Abandoned Lost Irish Mansion of Napoleon’s Nemesis


The tree you see in front of you called the king oak is the focus of a local superstition Which states that when a branch Falls it predicts the death of a member of the owning buri family the king oak was struck in 1963 by lightning causing the loss of a large branch Colonel Charles Howard burry, the last member of the birdie family line died a few weeks later Currently standing at around 27 feet across and 60 feet tall it was planted somewhere between 1200 and 1600 ad and would have been alive during the time of the building of the mansion that we explore with you today The lost in time mansion of Napoleon’s nemesis This idyllic scene you see before you Was the childhood Irish home of the man who would end an era of conflict during one of Europe’s most famous Battles by defeating his nemesis Napoleon Bonaparte who was born the same year as him across the sea in France The land around us was once owned by the Weslie family who were granted it by henry ii of england Their original tower is now lost as it was replaced shortly after 1700 by the house you see today? It was built by Richard Colley who inherited the land of the Weslie family on condition He’d change his name to theirs the house and its 600 surrounding acres originally included a lake with ships fortified island gardens Obelisks and a temple on the surrounding hills Richard would become the first baron Mornington in 1746 and the title later became earl under his son Garrett Wesley Garrett had six children including Richard Wesley who would keep the title and become Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Arthur Wesley who would later become the Duke of Wellington in 1814 the Brothers were to spend their childhoods at the mansion, but Garrett was careless with money and his son Richard was forced to sell his lands around 1781 to thomas burrows roger o’connor was an irish nationalist who then rented the mansion from burrows Roger and his brother were both suspected members of the United Irishmen and had gone into hiding during the Irish rebellion of 1798 He had reportedly said that he had rented the mansion as a suitable residence in which to entertain Napoleon after the defeat of the British during this time the now landless Arthur Wesley had enlisted in the British Army in Ireland and with later fight in the Netherlands in India where his brother Richard Wesley was then Governor General Arthur then changed his last name to Wellesley and was to fight there in campaigns for years eventually Becoming a Major General during his years in India the Irish rebellion of 1798 broke out where the United Irishmen led by Wolfe Tone with an army of 14,000 French soldiers attempted to land in Ireland in 1796 but were stopped by storms causing many ships to be sunk The rebellion still went on without the French culminating in a major defeat of the Irish it Vinegar Hill but fighting was to continue and run alongside Robert and its rebellion until 1803 in the years following Arthur Wellesley was to fight in Spain Russia and Denmark in various campaigns against the Napoleonic French among whom were many Irish Conscripts who having left Ireland after the 1798 fighting now fought alongside the French armies in the Irish Legion Which was training to invade, Ireland At the same time living at Arthur’s old family mansion roger o’connor was to travel to paris after an arrest and write Nationalist books such as to the people of Great Britain and Ireland by 1809 He had returned to Ireland and while melting lit for bullets a fire started that burned much of the old wesley mansion to the ground in 1812 arthur wellesley was made Earl of Wellington in 1814 he was made Duke Wellington following victories against Napoleon’s army and Napoleon’s surrender and arrest However, in 1815 Napoleon escaped imprisonment on the Isle of Elba and returned to France to lead an army against the invading forces of the seventh coalition of nations that had allied to stop him fighting under pullian side was Arthur O Connor the brother of Roger O Connor Still lived at the old Wesley estate During the fighting Wellington was given charge of the mainly British army and a second Prussian army under blue Chur was defeated at the Battle of Ligny Napoleon sent 1/3 of his army to chase the retreating Prussians and led the rest to fight Wellington at what would be known as the Battle of Waterloo? Here in Napoleon was to make a grave mistake as the Prussians had in fact Mainly escaped their pursuers Wellington set up his defenses on Mont st. John south of Brussels His allied army of 68,000 faced 73,000 French and Alan’s Among these were 7,000 are so Irish on the British side Well, the Irish legion of Napoleon was stationed elsewhere The French repeatedly were to attack his positions on June 18th 1st was an infantry charge Where the French began to win the battle? Then British and French cavalry charges and a final desperate attack by Napoleon’s infantry and his Imperial Guard they failed to break through due to a steady flow of the 50,000 Prussians reaching the battlefield at the end of the day Napoleon’s forces broke and he abdicated surely after With the Allies entering Paris on July 7th at Waterloo some 60,000 dead and wounded lay on the field So great were the piles of dead that a business erupted with local selling dentures to the rich made of dead soldiers teeth known as Waterloo teeth a Second business was also born selling bones to be ground and used as fertilizer It could have been spread on the very fields. We see around us now Let’s walk down the old road now and see what’s left of the mansion The gray 5 bay front is still in good shape We head into what was the main door carefully stepping over tangled barbed wire Inside is a lush and green world of its own above us are holes where great beams would have supported the second floor Ahead can be seen a very large fireplace Ivy climbs the walls and underfoot are drops where the cellar vaulting has collapsed What we do in head down with the camera I take a photo of the basement Which is a very fragile ceiling and the floors of which are a mess of rusty metal barbed wire fishing line and rotting boards The opening to our right may have been a large double door The hall is silent except for the winds that blow through it Further down the hall is a large arch. I will show you more of later from here. It is blocked by thorns and fallen trees While it is nice to see a mansion that is mostly intact There’s something peaceful and relaxing to being inside one fully over Crone in intertwined with nature We head around the backside and in the distance are walls and remnants of the stables and a chapel that is now used for animals From here, you can catch a glimpse of the great entrance or window on the second floor that still shows complex stonework Some noises that sound like a bull are coming from the inside of the dark entrance We were chased by one last year at a mansion through deep mud until we jumped a wall to escape It was hilarious in retrospect and terrifying at the time and we’re still a little bull Shy we decided to play it safe as there were tracks and what looked like a pen Traveling along the other side It’s apparent that perhaps a little of the early tower was incorporated as this backside area of the mansion seems thicker older and sticks outwards a row of old trees form a sort of grand back entrance We head up into the ground floor, it seems from the layout here that the house reached three floors perhaps four in this section To me Like Angkor Wat trees burst from the stone and now foreign part of the building itself This is a special hidden little place where high above you can see the entrances and fireplaces of the old tower As we pack up and leave the place as we found it We find an intact vaulted room where a key hangs as mysteriously as the last unknown days of this mansion As for the characters of our story and the last days of the mansion Duke Wellington was never to meet his nemesis Bonaparte But he was to meet his wife Marie Lewis years later and play cards with her wagering Napoleonic gold coins while Wellington had refused to fire artillery directly at Napoleon or turn him over to the Prussians who wanted him executed upon dying in 1821 Imprisoned on the Isle of Saint Elena Napoleon left in his will ten thousand francs to a former soldier named Cantillon who had been acquitted of attempting to assassinate Duke Wellington in 1818 shortly after Wellington’s historic victory at Waterloo Roger O’Connor was still living at the Wesley family’s old mansion and Was accused of a robbery causing him to move in 1817 leaving his old estate to fall apart He died in 1834 a few means in a small fishing cottage Wellington was to later become British prime minister twice and died in 1852 1.5 million people gathered for his funeral by this time It was noted that nothing but the outer walls remained of his family mansion and it was a hideout for thieves Slowly fading into the nearby woods, but still accessible across its old stone bridge You can cross to this very day to see this peaceful overgrown ruin house That was home to a man known for his Nationals writings and another man who would live here in his childhood and go on to defeat the Continental supporter of that same nationalist cause Join us next time as we explore from the air a series of abandoned buildings in Ireland in our first-ever drone footage until then Subscribe and explore with us today You

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