Summerhill, County Meath
Cnoc an Línsigh
The village green
|Dáil Éireann||Meath West|
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|• Summer (DST)||UTC-1 (IST (WEST))|
Summerhill (Irish: Cnoc an Línsigh) is a designated heritage village in County Meath, Ireland. It is located at the intersection of the R156 and R158 regional roads and is part of the Laracor civil parish. The Irish version of the town's name means "Lynch's Hill", and it was the ancestral home of the Norman-Irish Lynch family, whence came the Galway merchant family of the same name - one of the "Tribes of Galway". It is also the site of one of the most important battles in 17th century Ireland, the Battle of Dungan's Hill. The town was known in English as 'The Knock' or 'Lynchs' Knock'  (phonetic renderings of Cnoc an Línsigh, Lynchs' hill) until about 1667 when it was renamed Summerhill. The ruins of the large Lynch castle can be seen in the village today.
Summerhill House & Demesne
The ancient seat of the Norman-Irish Lynch family had been granted to Bishop Henry Jones for his services provided as Scoutmaster General to Cromwell's Army. Henry Jones, Church of Ireland Lord Bishop of Meath in 1661, sold Summerhill and many other townlands to Sir Hercules Langford.
Lynch's Castle, located on the Sumerhill Demesne, was then occupied by the Langfords until it was abandoned in the 1730s when Summerhill House was built for Hercules Langford Rowley, the father of Hercules Rowley, 2nd Viscount Langford. The old Lynch's Castle remained on the demesne as a folly.
The house is accredited to architects Sir Edward Lovett Pearce and Richard Cassels, although Sir John Vanbrugh is supposed to have had a great influence on the house, which can be seen in the great chimney stacks.
The house was damaged by fire on a number of occasions and then on 4 February 1921, it was set on fire by the Irish Republican Army and completely destroyed.
Summerhill House stood as a ruin until it was totally demolished in 1970.
Empress of Austria
Her Imperial Majesty Empress Elisabeth of Austria visited Summerhill House in February 1879. The preparations were a well kept secret; the first thing that had to be sorted is where would she stay. Meath hunted the best hounds and Summerhill was centrally located, so Summerhill was chosen. When she was on one hunt in Dunshaughlin, as they came to Maynooth, they came across two men repairing a demesne wall of the Catholic seminary. As the deer they were hunting jumped into the land of the college, Her Imperial Majesty followed without knowing where she was going and nearly jumped on the President of the college, Professor William Walsh, who later became Lord Primate of Ireland and Lord Archbishop of Dublin.
On 13 November 2010 one famous riding whip appeared in a country house auction in Slane Castle held by Adams. This whip was owned by Her Imperial Majesty and was given to Robert Fowler who was the Master of the Meath Hounds at the time of her stay in Summerhill. The whip had been lost and had been found not long before the auction in Rahinston House. The whip was found in a mahogany presentation case with a silver crest plate bearing the Imperial Arms of Habsburg. The whip was estimated at €3,000-€5,000 but reached a total of €37,000 (£33,945).
The remains of the old castle consist of the outer walls of the keep, to which a later mansion, built in the Italian style, has been subsequently added. The demesne and castle were sold by Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley to a Colonel Burrows, and by him let to Roger O'Connor. While in the possession of O'Connor it was destroyed by fire and it is now a ruin.
There are two primary schools in the parish. They are Coole National School and Dangan National School. They are both under separate Board of Managements, both are Roman Catholic and the Parish Priest is chairperson of both Board of Managements. His Most Reverend Dr. Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath is the patron of both schools. For schools operating through the medium of Irish or other ethos options at primary level pupils travel to neighboring towns, there is a Gaelscoil in neighboring Kilcock called Scoil Uí Riada, Gaelscoil na Bóinne is situated in Trim as well as Trim Educate Together National School. Schools with a Church of Ireland ethos are St. Patrick's National School in Trim and St. Peters National School in Dunboyne.
