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Fieldtrip to Mountshannon House

Local History Trail -Mountshannon Mansion.

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The children in third class have been learning about the Mountshannon Estate, the mansion house of which can be seen from the rear of the school. Indeed the second Earl of Clare, John Fitzgibbon, established the original Richill School in 1803 for the children of the estate workers. The boys were taught to read and write and the girls were taught needlework !

We were very fortunate to have advice and support from parents.  Thanks to Seamus Hassett who was able to tell us about the former activities carried out on this self sufficient estate and to Marie Tobin who brought the children on a guided tour of the grounds and the mansion house ruins. We were very grateful to Ms. O’Neill who generously allowed the children to explore inside the walls of the kitchen garden.

Here were grown vegetables and fruit trees in the soil and in the steam heated greenhouses. The red brick walls absorbed heat to help the fruit trees grow.

The estate was bounded by the Mulkear and Shannon rivers, stretching from the Mounshannon road near Annacotty to Newgarden (the road on which the Ahane Club is situated). Part of the estate walls still remain and can be seen from the main road near Finnegans.

The two main gatehouses were positioned, one on the school road and the other on the lower Mounshannon road. One of these gatehouses was dismantled brick by brick and rebuilt in Manhattan .

The Mansion house was built in 1750 by Silver Oliver of Kilfinnane and was home to many interesting characters until it was burned during the War of Independence in 1921. It was later bought by the Land Commission and divided into several farm holdings.

The Mansion Tour

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The children had a wonderful time going through the ruins. They were thrilled by the tunnels which allowed servants to go from the kitchen to the garden without being seen by guests !

The archway between the servant’s quarters and the house provide shelter for the residents as they got in to their carriages.

The children explored the wine cellars and pantry and were able to see into part of the basement. The remains of the staircase and fireplaces in overhead rooms could be seen from the main hall of this 3 floored house.

The children discovered the Haw-haw (a man-made ditch created to separate animals from the lawns) and the ice house (which later became a cript).

In bygone days, the estate also had a pond and tennis courts and game could be found in the forest which surrounded the estate.   There was also a piggery, a tannery and gas works to service the house.

The children were able to get some understanding of the lives of the wealthy residents, the beautiful craftwork of the time and the intense labour and commitment required to maintain such a grand estate.

The Third class pupils really enjoyed the trip to Mountshannon Mansion, learning about real history on our doorstep!

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Lisnagry National School
(Lios Na Groi) School Road,
Richill, Lisnagry
Co. Limerick
Tel: +353 61 331011
Email: [email protected]