Sunday 29 December 2013

(96) Allen of Clashenure House and formerly of Greenfield House

Allen family of Cork
A soldier called Abraham Allen settled in Ireland as part of the Elizabethan plantation of Cork.  His grandson and namesake became a prosperous Cork vintner, and began the family's transition to the landed gentry.  His third son, Richard (d. 1752), bought Greenfield House near Kanturk before 1700 and his youngest son, Kyrle (d. 1745), married into Clashenure House at Ovens.  Greenfield descended through four generations of the family before being sold in 1840 when the family bought the lease of Liscongill nearby.  Shortly afterwards, however, they seem to have got into financial difficulties: Philip Allen, the brother of the owner, was an insolvent debtor in 1853, and the lease seems to have been given up after William Allen died in 1861.  His widow and most of her children then emigrated to Natal in South Africa.

The Clashenure branch of the family have weathered the vicissitudes of the 19th and 20th centuries more successfully, and remain in possession of the estate, which they will have held for 300 years in 2014.  The house was reputedly rebuilt in 1819, during the minority of Kyrle Allen (1807-52), and was restored in 1960 for the poet and writer, Alfred Allen (b. 1925), who celebrated his lineage and the family's connection with the landscape of Cork in a series of books between 1971 and 1992. The house was purchased from other members of the family in 2018 by Vicky Allen and her husband, Dave Ahern, who have since been undertaking a restoration.

Greenfield House, Clonfert, Co. Cork

A small gentry house beside the River Dalua, NW of Kanturk, probably built c.1700 for Richard Allen (d. 1752), but altered or rebuilt after c.1840 for Michael Boyan, who owned 570 acres in Co. Cork in the 1870s.

Descent: sold before 1700 to Richard Allen (d. 1752); to son, Philip Allen (b. c.1698); to son, William Allen (1739-1823); to son, William Allen (1774-1854); who sold c.1840 to Michael Boyan.

Liscongill, Clonfert, Co. Cork

The Liscongill demesne, from the first edition of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland 6" map, c.1841-42

A property on the Aldworths' Newmarket Court estate a mile or two west of Greenfield and on the opposite bank of the River Dalua, which was leased to William Allen (1774-1854) and his son, William Allen (1807-61).  The property stood in a small landscaped demesne, but nothing is known of the architecture of the house.  By 1943 the house had been subdivided and it was subsequently demolished.

Descent: leased to William Allen (1774-1854); to son, William Allen (1807-61)

Clashenure House, Ovens, Co. Cork

Clashenure House. Image: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage
A modest two-storey five bay late Georgian house with a recessed four-bay wing to the left, built about 1819 and restored in 1960.  The whole house is slate-roofed, rendered and painted white. There is a prominent but not attractive conservatory-porch attached to the front of the house, but in the late 20th century some of the windows and other timber details of the house were replaced in uPVC, leading to an erosion of its quality and character. Since 2018, work has been taking place to restore the house to its original condition.

Clashenure House, from the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, 1st edition 6" map, c.1841-42.

Descent: Joshua Dowe (d. 1714); to son-in-law, Kyrle Allen (d. 1745); to son, Joshua Allen (1708-63); to son, Kyrle Allen (1744-1808); to son, Kyrle Allen (1807-52); to son, Kyrle Allen (d. 1887); to brother, Alfred William Allen (1837-1917); to son, Kyrle Allen (1872-1955); to son, Alfred Allen (b. 1925); sold 2018 to Dave Ahern and Vicky Allen (granddaughter of Alfred Allen).

Allen family of Clashenure, Greenfield and Liscongill (Cork)

Allen, Abraham (fl. late 17th cent.), of Curraghroe (Cork).  Son of Philip Allen and his wife Mary, daughter of Henry Gillman.  Vintner, merchant and possibly shipowner in Cork.  He married Rebecca, only daughter of Capt. Philip Clements and had had issue:
(1) Philip Allen; married Mary Dowe and had issue;
(2) Abraham Allen (d. 1721); married Mary Webster and had issue; died 10 June 1721; will proved 21 June 1721;
(3) Richard Allen (d. 1752) (q.v.);
(4) George Allen; married Grace Willington, and had issue;
(5) Kyrle Allen (d. 1745) (q.v.);
(6) Mary Allen; married Robert Radley (b. c.1658) of Knockrane.
His date of death is unknown.

