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5: Curraghmore House
Curraghmore House, seat of the Marquis of Waterford, was originally a
castle built by the Power family in the 12th Century. Curraghmore,
unlike many other estates in Ireland, is unique because it has been owned by the
same family since the 12th Century. When Lady Catherine Power married
Sir Marcus Beresford in the 18th Century, they made changes to the
house. The front hall and the billiard room above are the only parts of the
original castle that remain and they are on a different level than the rest of
the house. There are fine statues in the grounds. At the back there are houses
in which some of us pupils at Portlaw N.S. live.
was supposed to be a curse on all the lords of Curraghmore. An old woman was
really angry with the first marquis of Waterford because her grandson was hung
for stealing on the estate. When she gave out to him, he flicked her out of his
way with his whip. She put a curse on all the lords right up to our present one.
Ironically, every marquis since has died tragically. The present one is said to
be free from the curse. There is also a ghost story attached to the house which
we put on our website.
Curraghmore is very much a little world on its own. It is sealed off from the outside world by its woods and hills, and by the 16 ring of its demesne wall. On the west side of the estate, there is a gap where you can see the Comeragh Mountains. On the south side, the Clodagh River runs for four miles through a secret valley. It has many ancient trees growing along its banks. You might still see pink martens in this area. As you go in from the Waterford City side, you drive down a long valley and through the woods. You will come straight into the courtyard, which is between long rows of pink chestnuts, workers’ houses and stable buildings, and lo and behold, you will see the front door of Curraghmore House, with the stag of St. Hubert above it.
Take a visit to the tallest tree in the Republic of Ireland. It is in
Curraghmore, a lovely place to go for a walk. The tree is at least 50 metres
high. It is a Sitka Spruce and was planted in the 1830s. It is called after the
island of Sitka off the coast of Alaska. Other trees to be found in the Portlaw
area include: conifers, the Norway Spruce, the Japanese Larch, the Poplar
European Larch, Scot Pine, Mountain Pine, Silver Fir, Douglas Fir, Beech, Oak,
Alder, Sycamore, Elm, Horse Chestnut, Spanish Chestnut and Birch. The Portlaw
area is especially noted for its old oak trees.
The Curraghmore Crystal Ball
is a mysterious crystal ball which was said to have curative properties and was
the property of Lord Waterford who had the object preserved at his Curraghmore
crystal globe is still preserved at Curraghmore and in good shape. The
Marquis of Curraghmore, Lord Waterford still allows the use of the crystal to
cure and protect cattle. It was, he said, used extensively to good effect during
World War II and during the bad Foot and Mouth crisis of the late 1960s. .