Abandoned Quaker Oat Mansion’s Unwholesome Secret

The beautiful and ancient force of Ireland are a wonder to behold in This land across these forests or old stone walls Down rutted but overgrown carriage tracks or lone Tangled old orchard rows or even on the edge of limitless brown peat bogs lie innumerable ruins and forgotten places last year We trekked across the nation searching for these abandoned mansions and churches in order to bring these stories back to life for you After many successes and far more failures including being chased by a bolt flat tires and being caught on an estate I have vowed to return in the near future to do it all again We’re happy today to return and bring you this first of a short series of largely forgotten abandoned places of Ireland The unwholesome Quaker Oats mansion You would not know today that this pale yellow sprawling building decked with ivy and chirping birds once held a story both Uplifting wholesome and as I was to later discover in my research truly unwholesome and at times sickening Today it sits prominently amid the very township that it benefited yet almost lost to its daily life To understand the nature of this state today it is important to start at the very beginning of its origins which began with a group known as the Quakers and An oat and grain milling dynasty before we start this tale I’d like to mention on a personal note that as a child. I was in fact a Quaker for some time It is an often misunderstood Protestant religion with a major focus on silent meditative worship and is often popularly tied to pacifism though This isn’t required the Quakers of today are a Creed ‘less very open religious group that believes in a direct relationship with God and has very little to Do with votes or the old Quaker meeting children’s rhyme? I am no longer a Quaker, but I still respect their ideals The story of this house begins around 1650 with George Fox the founder of Quakerism during the English Civil War in its upheaval he Disenfranchised with the Church of England he felt that it was possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the aid of an ordained Clergy because of this in 1650 He was brought in front of magistrates Gervase Bennett and Nathaniel Barton on a charge of blasphemy It was here The Quaker name was coined by the judge as they mocked that he bade them tremble at the word of the Lord later in 1652 he had a vision on Pendle Hill Place that had been the previous focus of famous witch trials decades earlier He began to travel and to teach and preach his message across the UK Europe and the colonies by 1680 there were 60,000 Quakers in the UK and an official crackdown by then was already underway from 1660 to to 1689 where many were tortured or whipped and pilloried like the famous James Naylor? During this time the Quakers began to move to Ireland in 1654 they had their first meeting and by 1657 they founded the town of Mount Melek and then ballot or in 1685 William pan himself the founder of the US state of pennsylvania was to move to America from Cork where he was a practicing Quaker in 1825 a major Quaker family called the good bodies Headed by Robert good body moved to an Irish town and in time bought out all of its mills At the time boats and wheat were used in these to make oatmeal and wheat flour Using the power of the local River the family created steam power which gave them a major advantage shortly later during the famine years the town was one of the only places to increase in population and the family at the time was known for their charity as the Goodbody family grew they built large local country houses One of these was the house be explore today built in 1860 at the house Robert was to marry twice and have five sons and a daughter Lydia The five sons were – found their own businesses. The sons photographed here left to right are marcus lewis Jonathan, Thomas and Robert James During Roberts years in charge They extended their focus to the production of jute to make sacks for their flour later with the coming of the railway in 1864 they open Factory employing new Scottish trainers to teach the weaving of linen Which was then used for the sacks In time the family employees swelled to eight hundred and they bought up and developed large areas of land creating cemeteries parks a meeting house and a gas factory After the death of Robert Markus became the local family head and later his son Godfrey Marcus Godfrey became friends with the Italian inventor guglielmo marconi Who carried out experiments? Funded by the family at the house Which led to his invention of the radio Telegraph system for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1909? The good bodies were unionists who believed being part of Britain would foster trade in their business over the years this proved ultimately false as Imports began to hurt their ability to sell flour and other products at this time two Wages increased and the large family had lost much of its ambition and was living the lifestyle of the rich in 1918 the steam mill burned in the 1920s while the family’s house was spared attack during the Irish Civil War It was sold by 1934 as the family’s fortunes had declined and their mill had closed under new owners The house was to become abandoned by the early 1990s Let’s see what the house looks like today The cold entrance beckons us inside Delicate plaster work and many carved wood surfaces. Adorn the entrance foyer In a first room the ceiling shows signs of water damage In the next tiles and fixtures suggest a kitchen possible A walkway above