Mullycagh Townland

Tom Byrne's house, Mullycagh Lwr (N81)
Tim O'Leary © 2021

The townland of Mullycagh lies between the Old Tollhouse at Annalecky on the N81 and Chaney’s Lane on your right as you head towards Blessington. The other approach to
Mullycagh is to travel from Valentine’s Lane on the Blackmoor towards Hollywood Glen.  Mullycagh is the elevated land on your left, the Carriggower River being the boundary. Since the 14th Century Mullycagh has
been spelled in 10 different ways. From the 1800s into the early 1900s it was connected to Donard via Valentine’s Lane through a series of lanes and footpaths, far more than exist today.


Originally there were two villages, Upper and Lower Mullycagh. The Lower
Village was the largest and most significant. The villages are no longer
standing today due to the famine, evictions, emigration, and the movement
of people to other townlands. Both villages were identified in the Griffith
Valuations and later in the Liam Price Notebooks. On the Ordinance Survey Map of 1837, Lower Mullycagh Village shows 20 dwellings. Today you will see 2 dwellings, one of the two is listed as having being built in 1760 according to Liam Price.


The old mail coach road ran from Dublin to Tullow and beyond. Today it is
known as the N81 or New Road. In the 1800s the road was intentionally
improved for mail delivery. As horses were the only means of transport, the
road needed to be direct and flat. One section from Annalecky to Athgarvan,
Poulaphouca was built between 1812-1814. The mail coaches and caravans
changed horses every 10 miles. One such location where horses were
changed was at Tom Byrne’s, Mullycagh Lower. This house and stables were
built in 1820. South of this was a forge and blacksmiths run by Daniel
Callaghan (listed as ruins 1893).  It is noted that a road ran from Hollywood through Mullycagh connecting the Upper and Lower Village.


East of Mullycagh, the Carriggower River runs parallel with Valentine’s Lane.
It flows south, behind the Old Toll House, under the bridge and on to
Whitestown, where it joins the Brown Beck Brook. This river goes on to join
the river Slaney.

West of Mullycagh there’s a drainage ditch which runs from Hollywood to the
back of the Old Toll House, this joins the Carriggower River. It was listed as a
boundary between Hollywood and Dunlavin on the Down Survey Map of


In the 1800s seven schools were listed in Hollywood Parish.  Mullycagh Lower village had the most pupils, there were 61 documented in 1826. In 1835 it rose to 104 pupils. These numbers come from the records of Kildare Place Society, founded in 1811. John Giltrap,
born in Mullycagh Lower in 1801, ended up teaching in the school in 1819. In
1825 he was recommended to attend Kildare Place Society to formally train
as a teacher. He went on to teach in Mullycagh school for a number of years.
Records show he taught from his house in 1840. Records also show that the
school was listed up to 1904. John Giltrap, as we understand, is buried in Hollywood, he died in 1877, age 76.


Records show Mullycagh had its own football team in the late 1800s,
including players from Kilbaylet, known as The McAllisters. We can presume
a connection here as Mullycagh is linked to Kilbaylet via Valentine’s
Lane (Donard).


The Famine of 1845-1852, with evictions, crop failure and emigration, led to
the demise of both villages. Figures show the Barony of Talbotstown
population in 1841 was 18,631.  By 1861 it was 9,946 – a 50% reduction.


The following is a list of names which to my knowledge no longer exist in Mullycagh today:
Behan, Brady, Burke, Byrne, Callaghan, Chaney, Daly, Doyle, Dunne, Ellis,
Giltrap, Gregory, Hade, Hayes, Meathe, Murray, McDonald, McDonnell,
Nolan, Nugent, Perkins, Pollard, Reilly, Yeates.

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