Ben Haughton
Banford Family Chart
Banford House
Banford Bleachworks
Ballitore Quaker Village
The Linen Trade

Ballitore Quaker Village

The Haughtons of Orton, Westmorland, Cumberland, first came to Ireland in the 17th century where they settled as quakers in the Edenderry and Mullaghmast area, near Ballitore. They became established members of the community, marrying into other quaker families such as Grubb, Barcroft, Boake, Fuller, Shackleton, Pierson.

Benjamin Haughton b.1705 Edenderry, d.1777 at Prospect House,Mullaghmast, buried at Ballitore, married Elizabeth Pierson, m.1733, and they had ten children. Their 6th child, Benjamin, b.1744 Mullaghmast, d.1790 of a fever, Mullaghmast, buried at Ballitore, married Abigail Boake and they had eight children. Their 2nd child, Benjamin, b.1781 b.Ballitore, d.1862 Banford Hse, Tullylish, Co Down, is buried at Moyallon Friends Graveyard.


In the year 1685, two Quakers, John Barcroft and Abel Strettel were travelling by horse from Dublin to Cork and they paused to rest their horses at the top of a hill near Kildare/Wicklow border, about 9 miles from Athy. They decided to make this valley home for themselves and their families and began reclaiming the land through careful cultivation, planting trees and hedgerows. The settlement became the village of Ballitore in the valley of the River Griese.

Ballitore was the first planned Quaker village in either England or Ireland - and remains the only one in Europe.

Ballitore School

Abraham Shackleton was born in Bingley,Yorkshire and came to Ireland first as a private tutor to two families in Carlow. He then set up his own school in Ballitore on 1st March 1726.

The school opened with 38 pupils who came from not only all over Ireland but places as far away as Norway & Jamaica.

Many of the Haughton children went to Ballitore School including Benjamin Snr.

The school closed in 1837.

The Quaker Meeting House

The meeting House was built in 1705. After restoration in 1979, it continues to be used as a house of prayer. It also serves as a library and museum.

Quaker Graveyard, Ballitore

Just outside the village is the graveyard. Enclosed by four stone walls, most of the graves are unmarked, or marked by a slab laying flat on the ground. Some of the later graves have an upright stone but this is unusual in the Quaker tradition of simplicity and uniformity.


Mary Leadbeater

Mary Leadbeater (1758-1826) was the daughter of Richard Shackleton and Elizabeth Carleton. She was the granddaughter of Abraham Shackleton, a pioneering educator whose pupils included Edmund Burke. She married William Leadbeater in 1791 and became Ballitore's first postmistress. Among her family's descendants was the explorer, Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) a member of Scott's Antartic expedition, and leader of his own expedition in 1907.

She was a prolific writer and published her first book in 1794. She wrote poetry, stories and memoirs including in 1822 the Memoirs of Richard and Elizabeth Shackleton.

Her most famous book, 'The Annals of Ballitore'. chronicled village life in Ballitore from 1766 to 1824.