There is no secondary school in Summerhill, pupils travel to Boyne Community School or Scoil Mhuire in Trim, Scoil Dara in Kilcock, or other schools in the neighboring towns of Dunshaughlin, Dunboyne, Maynooth, Longwood, or Navan.
Coole National School
Coole National School originated in a house in 1824. In 1854 a Father Colgan applied to have the school at Garadice taken under the Board. He stated that it was his intention to build a more commodious house, but he could not get a site. The landlords of the time refused to provide land for a school. In 1856, Fr Colgan built a school in the chapel yard as Mr. Pratt Winter, the landlord, would not provide any land for it. The school was a two roomed slated building. It served the children of the parish for over 100 years. It became a mixed gender school in 1885.
In 1956 the Board of Works built a three roomed school, with a third of the bill paid by the parishioners. It was officially opened by a Father Michael Moore P.P. of Summerhill. The school got an extension in 2007 of 3 new rooms, a sports hall and the renovation of the older building, with most of the bill paid by parishioners with fundraising. The extension was opened by the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, T.D. and was blessed by a Father Gavin P.P. of Summerhill. As of 2018, the enrollment figure was just 139 pupils.
Summerhill is home to Summerhill G.F.C. In 1905 a G.A.A. club was founded in Summerhill, sometime around 1913 or 1914 this team broke up and in the years that followed Summerhill had no team of its own. The present club was reformed in 1931 and won the Junior Football Championship the same year. It was not until 1972 that the club rose to Senior ranks for the first time. Once there, Summerhill quickly rose to become the foremost team in the county, winning the Senior title four times in a row from 1974 to 1977 and becoming the first Meath team to capture the Leinster title in 1977 by defeating St. Vincent's of Dublin. To date Summerhill G.F.C. have won seven Senior County Football Championships: - 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1986, 2011 and most recently in 2013.
Summerhill is also the home of the soccer club Park Celtic Summerhill, which was founded in 2009 when local clubs Agher Park and Summerhill Celtic amalgamated to create one club for the area. The club competes in the North East Football League at Adult Level, and in the NECSL at underage level.
Local history sites include Dangan Castle and Lynches Castle.
Agher Church is associated with Jonathan Swift who was Rector there. The church, which is still in use today, is known for its east window made in Dublin by Thomas Jervais, it is the second earliest known piece of Irish-made stained glass. Larocor Church (of which Reverend Jonathan Swift was also Rector) has since been deconsecrated and is now a private house.
Summerhill Community Center has a bowls room, office space, a large indoor sports hall, 3 renovated sand based tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court, a playground, an outdoor gym, a bar and restaurant, and a theater. The latter, the Terry Martin Theatre, is home to the Summerhill Players drama group.
Summerhill Primary Care Center was opened by The Minister of State with responsibility for Primary Care Alex White TD on Thursday 5 June 2014. It accommodates a Medical and Health Centre including a doctors surgery and the local health nurses, as well as The National Third Age Centre. There is also space for a pharmacy.
The majority of the parish is Roman Catholic according to the 2016 census. However, there is a rising number of people who say they have no religion.
Roman Catholic churches serving the area include Church of the Assumption, Coole and Our Lady of Lourdes, Dangan. (The latter church was consecrated on Rosary Sunday, 4 October 1914).
Church of Ireland (Anglican)
Agher Church is in the Rathmolyon and Dunboyne Union of parishes and holds a very important stained-glass window made by Thomas Jervais. It is the second-earliest known Irish-made stained-glass window. The window was originally erected in the private chapel of Dangan Castle, the seat of the Wellesley family (whom the 1st Duke of Wellington is a member), which burnt down in the 1809. The window was presented to Agher by the O'Connor family, who were then occupying Dangan. Soon after the new Agher church was constructed, Samuel Winter of Agher Pallis erected a family burial vault in the churchyard. Agher church was re-built in 1902. The church's history goes back to 1407 when The Reverends N. Vale and W. Edwards were a part of the clergy. The poet, political writer, and clergyman Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) was also rector here.
