Kilbeha house was built and designed in 1852 by Martin Haverty. He was in Limerick for the unveiling of the O’Connell Monument, designed and built by his friend, the famous sculptor, John Hogan. While in Limerick he bought a portion of the Royce estate for £1000, on which he built Kilbeha Mhuire. The design was inspired by houses in France, where he had spent some years in the Irish College in Paris, studying for the priesthood, before deciding that the priesthood was not for him. The stone for the building was quarried locally. He was a man with a great devotion to our lady and in the conservatory, which was built with the house, he placed a statue of the ‘Blessed Virgin with child in arms.. In the following year, 1854, The feast of the ‘Immaculate Conception’, he designed and built Kilbeha Oratory.
While living in Kilbeha, he wrote a History of Ireland, which was widely used in secondary schools. He also wrote travel books, including ‘Travels in Spain’. Martin was the editor of the Morning Chronicle in London for many years. He was also editor of the Freemans Journal and librarian at the ‘Kings Inns’
When Haverty left, Kilbeha was bought by Henry Croker, subsequently by Berty Hunt, David Mc Mahon and since 1949 has been owned by Denis and Nora Hawkes.
The following is an article in the freeman’s journal newspaper telling of a lawn party held in Kilbeha hse back in 1854!!