Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study      by Bill Jehan
   Introduction      Property      Old Coach Road Tralee
The Old Coach Road to Tralee, Co.Kerry
For centuries the coach road was the only route for wheeled traffic to reach Tralee from the east, from Killarney and Castleisland.  A stretch of original road survives as a footpath where it crosses the River Lee at Ballycarty Bridge, an ancient stone structure that survives in remarkably good condition and was restored in 2009 under the supervision of an archaeologist.  This bridge is in close proximity to an old watermill (the flour mill for the Ballyseedy estate) and to the ruin of Ballycarty House, burned by Republican Forces in 1923 during the Irish Civil War.  For many years Ballycarty House remained an impressive ruin but these ruins were mostly levelled when Ballycarty House was rebuilt in 2009.
The road also passed over Ballyseedy Bridge, another ancient survival or similar age and design to Ballycarty Bridge.  The most visible and atmospheric stretch of old road may be seen deep inside Ballyseedy Wood, the road surface sunken through long use, banks and ditches clearly visible on each side, now overgrown and become a part of the woodland itself.
A page from "Taylor and Skinner's Maps of the Roads of Ireland, Surveyed 1777", pub. 1778 [T&S p.107] shows the route of this road from Abbyfeale to Tralee, via Castleisland.  Nearby landed country houses and their demesnes are also shown:
Family in residence 1777 
Oak Park (a.k.a. Oakpark, Tralee)
     - "The Great Colonel John" Blennerhassett died here 1775
Ballingown (a.k.a. Ballengowan)
Chute Hall (a.k.a. Chutehall)
     - demolished during the troubles - <date?>
Ballyseedy ("old" Ballyseedy, now a ruin)
     - originally "Ballyseedy Castle", a Geraldine Fort
     - on the Blennerhassett's Ballyseedy estate
Elm Grove (a.k.a. Elmgrove, later Ballyseedy or Ballyseedy Castle) 
     - on the Blennerhassett's Ballyseedy estate
     - now "Ballyseede Castle" Hotel
Ballycarthy (a.k.a. Ballycarty House)
     - originally "Ballycarty Castle", a Geraldine Fort
     - a Blennerhassett home until 1740 (perhaps later)
     - on the Blennerhassett's Ballyseedy estate
     - burnt by republican forces January 1923
     - rebuilt 2009
Arbela (a.k.a. Arabella House, Arabella, Arabela)
     - on the Blennerhassett's Ballyseedy estate
Ratanny (a.k.a. Rathanny) 
photo: BJ                               click on image to enlarge
The coach road crossing the River Lee at Ballyseedy Bridge 
photo: courtesy of Doug Gray
A stretch of the coach road through Ballyseedy Wood remains clearly visible. When the Wood opened as a public park in 2007, the coach road was commemorated by this inscribed boulder, placed a short distance from the coach road at a nearby footpath
image & original map copyright © 2008 Bill Jehan
 click image to view complete page
p.107 - The coach road westward (up), from Castleisland to Tralee 
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