appears to be missing its bowel Street and the Sun streams in from a broken skylight Signs of damp are all over as our missing floorboards A steer leads down that we decide to explore later From the main red stair are a number of large airy rooms This room has a very cozy looking fireplace and follows the red theme of many of the rooms Out the window is a great view of the ornate limestone bay windows and balconies These Edwardian cast-iron fireplaces seem to be a recurring feature of the house We head up the narrow attic stairs This level seems more damaged and out the window can be seen the extent of the mansions larger complex The whole space is colored like a watermelon Missing slits on the roof suggest major water ingress issues to come A second yellow stare shows even more damage to the ceilings This large room seems like it could have been a master bedroom a mossy stair outside leads to areas below The strikingly unique blue window-shutters hold a star pattern The central walkway and skylight was meant to impress and suggests these were family bedrooms Most of the windows seem to lead to limestone balconies now blocked by jagged glass The number of colors on each of these walls show just how many times the house was redecorated or restored over the years Heading back down the stairs, we move towards the basement entrance we showed earlier As we descend into the lowest level, which is a remodeled basement. I would like to share with you The reason this very wholesome narrative of an industrious family was suddenly turned on its head and became something very unwholesome for me As we first came to the mansion A group of local teens had helped us enter and shared with me the fact that the house had in fact been more recently used as a monastery in fact the new owners the Franciscan Brotherhood bought the house in 1934 and expanded and altered it before they left it to decay in 1990 The brothers ran a boys boarding school here. The school is to become embroiled in scandal one of the brothers had used their position as a teacher and sports coach since the 1970s to sexually abuse many students until the very day It closed at 1990 in Lurid details of his trial students shared stories of the abuse and their repeated suicide attempts He insinuated himself into the family’s lives and was engaged in manipulative systemic premeditated repeated and sustained behaviors Having pled guilty to eleven counts He was sentenced to five years in prison and later released to the brothers care the teens I met said that his Popularly held that one of the boys did in fact hang themselves in this basement area. And that abuse was systemic in the school I looked for corroborating details of the death But it found none which is not surprising given the decades that have passed since the closing and just how little is available on this Monastery, in fact almost nothing exists publicly on the school including in its very own Church sources It’s almost as if it’s been scrubbed from view and I feel that this is the worst tragedy here at first I was not sure. I wanted to cover this chapter of the story But to me, it feels like there’s no justice in the silence that reigns here today The areas below are more newly renovated having been remodeled by the monks This room seems to have been a sort of kitchen and cafeteria plants grow through a broken window above a table Further in is this hallway in which the suicide was remembered to have happened? There’s nice We find a damaged wall that leads into a maze of small utility areas In a large room an empty stage sits at one end Of old wood stairs smash stained glass and a discarded Christmas tree in decorations litter the floor I’ve never At the top of the stair the later church edition still has the confessional booth A ramp leads back to the mansion from the church Oh Skippy Hall, especially like that Yeah He said they don’t like and I could see those stairs from We head outside to check the detached later editions The once manicured grounds are now overgrown by Nature Here were garage the handball court and student dorms lie empty They are gutted and Sibu have been used to stable horses more recently from the amount of dung present Far in the back is one of the early good Bonnie Mills and the extensive man-made canal system for the river This once-great house has sat empty for many years and was purchased finally in 2009 When plans were made and later dropped to create a hotel a nursing home and houses on the site the planning was struck down due to concerns for the alteration of the historically protected building and sewer access for the new structures ever since it’s sat empty with vague rumors of future been evasion as For the wholesome story of the good Bonnie’s their last local jute factory finally shut down in 1984 After having survived by expanding two continents synthetic fabrics however Despite this all in the end the family name known for its industry Oatmeal and flour was to become part of Ireland itself even today the only remaining 1800s Irish stock broking business Proudly bears their name and there are still some sixteen hundred Quakers living in Ireland to this day We’d like to give a special. Thank you to the local teens We met for helping us out and sharing the sometimes troubling story of this amazing place with us next time Join us as we explore the abandoned mansion That was the childhood home of the man who would bring an end to an era by defeating Napoleon Bonaparte until then Subscribe and explore with us today


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