Mountkelly (Leagan Gaeilge – An Droim): The townland of Mountkelly is situated about one kilometre east of the town of Glenamaddy. Another historical form of the townland name is Mount Kelly. An Irish version of the name isn’t included in O’Donovan’s Field Name Books in 1837. When it came to recording the names of demesnes and big houses, the only authority sought by O’Donovan was that of the owner of the property. Druim, the old Irish name for Mountkelly, was probably allocated by the Cromwellians to Col. John Kelly in compensation for better lands confiscated elsewhere.  It is reasonable to assume that the townland was named after him. In olden times ‘druim’ and ‘droim’ were the Irish terms used to describe a ridge, or, a hill. Mount, a variation of mountain, was a term favoured by the owners of landed estates in 18th and 19th centuries. There are in excess of one hundred instances of the term being used to describe estates and houses featured in the Landed Estates Database.

Distinctive Features:

  • There are two Ringforts and an Enclosure in the townland of Mountkelly registered with the national Monuments Service and featured on the National Monuments Service Archaeological Survey Database.
  • A portion of the townland to the south forms part of Glenamaddy Turlough which is prone to flooding in winter time. See link for further information.
  • Glenamaddy Union Workhouse was located in the south west of the townland adjoining the Glenamaddy to Roscommon road. See link for further information.
  •  Glenamaddy New Cemetery, also know as Creggs Road Cemetery, Glenamaddy, is located in the southern portion of the townland beside the Workhouse ruins overlooking Glenamaddy Turlough. It opened in 1955 and continues in use to this day. Among the first people to be interred there was James Bruen, former Clerk of Glenamaddy Workhouse.
  • There are about thirty houses discernible in the 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map in the townland of Mountkelly. For the most part they are dispersed in groups of between two and five dwellings north of Lake View House.
  • A small river runs westward along the north boundary of Mountkelly with Clooncon West. It disappears underground in a swallow hole close to the Glenamaddy to Ballymoe Road. The 1840 Historic Ordnance Survey map shows two small loughs named Meelick Lough and Mill Lough on the boundary which powered a Corn Kiln and a Corn Mill near the aforementioned swallow hole.
  • Lake View House is of historic interest. It is situated north of the Glenamaddy to Roscommon Road commanding an excellent view of Glenamaddy Turlough. In the 1830s Field Name Books O’Donovan recorded two houses and an orchard at Lake View Place. Mount Kelly was owned by John William Browne at the time of Griffith’s Valuation. Browne was a Dublin-based solicitor who acted as agent for the Marquess of Sligo. It was a Kelly property in the mid-18th century, which passed to a branch of the Bellew family through marriage. The original house was known as Drum House but it was in ruins by the 1820s. The 19th century house appears as Lakeview on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map but as Mount Kelly on the 25-inch edition of the 1890s map. A house still exists at the site.

 In relation to Mountkelly Patrick Melvin states in The Landed Estates of County Galway that:

In 1788 Dominick Browne of Kilskeagh and Ashford, parish of Cong, married Emily a granddaughter of John Browne of Westport, 1st Earl of Altamont. Their eldest son Robert Browne, Ranger of the Curragh, county Kildare, held lands in the parishes of Athenry and Lackagh, barony of Clare, county Galway in the 1850s. Their second son, John William Browne, was a Dublin solicitor, who acted as agent for the Marquess of Sligo’s county Galway estate. In 1846 J.W. Browne bought the lease of Mount Kelly estate in the parish of Boyounagh, barony of Ballymoe, from Henry Lanauze. Mount Kelly was part of the Marquess of Sligo’s estates leased to Christopher Kelly Bellew in the late 18th century and in 1800 to Lanauze. Hussey de Burgh records that Robert J. Browne owned over 2,000 acres in county Galway in the 1870s and James Browne of Mountkelly owned 1,905 acres.”

1656-58 Down Survey: The owner of Mountkelly at the time of the survey was Daniel Kennedy who was a Catholic. The survey established that the unprofitable land in the townland amounted to 439 acres and the profitable land was estimated to be 303 acres. The 303 acres were forfeited.

1823 – 1838 Tithe Applotment Books: Surviving documentation of the Tithe Applotment Books is in poor condition making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to decipher the names of landholders. In so far as it can be ascertained the following Catholic landholders in the townland of Mountkelly paid the tithe (tax) levied to support the Established Church (Church of Irelad).  Kerins, Raftery (4), Griffin (2), Horan (2), O’Flynn (3), Saxon (2), Mulrooney (2), Dolan, Tracy and Morrisey.  Protestant occupiers of agricultural holdings were exempt from this tax.

