, including the towers, were removed in the early 1960's." Also another front-on photo of the building in "1912 or 1913", where the ivy is higher than in this photo. I think this photo is c. 1910.

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    John Spooner

    • 09/Jan/2018 11:11:50

    “Ashill Towers, the hospitable mansion of Eyre Evans, Esq.” social column of (Dublin Evening Mail - Wednesday 20 December 1843) “The House contains two Large Drawing-rooms, a large Dining-room and a Library, with fourteen Best Bed-rooms, Servants’ Appartments &c” estate agent’s blurb (Cork Constitution - Friday 04 March 1864) “The mansion house is spacious, and commands fine views of the surrounding country, and is in good substantial order” estate agent's description when it was sold by Elystan Eyre Evans Esquire (Freeman's Journal - Friday 15 June 1877) “Ashill Tower, a massive sham Gothic mansion,” in a report when the house was occupied during the goings-on of 1922 (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 07 August 1922)

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    John Spooner

    • 09/Jan/2018 11:58:52

    Illustrated sudden death klaxxon (Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 1875)

    CHARGED BY A STAG: A singular incident occurred the other day during a run with the Co. Limerick Staghounds. Hounds met at Kilmallock Hill and a splendid red buck which had been caught in the mountains of Killarney was enlarged for the occasion. After a run of four miles the quarry took refuge in a large brake of briars at the rear of Ashill Towers. Hounds passed him and had to be cast. While the field was waiting, the buck broke cover and dashed through a plantation. Straight in his path was a Mr. Clement Ryan of Scarteen, who was mounted on a splendid horse, 17 hands high and valued at 200 guineas. The old buck rose on his hind legs, lowered his antlers and struck the horse full in the chest. Mr. Ryan was thrown violently but fortunately escaped without a scratch. The horse reared, plunged and fell dead on the spot.
    Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News1875

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    John A. Coffey

    • 09/Jan/2018 12:10:39 ------- Such a descriptive and well written piece, and Mr.Clement Ryan had a story for life.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 09/Jan/2018 13:55:02

    [] Scarteen House and Scarteen Hunt "...home to the Ryan Family since 1798". I'm wondering if this might be "our" Clement Hunt, 55 in 1901, 26 years after your "incident". Emly and Scarteen are not a million miles apart...

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    John Spooner

    • 09/Jan/2018 14:37:56 Very likely. Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News - Saturday 03 July 1897 states that "It seems that Mr. Clement Ryan of Emly, co. Tipperary, preserves the only pack of Kerry beagles in the kingdom."

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    Carol Maddock

    • 09/Jan/2018 14:47:52

    [] Excellent! And Kerry Beagles were all about the Stags...

    The Kerry Beagle is one of the most ancient breeds of Irish dog. Popularly thought to have descended from a dog known vaguely as “The old southern hound”. Next to the Irish Wolfhound the Kerry Beagle may actually be the oldest native Irish breed, it is generally assumed that the dog referred to as “GADHAR” in Old Irish texts may be the direct ancestor of the modern day Kerry hound. The most likely outline of the history of this breed is a Celtic hound going back probably to the time of the first Celtic settlements in Ireland, which in the middle ages and later centuries was mixed through breeding experiments with hounds from the continent to produce a very efficient hunting dog. Their fortunes suffered during the great hunger in Ireland in 1847 when they were decimated by starvation. The name Beagle curiously enough is thought to be derived from the Irish word “beag” (meaning small) and certainly the Beagle is a small hound used to hunt small game like hares, whereas the Kerry Beagle was often used to hunt stag. The present day word for the Beagle in Irish is “Pocadán” which refers to its use as a hunting dog rather than its size.
    (from the Irish Kennel Club website)

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    John Spooner

    • 09/Jan/2018 15:24:34

    [] From the same Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News article "from a photo lent by Mr. Clement Ryan" kerrybeagles I do love a good tangent.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 09/Jan/2018 16:21:50 Ooooh, tangents! My favourite thing...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 10/Jan/2018 00:48:33

    Thanks all! Have updated the map and description; Erring on the side of laziness, and linking the "official website" history that several of you dutifilly found :)