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The Trench Mausoleum, also known as the Ashtown Mausoleum, is one of the largest mausoleums in Ireland and which has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. The Trench Mausoleum was built by Frederick Trench, the 2nd Baron Ashtown, who was a prominent landowner and politician in Galway. He inherited the title and the Woodlawn estate from his uncle, also named Frederick Trench, who was a member of the Irish Parliament and a supporter of the Act of Union.

The younger Frederick Trench was a prolific developer, who improved the living conditions of his tenants and workers on the Woodlawn estate. He built artisan cottages, a gamekeeper’s lodge, an ice house, a Protestant church, and a Gothic-style railway station, which is still in use today. He also commissioned the construction of the mausoleum, which was completed in 1858.

The mausoleum is a unique and imposing structure, consisting of a circular tower with a conical roof, set within a large circular enclosure surrounded by a tall crenelated wall and an arched entrance gateway. It is built of coursed rubble limestone with cut stone dressings and has Gothic and Romanesque features. The tower has four arched windows with stained glass and four niches with statues of saints. The entrance to the tower has an inscribed plaque with the Trench coat of arms and motto.

The mausoleum is the burial place of Frederick Trench and his wife Mary (nee Sadlier), as well as several other members of the Trench family. The tomb of Frederick Trench lies in the circular tower, while other tombs are located in vaults beneath the tower or in niches along the wall. The mausoleum is still in use as the burial ground of the Trench family and is privately owned.

The mausoleum is situated on an elevated site near Woodlawn, overlooking the family demesne. It was built on an earlier enclosure, which may have been a ringfort or a ceremonial site. The ditch of the enclosure can be seen to the south and along the entrance to the mausoleum.

The Trench Mausoleum is a remarkable example of Victorian architecture and a testament to the legacy of the Trench family in Galway. It is also a rare and intriguing monument that reflects the social and religious history of Ireland. If you wish to visit this hidden gem, entry is by appointment only. To make an appointment to visit, please contact Tom Seale at +353 (0) 87 457 8882.


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Trench Mausoleum



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