Lóiste na Cealdraí aka Caldragh Lodge was situated on the Peyton family's Port Estate and built on the plan of some of the Parsonage Houses. Located a mile and a half from Carrick-on-Shannon, is named for the townland in which it sits: Caldragh, Kiltoghert Civil Parish, Co. Leitrim.
Sometime after 1815, Thomas Kirkwood Esq. (d.1834) & Anne Knott, who had previously resided at Cavetown and the Hermitage, Croghan, took up residence at Caldra lodge.
The Kirkwoods were a Church of Ireland family (originally of Scottish extraction) that had been settled at Woodbrooke* (Parish of Tumna) since the 16th century [Walford 1882].
In 1829 their son, James Kirkwood of Caldra, registered to vote as a £10 freeholder "from holding of land at Kilcullen, held by lease of one life, situate in the Barony of Boyle". Tithe Records for Caldragh, record Thomas Kirkwood Esq. here just before his death. By the summer of 1834, an auction for the contents of "Caldra, Carrick -on-Shannon, the residence of the Late Thomas Kirkwood Esq." advertised:
"... on August 4th, a large quantity of HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE; Delf, Glass, and China; Kitchen and Dairy Utensils; also the stock on the Demesne consisting of Milch Cows, Horses, two years old Heifers and Bullocks, Pigs, &c. A HANDSOME ABLE-BODlED PHAETON, (Nearly new;) A GIG, With many other articles too numerous to mention." [Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette - 26 July 1834].
By 1835, Dr McDermott, Caldra, Carrick-o-Shannon, advertised this holding to let: "The Home and Offices are in excellent repair, and the land very superior for Tillage, Meadow and Pasture, and an abundance of Turbary, of the best description, on the Premises. Immediate possession (after perfecting Leases,) will be given of the Lands, and the House and Offices, on the 1st May next." [Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette - 4 April 1835 ]. In 1837, Lewis recorded Caldra as "the seat of the McDermott family".
In 1837, Caldra Lodge (sic) and 31 acres of "prime land" was held by Mr Tobias L. Birchall Esq. (1782-1840) and valued at £9 16s.
The Birchalls of Blackrock House near Drumshanbo Co Leitrim had come to Ireland during the reign of Henry VIII and obtained grants of land. Their estate of lands in Cos. Leitrim, Roscommon, and Longford granted to John Birchall by Queen Elizabeth, were forfeited during the reign of James I and re-granted by the same monarch to Hugh Birchall, in whose descendants the estates had since continued. Tobais Lambert Birchall born 1841 was the son and heir of Arthur John Vessey Lindsay Birchall Esq. of Blackrock House and Charlotte Lindsey Blackbourne. [Walford 1882]. In 1808, Tobias Birchall (1782-1840) became an ensign of the Co. Leitrim Militia (10th Batt.).
Caldra at this time was a three-bedroom residence, containing a Drawing-room and Parlour, Kitchen, Servant's Hall, Dairy, Pantry, etc. The out-building contained a Coach-house, Stabling for 3 Horses, housing for 4 cows, and a Potato-house, all covered with a loft. There was also a new Herd's house. In December of that year, Birchall's holding here was advertised to let. [Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette - 22 December 1838].
On 25 April 1840, Mr Tobias Lambert Birchall Esq. (1782-1840) died at Caldra. By June 1840, the Birchall holding here was advertised to let again, by the owner J.H Peyton Esq. [Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette - 13 June 1840].
On Oct 3, 1844, Bernard Peyton Esq. of Caldra, county of Leitrim, eldest son of John Hamilton Peyton Esq., of Port, in that county, married Anne Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the late Robert Henry Boughton. Esq., of Corsham, Wiltshire. In 1845, Bernard Peyton of Caldra was on the Enniskillen & Sligo Railway Committee. [Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent - 29 March 1845].
In 1845, the fee & inheritance of the Port Estate, the property of John Hamilton Peyton Esq. was auctioned for sale to include, within a mile of Port House, the residence Caldra Lodge "on a healthy and beautiful site with ... offices all suitably and permanently built and slated". [Dublin Evening Post - 9 October 1845, p2].
In 1847, Caldra was the residence of William McDonnell Esq. [Dublin Evening Mail - 25 June 1847 ].
In 1855, at the time of Griffith's Valuation, Eliza Lawder was leasing a house valued at £7 10s at Caldragh, from George Muntz.
From 1886-1896 "Caldra House" was the residence of Thomas Rosborough.
In 1901 Caldra House was the residence of Ernest Johnston who was a tenant of Thomas Rosborough. (Back in 1838, part of the lands at Caldra – 17 acres 2 roods previously in the possession of the late Thomas Murphy, were advertised to let for a term of 7 years pending a dispute between members of the Johnston family). In 1911, Caldra was vacant.
In the 21st century, Caldra House had been extended to 6 bedrooms and was operating as "an exclusive Georgian Country House retreat" as reviewed by Georgina Campbell in 2006. Among its most distinguished guests was the then American Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith.
In 2017, Caldra House, Caldragh, Carrick-on-Shannon, on some 8 acres of gardens and pleasure grounds, was offered for sale at an asking price €410,000. The outbuildings as described in 1838 are still intact and beautifully maintained.
[Research by Rua Mac Diarmada 2018]
~ Ancestors from Caldra Lodge? If YES, post your connection below ~