A SHORT HISTORY OF LEIXLIP HOUSE LEIXLIP HOUSE – PARISH OF CONFEY, TOWNLAND OF NEWTOWN
AD 900 Leixlip, with its waterfall on the River Liffey, was a Norse settlement, which got its name from the Danish for “Salmons Leap”
AD 1100 Newtown & Confey; near Leixlip; were formed into a parish with a church the ruins of which are visible in the present cemetery in Confey
AD 1175 Leixlip & surrounding territories was part of the land given to de Hereford family after the Norman Conquest
1500 The Eustace Family, possible an off-shoot of the Fitzgerald’s whose head was the Earl of Kildare, owned great areas of land in Co. Kildare including the parish of Confey near Leixlip
1540 The Castle now standing near the Cemetery of Confey was probably lived in by John Eustace who also owned property in the Thomas Street & James’ Street areas of Dublin
1600 Among the principle gentry of Co Kildare was Nicholas Fitzjohn Eustace of Confey. Other members of the family owned Clongowes Wood, Castlemartin, Harristown, Newlands & other locations in Co Kildare
1641 James Eustace of Confey, described as an Irish Papist, owned about 100 acres of land in the townlands of Newtown & Confey. Eustace Castle at Confey was destroyed in the rebellion of 1641
1654 The Eustace family in association with the Plunketts succeeded in keeping their lands near Leixlip during the Cromwellian Confiscations
1659 In the townland of Confey were 34 people. In Leixlip were 100 people with James Eustace being one of the three principle citizens
1690 Numerous branches of the Eustace family in Co Kildare were outlawed & had their possessions confiscated for supporting King James in the Williamite War
1728 William Connolly of Castletown, Cellbridge purchased great areas of this confiscated land on easy terms after 1700. He purchased the manor, town & lands of Leixlip & Newtown for £11,883
1731 The remaining portion of Leixlip. Including the Castle, was purchased by William Connolly’s nephew
1750 Noble & Keenan’s map of Co Kildare shows few – if any – buildings in Priest Lane Leixlip, now called Captains Hill
1772 Captain William Brady held the Lime Kiln holding in Newtown Leixlip from the Connolly family. Among the other tenants in the area were Richard Guinness, a brother of the founder of the Dublin brewery, & Peter Berrill the parish priest of Leixlip. Captain Brady who probably built Leixlip House in the 1770’s may have come form Ballaghy in Co Derry where the Connolly family then had an estate.
1798 Major General Brady was active with Thomas Connolly in arranging the surrender of local rebels.
1800 John Downing of Co Derry assumed the additional name of Nesbitt when he inherited the Nesbitt estate of Edenderry. He married in 1800 Jane, the daughter of General Brady of Leixlip House
1828 General Brady died & was buried in Leixlip cemetery where there is a monument in his memo Leixlip House then became the residence of Mr John Nesbitt
1850 The Griffith valuations shows WGD Nesbitt holding 15 acres of land & a house with the valuation of £42 from James Lawe. He also held 21 acres of land from Thomas Connolly of Castletown
1857 WGD Nesbitt died & was succeeded by his sister who in turn was succeeded by her cousin Edward Beaumount Downing Nesbitt who did not live in Leixlip
Post 1900 In the 1910 period Leixlip House was occupied by WA West a land commissioner. It was alter occupied by the Hone family. In the 1950’s it was purchased by Colonel Head who extended the house.
1974 Leilxip House with the surrounding 15acres but without the field across the road that had been sold previously was purchased by the O’Mahoney family from Mrs Carville. They installed the impressive gates, railings & pillars procured from the French Estate in Frenchpark, Co Roscommon that had been divided up by the land commission
1982 Leixlip House & lands were sold by the O’Mahoney family to local developers
1983 Extensive fire damage was caused to the House in particular to the Roof and top floors. The house lay derelict for some years and faced a very uncertain future. The cause of the fire was never established.
1996 The present owners of Leixlip House Hotel, The Towey Family from Palmerstown, purchased thehotel and enganged in an extensive refurbishment project. On opening the hotel has 19 bedrooms, a Restaurant with a capacity for 50 guests and a Banqueting Suite accommodating 140 guests. Major work was carried out on the heating and plumbing systems. Work was also carried out on the fabric of the house, ensuring that the building is in good shape for future generations.
• History - Leixlip Virtual Town - Kildare - Ireland
• The History of Leixlip, Co.Kildare