Ireland Photos
from 1993 Smith trip

A Pictorial Visit To The Bagenal Country

During October of 1993 some of the places mentioned in the Bagnall chapter of Eva Plewman's book "A Family Tapestry" were visited and the photographs posted here were taken, by a Bagnall descendant, Betty Smith, and her husband Robert. Their photos and discriptions follow on this page.

To appreciate the photos then, they may be perused together with the text of the Bagnall chapter of this book at


The pictures start with the beautiful scenes in Leighlinbridge at the"Black Castle" on the River Barrow in County Carlow. The bridge crossing was of great strategic importance as it served the prehistoric highroad from Tara to Gowran and Bennetsbridge. Dudley Bagenal purchased the Castle and the Barony of Idrone in 1585. His brothers acted as Constables until his son, Nicholas reached his majority in 1602. The castle was built in 1547-8. But the Mote-and-Bailey date to 1180. For more go to
Leighlinbridge Photo Page 1 of 3 click here
Leighlinbridge Photo Page 2 of 3 click here
Leighlinbridge Photo Page 3 of 3 click here

Ballymoon Castle

The pictures of the ruins of Ballymoon Castle show a barren landscape. It was found about 1.2 miles from Bagenalstown East of the center on route I-39. Nearby are the scars in the hillside from where the stones for its construction are believed to have come. It is dated with reasonable certainity to about the year 1310. Dudley lost his life in an ambush in the Scalp Rocks about a mile south of Ballymoon in 1587 during a feud with the Kavanaghs. He had taken up residence there when he was ousted from the Constable post at Leighlinbridge. For more on this history go to
Ballymoon Ruins Photo Page 1 of 3 click here
Ballymoon Ruins Photo Page 2 of 3 click here
Ballymoon Ruins Photo Page 3 of 3 click here


About 1610, the building of the new family mansion at Dunleckney in Bagenalstown, formerly Muine Bheag, began. The Smith photos reveal three stages of building and reference is made to traces of an even earlier stage. The final stage was built in 1835, but restorations and improvements have continued to the present. When the Smiths found the estate, a tour was most hospitably given by a Mr. Richard Sheehan who was doing some gardening there. Then in January of 1995, a year or more later Mr. Sheehan sent along the Fieldcrest Manuscript, available at (or click at bottom of this page) and the beautiful copy of the watercolor of the doorway, with his note telling who had painted it.
Dunleckney has now apparently become available as a country inn and the information is that it has been modernized completely. It is about 3/4 of a mile north of Ballymoon on a side road and is 2.5 Km from Bagenalstown. See the bed and breakfast section on the Go Ireland tourist guide web site at
Dunleckey Photo Page 1 of 3 click here
Dunleckey Photo Page 2 of 3 click here
Dunleckey Photo Page 3 of 3 click here


Eva Plewman's book shows Bagnall family in Dublin about 1800 and this branch of the family were the antecedents of Betty Smith. For several generations they were, according to a city directory, "bootmakers to the Lord Lieutenant". Many members of this part of the family are buried in St Jerome cemetery.
In a memoir book by Richard Guy Pearse Bagnall of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada he describes the funeral of Eleanor Plewman Bagnall, his mother in 1896. "Mother had expressed the wish that 'all of her poor people' regardless of their religion should ride in carriages to the cemetary and back...The Salvation Army came in uniform, accompanied by their very fine band. It was about three miles from the residence to the cemetery, Mt. Jerome...some three to four hundred assembled in the street..the procession moved off, the Salvation Army providing bright music, chiefly hymns, which the people joined in singing." This colorful story of the past era seems to place the family in Dublin into the social fabric of those times. The wedding between Anne Bagnall's son William Rothwell and Eleanor Bell at Monkstown Church in Dublin took place about 1800 .
Dublin Photo Page 1 of 2 click here
Dublin Photo Page 2 of 2 click here


Some further historical data on the Irish Bagenals from the early 1630's which puts their political and religous connections into perspective is found at 398

To go to Fieldcrest Manuscipt Index Page click here
To Go Back to Bagnall Home here.

Send mail to Betty & Robert Smith by clicking here
Send mail to Ray Parsons by clicking here