Bawnboy (Irish: an Bádhún Buí, meaning "the yellow bawn") is a small village in a valley at the foot of Slieve Rushen, between Ballyconnell and Swanlinbar, in County Cavan, Ireland. The current population is about 250. A bawn is the defensive wall surrounding an Irish tower house. It is the anglicised version of the Irish word badhún meaning "cattle-stronghold" or "cattle-enclosure" – its original purpose was to protect cattle during an attack. The remains of a late medieval bawn is to be seen at Bawnboy House, which is the origin of the village name. The earliest surviving mention of the placename is in the 1664 Hearth Money Rolls for Templeport where it is called Baonboy. Another name for the village is Kilsub or Kilsob. The 1622 Survey of County Cavan states: "Sir Richard Greames, holdeth 1000 acres of this land, upon which there is built a Bawne of stone and lyme, sixty foot square and nine foot high, with a little stone house within, where in Lieutenant William Ruttledge dwelleth and hath a lease thereof and of 200 acres of land for 21 yeares and the rest of Sir Richard’s 1000 acres are sett to the Irish from yeare to yeare, who plowgh after ye Irish fashion."
A synod of the Roman Catholic Provincial Council of Armagh was held in Baunbuidhe (Bawnboy) on 25 May 1669 where the Bishop of Kilmore, Eugene MacSweeney tried to depose Thomas Fitzsimons, the vicar general of the diocese.
The 1821 Census of Ireland states that the population of the village was 189.
The 1831 Census of Ireland states that there were 12 houses in the village, all occupied. The population was 60, of which 28 were males and 32 females, so the population had dropped by 129 since 1821. The occupations were 2 female servants, 1 male servant, 1 professional, 4 retailers or craftsmen, 6 agricultural labourers, 4 farmers.
The 1841 Census of Ireland states that there were 26 houses in the village, 8 of which were unoccupied. The population was 96, of which 47 were males and 49 females, so the population had increased by 36 since 1831.
The Bawnboy Festival runs in August for one week, over the duration of the week there are family activities. This includes pastimes such as family skittles and car treasure hunt. One of the more well-known pursuits is the boat trip to St. Mogues Island which runs for two days, usually the Wednesday and Thursday of the week. On the Sunday, there is a village fair. This usually has a vintage car show, jam testing, fancy dress contest and numerous stalls which sell cakes and other objects.
First Farming Society
The earliest Farming Society founded in County Cavan was in Bawnboy in 1800. Sir Charles Coote in his ‘Statistical Survey of County Cavan’, 1801, page 289 writes- “There had not been any farming society in Cavan, at the time I was collecting the materials for this survey; however I now learn, that a society is established at Bawnboy, of which Mr. Sneyd is president, who represents the county. So important are the advantages resulting from the meetings and communications of experimental and judicious farmers, that they should meet every encouragement. No part of Cavan is less engaged in manufacture, than the vicinity of the members of this new society; nor are there any lands so favourably disposed for improvement, if we consider the small rents,and the valuable change, which is wrought on the soil of this hilly region by a small applicationof lime, and a little persevering industry. The encouragement now held out by the Farming Society of Ireland, to the minor establishments, will be doubtless no small incentive to us to cultivate our lands, and bring into immediate profit those valuable resources, which have lain too long neglected, though possessing capabilities enough to procure true wealth and independence.”
Coote also says on page 125 “Descending towards Ballyconnell, the prospect improves, where Mr. Sneyd's plantations, at Bawnboy, give the country a warmer and more comfortable appearance, but the roads in this country are terribly bad indeed." and on page 138 “The plantations are but few; Mr. Sneyd's, of Bawnboy, are contiguous to the small village of the same name, rank foremost amongst those, and his demesne shews a judicious management". The Mr.Sneyd referred to was Nathaniel Sneyd, a Member of Parliament for County Cavan from 1800-1826 and married to a Miss Montgomery of Ballyconnell. The Enery's of Bawnboy were his in-laws.
Services and Infrastructure
- Bawnboy Road railway station opened on 24 October 1887 and finally closed on 1 April 1959. It was part of the narrow gauge Cavan and Leitrim Railway.
Leydons Coaches operate route 930 linking the village to Ballyconnell, Belturbet, Cavan, Swanlinbar and Enniskillen. Until Mid-October 2012 Bawnboy was served several times daily by Bus Éireann Expressway route 30.
- KILSUB, or BAWNBOY, a village, in the parish of TEMPLEPORT, barony of TULLAGHAGH, county of CAVAN, and province of ULSTER
- "Bawnboy Road station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
- The Home of Bawnboy.com (links related to Bawnboy, Templeport & surrounding area)
- St Peter's Church Templeport
- Narrow Gauge Rail History
- Photos of area
- Visit of Maule G-TAFC to Bawnboy (Includes aerial photographs of Bawnboy village and surrounding area)
- Beaufighter Crash on St Mogue's Island in 1943
- Old photos of Bawnboy
- Bawnboy Genealogy Records