Ballitore, Co. Kildare
Griesemount was built in 1817 by the Shackletons who were a well known Quaker family. A fine example of Georgian architecture, Griesemount has beautiful gardens which overlook the River Greese.
Griesemount House which sits on 3.5 acres has been described as a Charming Gentleman's Residence set within wonderful mature gardens and with uninterrupted views of the River Greese. Today it is a family home. A garden room was added onto the back of the house in recent years and the present owners have redecorated a few rooms but it still retains its original features inside and out including the parterre garden and its beautiful aspect.
View of Shackleton's Ballitore Mill from Griesemount
Griesemount in the Past
Fortunately, we do know quite a bit as it has been written about by the famous Quaker diarist, Mary Leadbeater in “The Annals of Ballitore.”1766-1824.
To quote ……
“On the 22th day of the sixth month this year, (mid-summer’s day) 1817 the first stone of George Shackleton’s house at Griesemount was laid by his little niece Hannah White. Her father had written a date, etc. in Latin which he wrapped in lead and put in a bottle, with coins of the present date, sealing it with the seal of Ballitore post-office. This was placed under the foundation stone.
When this bottle shall be opened, where shall we
be who stood around to witness this pleasant ceremony? Our places shall know us no more!”
Hannah was only five when her mother died in 1811 and was the daughter of James White who was the last Master of Ballitore Quaker school which was started by a Yorkshire man and wife in 1726 and had the distinction of having among it’s pupils such notables as Napper Tandy,Edmund Burke and Cardinal Paul Cullen.
This school was known as the “Eton of Ireland” and drew pupils from as far away as France and Norway.
Four years after the house was started George Shackleton married Hannah Fisher and they raised thirteen children here. They lived here until his death in 1871 and hers two years later. He was the Grand-Uncle of the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton………