Traditional Irish Name
Baile an Aingleontaigh/Baile Aingleont – England’s place or England’s town.
|OS Map Ref||Sheet 11.|
Ballyengland is a c.15th century tower house, and a traditional stronghold of the England family.
Interesting architectural features: there is a perfect straight staircase rising up the south and east walls. It has wooden floors, the top floor is under a wicker vault.
It stands on a crag (steep rock), about 20 feet high, with outworks to the south.1
The castle is in a good state of repair.
The castle (better known as Castle Hewson) is on private land. Permission is required.
|1580:||Held by Thomas England. He, his family and followers awarded royal protection during the Desmond rebellion.|
|1584:||Castle and lands held by Thomas England.|
|1590:||Thomas England pardoned by Elizabeth I and regranted the estate, but Philip, his son, is hanged for rebellion.|
|1614:||Castle and lands seized from England family and granted to John King by James I.|
|1655:||Estate held by John MacRory.|
|1658:||Castle held by Brook Bridges.|
|1668:||Englandstown granted to Oliver Lambert.|
|1660-1700: (circa)||A ‘lease for ever’ of the castle given to George Hewson (born c.1662) from Brooke Bridges. The family of Hewson/Hewetson family from Kildare, had settled in the area after 1660.|
George’s grandfather and namesake served as a captain in Charles I’s army in Ireland during the 1640s. He died during Cromwell’s rule, but Charles II granted his family lands in Limerick in lieu of wages owed to him for army service as one of the “’49 Officers”.2
1 Westropp, ‘Ancient Castles … Limerick’, 296.
2 For more on the Hewson/Hewetson family, see J. Hewetson, ‘The Hewetsons of the County of Kildare’ in JRSAI, vol. xxxix, part ii (1909), 146–163.
All historical information is compiled from archival material; primary sources (such as State Papers); secondary sources; plus authoritative digital sources (such as CELT). Any direct quote or a further reading suggestion is footnoted.
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