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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


or (Dunganstown)

Bestfield or Dunganstown

Bestfield LockUpon Ducanstown (Dunganstown) stands a castle. This castle was probably standing on an island in the River Barrow as indicated on the Down Survey of 1650. Built by the St. Leger family. Subsequently passed to the Butler family before passing on to Bests. It probably stood close to or on farm buildings. Over the years stones from the ruins have been carted away for building purposes to the Larchfield estate, but some traces of the walls are still clearly discernible on the east bank of the Barrow.

This photo taken c.2009 of an old disused bridge crosses the railway line near Bestfield. Source:

According the Griffiths Valuation of Ireland for Carlow in 1852 Henry Bruen was the main landowner in the area.

The Earldom of Ulster also owned land in this area according to Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland" written in 1916.

The entry reads:

No. 12. Balydogan in Co. Carlow. The name, I think, survives in Dunganstown or Bestfield, adjoining Oak Park demesne (which was probably included), near the town of Carlow.

Best of Bestfield

On Behalf Of Michael Purcell Unsigned / undated / handwritten Last Will and Testament of Carlow resident in PPP names his wife Catherine Best and his nephew; Able John Caufield Warren also names John Humfrey "son of my nephew"... some of the land is in Bestfield.........any lister with information on same?

Bestfield Old Graveyard and Church ruin.

Site of old graveyard & church (ruin)

This is also the site of old graveyard & church (ruin)
As John Wayne might say:
"Weaver Best never was no Quaker"
It is recorded that Matthew Gatney of Maganey claimed there was a stone at Bestfield with the following inscription:


"Here lies the Body of Weaver Best
Separated from all the rest.
And let his soul be where it will,
His body lies in Bestfield still."


However no trace of this stone has been found.

Bestfield was the private burial place for some members of the Best family: [Sarah Best 1743 - George Best 1739 - Arundel Best 1755 - and Caulfield Best undated,] the plot contains one slab stone.

The Best family home was at Knockbeg on the west side of the River Barrow with another burial place for the family at Sleaty.


The Society of Friends' (Quaker) Burial Plot is at Newgardens and is not associated in any way with the Bestfield plot.

Quaker policy dictates that attention is not drawn to the place where they are buried.

They do not approve of erecting headstones etc.

With approval from the Society of Friends in 1985 the Carlow County Heritage Society undertook a clean-up of the Newgarden burial ground but unfortunately the owner of the land stopped the work and waving a very big stick threatened any person who tried to gain access ( he could have been waving a gun ...we did not go near enough to find out!).

The late Peter Thomas was very concerned and saddened over this as it was his life-long wish that his remains should be buried among the Quakers at Newgardens, and along with several generations of his family.

It was said that Peter bought land in the area thinking he was buying the land wherein the burial plot was situated but he was mislead on this.

This link opens the article by Bryce Petersen. Newgarden

Bryce now lives in Utah with his wife and family, he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

Source: Michael Purcell 2012

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2001 County Carlow Genealogy IGP