Allen, Richard (d. 1752) of Greenfield.  Third son of Abraham Allen (fl. late 17th cent.) and his wife Rebecca, daughter of Capt. Philip Clements.  He married, 1693, Cecilia, daughter of Rev. Thomas Palmer JP of Kilmore (Kerry) and had issue:
(1) Abraham Allen of Ballyduane, Newmarket (Co. Cork) and Fermoyle, Duhallow (Co. Cork); married Mary, daughter of Henry Webb and had issue one son and three daughters;
(2) Philip Allen (b. c.1698) of Greenfield (q.v.);
(3) Richard Allen (d. 1786) of Coolavoosane; married Ellen Purdon and had issue four daughters; buried 16 March 1786;
(4) William Allen (d. 1785); married, 21 January 1742, Eliza, daughter of Richard Aldworth of Newmarket (Co. Cork) and had issue two sons and seven daughters; died 1785;
(5) George Allen (d. 1789), of Bettyville (Co. Cork); married Mary Pierce and had issue one son and four daughters; will proved 26 November 1789;
(6) Kyrle Allen, of Ballyholahane (Co. Cork); married 1st, Catherine, daughter of Maj. Charles Campbell of Co. Kerry and had issue two sons and one daughter, and 2nd, Jane Carmichael;
(7) Mary Allen; married Philip Roe.
He purchased Greenfield, Co. Cork before 1700.
He died in 1752.

Allen, Philip (b. c.1698), of Greenfield.  Second son of Richard Allen (d. 1752) and his wife Cecilia, daughter of Rev. Thomas Palmer, born about 1698.  He married, 25 July 1734, Margaret, daughter of John Purcell of Gurtmard (Co. Cork) and had issue:
(1) William Allen (1739-1823) (q.v.).
He inherited Greenfield from his father in 1752.
His date of death is unknown.

Allen, William (1739-1823), of Greenfield.  Only son of Philip Allen (b. c.1698) and his wife Margaret, daughter of John Purcell of Gurtmard (Co. Cork), born 1738/9.  He married, 29 June 1767, Catherine (d. 1837), youngest daughter of William Philpot, freeman of Dromagh (Co. Cork) and had issue:
(1) Philip Allen (c.1772-1832); married, 7 November 1815, Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Joshua Barry[?] of Mallow (Co. Cork) and had issue a daughter; died December 1832;
(2) William Allen (1774-1854) of Liscongill (Co. Cork) (q.v.);
(3) Richard Allen (b. 1776), baptised 15 November 1776; died unmarried and without issue;
(4) Mary Allen (d. 1816); married 1st, 1795, John Collins (d. 1808) of Gurteenard (Co. Cork) and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, William Beamish Cuthbert; died 1816;
(5) Margaret Allen (1779-1837), born 9 October 1779; married, 6 January 1806, Joseph Devonshire Fisher of Woodmount (Co. Waterford), son of Gabriel Fisher of Waterford, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 1 April 1837;
(6) Isabella Allen (b. 1782), baptised 28 October 1782; married, 10 April 1828, Edward Delany of Lismagoormeen (Co. Cork) but died without issue;
(7) Elizabeth Allen (1785-1837), born 20 January 1785; married John O'Neill and had issue one daughter; died April 1837.
He inherited Greenfield from his father.  At his death it passed to his eldest son, Philip, and on his death to his second son, William.
He died 31 May 1823, aged 84.  His widow died 31 March 1837, aged 91.

