About a fortnight ago, I had reached out to Judy Rhatigan, who I know had grown up in the Lodge of Chapelizod House in the 1950s. Usually, I keep my informants anonymous, because they usually still live on the farm and I want to protect their privacy, but in this case this does not apply. Judy has actually written a book about her childhood in the Lodge house called “Beyond the Briary Wood” which was published in 2019. It is probably available in book shops in Kilkenny and maybe nationwide. It is a very interesting account of Irish life in the 1950s, but also deals with the generations before her. As you can see, she took the title of the book from the field behind the Lodge. The building is now derelict again, as it was when her family moved in, so her Dad had to make it habitable. The other lodge is gone completely.

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You get the usual field names one expects around a manor house: Orchard, Lawn, Paddock. Fox Cover and Deer Park tell you about the hunting tradition on the estate.

Judy told me today that the Shelter Belting was a field with a grove, where the cattle could seek shelter in fierce winds.

There also used to be a mill at the eastern meeting point of the two fields called “Orchard”, and I have added the remains of the Mill Race that are still visible on satellite view. I could not find it on the accessible historical map, so I’ll have to wait to do a survey or for other methods of exploring.

O’Kelly only mentions only one field name: “Sean-sraid” as being “located at Chapelizod main gate” (p. 153), presumably what Judy calls Laurel Lower Grove, unless it is across the road from that field. I could not make out any cropmarks to indicate a lost village in any of the fields surounding the former gate lodge.

Thank you, Judy, for your contribution, much appreciated!

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