Lord Ashtown's son replies to my article on Woodlawn House

This letter was sent to my previous article on 'Woodlawn House' from Roderick Trench, son of Lord Ashtown whose ancestors built this fine building :

"Just came across your story on Woodlawn House. Of great interest to me as it belonged to my family. The owner was in fact Lord Ashtown not Ashford. My father is the present Lord Ashtown. He turned 90 two weeks ago and lives in London. I had the mausoleum restored in 2001 and usually come over to Galway a couple of times a year. I am not so sure about Woodlawn being haunted. I always heard that Leap Castle in Offaly held that honour. My grandmother's family came from there."

Yes, I made a typing error in the title of Lord 'Ashtown'. Sorry!
But it is good to know that the present Lord Ashtown is alive and 'all of 90 years young'.

Sadly, Roderick did not leave me his contact details.
But if he is still viewing my blog, I would like to get his postal address so that I could send him the film on Woodlawn House produced by the children of Woodlawn school as well as the piece from the 'Sunday Times' regarding the building being the most haunted in Ireland.
I would also like to point out that, unlike many of the landlords from the British colonial era, the Trench family left behind a rich heritage for future generations of Irish people to finally enjoy in the form of the assortment of fine buildings that they had commissioned which still dominate the local landscape including:
the Church of Ireland, the railway station, the former tenants' houses, the ice house...

Unfortunately the interior of Woodlawn House itself was largely destroyed years ago in a fire.
But the demesne remains intact with its plethora of outhouses, wrought-iron railings/gates, games-keeper lodge, stables and huge glasshouse.
Hopefully, it will continue to retain much of its rural idyll character for ordinary Irish people to admire and in the years to come.

Below is a photo of some of the pupils of the local school as they endeavour to re-create the dress of a 19th century Lord Ashtown and his family.
The pupils and staff of Woodlawn Primary School who produced the award-winning film on 'Woodlawn House.

An ornate Gate on the Woodlawn demesne


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hello Speedie,

I've read your site with interest. I'm concerned that Roderick might not realise his email address is publicly visible, so I've written to him pointing it out. I've known him for some time, since up until last year I owned Castle Oliver in Co. Limerick, which was once owned by 2nd Lord Ashtown- whose portrait you recently featured. I'm wondering whether any of your readers might be interested in the book I wrote about the castle,which features a great deal of information about the Trench family? There are many colour pictures, plus rare black and whites of Lord & Lady Ashtown and WC Trench, who was 3rd Lord Ashtown's son- the owner of Woodlawn. If so, they can find it at Lulu.com/mynick,for E29.99. Please keep up the good work on your interesting site.

Best wishes,

Nick Browne

Anonymous said...

Hi Speedie,

Congratulations on an interesting and informative site. I've tried twice to post a comment to your page, hopefully this time I will succeed. I've known Roderick for some years, since up till last year I owned Castle Oliver, in CO. Limerick. 2nd Lord Ashtown, whose portrait you recently published owned Castle Oliver and died there. The castle was inherited by his grandson. I wonder whether your readers might be interested in the book I wrote about the castle and the Trench family? If so, they can find it at Lulu.com/mynick, for E29.99. It contains rare photographs of the Trench family and lots of pictures of the restoration I undertook.

Keep up the good work,

Best wishes,

Nick Browne

Speedie's Blog said...

roderick trench said:
Hello again. Great pictures of places close to Woodlawn House. I would LOVE to have the film made by the children of Woodlawn School. I will give you my e-mail so you can get in touch with me if you want.

Hope to hear from you soon. All the best.

Note: I re-posted Roderick's comment minus his email address just in case he did not wanted publicly made available -Brendan

Anonymous said...

Hi Speedie,
Great articles on Woodlawn House. I'm from Boston, Mass and my father is from New Inn. I remember a day when my cousin and I visited Woodlawn House for a day. I took a lot of great pictures of it and have always been interested in it. If I had the money to buy it, if it were for sale, I would. I was curious about the movie made by the kids. If I give you my email address I would love to hear from you and see if it would be possible to get a copy.


Maria Toni Mollaghan said...


