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Old Bawn was the site of an estate for several centuries, and later of a small village, whose population reached over 380 in the mid-19th century.
Old Bawn House
It was almost unique in architectural style, being one of the first Irish houses that was not built purely for defence. Oldbawn had extensive pleasure gardens that survived, albeit in a neglected state, until 1900. "From a rude, desolate, and wild land he brought it to a most delightful patrimony" Handcock quoted Blacker as saying of Bulkeley's house.
Old Bawn House was damaged in the rebellion of 1641 but was restored immediately at a cost of £3,000. The house was designed in an H shape with high pointed gables, and had many windows and twelve chimneys which was unusual at that time. It had many internal features such as the chimney piece and a carved oak staircase both of which are in the National Museum. The chimney piece reached to the ceiling and depicted the building of the walls of Jerusalem, dating back to 1635. There was also an unusual lodge house built to the front of the house.
The house passed to Lady Tynt who leased it. In 1830, Old Bawn was bought by the McDonnell family who established a paper mill behind the house. This was one of many mills along the Dodder in the nineteenth century. The house fell into disrepair during the early 1900s and was used as a storehouse when the lands were being developed in the 1960s, and eventually Old Bawn house gave way to the new developments in the area.
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