History of Manresa

The present community house at Manresa was originally known as Granby Hall and then as Baymount Castle, being at one time the residence of Dr. Traill, a northern Church of Ireland Bishop. Renovated in 1838 by Robert Warren, it was later owned by the Irish Loreto Sisters who had a school there. Gutted by fire in 1851, the Sisters had it renovated again, sold it, and moved to Balbriggan. In 1898 it became the property of Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family and owner of the adjoining St. Anne’s estate. About the beginning of the First World War, William Lucas Scott opened a preparatory school for boys which continued until 1936, when it was acquired by John T. Gwynn, of the well-known literary family.

In 1948 the Archbishop of Dublin asked the Jesuits to establish a northside retreat house, and Baymount Castle, with its 17 acres, was bought by them. Retreats began in 1949. Construction of a new retreat house began in 1966; it was opened in 1967. From 1969 to 1991 the Irish Jesuit novitiate was situated at Manresa. Part of the property near the novitiate building was sold in 1977 and is now a housing estate. A new European English-speaking Tertianship for the Jesuits opened in Manresa in September 2006.