Why not learn about our village history which spans back as far as 942AD and how we have come to survive as a rural Irish village in the Southern tip of County Offaly. Dunkerrin Arches.
The Arches were built by Mr. Francis Rolleston of Franckfort Castle in 1757 as aplace where vendors could display their wares on the days of fairs. There are 20 arches in total and the overall length is 57m. In each arch are little stone ledges where shelves could be fitted. Back in those days there were 3 important fairs during the year, a summer fair in May, a harvest fair in November and a Christmas fair in December. Unfortunately there are no fairs occurring today but the Arches still provide a great meeting place for locals to meet and chat.
The Motte is located in townsland of Moatquarter close to Castletown. The Motte is shaped like an inverted bowl standing aboutten metres high and measuring forty-four metres across at the base. It is surrounded by a deep fosse and a protective bank about two metres high. The bailey to the north was extensive but the surrounding bank has been levelled. The Motte stands on a Hill overlooking a small stream with a clear view of the country side for miles.
The Ink BottleThis little gate lodge house is situated at the entrance to the “Old Rectory” just outside Dunkerrin Village. Up until 1922 the Old Rectory was occupied by the local protestant rector when it was then bought by the Catholic Diocese and Became home to the local Parish Priest. It is now Privately owned. The gate lodge is known as the Ink Bottle because of its unique shape. It is a circular building, the roof is like an inverted cone with the chimney on the point like the cork in an ink bottle. The Ink Bottle has been unoccupied for a number of years but some repairs have been carried out in recent years to preserve this unique building.
Franckfort Castle is situated on the outskirts of Dunkerrin Village. Identified as O Carrolls castle of Dunkerrin which was bu 1666 in the ownership of Mr. Thomas Franks. In 1740 the castle came into the ownership of Mr. Francis Rollestone who married the adopted daughter of James Franks (son of Thomas) who had no male heir. The Rollestones made many improvements to the fortified castle and to the surrounding grounds and farm of Franckfort. The present remains of Franckfort Castle are of 18th/19th century date and include a Bawn incorporating an earlier datestone of 1732 and a moat about the site which is of the same period.
Busherstown House is situated about 2km from Moneygall village. It is a partly castellated house of two stories and 3 bays with a round tower attached at one end. The house was reconstructed by Mr. Humphrey Minchin in the early 18th century on the site of the castle of Bouchardstown which was owned by Mr. John Carroll and his son Donough in the first half of the 17th century. Mr Minchin also built an ornamental round tower on a hill overlooking the house.
Emmel Castle One of the last of the O’ Carroll clan castles to fall to Cronwells Conquest. This is an important roofed tower house with an early 18th century house at the front. The house has a five bay two storey façade over a basement with rendered walls and a round headed late 18th century door case set on a panel. The castle is now privately owned by renowned Irish actor Patrick Bergin.
Ballinakill CastleThe ruins of this fortified castle is located about 3km from Dunkerrin village just off the old N7. This castle dates back to around 1585. The castle came into the possession of Piers Butler of Paulstown County Kilkenny towards the end of the 16th century. In 1666 it was passed onto Charles Minchin. The Bawn surrounding the castle is around 2acres and is enclosed by a fortified wall of 20feet high and 4feet thick. The position of the castle was well chosen as it gives a commanding view of the country side for miles around.
The ruins of this famous house are located about 1Km from Moneygall on the Cloughjordon road. In November 1888 a local man Joe Byrnes who was a tenant of some small properties on the Holmes estate including a house on less than half an acre in Moneygall was evicted from his properties. Mr. Byrnes was a prominent member of the local land league branch which marked him out for eviction. His eviction provoked a storm of protest. At a general meeting of the local land league it was decided to build Mr. Byrnes and his family a house. The story of Mr. Byrnes’ eviction spread and received widespread from surrounding parishes. On a late December day fixed for the building of the house contingents from Ardcroney, Kilruane, Cloughjordon, Toomevara and Shinrone with their bands to join the people of Dunkerrin Parish in and event described as ‘unparallelled’ in the history of the land agitation in Ireland. A long line of horse and carts reached the site laden with all kinds of provisions for the Byrnes family and the army of workers. Twenty stone masons with many willing assistants got to work and by 4 in the afternoon the building was ready for roofing. The family moved into the house a few days later.
There are many wonderful heritage sites which are waiting to be explored in Moneygall and surrounding areas ... read more about Moneygall's Heritage