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Monivea wood County Galway Ireland
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Monivea Wood  ~  Monivea
The wood today is enjoyed by people for walks and recreation away from the hustle and bustle of every day life, freedom to roam and the enjoyment of outdoors and fresh air activity.
It is known internationally for both its unique flora and archaeology.
The Monivea Wood is widely regarded as being one of the most interesting, diverse and sensitive parts of East County Galway.
Monivea Woods County Galway
Apart from the partially completed felling of the Coillte crop, it remains for the moment, largely undisturbed as a quite meditative place.

Lady Kathleen Ffrench left Monivea to the people of Monivea and the nation in 1938. She stated the 400 acres of beech woodland would be left "until the trees rot in the ground". The newly-established independent Irish government had decreed that when a landowner died, 90% of their lands should be given to the local people, to break the old English feudal systems. This meant that the size of the Monivea demesne would be reduced from 10,000 acres to just 1000 - not nearly enough to sustain the baronial lifestyle and castle. So it was that the land was left to the fledgling Irish nation, and the mausoleum in the care of the Catholic Church, as it remains today.

By the 1950s the trees were cut down by the land commission/forestry board and replaced with a conifer plantation, which is now ready for clear felling, hence the sale. Coillte now have control over the forest. Monivea Estate was acquired by the Ffrench family at the beginning of the 17th century.

In 1938 the last member of the main branch of the family Ms. Kathleen Ffrench bequeathed it to the Irish nation as 'a home for indigent artists.' This bequest was abrogated with the neglect and demolition of the main house leaving only the medieval castle portion and outbuildings and the break-up of the Estate. However the main woodland area including the area adjacent to the village passed to the Forestry Commission, subsequently Coillte, and has been a long established public amenity.

The Ffrench Mausoleum and Chapel is located in Monivea Wood. Robert and Kathleen Ffrench's remains are contained in a crypt in the basement of the Mausoleum.


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