Allen, William (1774-1854), of Liscongill.  Second son of William Allen (1739-1823) and his wife Catherine, daughter of William Philpot of Dromagh (Co. Cork), born 1774. He married, c.1806, Mary Salt, daughter of James Lowe of Sally Park, and had issue:
(1) William Allen (1807-61) of Liscongill (q.v.);
(2) Sarah Allen (b. 1809), born 13 July 1809;
(3) Rev. James Allen (1810-96), born 9 September 1810; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA); rector of Creagh (Co. Cork); married, 19 September 1845, Sarah, eldest daughter of John Leslie of Courtmacoheny and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 9 May 1896;
(4) Mary Allen (1812-1906), born 20 July 1812; married, 1 November 1842, Rev. John Beamish (d. 1847), son of Dr. John Beamish of Killinear and Bandon (Co. Cork), and had issue; died 29 July 1906;
(5) Isabella Allen (b. 1815), born 15 September 1815; married in Durban (South Africa), 23 April 1857, Capt. Gould Arthur Lucas (d. 1914), of 73rd Regt.;
(6) George Wellesley Allen (1817-78); solicitor at Kanturk (Co. Cork); married 18 July 1850, Margaret, daughter of Henry Allen of Billaght, and had issue one son; died 27 July 1878 and was buried at Brompton Cemetery (Middx), 31 July 1878; will proved in Dublin, 14 March 1879 (estate under £1,500);
(7) Louisa Allen (b. 1819; fl. 1901), born 12 November 1819; married, 14 March 1861, Dr. Robert B. Struthers MD;
(8) Catherine Allen (b. 1822), born 11 March 1822;
(9) Philip Allen (1823-65) of Liscongill, born 15 April 1823; married, 7 October 1847, Frances (d. 1895), only daughter of Lt-Col. the Hon. Philip James Cocks; insolvent debtor, 1853; died June 1865.
He inherited Greenfield from his elder brother in 1832, but sold it c.1840. He bought the lease of Liscongill in 1841.
He died in 1854. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Allen, William (1807-61), of Liscongill.  Eldest son of William Allen (1774-1854) and his wife Mary Salt, daughter of James Law of Sally Park (Co. Dublin), born 15 July 1807.  He married, 18 August 1842, Clara Dalinda (b. 1823), younger daughter of Francis Christopher Bland of Derryquin Castle (Kerry) and had issue:
(1) William Allen (b. 1843), born 27 August 1843;
(2) Lucy Christina Allen (b. 1844), born 25 December 1844;
(3) Francis Christopher Bland Allen (b. 1847), born 27 February 1847; emigrated to Natal, South Africa;
(4) Mary Isabella Matilde Allen (b. 1848), born 6 September 1848;
(5) Edward Herbert Allen (b. 1850), born 28 August 1850;
(6) James Franklin Switham Allen (b. 1852), born 15 July 1852; educated at Royal University of Ireland (MCh, MD); married, 11 July 1882, Jane, daughter of James Campbell of Crieff (Perths) and had issue one son and three daughters; emigrated to Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa;
(7) Robert Allen (b. 1854), born 9 June 1854; died on board ship while emigrating to Natal, South Africa, 29 December 1874;
(8) Clara Dalinda Allen (b. 1856), born 17 September 1856;
(9) John Bland Allen (b. 1859), born 10 June 1859; emigrated to Natal, South Africa.
He inherited Liscongill from his father in 1854; the lease was probably given up after his death.
He died at St. Peter Port, Guernsey, 29 July 1861.  His widow (fl. 1895) emigrated to Natal with two of her sons.

Allen, Kyrle (d. 1745) of Clashenure. Fifth and youngest son of Abraham Allen (fl. late 17th cent.) and his wife Rebecca, daughter of Capt. Philip Clements.  He married Susanna (fl. 1752), daughter and heiress of Joshua Dowe of Coolroe (Co. Cork) and Clashenure (Cork), and had issue:
(1) Abraham Allen (d. 1767) of Balliduane (Cork); will proved 1767;
(2) Joshua Allen (1708-63) (q.v.);
(3) Kyrle Allen; married Alice Radley;
(4) Elizabeth Allen;
(5) Sarah Allen.
He inherited Clashenure on the death of his father-in-law in 1714.
He died in 1745, and his will was proved 23 May 1745.  His widow was living in 1752.

Allen, Commander Joshua (1708-63), of Clashenure.  Second son of Kyrle Allen (d. 1745) and his wife Susanna, daughter and heiress of Joshua Dowe of Coolroe and Clashenure, born 1708. Commander in the Navy.  He married about 22 January 1743, Christian Tresilian of Bandon (Co. Cork) and had issue:
(1) Kyrle Allen (1744-1808) (q.v.).
He inherited Clashenure from his father in 1745.
He died in 1763.

Allen, Kyrle (1744-1808), of Clashenure.  Only child of Joshua Allen (1708-63) and his wife Christian Tralilian of Bandon (Cork), born 1744.  He married 1st, Anne Cooper and had issue, all of whom died young, and he married 2nd, 1801, Margaret Armstrong, and 3rd, 8 May 1805, Ruth (d. c.1865), daughter of William Philpot of The Measle (Co. Kerry) and widow of Ulick Roche, and had issue:
(3.1) Kyrle Allen (1807-52);
(3.2) Jane Allen; married, 29 May 1829, Edward Fitzgerald Fitzgibbon, eldest son of Epinetus Fitzgibbon of Ahareenagh, and had issue five sons and one daughter.
He inherited Clashenure from his father in 1763.
He died in 1808, and his will was proved 7 December 1808.  His widow died about 1865.

