John Reynolds

Caretakers Cottage, Leitrim Estate

The first time we met John Reynolds was on our first day trip to Mohill, Co. Leitrim. We stopped at his restaurant, The Soup Bowl, for some of that great Irish cooking. The waitress took our order and we asked her if she knew any of the Reynolds family in the area. We told her we were looking for any information we could find about Terry's roots.

As our breakfast was being cooked, John came over and introduced himself to us. He sat down and told us a number of stories about the Reynolds Clan, some good and some sad. He told us of the two Reynolds Castle ruins that were located in Co. Leitrim. One of them was on the Leitrim Estate at Lough Rynn, near Mohill, and the other was on an island in Lough Scur, farther north.

John Reynolds & Tyna

Just at that time, Teresa Bohan, one of the family of caretakers at the Leitrim Estate, walked past the restaurant. She was on her way to catch a ride into Carrick to watch a football (soccer) match. John asked her if he could take us to Lough Rynn to see the castle and she said that would be fine. As we drove onto the property, there was a gated entry and a dirt road that led into the estate. There were long-haired cattle grazing in a field and a number of buildings including the caretaker's cottage. We followed the winding road down near the lake and there was a medieval ruin of a stone castle!

John pointed out the funny little windows, called arrow-slits that were not much more than a vertical slot, made that way for a bow and arrow to fit into. He told us that the castle was built beside the lake so that the inhabitants could see their enemies coming from miles around. We learned that the Reynolds Clan had owned most of Co. Leitrim back in medieval times. John wanted to take us to the castle on Lough Scur but the water was too rough at the time.

Arrow-Slit, Reynolds Castle

We continued to drive through the Rynn area and he showed us his sister Anne's property, which included a very old farm house. He told us that the land had come back to the Irish after being taken over by the British during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. All of the people whose families had originally owned it were offered first choice before others could purchase it. He and his family members purchased some but his own home was in nearby Drumgrania.

Reynolds Castle Ruins, Co. Leitrim

As we left Lough Rynn and the Leitrim Estate, we talked about all the historical facts we had learned; however, we still didn't learn much about Terry's ancestors.

Lough Rynn, Co. Leitrim

We would find out more at a later date.

Click here for the next story One Night in Malahide.

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