Mementoes of the ‘Big House’ in Kells auction

The Daly family, who owned Dundsandle House in Galway

The Daly family, who owned Dundsandle House in Galway


Ireland’s “Big Houses”, which were long neglected, are attracting more interest than ever from professional and hobbyist historians and researchers. One of Co Galway’s most important 18th-century houses, Dunsandle House near Athenry, once home to the Anglo-Irish Daly family, was partially demolished in the 1950s and only ruins are visible today. Mementoes from Dunsandle House have turned up in Oliver Usher’s upcoming book auction. Lots include the Dunsandle House visitors’ book (€300-€400); a family photo album (€200-€300); and an inventory of the contents of the house, prepared by Bennett & Co of Dublin, in 1911 (€200-€300).

The auction, held to coincide with the Hay Literary Festival in Kells, also features a rare album from Lord Portarlington’s library at Emo Court, Co Laois with records of local hunts and 19th-century photographs of Portarlington, Mountmellick and Birr Castle (€500-€800). Oliver Usher’s Auction Rooms, John Street, Kells, Co Meath. Auction of rare books. July 3rd, 11.30 am. Viewing , Tuesday and Wednesday, 10am-6pm.

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