Abandoned ireland


Mountshannon House,

County Limerick.

Rural Exploration

Mountshannon House was erected by Silver Oliver of Kilfinane, after many years of work the place was finally occupied in 1750. Soon after, John Fitzgibbon acquired the estate around 1765. When John Fitzgibbon died in 1780, his son John, later known as Black Jack, inherited Mountshannon.

Mountshannon is by far the largest and most impressive house to be erected in the area, it was built on a 900 acre estate of the best arable land. At the time half of the domain was covered in trees. The estate and house were serviced from the working area where there was quite a number of buildings including servants' quarters, stewards houses, stables, coach houses, laundry, its own gas making plant and several other utility buildings which made this area in itself larger than many an Irish village.

Some of the great features of the estate were its beautiful gardens and rolling parklands which were laid out and landscaped by John Sutherland, one of the most famous landscape gardeners of the time and who was responsible for designing many of the splendid country gardens of Great Britain and Ireland. In its heyday Mountshannon employed an army of gardeners and estate workers. In summertime work for the gardeners began each day at first light as they had to have the day's work finished and everything in order before the guests of the mansion rose to take breakfast on the lawns and spend their days in the delightful surroundings of the estate gardens. During the summer months as many as a hundred guests would be in residence there.

A Corkman, Dermot O'Hannigan was the last owner of Mountshannon and in 1921, during the War of Independence, in a spectacular and devastating fire, the flames of which could be seen, it is said, from many parts of Limerick city and county, the beautiful mansion was burned to the ground. The estate was eventually taken over by the Land Commission and divided up into several farm holdings. Little remains of Mountshannon Mansion today but the ivy-clad shell of the great house, its four columns at the entrance still stand defiantly against the elements and even time itself, like some battle-scarred warriors still guarding the faded remnants of a grandeur that is no more..

Refer to further reading pages for detailed history of the house and it's occupants.