Ballitore Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballitore

Béal Átha an Tuair
Bridge over the River Griese near Ballitore
Bridge over the River Griese near Ballitore
Ballitore is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°00′31″N 6°49′05″W / 53.00859°N 6.81805°W / 53.00859; -6.81805Coordinates: 53°00′31″N 6°49′05″W / 53.00859°N 6.81805°W / 53.00859; -6.81805
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceS796955

Ballitore (Irish: Béal Átha an Tuair)[8] is a village in County Kildare, Ireland, sometimes spelt as Ballytore. It is noted for its historical Quaker associations. It is also the only planned and permanent Quaker settlement within Ireland. [9]


Ballitore was first developed and founded as a Quaker settlement in the early 1700s. Two Quakers named John Bancroft and Abel Strettel founded Ballitore. They developed the farmland in the area around Ballitore, which is located within a valley, and also developed the town.[9] A chapel was built in circa 1707.[10] The Quaker school was founded by Abraham Shackleton (1697–1771) in 1726 and catered for Quakers from other parts of Ireland as well as both Protestant and Catholic local children.[11] Parliamentarian Edmund Burke, a student at Shackleton's school from 1741 to 1744, described Shackleton as "the planter of the future age".[12] Due to the religious foundations of the town, it was set on fire during the 1798 Rebellion.[10]

The former home of Mary Leadbeater, a local diarist, is now a Quaker museum. This museum, refurbished from the old meeting house, was restored in 1975 by Kildare County Council.[13] The museum includes artifacts from the original Shackleton home in Yorkshire, dating from 1660.[9] The museum also holds items of Quaker interest such as a wedding dress and bonnet worn by Marian Richardson in 1853.[9] The museum collection also includes manuscripts, letters from the Shackleton family, and watercolours by Mary Shackleton.[9]

The Quaker school in Ballitore was founded and run by the Shackleton family, and kept within the family for three generations. It was the most successful Quaker private boarding school in Ireland throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.[citation needed] The boarding school was founded in 1726, by Abraham Shackleton, who was previously a schoolmaster in Yorkshire. The school was the only one in Ireland which provided more than just elementary level education. It even offered modern languages in the 1780s, which was well ahead of its era. It held between 50 and 60 pupils ranging greatly in age. It was an esteemed boarding school, with the elites attending, such as the sons of Stratford Eyre.[14] In 2013, the Quaker school was demolished in order to make way for a Glanbia development in the centre of the town.[15][16]

Mary Leadbeater, the daughter of Richard Shackleton and granddaughter of Abraham Shackleton, who founded the Quaker school, was a poet and a writer who lived in Ballitore. She wrote of her first-hand experiences during the 1798 rebellion.[17] Mary Leadbeater's house is situated on the corner of Ballitore's central village square, and is a preserved building acting as the Quaker museum.[9][13]


In the 2002 census, Ballitore had a population of 338, increasing to 793 by the time of the 2016 census.[7] In 1837 the population was 933.[18]


Ballitore is connected to the R448 and R747 regional roads. Ballitore is in south Kildare, on the border with County Wicklow, and is 63km from Dublin.[14] It is situated between Kilcullen and Castledermot, which is just off the N9.

The village is served by bus route 880 operated by Kildare Local Link on behalf of the National Transport Authority. There are several buses each day including Sunday linking the village to Castledermot, Carlow and Naas as well as villages such as Moone in the area.[19]


St Laurence's GAA is based in the parish of Narraghmore, encompassing Kilmead, Booley, Narraghmore, Calverstown, Kilgowan, Brewel, Ballymount, Ballitore and Mullaghmast.[citation needed]

Griese Youth Theatre operates in the Quaker meeting house, and have participated in local historical reenactments as well as in National Theatre Connections and with Youth Theatre Ireland.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sapmap Area - Settlements Ballitore". Census 2016. CSO. April 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Census for post 1821 figures". cso.ie. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010.
  3. ^ "histpop.org". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016.
  4. ^ "NISRA census". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  5. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  6. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl:10197/1406.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b "BALLYTORE (Ireland) Census Town". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Béal Átha an Tuair/Ballitore". Placenames Database of Ireland (logainm.ie). Government of Ireland. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Ballitore". www.kildare.ie. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  10. ^ a b Darley, Gillian (1975). Villages of vision. London: Architectural Press. p. 101. ISBN 0-85139-705-0. OCLC 1921555.
  11. ^ Merchants, Mystics and Philanthropists - 350 Years of Cork Quakers Richard S. Harrison
  12. ^ a b Bourke, Richard (2015). Empire & Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke. Personal library: Princeton University Press. pp. 44–48. ISBN 978-0-691-14511-2.
  13. ^ a b "Ballitore". Quakers in Ireland. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  14. ^ a b Brannigan, Cyril (1 January 1985). "Ballitore Quaker School and its unique curriculum, 1726 ‐ 1836". Irish Educational Studies. 5 (2): 302–314. doi:10.1080/0332331850050218. ISSN 0332-3315.
  15. ^ "Kildare locals question why old Quaker school was delisted and due to be demolished". Thejournal.ie. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Our Locations". Glanbia Ireland. 24 June 2020.
  17. ^ Shackleton, Richard (1849). Memoirs and Letters of Richard and Elizabeth Shackleton: Late of Ballitore, Ireland. Charles Gilpin.
  18. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1837). "Ballytore". A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. Lewis.
  19. ^ "Locals Encouraged to Use New Bus Route Serving Villages from Castledermot to Kilcullen". Martin Heydon. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  20. ^ Ball, F. Elringon (1926). The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921. London: John Murray.[page needed]
  21. ^ Lenox-Conyngham, Melosina (1998). Diaries of Ireland. Lilliput Press Dublin. p. 92. ISBN 9781874675884. Meary Leadbeater was the granddaughter of Abraham Shackleton [..] who had come from England to Ballitore in County Kildare in ythe earlu years of the eigtheenth century
  22. ^ Job Scott (1815), A journal of the life, travels, and gospel labours of ... Job Scott. Repr. with corrections and additions, Oxford University, digitized 2007, retrieved 5 September 2013
  23. ^ Nelson, E. Charles (2004). "Shackleton, Lydia (1828–1914)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/59821. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

Further reading[edit]

  • Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers Richard S. Harrison 1997
  • Memoirs and letters of Richard and Elizabeth Shackleton, late of Ballitore, Ireland; compiled by their daughter, Mary Leadbeater, including a concise biographical sketch, and some letters, of her grandfather, Abraham Shackleton Shackleton, Richard, 1726-1792. London, Printed for Harvey and Darton, 1822.
  • Poems Mary Leadbeater London 1808
  • The Annals of Ballitore 1766-1824 Mary Leadbeater ; edited and introduced by John MacKenna ; illustrated by Mary Cunningham. Athy, Co. Kildare Stephen Scroop Press 1986

External links[edit]