Fourth Bellew Reunion (July 15th 2011) Lisrenny, Ardee, Co Louth
The reunion started with lunch at the Hunterstown Inn near Ardee for those who were travelling or had arrived in the night before at the airport. Nearly everyone had arrived at Lisrenny by 3 p.m.
Lisrenny House, the windows beside the front door date it to Queen Anne c.1710
Our hosts this year were Jane and George Angel and their daughters Rebacca and Rosanna. George’s mother is Sarah Filgate and George inherited Lisrenny from his uncle. Forty six attended. After a brief welcome the gathering took advantage of a good break in the weather to have a look around the yard and surroundings. Lisrenny probably has one of the most extensive estate yards in Co Louth still in use. We were very fortunate that Eileen (Filgate) McLean and Wilma Jeffers, family members were with us. Eileen who was 80 on 22 July was wished well, Wilma is sister to Jane. All our previous three hosts were present, Bryan & Rosemary, Selina McKean (Bellewstown) and Cyril O’Brien from Knockabbey dropped in. He is busy these days as he has put Knockabbey on the market.
Lisrenny was the home of John Bellew (1604-79) who was a father figure in the family, being the ancestor of the Barmeath and Mountbellew branches. John Bellew moved west to Mountbellew in 1652 and following the restoration under Charles II, he settled in Barmeath. Meanwhile the Filgate family became the residents at Lisrenny who have been there since. The family have a long tradition of interest in hounds. It is likely that John Bellew was born in Lisrenny but following his legal training in England and on his marriage with Mary Dillon of Clonbrock, his residence was at Willystown not too far from Barmeath.
John Bellew’s grandfather, also John Bellew (2nd son of John Bellew, 1520-1600) was styled of Lisrenny and he trained in Oxford (1566). He married Joan Lynam, Adamstown, Drumcar but died young in 1589 aged 41. John’s father, Patrick Bellew married Mary Warren (Dillonstown) and he also died young in 1610 aged 34, but in his will he desired to be ‘buried in Church of Tallanstown’.
Lisrenny 2011 Fern gets in on the act!
Seamus provided a brief talk and some few family members who had died since the last time were remembered. Harold O’Sullivan who spoke to us in Barmeath in 2007 was also remembered, he wrote the book on John Bellew (1605-79). Some Bellew history outlined above was given and a welcome especially to the new comers was extended. Mary & Noel Long who travelled from Australia were given a warm welcome. Some history from the Filgate period was also noted. The successive generations are: Alexander Filgate (b. 1702) m. Elinor Byrne; William Filgate (b. 1740) m. Anne Filgate; William Filgate (b. 1781) m. Sophia De Salis; William De Salis Filgate (b. 1834) m. Georgina French; Eileen Filgate (b. 1879) m. Richard Henry (changed his name to Filgate); Townley Filgate (b. 1906) m. Doris Henry; Sarah Filgate is married to Charlie Angel and their son, George Angel is married to Jane Jeffers and they live at Lisrenny with their daughters, Rebecca & Rosanna.
On the tour around the yard both Eileen and Wilma provided some details of the history whereby there used to be a school on the estate. Other works included a laundry, brewery and linen making. The building that somehow resembles a church and also carried a spire-like structure on the 1819 estate map according to Eileen served as a coach house where mail was sorted. A neighbour suggested it was a church but Charlestown church nearby was the Filgate family church so it is reasonable to agree with Eileen.
There is also a medieval presence on the estate through the stone heads in the yard and the tracery on the bell tower as well as the medieval pidgeon house. It is likely the heads came from the nearby Tallanstown church. The bell used to be rung when it was time to pay the wages. The garden area is surrounded by the characteristic red brick walls where a building bearing the initials A.F. and the date 1766 still survive. The current house dates from the early 1700s (Queen Anne) dated by the characteristic windows on the front and the floor is also quite old. The larger house was built somewhere around 1788-98 but was demolished after 1974. After the walk around it was time for the photo call and after the talk Henry mentioned his book that was awarded a heritage prize and copies were available and still are.
Bryan and Henry
Margo sizes up the fayre!
The old or not so old reliables!
Here are the links to all the Bellew Reunions