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A Family History of Religious Migration
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Killiane Castle

Walking through Killiane - Click Me to Migrate- Meath


Killiane Castle

An article in the People dated 1889 gives the following account of this
place- built by Sir Christopher Cheevers, the parent house of whose family
was Ballyhealy Castle, Barony of Bargy, q.v. The Cheevers had very extensive
possessions in Co.Carlow and Co.Wexford and were called .The Great Cheevers
of Mount Leinster.. The castle he erected at Killiane, stands today, one of
the best preserved and finest of this class. It is one of the few castles 
of which the original walls remain. The mansion is old, built probably in
the Early part of the 17th century. Most of the Norman families who settled in
the county and built their strongholds, on the land given to them by the
Earl of Pembroke, stuck to the soil, with the extraordinary tenacity of
their race and Their descendants are numerous today.  But the Laughing Cheevers
are gone, only their castles of Ballyhealy and Killiane remain to tell of their 
former state. An old man who lived at Stephenstown, a farm near Killiane, at
present belonging to St. Peter.s College, and died there about 40 years ago
(1849) is supposed to be the last descendant of the Killiane family. The
castle and property suffered the general confiscation in 1656. The owners
were banished and the estates conferred on Col. Bunbury, one of Cromwell.s
officers and afterwards friend to the Harvey family. The present proprietor
(1889) is Joseph Harvey, solicitor, but the mansion and desmense  is the 
residence of Mrs. Alyward, mother of  E.Alyward, Administrator, Wexford.

Another description of Killiane is given by T.Lacy in 1852/ The residence of
a branch of the Harvey family. The father of the present   ----------- of
this estate, having married an English lady became a non --------- and his
son continues to follow his example.

Unable to read a rather poor photocopy


The castle and demesne are at present in the occupation of a respectable and
wealthy client. Killiane must have been at one time a very important place,
it consists of a strong keep covering an area of nearly half a statute acre. 
The residence is in the west front and has the appearance of long-standing,
it is flanked on the south by a strong castle, larger than those which are
generally to be seen in this part of the country.  A massive round tower
stands on the N.E. angle of the keep or court. These buildings which are of
the strongest masonry, although long neglected, are still in a state of
comparative Preservation-  C.S. 1654 George Cheevers, proprietor of 
200 acres at Great Killiane in 1641.

The O.S. map shows a church and two castle  in this parish, one being
Killiane, Connaught. The Cheevers family were transplanted to Connaught and
received a grant of land in the barony of Killyan, co.Galway from Charles 11
\nd thereafter appear to have flourished.

1616 Killiane was granted to Francis Harvey, a merchant of Wexford, he was
the first of this family that settled in Ireland. In 1661 he was M.P. for
Clonmines, he married Catherine Plunkett, daughter of Lord Dunsany.
 
The name of Cheevers is extremely uncommon today but the author knows of at
least one family resident in the county.

Jacob Parle , the Quaker lived at Killiane and Jonathan Chamberlagne lived
and had his pottery works here.

This castle still stands today much as described above. An electric drier
for corn has been installed in the tower by the present owner Mr. Mernagh.

He outside measurements of the tower are 39 ft x 27 ft x 5 ins, walls 9 to 4
 (4.5) ft thick, all the windows have been enlarged. The original entrance
doors which led into the Manor have been blocked up and another entrance made in
the south wall. The bawn walls are intact with two small towers and measures 
112 ft by 54 ft 6 ins. The tower has five stories, the top three are still
in existence with wooden  flooring.  In the basement under the stairway is a
dungeon  (which has been opened up) with shafts into it from the top of
first flight of stairs, there are also recesses built under the stairs in the next
two floors. The roof is galvanised and the building is in very good condition. 
The manor house attached is still occupied. There is a murdering hole over
the entrance doorway and a machicolation over the entrance gate into the
courtyard.    1833 - leased by John C. Harvey to Michael Alyward with 198
acres.


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To visit Killiane Castle Farmhouse is to be at once immersed in the quiet
luxury of the present with the all pervading evidence of a rich historical
past in the background.   This family run business integrates both past and
present admirably. The past is preserved with loving care and looks benignly
down on the progression of centuries.   This beautiful abode is situated in
the South East corner of of Wexford, on a narrow leafy country road - a get
away haven "far from the madding crowd".   

The famed Wexford Sloblands are to the south, a paradise for the bird watching 
fraternity and heaven for the Greenland White Fronted Geese, 90% of the worlds 
population over-winter here. To the historian, Killiane Castle Tower House, ruined
Chapel and environs are of abiding interest.    Beautiful beaches are in a
circle, not more than ten miles in any direction, the fauna and flora are of
international interest.