Allen, Kyrle (1807-52), of Clashenure.  Only surviving son of Kyrle Allen (1744-1808) and his second wife, Ruth, daughter of William Philpot of The Meaualy (Co. Kerry) and widow of Ulick Roche, born 1807.  JP for Co. Cork.  He married, 5 February 1828, his cousin, Jane (d. 1866), eldest daughter of John Philpot of Clonribbon and had issue:
(1) Winifred Allen (c.1830-84); died unmarried, 4 October 1884, aged 54; will proved 6 November 1884 (estate £1,676);
(2) Kyrle Allen (c.1832-85); died unmarried, 26 December 1885, aged 53; will proved 10 February 1886 (estate £1,916);
(3) Alfred William Allen (1837-1917) (q.v.);
(4) Wilhelmina Allen; died young;
(5) Jane Allen; died young;
(6) Margaret Isabella Allen (d. 1894); died unmarried, 29 May 1894; will proved 21 June 1894 (estate £2,483).
He inherited Clashenure from his father in 1808 at the age of one and entered into his inheritance in 1828; the house was apparently rebuilt by his mother during his minority. At his death the estate passed to his eldest son and on his death in 1887 to his younger son.
He died in 1852 and his will was proved 16 September 1852.  His widow died in 1866.

Allen, Alfred William (1837-1917), of Clashenure.  Younger son of Kyrle Allen (1807-52) and his wife Jane, daughter of John Philpot of Clonribbon, born 15 November 1837.  JP for Co. Cork.  He married, 1867, Sarah Anne (c.1838-1908), daughter and heiress of John Philpot of Mount Zephyr (Co. Cork) and had issue:
(1) Anna Margaret Allen (1868-1902); born 31 August 1868; died unmarried, 1902;
(2) Victoria Allen (1870-1950), born 12 August 1870; died unmarried, February 1950, aged 79;
(3) Kyrle Allen (1872-1955) (q.v.);
(4) Flora Allen (1874-1960); died unmarried, 1960;
(5) Sarah Allen (1876-1964); died unmarried, 1964;
(6) Frederick Allen (b. & d. 1877); born and died, 14 April 1877.
He inherited Mount Zephyr from his father-in-law, and Clashenure from his elder brother in 1887.  
He died 18 January 1917.  His will was proved 28 January 1918.

Allen, Kyrle (1872-1955), of Clashenure. Only surviving son of Alfred William Allen (1837-1917) and his wife Sarah Anne, daughter and heiress of John Philpot of Mount Zephyr (Co. Cork), born 8 May 1872.  Educated at Royal University of Ireland (BA).  Served in WW1 as Captain in Royal Army Service Corps.  He married, 2 February 1922, Mary Susanna Doherty (d. c.1990), daughter of Thomas Wood Fitzgibbon JP of Innislings Abbey, Dripsey (Co. Cork) and had issue:
(1) Alfred Allen (b. 1925) (q.v.).
He inherited Clashenure from his father in 1917.
He died 25 October 1955.

Allen, Alfred (b. 1925), of Clashenure.  Only child of Kyrle Allen (1872-1955) and his wife Mary Susanna Doherty, daughter of Thomas Wood Fitzgibbon of Innislings Abbey, Dripsey (Co. Cork), born 24 January 1925.  Educated at Midleton College; writer and poet; author of Clashenure Skyline, 1971, Shades of a Rural Past, 1978, A mist in moonlight, 1992 and other works.  He married, 26 April 1950, Louise, daughter of Robert Cassidy of Cork, and had issue:
(1) Geraldine Mary Allen (b. 1951), born 15 April 1951; married James Camier and had issue two daughters;
(2) Louise Jennifer Allen (b. 1952), born 9 April 1952; married, 2 April 1970, David Gleasure of Knocknanay, Belgooly (Co. Cork) and had issue four sons.
(3) Kyrle Allen (b. 1954), born 20 January 1954; educated at Midleton College and University College, Cork; married Finnola Carey and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(4) Robert Michael Allen (b. 1955), born 29 September 1955; educated at Midleton College and University College, Cork; married Aileen Foley and had issue five daughters;
(5) Alfred Fitzgibbon Allen (b. 1959), born 6 June 1959; educated at Midleton College; director of Beecher Bearings Ltd., 1981-date and Allen & Hickey Ltd, 2004-date; married Siobhan Smiddy and had issue one son and one daughter (Vicky, who with her husband Dave Ahern, repurchased Clashenure in 2018).
He inherited Clashenure from his father in 1955.


Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 17-18; Cork Examiner, 30 January 1862, p. 3; A. Allen, A mist in moonlight, 1992.

Location of archives

Allen family of Clashenure: deeds and papers, 1714-1850 [Private Collection. Enquiries to National Library of Ireland.]

Coat of arms

Argent, a pale surmounted with a chevron azure and charged with three cinquefoils of the second, all counterchanged. [Allen of Cork; depicted above]

Argent, two bars azure, a bend counterchanged, charged with three bezants, on a chief of the
second, an estoile between two escallops or.  [James Franklin Switham Allen, confirmed by Ulster King of Arms 1886]

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 29 December 2013 and was revised 1 January 2014, 4 June 2015, 2-3 April 2020 and 1 April 2022. I am most grateful to Dave Ahern and Allen Millett for updated information and corrections.


  1. Since writing this post I have acquired a copy of Alfred Allen's "A mist in moonlight", which is a rather charming volume of autobiography and family history. It provides a few specific additional facts, which I will incorporate in the account above, but really brings out the character of many of the people recorded in the genealogy, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the family. It was published by Tower Books in 1992. ISBN: 0 902568 20 5. It seems to be out of print but I had no difficulty obtaining a copy second hand.

    1. Hi Nick, I am researching Joshua Isaac Dowe, b. 1813, son of Joshua Dowe and Susan Dowe of Carrigmanus House, County Cork. I think he had a sister, Susan who married Rev. Thomas O'Grady in 1837 and who later was renting out Carrigmanus House. Carrigmanus House, from the online photo looks a lot like Clashenure House as they both have the unusual "glass/green house" construction at the entrance. Are they really the same house? or has a descendant of Joshua Dowe ( probably another Joshua) built a replica in another part of Cork? I am unsure of the Dowe family lineage - do you know some of it and can you help with it? Joshua Isaac Dowe studied medicine in Glasgow and migrated to Australia from Liverpool in Aug. 1838. He first went to Maitland but in 1840 came to Windsor,NSW, where he stayed for 20 years, working as doctor/coroner to the Hawkesbury District. He married Sarah Loder, a daughter of one of the pioneers of the Hawkesbury. After 1860 they went to live in Tamworth, NSW. Joshua built a substantial home in Thompson Square, Windsor and that is how it has come about that I am researching him. The Square is the oldest public square in Australia - est. 1794 - and it is under threat from a government project which will effectively destroy the square. I am building a narrative of the square for CAWB FB followers who are sworn to protect and preserve this place - and Dr Dowe's house is a key part of the square. Any information you may have to fill out the narrative would be helpful as it is difficult to follow the fortunes of the Dowe family - they seem to have little to no presence online. Thanking you for reading this. Cheers - Nina

    2. Nina, Thanks for your enquiry. Carrigmanus House and Clashenure House are quite separate places, although I agree the conservatories on the fronts of the two houses are rather similar. Carrigmanus is near Goleen in West Cork, where as Clashenure is at Ovens, just west of Cork city. You have probably found the information at I am afraid I haven't done anything on the Dowes yet, but it does look as though there is some information on Ancestry ( which you may need a subscription to access. I hope that helps a bit. Nick

  2. Kyrle Allen (1744-1808), He married Anne Cooper (1745 - 1805), my 5th Great-Aunt, All their children died young. She seems to have died in 1805, it would seem unlikely he married Margaret Armstrong in 1801?

    1. If your date of 1805 for Anne's death is correct, he cannot have married Margaret Armstrong in 1801. What is your evidence for her death in 1805? I notice that an Anne Allen was buried in Dublin in 1801, but it is a relatively common name and there is no particular reason to suppose this is the right one. I have been unable to find a newspaper report of Mrs Allen's death although Kyrle Allen's death was reported in 1808.

  3. There might be a photo with some of the Allen's in it at

  4. Family tomb located at Kilmeen cemetery near kanturk county Cork but Jn poor condition, dated 10th July 1809.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.