The remains of Dunanney farmhouse on Carnmoney Hill
Though now easily missed by passing visitors to the Woodland Trust site, this overgrown ruin hides a number of fascinating structures including a possible churn-stand where milk would have been collected from the farm. The Griffith Valuation of 1862 lists John Thompson as the occupier of the house and outbuildings. The description of the tenement notes: “House, offices and land, limestone quarry and kilns and blackstone quarry.”
It is likely that a Thompson family who lived in the farmhouse 40 years later were descendants of John Thompson. George Thompson, a farmer aged 41, is listed on the 1901 census return for Dunanney townland as the head of family with his wife Mary (40) along with four sons and a daughter aged between four and 16. Significantly perhaps, the eldest boy aged 16, and called John could be named after his paternal grandfather.
Also living with the Thompson family are a nephew, Hugh Semple, a horse dealer aged 32 and Patrick Hamill, a 40-year-old servant whose occupation is given as farm labourer. The census describes the house as having “stone, brick or concrete” walls and a “slate, iron or tiled” roof. A second-class house, there were three windows in the front and six rooms were occupied. In addition the census notes nine outbuildings; a stable, harness room, cow house, piggery, fowl house, boiling house, barn, turf house and shed.
By the time of the 1911 Census of Ireland the Thompson’s have had another daughter, and although their nephew is still residing with them, they no longer house a servant. Two of the sons, John and Edward (aged 26 and 23) are listed as farmers taking on the mantle of their father and possibly grandfather before them. Tragedy struck the farm when it burned down in the 1960s.