Bus Éireann route 115C links Summerhill to Mullingar, and in the opposite direction to Dublin via connections available at Kilcock. Westbound services terminate at Mullingar railway station or Killucan, while eastbound services terminate in Kilcock. There are 4 services westbound and 4 eastbound Monday to Friday, 4 services westbound and 5 eastbound on Saturdays, and 3 services each way on Sundays and Public Holidays. These enhanced services started on 14 October 2018.
Local Link route 115C is a daily bus service from Ballivor to Kilcock via Summerhill in the morning with a connection to Dublin available from Bus Éireann in Kilcock, a return journey is available in the evening. Local link provide a bus service called the MH 111 from Summerhill to Navan via Trim on Friday mornings with a return service in the afternoon. Local Link also provide various evening services including the MH 115C return service from Ballivor to Navan via Summerhill and Trim on Friday and Saturday evenings, MH 406 from Summerhill to Crumlin Bingo on Tuesday evenings, MH 407 from Summerhill to Allenwood Bingo on Wednesday evenings, and a local bus MH 408 to the Summerhill Bingo on Thursday evenings.
- Roger O'Connor, Irish nationalist and writer who occupied Dangan after the Wellesley family left.
- Feargus O'Connor, son of Roger and leading Chartist, brought up in Dangan
- Ambrose O'Higgins, 1st Marquis of Osorno, Viceroy of Peru, grew up in Summerhill having moved there as an infant in 1721.
- Francisco Burdett O'Connor, son of Roger who became a Bolivian general and politician, brought up in Dangan
- Gordon Elliott, horse trainer of several Cheltenham Gold Cup, Aintree Grand National and Irish Grand National winners.
- Mick Lyons, two time All-Ireland medal winner and Meath captain
- John Fowler, jockey, Irish Grand National racehorse trainer and brother to Jessica Harrington
- "Cnoc an Línsigh / Summerhill". logainm.ie. Irish Placenames Database. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- [dead link]
- The History and Folklore of, Coole and Summerhill Parish (1999). The History and Folklore of Coole and Summerhill Parish. Coole and Summerhill: Coole and Summerhill I.C.A. pp. 28–34.
- "Peter Lynch (1485-1554) | WikiTree FREE Family Tree". www.wikitree.com. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
- "Summerhill, Co. Meath, Ireland". Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
- "ATG 1965 101113". content.yudu.com.
- Coole National School, Making 50 years of Service. Published, compiled, written and printed in November 2006 by Coole N.S.'s Parents Association
- "Department of Education and Skills - Curriculum Evaluation Report - Coole N.S." (PDF). education.ie. Department of Education. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Irish Georgian Society (23 August 2016). "The history of Agher Church and House | Irish Georgian Society". Igs.ie. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- "Alex White T.D.opens Summerhill Primary Care Centre". Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "Third Age Homepage". Third Age Ireland. Communicraft Ltd.
- "Service Updates - Bus Éireann - View Ireland Bus and Coach Timetables & Buy Tickets". Buseireann.ie. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- "Service Updates - Bus Éireann - View Ireland Bus and Coach Timetables & Buy Tickets". Buseireann.ie. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- "Streamline Coaches Luxury coach hire - Timetables". www.streamlinecoaches.ie.
- Samuel Leigh (1835). Leigh's New Pocket Road-book of Ireland. p. 439.
Dangan [in Summerhill], now the seat of Roger O'Connor Esq, was the birth-place of the noble brothers, the Marquess of Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, and Lord Maryborough
- "Winning Grand National team keep the party rolling". irishexaminer.com. Irish Examiner. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- "Lyons opts for new pastures". irishtimes.com. Irish Times. 27 April 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- Mathieson, Amy. "Irish racehorse trainer John Fowler killed by falling tree". horseandhound.co.uk. Retrieved 2 February 2015.