June 18, 2008


Some interesting local names which survive in the locality as recounted by Stephen Talbot

When I had almost completed a little booklet outlining a heritage trail around Kildare Town, Tully and the Nurney Road I showed it to Stephen Talbot to give it the once over before I had it printed and he simply said in terms of the area covered - oh you mean The Hundred Acres - it became the title of the booklet and is now popularly referred to as such by locals who enjoy the route as an exercise route. Stephen has been in constant contact re.  placenames and other matters re. the history and heritage of the Town. I can't think of a better way to write it than simply copying his email straight to the site. Apologies to Stephen for the delay - he sent it to me on 7 March 2008.


Hi Mario
I mentioned to you that I had a brother visiting recently and in the course of a number of tours around the area he mentioned one or two items of historical interest.
We were travelling from Monasterevin to Kildare on one such trip and I happened to mention the "Buggawns" (I'm sure there is an Irish spelling for this somewhere and a literal meaning.) The Buggawns would roughly be the area from say the bottom of the hill past Brian Hasset's residence as far as Mayfield. There would likely be a connection between this word and bog or flat marshy ground as that it what the land is either side of the road.
Anyway, my brother had never heard of this name but had heard that from Hasset's, back towards Kildare for possibly a few hundred yards, was known locally as the Marlo(w) Banks. He recalls our father commenting on this one day whilst they were out cycling, sometime back in the late 1940's early 50's.
My father mentioned the fact that the banks of light coulored clay or whatever, was as good as "Vim" and could easily be used as a detergent. If you can recall Vim- it was one of the first white powdery detergents used in the 1950's together with Rinso and Lux. If you look up Marl you will see that it is a calcareous clay often used as fertilizer which was found in Marl-pits - a type of limestone. Perhaps there were pits along that road or perhaps it was merely stockpiled there - who knows and certainly worth researching.
The other item that came up on the day was the "Turnpike".
If you go out the Monasterevin Road past Eoin McDonald's and stop about a hundred yards just before the realigned road and the turn off for Mooretown, you will note that before the bypass was constructed only 5 years ago, the old turn to the left towards Mooretown is still visible, though inaccessible. This turn-off was known locally for years by everybody, as the Turnpike. Turnpike's, as we know were toll-roads in themselves, introduced in England in 1706 and were no longer in use as Turnpikes from 1800 onwards.
We travelled on the Rathangan Road past St Conleths cemetery and the cross roads beyond that is rightly known as Gallaghers Cross. The reason for this being that there is a cottage at the junction on the right had side where the Gallaghers lived since god knows when. Mattie Gallagher had a shop on Station Road opposite Alice and Son Johnsons where the Bargain store now is. Syl Gallagher, his brother was a Council employee all his life and was the keeper of the only Council transport in town in the 1940/50's - a horse and cart. This was used for carrying all manner of goods but in summertime was primarily used for transporting gravel and tar and plodded along the highways and byways filling potholes. It's primary function in severe winter weather was to transport sand and salt for gritting the roads. There were other Gallaghers in the family that I personally didn't recall on the day but Miss Kavanagh, who had a shop on Claregate street for years (up until about the early 1980's) had a sister married to Mattie Gallagher.
One further recollection was that of The Glais river (I'm not sure of the correct spelling but this is how we had it and pronounced Glosh). If you pass Alan Duke house in Tully West and continue past the old Heffernan Tyres depot you will arrive at a junction which was always known as The Blue Pump - so named because there was a County Council water pump on the green area at the centre of the junction which was blue in colour. The pump has since been removed. Turn right at that junction and after about 200 yards turn left down a narrow roadway. Travel a mile to a T junction - left will take you to Grangebeg, Mooretown, Doneany etc. and right takes you back up to Cherryville crossroads. However, if you walk into the field staright across from the T Junction and cross that field, you will come to the Glais river a small tributary of the Barrow. We did all our swimming there as youngsters, circa 1954/5 and also caught pinkeens and tadpoles and stuffed both our guts and jacket with crab apples.
All of this is just mere recollection of place-names which should, if possible, be retained as we have lost many names over the years through lack of awareness of their historical significance and with no structured historical bodies in place. The latter one or two may have little relevance but the Marlo Banks and the Turnpike would certainly be of interest to some.
If any or all of this is of any interest to you please let me know and I will pass on more if you wish.
best regards..

Further note on The Hundred Acres - once the title was decided upon I did a little checking and came up with an interesting connection with the Knights Hospitallers at Tully - I included this note in the booklet.

The title ‘The Hundred Acres,’ came out of a conversation with Stephen Talbot who said that the route now enjoyed by walkers was always known locally as ‘the hundred acres.’ I did a bit of checking and it is a local name for most of Tully West townland, i.e. mostly the land between Nurney Road / Grey Abbey Road and Tully Road which forms a natural triangle between St. Brigid’s Square, Newtown Cross Roads and Tully junction. In researching an article on the Black Abbey (the ruins of the church can still be seen near the National Stud) I found mention in inquisitions taken at the dissolution of the monasteries that the immediate land attached to the Knights Hospitallers Preceptory, the villa of Tully,  amounted to some 160 acres of arable land – 60 acres of demesne land beside the Preceptory and another 100 acres of land which probably represented large portions of what came to be known as Tully West and Tully East. Could this term, ‘the hundred acres,’ have survived in popular memory from the thirteenth century since most of these lands were granted to the Hospitallers prior to 1212 A.D.?]

See the complete text of the HUNDRED ACRES booklet on this site


Some interesting local names which survive in the locality as recounted by Stephen Talbot

Posted by mariocorrigan at June 18, 2008 10:56 PM