The Rev. John. John Ormsby Vandeleur first planted the demesne in 1712. His son, Crofton who succeeded him in the 1790s built the large family home, Kilrush House, in 1808. Owing to the accidental burning of Kilrush House in 1897, only limited evidence related to the management of the vast Vandeleur estate (over 20,000 acres) is extant, this includes maps of the estate, rental books and demesne maps. The National Library holds a number of leases including: Manuscript MS 35365(17), Conyngham Papers, Vandeleur Estate Kilrush Proposals to Purchase 1921 Microfilm copy of Registry of Deeds Names Index: P2009, P2016 and Land Index P2124 and P2125. However, on a recent trip to the wonderfully restored Vandeleur Walled Garden, I was informed by a staff member that ‘we do not hold any contemporary maps of the demesne’ which is now managed by Coillte and known officially as Kilrush Woods. Therefore I set about creating a modern map of the Vandeleur Demesne based on the OSi maps from c.1830-1910; on the Cassini maps c.1830s-1930s and on modern satellite imagery (this is a work in progress).
Source 1: Historic Map 6 Inch Colour (1837-1842)
Between 1829 and 1842 Ordnance Survey Ireland completed the first ever large-scale survey of an entire country. Acclaimed for their accuracy, these maps are regarded by cartographers as amongst the finest ever produced. These maps are particularly relevant for genealogy or those with an interest in social history. This presentation of the Historic Map 6 inch (1837-1842) is in colour.
Source 2: Historic Map 25 inch (1888-1913)
Between 1888 and 1913 Ordnance Survey Ireland completed the first ever 25 inch survey of an entire country. Acclaimed for their accuracy, these maps are regarded by cartographers are amongst the finest ever produced. These maps are particularly relevant for genealogy or those with an interest in social history.
Source 3: OSi Cassini 6 inch raster mapping (1830s to 1930s)
Map service generated from OSi Cassini 6 inch raster mapping dated 1830s to 1930s. The last edition copperplate was created for Kerry in approximately 1845 for area 100-111.
(Sources 1, 2 & 3 are copyright of Ordnance Survey Ireland).
Working modern map of the Vandeleur Demesne
Based on the above OSi maps and created in Google My Maps.
All structures within the Vandeleur Demesne are mapped. The yellow stars represent substantial buildings (Kilrush House, the Glebe house and the CoI Church); the red markers are minor structures (summer houses, footbridges and demesne workers cottages such as gate lodges).
Social activities on the Vandeleur Demesne
However, by 1888 the demesne was preparing for visitors of a different kind. The Plan of Campaign had witnessed large-scale resistance to evictions on the vast Vandeleur estate: