Mount Talbot House, County Roscommon
Mount Talbot was originally known as Cluain na Gclai and was part of the O’Kelly lands of the Ui Maine.
When Thomas Wentworth, Lord Deputy of Ireland, decided to rake some of the lands of Connacht from the Irish and sell them in order to make money for his master, King Charles, a wealthy Dublin man, Sir Henry Talbot, decided to buy 1,000 acres of the O’Kelly lands. Wentworth’s plan was never carried out; instead Cromwell came and Sir Henry Talbot found himself transplanted to the lands that he had previously hoped to buy. The O’Kellys had fought against Cromwell and most of them had to leave Ireland at the end of the war.
Sir Henry Talbot took possession of the lands of Cluain na Gclai in 1656 and the Talbots held them until 1921. They changed its name to Mount Talbot.
Both the O’Kellys and the Talbots held on to Aughrane and Mount Talbot after the treaty of Limerick. Both were resident landlords. The Talbots changed their religion, so also did the O’Kellys.
The Talbots grew steadily wealthier at a time when a pound of wool sold at five pence and a labourer’s daily wage was only four pence. They built a fine house in their demesne at Mount Talbot and by 1749 a large village had grown at Clooneeleen. This village consisted of 33 houses, including three public houses. There is no house in Clooneeleen today. After the Talbots built the Protestant Church in 1766, Clooneeleen gradually declined. There was only one house in Mount Talbot in 1749, the house of William Talbot.
By 1830, however, a large village had grown in front of the “Big House”, with 18 houses as well as it. The Talbots were very concerned about the view from their windows. The houses, situated where the ball alley now stands, were removed and a high wall was built. The Talbots lived in great style from the Famine to the First World War in 1914. Mr. Talbot owned the first car in Roscommon. The ancestral line of the Talbot family is given in “The Landed Gentry of Ireland”.