The history of the Redmond family name and coat of arms
From a search of my geneology and family history I have traced my Redmond ancestors back to Wexford, Ireland. The ancient Redmond family of Ireland shares with the FitzGerald family, a common ancestor in Otho, a Norman nobleman living in England before the Norman Conquest. Tradition says that this nobleman's family originally came from Italy, being descended from the Gherardini family of Florence. The Redmond name is a corruption of Raymond, of the family to reach Ireland, coming with the Anglo-Norman invaders in 1170.
defenders used sacks of wool to block up breaches in the walls created by enemy cannon
BBC's: The Story of Ireland 2 of 5 - Age of Conquest
With Henry II of England's backing, Dermot MacMurrough petitioned the Anglo-Norman lords for assistance in invading Ireland. It was at this time that the Earl of Pembroke, Richard de Clare, later known as 'Strongbow', agreed to lead an army to Ireland. -- ireland-information.com/articles/dermotmacmurrough-strongbow.htm
(Above: BBC's: The Story of Ireland 2 of 5 - Age of Conquest, 9 min 32 sec)
The Redmond family built the original Redmond Hall in about 1350 during the time of the Black Death. It replaced their original castle at Houseland near Portersgate. For about 300 years, between the 1350s and 1652, the Redmond family home was Redmond Hall, in Wexford. On the coat-of-arms, Redmond Hall is depicted by the castle with two towers upon the red shield of Redmond. In each of the three corners of the shield is a golden wool-pack. These are sometimes described as cushions, which in early days were merely sacks stuffed with wool or straw.
The official Redmond family pedigree alleges that Alexander Redmond had to defend the Hall one or even two more times against soldiers of Oliver Cromwell in the Autumn of 1649. There is a tradition that the defenders used sacks of wool to block up breaches in the walls created by enemy cannon. These woolsacks and a representation of the Hall can be seen in the coat of arms issued to one of their members in 1763. It is alleged that Alexander Redmond received favourable terms from Cromwell and died in the Hall in 1650 or 1651 after which his surviving family were evicted. The Hall became the property of the Loftus family in the 1650s as a result of the Cromwellian confiscations and this was confirmed after the Restoration of King Charles II of England by the Act of Settlement of 1666.
1 Houseland Castle
"In 1170, Raymond Le Gros landed at what is now known as Baginbun called so after his two ships La Bague et La Bonne, where he was to fight an important battle to safeguard the arrival of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, to Ireland. He acquired land in the area in County Wexford, upon which he built a castle known as Houseland Castle."wikipedia.org
"Houseland Castle is an early Norman tower-house dating back to the late 12th or early 13th century. Two storm events in the early and mid 20th century tore it down to its foundations."geograph.ie
"The Redmond family replaced their original castle with another in about 1350, during the time of the Black Death. This second castle was also known as "The Hall" or Redmond Hall."wikipedia.org
2 Redmond Hall
"The Redmond Family, which goes back 700 years, replaced The Hall with a new mansion they called Redmond Hall and built it on a limestone promontory on the Hook peninsula in 1350. The mansion had panelled walls, large dreary rooms, a Tapestry Chamber and three levels."historygoesbump
3 Loftus Hall
Modern day Lofus Hall built on the site of the 1300's Redmond Hall, was an English Victorian manor in the 1800's, a convent and then a hotel in the 1900's.
"Henry Loftus, who was the owner in the 17th century, built high stone walls around the gardens and planted new fruit trees."historygoesbump
The Loftus Hall that exists today was built between 1870 and 1871 by the 4th Marquess of Ely, when it "underwent a major renovation that was conducted by then owner, the 4th Marquess of Ely. Most of the building was demolished. The new mansion was built on the foundation."historygoesbump
"The 4th Marquis of Ely, was certainly something of a lunatic; it was he who blew up the family seat in Fermanagh (Ely Lodge) & tossed all the rubble into Lough Erne - to avoid having Queen Victorian to stay!"facebook
"Loftus Hall was abandoned by the Loftus family in the early years of the twentieth century."facebook
In 1917 Loftus Hall was bought by the Sisters of Providence and turned into a convent and a school for young girls interested in joining the order.
In 1983, it was purchased by Michael Deveraux who reopened it as "Loftus Hall Hotel", which was subsequently closed again in the late 1990s.
It was privately owned by Deveraux's surviving family untill late 2008.
