Pleasure Grounds

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Pleasure Grounds

These are not as grand or formal as they might sound. There is a four acre area beside the main house and adjoining the walled gardens known as the Pleasure Grounds. This area was laid out in existing woodland sometime in the 19th century with gravel paths box hedges, and ornamental trees. It also contains a simple memorial to a member of the family who killed by a fall from his horse in the 1830’s at the yard entrance behind the main house.

It has not been overly restored but the paths are open again, the giant red cedar continues to flourish and the tree fern have established themselves beside the Mausoleum walk. Ignore the old stories of Henry Jackson riding his horse through here on stormy nights and enjoy the distinctly Victorian atmosphere of the woodland paths and groves.

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Pay Per View

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Pay Per View Family Research Website

This option has recently been added to our services. As with a single record search the recommendation is that it is best used by clients who have been carrying out their own research and might require just a few records. If you are just starting out to research your family tree we would suggest that you get at least an initial assessment from the family history unit first, otherwise you may find that you are purchasing records that do not relate to your family.

We have worked with Mayo County Library to make the web site available through the County Library web site at: http://www.mayoancestors.com.

Information is also available from The Irish Family History Foundation web site at: http://www.irish-roots.ie

Records of births, baptisms and marriages for both North and South Mayo are available on the sites, and our database of grave stone inscriptions is currently being added.

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Ornamental Garden

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The Ornamental Garden

Few traces remain of the original 18th gardens but in the period 1840 to 1950 three generations of the family were keen and knowledgeable gardeners. The 1838 ordinance survey shows the propagating house, the orangery, diagonal paths, and an orchard outside the walls. By the 1870’s the orangery had gone, with some of the cut stone used in the building of the great rockery, and had been replaced with glass houses and a new heating system. However the the most significant change was the building of the cross wall dividing the the garden into the ornamental garden and the vegetable garden with a rustic stone archway connecting them.

After 1950 the gardens fell into decline, the last head gardener died in 1965, and although the family tried to keep them going it was not possible to do very much. The gates finally closed sometime in the 1970’s. It was not until the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Programme was launched in 1995 that the decision was taken to work again in the gardens. By that time the ornamental garden was over grown with brambles and other weeds, and sapling ash and sycamore ,and was well past the stage of being a romantic” hidden treasure” as it was once described by a visitor.

After three years of hard work the garden was officially opened to the public in 1999. More remains to be done, and it was not possible, for financial reasons, to rebuild the glass houses but the garden looks well and much as it did in the early years of the last century.

The Enniscoe Garden was restored under the Great Gardens of Ireland Programme and is open to the public from April to the end of October each year.

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Organic Market Garden

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Organic Market Garden in Mayo

While the ornamental garden had been closed the old fruit and vegetable garden had been going through rough times. Home by turns to sheep, cattle, horses and pigs only some old apple trees survived from the original plantings. The propagating house was a ruin, and sadly it still remains one.

However from the early 1990’s onwards various schemes have been run, first by FAS, and later by a local co-op and more recently by the Rural Initiative Scheme. All have contributed to rescue the garden, grow fruit and vegetables, and attempt to make it financially viable. None have been entirely successful but over the years some great produce has been grown and one plan has led to another.

Fruit and vegetables are supplied to Enniscoe House and to the Heritage Centre tea room, as well as local restaurants and callers to the garden.

The next business plan is an ambitious one and will be presented in 2009. This may be the one!

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Museum

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The museum is accessed from reception and from the tearoom. We are members of the Irish Museums Association and of the Museums of Mayo group. There a good and varied collection of household artefacts, farm implements and machinery, mostly early to mid 20th century. Items are arranged according to usage and cataloguing and labelling is on going.

Many items come from Enniscoe House, others from surrounding farms and farm houses. The “ironing” stove was presented by the Sistes of Jesus and Mary from the local convent. The collection of wood working tools was put together by local historian James Gilvarry.

Photographs of the cottage at the memorial centre in Battery Park, New York. The cottage is from Carradoogan in the parish of Attymass in County Mayo. The cottage belonged to the Slack family but was deserted in the 1960s. The Slack family donated the cottage to the memorial in “memory of all the Slack family members of previous generations who emigrated to America and fared well there”.