I would like to find out if ye are aware that Lord Ashtown was also a great poet? My grandmother was a native of the same Galway area and had in her possesion a compelation of poems written by him. On her death i acquired this book printed privately in 1965. In it is a beautiful poem about Lord Ashtowns childhood days at Woodlawn and also the reasons why it had to be sold to the Trench family. Also if anybody would be able to tell me a bit more about my own Grandfathers family who lived in the area around the same time that Woodlawn was sold. His name was Patrick Mollaghan, sadly we have been unable to trace further back.

Kevin said...

Woodlawn House:
I noticed a crane working on the old house and a group of builders working on the red brick house today. Any idea what the reconstruction is in aid of? Is it being restored to its former glory or something else.


Speedie's Blog said...

Greetings Kevin,
Yes, I am glad to say that Woodlawn House, one of the finest Georgian mansions, is being renovated and being brought back to its former glory!

declan kelly said...

Any update on Woodlawn House. Greetings Speedie, havn't seen you since the dreaded 2 keg house party 30 years ago.

Speedie's Blog said...

Declan, a chara. Good to hear from you after so many decades! Are you coming to the UCG Reunion on November 30th (2013)?
Sadly, renovation work stopped on Woodlawn House a number of years ago. The exciting plans that Bill Grealish and co had to bring the mansion and demesne back to its former glory are presently on hold.

declan kelly said...

I am afraid not Brendan. The Enge class had a get together for the 30th a few weeks back that I did not make either, just a pub night. I heard nothing or saw no pics despite this being the info-age. My brother related to me that a group put a cost of 5 million to renovate but that nobody has any money, I suppose. Such a pity.

Speedie's Blog said...

Greetings once again Declan.
You may remember that I did actually met you in person circa 4 years ago when I was working with the Monivea school on a Medical (Medtronic) project.
Anyway,the graduates and friends of UCG in 1978-1981 are holding a Reunion in NUI Galway on November 30th. Why not join us!
Some lovely photographs of you dancing in the Aula on a Saturday night are on our special UCG students website- www.ucgstudents.com! You use to turn up with the other Enge lads such as Billy Moyles.
Can you identify the girl in dungarees that you are dancing with in two of the photos?
Beannachtaí, Speedie

declan kelly said...

You have me confused with a different Declan Kelly. I came out in 83. I never met Billy Moyles but was friendly with his brother Fergus. You might remember me as being a friend of Cormac McDonagh and John D Sheridan. Enjoyed many unconventional evenings with Tommy Sheridan as well, whatever happened to him. You know my brother Pat Kelly. The fellow in the picture in the aula to the left with the white shirt looks like an enge called Jerry Salmon, maybe 81. Good to see a young Freddie White, he is living in Quincy Massachusetts last time I met him there. I see a pic of Mike Murphy as well, a true gent, what ever happened to him. Except for Miss Stack, I don't recognize anyone else.

Speedie's Blog said...

Greetings Declan! I remember you so well now from that from being part of the John D, Cormac cohorts. Apologies for confusing you with another Declan ('Crowbar') Kelly who appears in that photo from the Aula disco.
Mike Murphy not surprisingly went initially into fish farming; Michael McMahon is lecturing at the Athlone Institute of Technology; Cormac is GM at Thermo King Galway; Brian O'Donovan is at IBM in Dubl;n. I lost contact with John D and Tommy Sheridan soon after they left UCG. So not sure where they are today. I am an Science & Technology Outreach Officer in NUIG as we call it today. I married Cepta that use to work in the student travel office! Hope that you are doing well?

Barry Dickinson said...

Hello, I am interested in the Woodlawn Hackney horses that were bred there in considerable numbers. One of the early stallions was Sir Augustus . Do any records or pictures of these horses exist?
Lord Ashtown was a great writer on the hackney and was a regular contributor to magazines on the prowess of the breed.
Thanks in advance.
Barry Dickinson

Unknown said...

I have visited Ireland (Galway) five times and always make a "pilgrimage" to the Beefield area. My Grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from there around 1900. I believe his father (Stephen Cahill) or grandfather (Michael Cahill) worked on the Woodlawn estate. We visit Woodlawn every visit too.

Do you know if there is any way to get permission (even for a fee) to visit the manor and explore the insides? In 2017 I am bringing my whole family (Kids and grandkids) to visit Ireland/Galway to see where their ancestors came from. Any information would be appreciated.

Bob Cahill
USA 817 233-8132 (notice my email address !!!)