History, News and Genealogy


Also known by the older Irish name of Gortenacuppogue, Marble Hill is situated in Galway, Ireland. It occupies a historically significant area, once inhabited by pre-Celtic settlements, and is surrounded by ancient megalithic structures such as wedge tombs and ring forts. Today, it constitutes a townland within the parish of Ballynakill. For further insights into Marble Hill’s history, explore the dedicated pages.

The Burke family, prominent estate landowners in County Galway during the 18th and 19th centuries, were residents of Marble Hill house.

John Burke (1713 to 1793), who initially lived at Grallough before relocating to Marble Hill, played a pivotal role in the area’s history. He renamed the locale from Creggeen, meaning “rocky place,” to Marble Hill.


The Burkes of Marble Hill, Galway, Ireland

Burke Family

Born 1713, Died 1793

John Burke

John Burke was born in 1713.1 He was the son of John Burke and an unknown Maughan woman. He married Mary Carroll, daughter of Michael Carroll, on 16 January 1747/48 He died in 1793.

There is one known child found in the records of John Burke and Mary Carroll.


Died 22 May 1813

Sir Thomas Burke

Sir Thomas Burke, 1st Bt. was the son of John Burke and Mary Carroll. He married Christian Browne, daughter of James Browne, in April 1774. He died on 22 May 1813
He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.). He was created 1st Baronet Burke, of Marble Hill, County Galway, Ireland on 5 December 1797.

Sir Thomas Burke and Christian Browne had six children.


Born 1782, Died 1847

Sir John Burke

Colonel Sir John Burke, 2nd Bt. Was born in 1782. He was the son of Sir Thomas Burke and Christian Browne. He married Elizabeth Mary Calcraft, daughter of Rt. Hon. John Calcraft and Elizabeth Mary Hales, on 18 May 1812 at St. James' Church, Westminster, London, England. He died on 14 September 1847 at Ely Place, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland.

Sir John Burke and Elizabeth Mary Calcraft had four children.

Marble Hill History


Megalithic Tombs At Marble Hill

The old Ordnance Survey maps from the early 1840’s show a significant concentration of megalithic tombs within and near the grounds of Marblehill house.

Marble Hill House Pump House

A pump was built in the late 17th to 18th century to provide a fresh water supply to the estate house, well water and gardens of Marble Hill. The pump house had to be strong and secure, to protect the water supply from pollution from animals or from other interference.

The pump was watched over day and night by the residents of the long L shaped house adjacent to the small stone built pump house, if anything went wrong with the pump it would need immediate attention. It was sophisticated use of technology during these times in history.



Hidden Tunnels Found Underneath Marble Hill House


Hidden tunnels were discovered beneath the grounds and the ruins of the historic Marble Hill House in County Galway, Ireland in the 1990s. The passages seem to date back to the late 17th and early 18th centuries and the hypothesis is that they originally formed a network to manage fresh water. The tunnels are formed out of thick-cut stone slabs, based on the style preferred for the old estate house and surrounding building’s structure, they were erected at the same time as the house on the boreen adjacent to the ruins of the estate house.

The long tunnels are just about large enough for someone to crawl because that was the only way how any blockages would have been removed during these times.



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