The name “Kilburry” is an old Irish term for the “Church of Mary” – Cill Mhuire


Sir Laurence Parsons, Mary Clere’s son.

Kilburry House was originally on 300 acres and the home of the Cleere (Clere) family, up until sometime in the middle of the 18th century, when it was passed by marriage into the Parson family from Birr, when Mary, the only daughter and heiress of John Clere of Kilbury, married Sir William Parsons  of Birr Castle, on 28 June 1754. 

Their son, Sir Laurence Parsons, (see left) the 2nd Earl of Rosse,  became one of the Postmasters General of Ireland with Charles O’Neill, 1st Earl O’Neill with whom he attended the laying of the foundation-stone for the new General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin on 12 August 1814 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Charles Whitworth, 1st Earl Whitworth.


Sir William Parson’s, 3rd Earl of Rosse

His son, ( Mary Clere’s grandson), Sir William Parsons, (see right) became the 3rd Earl of Rosse and was responsible for the construction of the great telescope at Birr. When completed in 1845, it was the largest telescope on earth, and capable of capturing more light and seeing further into space than any telescope had done before. Birr therefore became a focus for astronomical observations, and visitors came to visit the observatory from all over the world.


Telescope at Birr Castle – “The Leviathan of Parsonstown”

In 1792 Kilburry East was sold by the Parsons to Richard Beasley of Dublin, who installed tenants. Henry Meagher was one of those tenants. At the time of Griffith’s Valuation Misses Harriet and Olivia Beasley held 3 townlands in the parish of Ardmayle, barony of Middlethird and William Beasley held land in the parish of Cloneen, barony of Slievardagh, County Tipperary. In the 1870s Miss Olivia Beasley of Ardmoyle, Cashel, owned 771 acres and William Beasley, no address given, owned 413 acres in County Tipperary. (Landed Estates database)

Kilburry was also the home of Jeremiah Meagher in 1814 and of Robert Maher in the mid 19th century. He held the house valued at £16.15 shillings from William Beasley.

At some point the estate was sold again to a William Lysaght, who was recorded as the landowner in the 1911 census. He died in about 1917, leaving only two daughters. What happened to Lysaght’s daughters is not clear, but in the 1930’s the estate was divided up by the Land Commission. Various ex-members of the household or farm staff were awarded parcels of land and had homes and sheds built for them. The grounds of Cloneen National School and the GAA pitch at Anner Park were provided out of the estate.

Kilburry House and some land was sold to the Barton family, who moved down from County Offaly.

How the estate was divided:

  • Donovan – 60 acres (now McGraths)
  • St John – 25 acres
  • Grants – 23 acres
  • Jack Denn – 23 acres
  • Jack Lawless – 70 acres, because he was a horseman on the estate
  • Carroll’s – 2 to 3 acres
  • Keane – 5 acres
  • Cloneen National School – plot
  • Anner Park – 5 acres
  • Russell’s – 30 acres approx.