1838 O’Donovan’s Field Name Books: O’Donovan describes the townland as follows – “Mount Kelly: A portion of Mill Lough and Meelick Lough which is on the N. boundary of this townland belongs to it. There is bog along the North and East boundaries. A portion of the South is a flooded Turlough. A road passes through the South portion. There are 2 Danish Forts. Lake View place is in the S.W. portion. The remainder of the land is tillage and pasture.  Mount Kelly is situated 1mile South of Clooncun Lough on the N. boundary of Clooncun West townland.”

1856 Griffith’s Valuation: The townland covers an area of 457 acres 2 roods and 16 perches and the total rateable valuation of the land and buildings combined amounted to £195 15s 0d. At the time of the survey there were 28 occupiers in the townland of Mountkelly – John W. Browne, the Union Workhouse and Land, the Guardians of the Poor of Glenamaddy Union, Reilly (2), Rafterry (5), Miscal (6), Fleming (3), Tiernan (2), Mee, Dowd, Moran, McGrath, McGuire, Mulryan and one unnamed occupier. The landlord was John W. Browne.

Adjoining Townlands: The following townlands share a border with Mountkelly – Ardoslough, Barna, Clooncon East, Clooncon West, Clondoyle Beg, Glenamaddy, Gortnagier East.

Census Records: Population and Household data for the townland of Mountkelly:

Census Years 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 2011
Population 129 57 235 283 257 179 154 155 23
Households 26 11 18 16 23 22 19 13 10

Glenamaddy and the Irish Folklore Collections:

The article posted on this website under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab provides an overview of the folklore material submitted by Glenamaddy parishioners to the National Folklore Commission, now known as the Irish Folklore Collections. It also explains the background to the 1937 Schools’ Collection (Bailiúchán na Scol) project which has good representation from a parish perspective

The Irish Folklore Collections housed in the Folklore Department of University College Dublin contain a treasure trove of folklore material, some of which is accessible online. Both the Main Manuscript Collection and the Schools’ Collection contain a considerable number of submissions from collectors and informants who resided in the parish of Glenamaddy. The quick reference directories featured in the ‘Parish > Townlands’ section of this website complement the user-friendly search features of the dú website and are helpful in tracking Schools’ Collection submissions associated with townlands. Submissions are categorised under – School, Teacher, Language, Volume Number, Page Number, Collector, Collector’s Townland, Informant and Informant’s Townland. Where applicable, Schools’ Collection directories showing online townland-related submissions appear at the end of the following townland posts on this website – Ballinapeaka, Ballinastack, Barna, Boyounagh More (Middletown), Bushtwon, Cashel, Classaghroe, Cloonacross, Clooncon East, Clooncon West, Cloonkeen, Cultiafadda, Eskeromullacaun (Esker), Felimspark, Glenamaddy, Gortaganny, Gortnagier, Kiltullagh, Knockauns, Lisheenaheltia, Loughpark, Meelick, Scotland, Shannagh More, Stonetown and Woodfield.

Parish folklore submissions contained in the Schools’ Collection are also accessible online via the following links:-

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 1 –

Árd Aoibhinn National School – Part 2 

Glenamaddy Girls’ National School

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 1

Glenamaddy Boys’ National School – Part 2 

Gort na Léime National School – Part 1   

Gort na Léime National School – Part 2 

Lisheenaheltia Girls’ National School 

Lisheenaheltia Boys’ National School    

Glenamaddy submissions which form part of the Main Manuscript Collection are not posted online but may be examined in the reading room of the Folklore Department in U.C.D., Belfield, Dublin 4. Typed versions of some of the parish contributions contained in the Main Manuscript Collection are published under the ‘Heritage > Folklore’ tab on this website.   

Quick Reference Directory of Glenamaddy folklore submissions in the Main Manuscript Collection:-

Author:Pat Keaveny

For related townland website post click on the following link:- 

Glenamaddy Union Workhouse 


Townlands in County Galway

1840 Historic Ordnance Survey Map

Place Name Books of Galway

The Down Survey of Ireland

The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837

Griffith Valuation – Ask About Ireland

Central Statistics Office

National Archives: Census Reports 1901/1911

Essex University: Historic Population Census Reports

Historic Environment Viewfinder

The Landed Estates of County Galway. Patrick Melvin