Situated at the base of a N facing hill along an irregular bend in the road that runs from Donore to the River Boyne. This house cluster is identifed as Sheephouse on the OS 6-inch map. The lands at Sheephouse were held as a grange (monastic farm) by the Cistercians until the dissolution in 1539 (Stout 2002, 85-6, Fig. 4). The placename Sheephouse indicates a barn where sheep were sheared and their wool stored in medieval times (Stout 2002, 87). There was a farmhouse here in 1539 (ibid). It lies within the area designated as the Boyne Valley World Heritage Site and the immediate environs of the Battle of the Boyne 1690 Battlefield (ME020-025001-).
The house is a two-storey, three-bay stone building with a rear stair block indicating a 17th century date (de Breffny & Ffoliott 1975, 7). It has an external chimney in the E gable. There are blocked windows with punched stone surrounds in the S elevation. There are also possible batters to some of the walls and internal evidence for the use of heavy floor timbers with supporting stone corbels (pers. comm. Mark Jenkinson). On the ground floor is a central lobby with a single room off each side. This plan is repeated on the first floor.
There is a local traditions that this farmhouse was used as a rallying point for the Jacobite army during the Battle of the Boyne and that it withstood prolonged attack after the defeat at the ford of Oldbridge (Stout, G. 2002, 122). There is also a tradition that it was used as a hospital during the Battle. A number of liturgical objects of late 15th-16th century including a cross and processional cross were found in a quarry immediately behind the yard of the house in 1899 (Armstrong 1915, 27-31).
Compiled by: Geraldine Stout
Date of upload: 26 June 2009
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.