The house we had stumbled upon was the original seat of power, if you will pardon the pun of the Powers of Ballycanvan, a family directly related to the Powers of Curraghmore and thus direct descendants of the original Le Poer that landed as part of the Norman conquest. The original tower house, similar no doubt to Ballymaclode castle directly across Ballycanvan Stream (which flows past Jack Meades pub) was later built on and added to. The following is a brief historical run of the owners or occupiers at one time or another.
|Ballymaclode castle on the city side of Ballycanvan stream|
It came into the Bolton family when Rev Hugh Bolton (1683-1758) acquired the property as Dean of Waterford. He was succeed by Cornelius Bolton the Elder (1714-1774) who took over in 1758 and extended his ownership to the Mill Farm in 1765. It was here that Arthur Young, the travel writer and chronicler of industrial and agricultural development, visited when he came to East Waterford. We have also met the Mill Farm recently, and the works of Cornelius too. A Georgian mansion was added to the castle at this point.
|the old mill and Ballycanvan overlooking the Suir (Kings Channel)|
Photo courtesy of Liam Hartley
In 1818 Roberts dropped the lease and Thomas Meagher (1764-1837) took on the property. The Meaghers remained at the property until 1829. Subsequently the property was leased to Richard Morris and family until 1836. The next family found on the property is George Kent (bc1786-1866), who made his money in the bacon trade, and was renting from 1848 to his death.
|An early map highlighting the house and grounds|
The Kent family seem to have continued to live on in the house for some time afterwards, but at some point in the subsequent decades structural problems were found in the building and it fell into disrepair. What now remains is a sad reminder of a very busy and illustrious past.
The information contained in this piece comes via Mark Thomas in the following article for Abandoned Ireland; http://www.abandonedireland.com/Ballycanvan.html