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The end of the high life at Castlegrove

Wednesday, 10th June, 2020 10:49am
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The end of the high life at Castlegrove

CASTLEGROVE Mansion in its heyday in 1912.

The end of the high life at Castlegrove

CASTLEGROVE Mansion in its heyday in 1912.

(This is part two. Part one appeared in last week's edition, June 3)

 

By Mary Burke

THE Tuam Herald ran a weekly column in the 1880s called Town Gossip under the pen name Paul Pry. It was very popular and its writer sailed close to the wind on occasion reporting on the doings of the business and landed class of the locality.

There is nothing new in people wanting to read salacious tit-bits about the rich and famous. The anonymity of a pseudonym allowed Paul Pry a certain freedom of expression and the style of his writing could vary from flowery and fawning to candid and cutting in his observations about the town’s inhabitants.

The column does throw up some interesting nuggets such as this example from May 1887 when he reported on the sale of the contents of Castlegrove House following John Cannon’s death. “Paul has been having a high old time of it. He has been everywhere and seen everybody and his wife, the thirteen hours fast which this pleasure trip involved being well compensated by seeing such a beautiful place. The grand old ancestral hall was a sight well worth fasting for, the spacious halls echoed to the tread of dazzlingly beautiful and handsomely dressed women accompanied by their gallant cavaliers, everyone wanted to see Castlegrove.”

The sale brought out the gawkers and the curious as well as the buyers, most of whom went away empty handed because as Paul Pry reports, Frederick Lewin outbid everyone for the furnishings and knick-knacks.

 

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald

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