Tumna (Roscommon)

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alias the house and lands of USNA
alias the house and lands of USNA

Teach Bhaile Clainne Aodha aka  Hughestown House was the original name of  Woodbrook House Carrick-on-Shannon (made famous by David Thomson's book). This Georgian house, originally square in shape, without wings) was built circa 1780.  

Hughestown, the "seat" of the O'Mulloy Chiefs of the name, was in the immediate vicinity of Oakport, Cootehall (leased by a branch of the Hughestown Mulloys in the early 19th-century).  Theirs was the ancient territory of Uachtar Tíre (lit. upper district) aka Cootehall which had been plundered from them by Sir Charles Coote in 1641. The lands south of the river Boyle, including Hughestown, were originally McDermott country. ​

In the 1837 Ordnance Survey maps, the Hughestowntown demesne encompassed the townlands of Hughestown (mainly woodland, containing no house of value) Drumharlow, and a small adjoining section of the townland of Usna. The gentleman's residence known as "Hughestown" can be found in this section of Usna, within view of Lough Eidin. ​

Hughestown House was renamed "Woodbrook Lodge" by the Kirkwood family, who took possession of it on the eve of the Great Famine.

NOTE:  Given that Hughestown was occupied by CM Mulloy in the 1749 Elphin Census, it is far more likely that Hughestown aka Woodbrook was built by Tobias Mulloy Esq. circa 1780 (the "Woodbrook House" reputed to have been built by the Phibbs family, was located further south in the townland named Woodbrook).​​



Coote Mulloy Esq. of Hughestown (d.1842) succeed as Chief of the name upon the death of his father in 1825.  

His father, Tobias Mulloy Esq. of Hughestown (1748-1825) was called to the bar but never practiced. He married Susanah, daughter of Col. Arthur Roche (granddaughter of the George Roche who represented Limerick in 3 parliaments). ​

Coote Mulloy, Esq., of Hughestown was returned for the position of High Sherriff of Co. Roscommon in 1826. (He and his uncle, William Mulloy of Oakport were both members of the Grand Panel for county Roscommon at this time).  In July 1832,  Coote Mulloy, Esq., of Hughestown, was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of County Roscommon. Although his seat was at Hughestown, he does not appear to have resided there in the 1830s.

In the 1830s, the Boyd family of Knockdrehid acted as agents for the Mulloy of Hughestown estate while the Acheson family appeared to be the agents for Molloy of Oakport. 

In June 1839 , applications for the Voters' Register record Coote Mulloy of "Orsnain" (Usna?) registering a freehold of at £50 Hughestown. In the month following, his third daughter, Margaret, wed at Clontarf Church. 

At the time of his death in 1842, he was High Sheriff of the county of Leitrim and residing in Clontarf, Dublin. 



In Dec 1838, John Irwin Esq  is recorded as occupier of the most valuable house in the Hughestown district: valued at £19 80s in the townland of Usna (northern boundary of Hughestown) the property of Coote Mulloy.   In 1839 he contested for a seat on the Boyle Board of Guardians for the division of Ballinameen (his seat being at Camlin). Captain Coote Mulloy is recorded as the possessor of a longhouse valued at £4 10s in Drumarlow (eastern boundary-line of Hughestown) clearly not resident there. Much further south, James Kirkwood held a house in the townland of Woodbrook valued at £6 (directly south of the townland of hughestown).

In December 1840, John Irwin Esq. of Hughestown J.P. sat on the Committee of Appeal for Griffith's Valuation of the Barony of Boyle. 

In 1842, shortly after his appointment as High Sheriff for Leitrim, Coote Mulloy Esq. of Hughestown died at his residence in Clontarf, Dublin. 

DEATHS At his residence, Clontarf, Coote Mulloy, Esq. of Hughestown, county Roscommon, J.P. and D.L. for that county, and High Sheriff of the county of Leitrim.  [Limerick Reporter - 12 August 1842 ]

At this time, John Irwin Esq. vacated the property and Hughestown House kak the lands at Usna were advertised to let by the O'Mulloy representatives. 



 In 1847, James Kirkwood Esq. of Hughestown, Carrick on Shannon was shortlisted for the position of High Sherriff of Co. Roscommon and appointed in February 1848. 

In 1851, over 2000 acres of the Mulloy estate, as well as rectorial tithes in both counties Roscommon and Sligo, were offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court.  

In 1857, at the time of Griffith's Valuation, Hughestown House now Woodbrook was occupied by James' relict, Sarah Kirkwood (leasing the property from the French family who owned the townland of Usna). Tthe Rev. Coote Mulloy (of Finea in Co Westmeath) still retained the townlands of Drumharlow and Hughestown in fee (no other occupiers).

In 1881, one of the Kirkwoods' horses, also named Woodbrook, won the Grand National. Wings were added to the house and a fine gate and railings were erected at the road. 

In the 1930s, David Thomson's lived at Woodbrook for several summers tutoring Phoebe Kirkwood. His book Woodbrook gives a poignant account of life and love here at that time.

In 1986, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin composed ‘Woodbrook’ as the soundtrack for the RTÉ radio documentary ' The Story of Woodbrook - David Thompson's Book'.

In 1946, the estate was broken up with over 50 acres being sold to the local Carrick on Shannon Golf Club. The remainder divided among farmers by the Land Commission.

Woodbrook House is still extant. The wings (added in the 1880s) were since removed, returning Woodbrook to its original Hughestown days. 


[Research by Rua Mac Diarmada 2018]

Ancestors from Hughestown, Carrick on Shannon? If YES ... post your connection below ~


The Molly Estate Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Tithe Applotment Hughestown House 28 Dec 1838 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
The Story of Woodbrook | RTE Radio documentary Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Reading of Thomson's Woodbrook | YouTube Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Some communities associated with this building