Rockvale House is situated in the town land of Rockvale in the parish of Kilkeedy. It is in the east of the Burren about a mile from the main Corofin to Gort road. The house was built in the 18th century for the Darcys of Galway. They were wealthy, aristocratic landowners.
The house is Georgian or neo-classical in style and enjoys a beautiful situation. It is located beside a watercourse which links Lough Bunny to the south and Lough Coole (Coole Park) to the north. Moreover, the dwelling has stunning views of the Burren hills to the west.
The Darcys left for Ballinasloe in the mid-1800s. During the early 1900s the house was re-invented for a short period as a Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C) barracks. The R.I.C. was the unpopular British police force in Ireland from 1814 to 1922. After the barracks was abandoned by the police, the interior was subsequently ransacked.
The house features in Hugh L. Weir’s book “Houses of Clare”. Published by Ballinkella Press, Whitegate, Co. Clare 1986.
Reference : “The Parish of Kilkeedy A Local History” compiled by Frank Brew. First published by Frank Brew, Tubber, County Clare 1998.
© Text by Tony Kirby / Images by Carsten Krieger