The History of Augherea House
First records of residence at Augherea House date from the latter half of the eighteenth century 1775 and the beginning of the ninetheenth century 1800 to 1828.
“Henry Mullaniff Esq. £50 freeholder became a magistrate by government unsought for and unsolicited and being amply blessed with these worldly goods, left much for the poor. At this time he gave to twenty five widows and families in distress two shillings each weekly. Mr Mullaniff was bred to the medical profession and we fear that his truly valuable life has been shortened by his unwillingness to call in a medical attendant until disease had made too great an inroad on his delicate constitution. He died at the early age of 46 years in 1843. His remains were interred in the family burying ground in Killoe,County Longford and during the passing of a very large and respectable funeral through Longford town the shops and many of the principal traders were closed as a mark of respect.” Extract from the Irish Times.
Lois McCutchan of Sydney, Australia called to Augherea House in the summer of 1997. Lois grandfather, Charles Henry McCutchan Jnr was born in Augherea House on the 27th January, 1857 where his parents Charles Henry and Olivia Anne lived. Charles Henry McCutchan Jur emigrated to New Zealand about the year 1877. He was one of eight children. Lois father Arthur McCutchan was the fourth son of Charles Henry McCutchan Jnr. Arthur emigrated to Australia and was married with five children.
A Mr Russell from Ballymore, CountyWestmeath was an occupant. He was an extensive farmer and he managed the farm at Augherea House in conjunction with a farm in Westmeath. His son in law a Mr Walpole from Castlenode, Strokestown, County Roscommon was the next steward of Augherea.
Thomas Peter Devine son of Andrew Devine an egg and poultry exporter married Margaret Maria Forrest in 1903 daugher of Elizabeth Jane Finlay Forrest the latter two were cousins of William Finlay Governor Bank of Ireland and Thomas A. Finlay Supreme Court Judge 1980s they became owners of Augherea House and Lands in 1919. They had a large family, six sons and nine daughters. Their eldest son Thomas Aloysius was organist and choirmaster in St Mel`s Cathedral Longford for over forty years and in 1982 became the oldest man to be ordained a priest in Ireland at the age of 74. Elizabeth Finlay lived in Augherea House for some years with her daughter and son in law. In 1927 she died there and is buried in the Presbyterian Churchyard, Battery Road, Longford. Thomas Devine snr was “a man before his time”, acquiring many farms near Augherea in the 1920s and employing many locals to work on these farms and in the egg and poultry business Richmond Street Longford which he inherited.
In 1937 Thomas P Devine departed this life. His wife Margaret became manager and director of the business. Francis Mel Devine snr born 1923, son of Thomas P and Margaret Devine, married Nora Reid in 1966. Francis was steward, manager and owner of Augherea from 1953.
In 2005 Augherea House underwent extensive refurbishment while maintaining much of its original existing features, furniture and decor. The symmetry, simplicity and order to the facade of this house and the emphasis on the entrance are both typical of the classical influence on large houses in rural Ireland. The classical order to the doorway is an overt classical reference. The large fanlight and the cut limestone details are evidence of the craftsmanship and care in design and execution of the construction. Set in mature grounds the original curtilage still exists, it is enhanced and contextualised by the outbuildings and the walled orchard to the rear.
In 2007 the coach house was also refurbished and turned into modern contemporary living accommodation. This building has many architectural features such as elliptical arched polychromy voussoirs on carriage arches and the red brick circular windows add interest to the facade of this functional building. In the ninteenth century this would have displayed the wealth and taste of the patron. The building has a patina of age and forms a pleasing and interesting architectuaral space. The walled garden is remarkably complete, both around its unbroken perimeter and in its height.