Mace / An Más
Compiled by Irene McGoldrick
Irish name: An Más
English name: Mace
Meaning: the long, low hill; más, ‘thigh’ ‘buttock’
Area: 430 acres, 0 roods and 36 perches
Field Names: none yet recorded
Other Landmarks: Well located in a wooded dell by the roadside – see http://wells.annaghdownheritage.ie/map/
Information from O’Donovan’s Field Name Books
Other names: Mace, Más, Mase, Mace (B. S. Sketch Map), Maes (Cahill, Esq., Annaghdown), Maze or onemace (High Constable 1835), Mase (Inq. Temp. Iac. I), Mace – Mache – bottom (Local), Mace (Rector of Annaghdown).
Description: Present Proprietor Francis Blake, Esq., Cregg Castle. Under tillage except a portion of flooded bog on the East side, the greater portion is laid out on Demesne. There is neat house of two stories. The former residence of Mr. Francis Blake ? ?.[sic]
Situation: It is situated 1 mile S. W. of Currandulla Chapel. Bounded North by Shanbally. South by Castlequarter. East by Currandulla and Castlecreavan and West by Thonamace.
1841: 19 houses, 128 people (65 male, 63 female)
1851: 9 houses, 53 people (30 male, 23 female)
1861: 6 (inhabited), 2 (vacant) houses, 40 people (21 male, 19 female)
1871: 9 houses, 54 people (20 male, 24 female)
1881: 8 houses, 50 people (25 male, 25 female)
1891: 7 (inhabited), 1 (vacant) houses, 41 people (24 male, 17 female)
1901: 8 houses, 46 people (27 male, 19 female)
1911: 9 houses, 51 people (31 male, 20 female)
2011: 36 houses (1 vacant), 112 people (60 male, 52 female)
The Tithe Applotments records only Fr Blake Esq with a total of 20 acres, bog 10 acres and tenants 5 acres.
The 22 July 1845 Griffith’s House Book lists Patt Collins (Caretaker to Mr. Blake) with a dwelling, barn, stable, car house and lime house. The book dated 7 December 1853 lists Francis Blake Esq. holding a herd’s office and house, John Neil – house, John Hargadan – house, Malachy Hargadan – house and office, Willian Hargadan – house and office, Patt Hargadan – house and office, Patt Keany – house and office.
Griffith’s Valuation shows that Mace was held by Francis Blake, who occupied a herd’s house, office and land; with the following tenants of Francis Blake: John Neil – house and land; John Hargaden – house and land; Patrick Collins and Patrick Keany – land; Malachy Hargaden – house, offices and land; William Hargaden – house, offices and land; Patrick Hargaden – house, offices and land; Patrick Keany – house, offices and land; water is also listed [Referring to Lough Afoor].
The 1901 Census of Ireland records the following 8 households in Mace.
- John Small lived with his daughter Bridget Hardiman, Grand daughter Bridget Hardiman, and grandsons Patrick, James and John.
- Bridget Keany lived with her son Francis Keany.
- John O’Hara lived with his son Martin O’Hara and daughter in law Ellen.
- Bridget Hardiman lived with her son John Hardiman, daughter in law Mary Hardiman, grandsons Martin, John, Michael, William and Malachy and grand daughters Mary and Bridget.
- Michael Madden lived with his wife Catherine, son Patrick and daughter Annie.
- Bridget Wynne lived with her sons Laurence and Martin, and daughter Mary.
- Patrick O’Neill lived with his wife Mary, sons Patrick, James, John, Michael, Martin and Bartley, daughter Nora and lodger Bartley Moran, a mendicant born Co. Mayo.
- Albertine C. Ryan lived with daughters Marcella A Alcorn, Emily G Ryan and servants Patrick N Hughes, Timothy Lavelle, Michael Kelly, Frances Saunders (born in England) and Winifred Killeleagh.
All eight houses were inhabited in 1901, with one first class house, five second class houses and two third class houses. Mace House had a roof made of slate, iron or tiles, 5 rooms and 6 windows on front. The other houses had thatched roofs, each had 2 rooms, 5 houses having 3 windows on front, 2 houses having 2 windows on front.
Mace House had 5 stables, a coach house, harness room, 3 cow houses, 3 calf houses, a dairy, 2 piggeries, a boiling house, 2 barns, a turf house, potato house, shed and cart house. Among the other houses there were 5 stables, 7 cow houses, 2 calf houses, 6 piggeries, 5 barns, and 4 cart houses.
- John Small (widower), his daughter Bridget (widow) and grandsons Patrick and John.
- Frank Keany and his wife Bridget, married 6 years, daughters Mary, Norah and Bridget and son Patrick.
- Martin O’Hara and his wife Ellen, married 15 years.
- Bridget Hardiman (widow), her son John Hardiman and wife Mary, married 27 years, grandsons John, Willie and Malachy, and grand daughters Mary and Bridget.
- Michael Madden (widower), his son Patrick and daughter Anne
- Bridget Wynne (widow), her sons Lawrence and Martin.
- Patrick O’Neill and wife Mary, married 24 years, sons John, Michael, Martin, Bartly and Peter, daughters Honor and Bridget.
- Albertine Ryan (widow), her daughter Emily, servants Francis Saunders, Mary Piggot, Patrick Hughes, Thomas Davin, James Hardiman, Honor Newell, (all born Galway), George Henderson, James Stafford and Samuel Telson (all born Cavan).
- RIC Hut occupied by John A Shaw (Sergeant) .
The particulars of Mace House change between 1901 and 1911, with the number of rooms changing from 5 to 4 and the number of windows changing from 6 to 5. As a result Mace House is classified as a second class dwelling in the 1911 census. Both Mace House and the RIC Hut have roofs made of iron, slate or tiles, all of the other houses have thatched roofs. Mace House has 4 rooms, all of the other houses have 2 rooms. Mace House has 5 windows on front, 4 houses have 3 windows and 4 houses have 2 windows (including RIC Hut). 6 houses are second class houses, three houses are third class. The landholder for the RIC Hut is listed as Albertine Ryan, and 5 people are listed as inhabiting there – the particulars of which are not listed on the 1911 census.
Lough Afoor or Loch a Phúir, a lake in the townland of Mace, has a great deal of folklore attached to it. A story called ‘Gruagach Locha Fuair’ appears in the Duchas Folklore collection. This describes the adventures of Conchubair who encounters an enchanted boat that rises from Loch Afoor, tempting him to play cards and sending him on a quest to retrieve ‘an claidheamh soluis’ – the sword of light.
Another story tells house Loughgeorge got its name when enchanted horses rose from Lough Afoor at night destroying the crops of local farmers. Seoirse De Barra caught one of these horses and was meant to keep him for one year and one day so that the magic would be broken. Having counted the days incorrectly, he brought the horse out for a ride one day before the time was off and removed the blindfold from the horse. The horse threw Seoirse from the saddle but he remained attached to the horse. His was pulled and dragged for miles until his body was found near the Clare River. A grave was built for Seoirse, called a ‘Leacht’ and that, supposedly, is how Loughgeorge or Leacht Seoirse got its name.
Mace House, described above as a herd’s house of Francis Blake, remains occupied in the townland of Mace. It is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.