Bartragh Island, Killala, Co. Mayo
David Hicks has written a wonderful blog piece on the history of Bartragh House on the Moy Estuary.
The only house on Bartragh Island (also known as Bartra Island) near Killala, Co. Mayo is a distant and isolated place sitting in the Moy estuary, inaccessible most of the time except by boat.
The question must be asked is why did Charles Kirkwood choose to build a house in such a location in the early nineteenth century?
Access to the house, even in the twenty-first century, is still controlled by the tides and there are many tales of people being stuck on the island having misjudged the returning waters. Today the house, which is a perfect setting for an Agatha Christie novel, lies derelict having been the focus of a number of failed ambitions to restore it.
Also it now appears from my research that the man who instigated the construction of the house on Bartragh Island in the 1830’s, Charles Kirkwood, spent the last decade of his life in an asylum. Is Bartragh Island a harsh environment that takes its toll on all those who dare to make it their home?
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