Moore Hall, County Mayo
|Town or city||Carra, County Mayo|
|Floor count||3 over basement|
|Design and construction|
Named for the aristocratic Irish family who built the estate between 1792 and 1795, Moore Hall lies on Muckloon Hill overlooking Lough Carra. The house was designed by the Irish architect John Roberts. Several members of the Moore family played major parts in the social, cultural and political history of Ireland from the end of the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. The house was burned down in 1923 by anti-Treaty irregular forces during the Irish Civil War as Maurice Moore was viewed as pro-Treaty.
The Moores were an aristocratic Irish family who built Moore Hall between 1792 and 1795. The first Moore of Moore Hall was George Moore, a name borne by many members of the family down the generations. The Moores were originally an English Protestant family but some became Catholic when John Moore married a Roman Catholic, Jane Lynch Athy of Galway, and when their son, George, married Katherine de Kilikelly (a.k.a. Kelly), an Irish-Spanish Catholic, in 1765.
Notable members of the Moore family, associated with Moore Hall, include:
- George Moore (1727–1799), who built Moore Hall, originally came from Straide near Castlebar. During the time of the Penal Laws, George went to Spain where he was admitted to the Royal Court. From the 1760s until about 1790, George Moore made his fortune in the wine and brandy trade, running his business from Alicante. When the Penal Laws were relaxed at the end of the 18th century, he returned to County Mayo with a fortune of £200,000 and in 1783, bought over 12,000 acres (49 km2) of land at Muckloon, Ballycally and Killeen from Farragh Mc Donnell, and commissioned the building of the grand residence of Moore Hall.
- George's son, John Moore (1767–1799), was educated in France and became a lawyer. With the rebellion of 1798, he returned to Mayo. General Humbert appointed him President of the Connacht Republic in Castlebar. Thus, John Moore was the first President of an Irish republic, albeit for a very brief interval. He was captured and, although initially sentenced to death, his sentence was later commuted to deportation. He died in the Royal Oak tavern in Waterford on 6 December 1799.
- George Henry Moore (1810–1870), was educated in the Catholic faith in England and later at Cambridge University. His main interest was in horses. At the height of the Great Irish Famine in 1846, he entered a horse called Coranna for the Chester Gold Cup and netted £17,000 from bets laid on the horse. He used his winnings to import thousands of tons of grain and cattle to aid his tenants. It is still remembered on the Moore estate that nobody was evicted from their home for non-payment of rent during hard times, and that nobody died there during the Famine. George Henry is buried in the family vault at Kiltoom on the Moore Hall estate.
- George Augustus Moore (1852–1933), was a writer during the Irish Literary Revival period. A number of notable writers of the time, including Lady Gregory, Maria Edgeworth, and W. B. Yeats were regular visitors to Moore Hall. George Augustus Moore was an agnostic and anti-Catholic. His ashes are buried on Castle Island on Lough Carra in view of the big house on the hill.
- Maurice George Moore (1854–1939), Senator Colonel Maurice Moore was the statesman of the family. He served with the Connaught Rangers in the Boer War and became concerned with human rights in South Africa. He was also involved with the co-operative movement in Ireland, founded by Horace Plunkett.
The house at Moore Hall was designed by John Roberts, an architect from Waterford who also designed Tyrone House in County Galway in a similar style. It was built between 1792 and 1796, and was occupied by various members of the extended Moore family until the turn of the 20th century.
The house, lake, farm, and estate is now owned by the forestry company, Coillte, and it is a visitor attraction in the area. The house is not open to the public due to its poor condition – it has not been refurbished since it was burned. Non-native forestry grows on the estate lands along with areas of natural regeneration of clearfell areas recently cut by Coillte. Trees have begun growing over the farm walls and buildings behind the ruins of the grand house. Local people who lived and worked on the Moore Hall estate remembered it fondly. The estate passed to the Irish Land Commission upon the death of George Moore, and a campaign to restore the house has been waged.
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- "House: Moore Hall". Landed Estates Database. NUIG. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021.
Slater refers to it as the seat of George A. Moore in 1894
- "The Burning of Moore Hall (newspaper extract)". 14 February 1923. Archived from the original on 3 February 2020 – via oreillydesign.com.
- "Moore Hall House Video" – via oreillydesign.com.[dead link]