Journal Volume 7 2013

Newtown Mount Kennedy

 A Guide to the County of Wicklow, Rev. G N Wright, 1822


About three miles from Delgany, and 17m. 2f. from Dublin, stands the village of Newtown Mount Kennedy. Although not a picturesque or romantic object itself, it is surrounded by the most delightful and enchanting scenery, and would be an excellent place for the tourist to take up head quarters for a short time.


 Newtown Mount Kennedy

Newtown Mount Kennedy

There are a number of gentlemen’s seats around, and the sea is but a short distance. From this place, as a centre, he could strike off upon very pleasant short excursions each day, and return to dinner. The Glen and Demesne of Dunran, the Devil’s Glen, Glenmore Castle, Kill-tymon Glen, the Demesnes of Newtown Mount Kennedy, Altadore and Hermitage, with many others, are within easy distances. There is a very comfortable inn in the town, where the traveller is certain of being treated with great courteousness, and the charges are very moderate.

The house and demesne of Newtown Mount Kennedy are very well worth the attention of the inquisitive tourist; the demesne is extensive, highly improved, and beautifully situated; this whole tract of land, about fifty years ago, was totally wild and barren; about this period it was purchased by General Cuningham, afterwards Lord Rossmore, who then retired from public life. This demesne, as well as that of Dunran, were planted by his lordship, and the soil of the vallies and low lands hitherto useless, reclaimed by that energetic and sagacious nobleman, principally by the application of marl and limestone gravel. So great was this excellent man’s taste and ability for agricultural improvement, that, beginning from fifty acres, he extended his demesne and farms from Newtown Mount Kennedy to the southern extremity of Dunran, nor ceased until he had expend-ed 64,OOOl. in improvements.

A very great natural curiosity, formerly a natural beauty also, was to be seen in the lawn of his lordship’s demesne at Newtown Mount Kennedy, a large arbutus tree, thirteen feet six inches in circumference, and about eighteen feet in height; this curious and beautiful object, quite superior even to any of the same species at Killarney, was unfortunately blown down, and split into two parts; these arms have been judiciously laid down, so as to take new root, and from their present dimensions, the enormous size of the tree, when perfect, may be readily perceived.


Devil's Glen Waterfall

 Devil’s Glen Waterfall

The house is a large square building of great simplicity and elegance; it is in the Ionic order, and after a design by Wyatt, executed by Mr. Cooley, also a very eminent artist. From the portico in front is a charming view of the improvements, and woods terminating in the mountains; and from the rear is a commanding prospect of a highly cultivated country, bounded at the distance of two miles by the sea. In the hall of this splendid mansion were preserved the fossil horns of the moose deer, found in a marl pit on Mr. Archer’s ground, at Inis-Tymon. On Mr. Brownrigg’s farm several specimens of this species of fossil have also been found, always in marl pits; in the marl pits of Germany, fossils of the elephant, rhinoceros, and turtle, have been discovered. The house and demesne are now the property of ------ Gunne, Esq., but generally let for the season to some person of rank in Dublin.


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