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Library

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The Don McLane Library

Over the past number of years we have succeeded in building up a collection of books relating mainly to family history research and to Irish history. We now have enough books to call our collection a library, and an area off the main museum has been set up with book shelves, tables and chairs.

Many of these books have been donated by one of our patrons, Don Mc Lane, and as a gesture of appreciation we have dedicated the library to him. This is not a lending library but visitors may request access to it and will be very welcome to sit and enjoy the books. There is no charge for this. This library consists of such books as ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’ and eight volumes of ‘The search for missing friends’. A catalogue is in preparation and will be available in the library.

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Information for Application Form

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Information for Application Form

The success of your application for a Family History Report depends greatly on the amount and accuracy of the information supplied by you and the availability of records relating to your enquiry. The Mayo Family History Centres have prepared this information sheet to assist you in collecting essential material prior to commissioning a Family History Report.

Ancestor’s Death Record
In several countries, including the U.S.A, death records contain the names of the parents of the deceased. Death records also give an indication of the year of birth of the deceased. Occasionally such records indicate a date of birth but these are often inaccurate.

Newspaper Obituaries
Some biographical details on your ancestor, including the names of surviving brothers and sisters, may be published in a local newspaper obituary shortly after your ancestor’s death.

Ancestor’s Marriage Records
Your ancestor may have two records of marriage – a Civil and a Church record. Each may contain different details so both are worth checking.

Oral Family History and Family Documents
Check with older relatives for information that might prove of value. They may have some useful documents including memorial cards, correspondence from relatives in Ireland, a family Bible or Missal containing important family dates or other information or documentation.

Census Returns
In most countries a Census was taken every ten years. Occasionally relatives of your ancestor who also emigrated from Ireland may appear on such records providing valuable clues to locating details of your ancestor’s relatives in your country and in our sources.

Army/Navy/Convict/Naturalization Records
If your ancestor served in the services or was transported, or naturalized, biographical details such as place of birth, year of birth, parents’ names etc., may appear on such documents.

Will and Deeds
If your ancestor held property or made a will, these may contain addresses useful in checking Census records or the names of relatives remaining in Ireland.

Burial and Cemetery Records and Gravestone Inscriptions
These may contain additional information to that which appears on the death record.

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Heritage Day

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Heritage Day

Since 1999 we have held a Heritage Day in the grounds of Enniscoe House every year in mid July. This started as a small event for ourselves and our neighbours but has grown each year. There are tractors, vintage cars and motor bikes, standing engines, a threshing machine, crafts, stalls with varied goods, a children’s play area, woodland craft demonstrations, music, competitions, even a duck race. And of course our traditional Irish cottage complete with half door and stack of turf beside it and the donkey round the back, also the post office and general store, all fully staffed with traditional folk ready to tell many traditional stories! It is a great day out and we all enjoy it.

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Gardens

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Gardens in Mayo

Nestled between Enniscoe House and Mayo North Heritage Centre the gardens and pleasure grounds lead into the woodlands and down to the shores of Lough Conn. The first gardens were laid out at the time the first house was built in the early 18th century but it is not known exactly where they were situated.

However by the mid 18th century Enniscoe House was in its present position and the garden walls enclosed three acres complete with propagating house and stone built orangery. Gradually over the next 150 years the gardens and estate took on the appearance that is still evident today.

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Gardening Courses

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Gardening Courses in Mayo

In recent years we have been running courses in organic gardening and courses for disabled groups. These have been very successful and our next plan is to run many more courses and to upgrade the facilities available.

We now have a number of poly tunnels in the garden, one of which has been set up to allow wheel chair access and has raised beds and low potting tables. These groups have been using the courtyard hall as a meeting room but we now plan to build facilities in the garden itself. Usually groups come one day a week for nine or ten weeks and do all the work themselves. They are then able to take the produce away for themselves.

The organic gardening courses are run by a qualified instructor usually on Saturdays, over a six to ten week period.

For details of courses contact the Heritage Centre

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