Castle Ffrench

Ballinakill DerrybrienCounty Galway

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Castle Ffrench {Civil Parish of Killosolan} is an imposing structure built around 1779 by Charles Ffrench, mayor of Galway

Originally known as Clogher, this site was purchased by the ffrenches from the O'Kellys in 1636.

Confiscated by the Cromwellian Commissioners, it was granted to a Doctor Fennell and repurchased from Fennell's widow by Jasper ffrench in 1671.

Charles ffrench was created a baronet in 1779. It was at this time, the castle as we know it today, was constructed. The Castle Ffrench estate was in the baronies of Killian and Kilconnell, county Galway, but it also included Rosleague and other lands in the parish of Ballinakill, barony of Ballynahinch and the lands of Beagh, barony of Moycarn, county Roscommon. Rosleague was sold to Henry G. Fletcher.

Wilson, in 1786, in one instance refers to "Clougher" as the seat of Mr. French but in a later reference notes Castle-French as "the fine seat of Sir Thomas French".  

In the early 19th-century family members were heavily involved in banking and business enterprises in Galway and Tuam. In 1814 and again in 1837 it is recorded as the residence of Lord French. ​

In 1851 following banking setbacks and the Famine the estate was sold in the Encumbered Estates' Court to James Thorngate. In 1856 it was occupied by James Thorngate when it was valued at £40. 

At the time of Griffith's Valuation two sons of Sir Thomas Ffrench, 2nd Baron, namely Martin and Gonville, held estates in counties Galway and Mayo in their own names (see french of Claremont and Ballinamore). ​

The ffrenches repurchased the estate in 1919. 

Still extant, Castle Ffrench is now privately owned (for sale in 2006) and cannot be visited. 

References

Landed Estates Record Ireland VIEW SOURCE
NIAH: Castle Ffrench Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Type of Building:

Castle

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Ancestors Associated with this Building