By Dan Walsh
President Donald Trump would be welcome in Ballyhogue where Wexford County Council has granted approval to commence a process to save a protected structure in the shape of a wall built as part of famine relief works in Ballyhogue.
The Ballyhogue Famine Wall or Bellevue estate boundary wall, about one kilometre long, remains substantially intact and in reasonable condition was built circa-1845-1850 of brick and lime mortar construction.
Known locally as Bellevue Famine Wall and Lane it is considered to be of special architectural, historical, cultural and social interest and encloses the old Cliffe estate adjoining the banks of the Slaney.
According to ‘Landowners of Ireland’, originally published in Dublin in 1876, two separate entries for Bellevue record Anthony Cliffe (died 1878) in possession of 3,459 acres and his eldest son, Anthony John Cliffe (1832-1894) with 1,000 acres – making a combined acreage of 4,459.
Bellevue House, which consisted of nine reception rooms and eight bedrooms, and was fitted with electricity, was maliciously destroyed by fire on January 23rd, 1923. The last occupant was Anthony Loftus Cliffe.
In court proceedings that followed, B.J. O’Flaherty solicitors, Enniscorthy, told the Court that they had acted for the Cliffes since 1887. It was stated that 1,000 acres were attached to the mansion, but 719 acres had been sold.
Bellevue Church and the Famine Wall are among the last vestiges of the landed estate system in Co. Wexford.