Portico of Kenure House

Kenure formed part of the ancient manor of Rush, the fee of which was vested in the Butlers of Kilkenny, later to be en-nobled as Earls and Dukes of Ormonde. They held on to their lands in Rush until the rising of 1641, when they took the side of the King, and subsequently lost all their possessions in the Cromwellian confiscations. At the Restoration of 1660, King Charles II restored all their lands to them, but they lost them again in 1714 when James the 2nd Duke of Ormonde fell out of favour with George and had to flee to mainland Europe. 

The next occupiers of Kenure were the Echlins, who remained there until 1780. Elizabeth Echlin became heiress to the property when her brothers pre-deceased her. She married Francis Palmer of Castlelacken Co Mayo and so began the connection of the Palmer family with Kenure, which lasted until 1963 when Colonel Palmer, the last of thee line, sold the estate to the Land Commission. They divided some of the land among the Rush farmers. The remainder was sold to the County Council, who used it for building houses and for playing fields. As no buyer could be found for the mansion it was demolished in 1978 and all that remains is its magnificent portico, a sad finale to that once great house. 

"The May Money" 

What became known locally as 'The May Money' was actually a dowry in the form of a bequest left in the will of Sir Roger Palmer of Kenure Estate in 1801 to be given each year to 10 women born within 2 miles of his estate between the ages of 20 and 32 who married in the month of May. The bequest stated that £2,500 be laid out in investments in Ireland and the interest on this money was to be used as the marriage dowry at the rate of £10 each and subsequently increased from £15 to £20. It is estimated that over 1,000 brides from the Palmer estate and the town of Rush benefited from this bequest.