Houseland Castle 1
Houseland Castle 2
Location - Redmond Hall, the Hook peninsula in county Wexford Ireland
Location - Wexford
Loftus hall - Built on the location of Redmond hall
Loftus Hall 1
Loftus Hall 2
Loftus Hall 3
Loftus Hall 4
Loftus Hall 5
Loftus Hall 6
Loftus Hall 7
Loftus Hall 8
Loftus Hall 9
Loftus Hall 10
Loftus Hall 11
Loftus Hall 12
Loftus Hall 13
Loftus Hall 14
Loftus Hall 15
Loftus Hall 16
Loftus Hall 17
Loftus Hall 18
Molana Abbey - Burial place of Raymond Le Gros
Redmond coat of arms
The Cromwellian forces attack upon Redmond castle, on the Hook peninsula in county Wexford Ireland, July 1642
4 Manner of Raymond Le Gros
"Raymond Le Gros was so called from the fact of his being very stout. In appearance, he is thus described by Giraldus Cambrensis: Raymond was very stout, and a little above the medium in height, and was very active, and lively in habits, despite his corpulency. His hair was yellow, and curly; he had large grey eyes, a somewhat prominent (aquiline) nose, and his countenance was high coloured, and of a cheerful and pleasant expression. He was prudent, temperate, and frugal in his habits, and his first care was ever for the welfare of his troops, often himself passing whole nights without sleep, going the rounds and challenging the sentries to keep them on the alert, and prevent surprise. He was not given to anger, and was insensible to fatigue, always thinking more how he could promote the welfare of his men, than of commanding them—he was ever their servant rather than their master. To sum up his excellencies in a few words, he was a liberal, kind, and circumspect man, and although a daring soldier, and consummate general, even in military affairs prudence was his highest quality."libraryireland.com
5 Burial place of Raymond Le Gros
"He died in 1184 (but in what manner historians do not record), and was buried in Molana Abbey, on the small Island of Dairinis, in the river Blackwater, a few miles from Youghal. This fact is thus recorded in the Carew MSS., preserved at Lambeth: 'Raymond, surnamed Le Gros, bu. in the Abbeye of Molan, nere unto Yoghall.' Raymond founded a preceptory for Knights Templars at Rhincrew, close to Molana, and richly endowed that Abbey; therefore he may have taken the cowl, and died within its walls. There is a tradition in the locality that he was wounded in an affray, carried across the Blackwater in a boat, at the Ferry, near Temple-Michael, and brought to Molana. This is very probable. Amongst the ruins of the Abbey can be seen a funeral urn, beneath an arched window in one of the side chapels, and over a spot traditionally assigned to the Hero’s grave; and on a slab underneath the urn is this inscription: 'Here lie the remains of Raymond le Gros, who died A.D. 1184.'"libraryireland.com
6 By Hook or by Crook
"A part of our common vernacular is the statement "by hook or by crook" and it was inspired by a vow made by Oliver Cromwell that he would take Waterford by Hook that was on the Wexford side of the estuary or by the village of Crook on the Waterford side."historygoesbump
7 Artemis Fowl inspiration
As part of the Disney Insider series, author of the Artemis Fowl book series, Eoin Colfer, took them back to Loftus Hall and explained that it was "a place where Eoin worked in his youth, which inspired Fowl Manor in the books and film."laughingplace.com
8 Currently for sale
"Over the last nine years, Quigley estimates the family has invested $1.76 million in saving the house and opening it up to the public ... Quigley said he's trying to find an owner that will keep Loftus Hall open to the public ... first tour was July 2012, last tour November 13, 2020."insider.com
At your service Season 11, episode 3 estimated that the full repairs would cost GBP 20 M. "Whoever buys it will need deep pockets. To replace the windows could cost over €350,000 Quigley estimates while hotelier Francis Brennan, who visited the house for his RTÉ TV show At Your Service, put the overall renovation cost at €20 million."irishtimes.com
"A three storey non-basement mansion, nine bays to the front with a balustraded parapet. One of it’s main features was a magnificent oak staircase, hand carved by Italian craftsmen."facebook
"Loftus Hall is probably the windiest house location in Ireland - it is said that the front door was never used, as it was impossible to close it, once opened."facebook
"Hook Lighthouse, Co Wexford’s most popular visitor attraction, which drew over 250,000 visitors last year."irishtimes.com
9 History timeline
A group of Vikings are allowed to settle in Normandy, France (from Denmark or Norway).