The following history of Sigginstown Castle, in Tacumshane, County Wexford comes from our research over the past three years. We have used available information, and have not yet delved into the Wexford county archives or library (on our list to do). Like any research, it depends heavily on a number of sources, published in original texts, republished in books, and then on the Internet. As such, we cannot vouch for the accuracy - we would be happier to authenticate every "fact" by seeing it in a historical document, but we are not to that point yet. Since buying the castle, we have abandoned our own family genealogy research to pick up the trail of Sigginstown Castle and the many people who have touched it with their lives. Any readers who have additional or more accurate information are most welcome to contribute it, along with old photos, drawings, folklore or family stories.
Some of our recent research is prompted by a desire to represent the history of the castle with a flag. There is heraldry associated with: Siggeston, Segheston, Siggstone, Sigheston: "Argent, an eagle displayed double headed sable armed gules"
There are many different spellings, and there are also several references to other possibly related "Sigginstowns" . http://placenames.org.uk/id/placenames/05/003867; Sig(h)estun 1086 Domesday Book; Siggestune, Siggeston 1474YD, 1088 LVD; sigeston (a) Sygeston (a) 1414 YI, 1291 Tax 12 RegAlb; Siggeston 1204 ChR; Siggheston 1208-10
In telling the castle's story, we have to start with the Siggins name and family: Where did they come from? Billy Colfer says the Siggins name is originally of Norse descent, (from "Siggins") but they settled in Norfolk, Dorset and Suffolk (England) and Wales. We have been following the trail of the Siggins family in England and Wales. More about this can be seen here...
The Down Survey, published online, does not have the most detailed maps of Tacumshane, like other parishes of the time. However, it does show on plot 10 a tower, unattached house, and a mill nearby. The Down Survey was done after the time of Cromwell and documents the previous owners and land boundaries, plus the new owners post-Cromwell. From this we learn that the new owner of Sigginstown was a William Jacob, a lieutenant in the Army, and Edward Siggins' other lands in Ballyhiho go to a Hugh Hobb.
An 1811 map published by Valentine Gill shows people connected with the 1798 rebellion. A Mr. Willson is shown associated with Syganstown.
In 1840 for the OSI survey the castle was described as being in good preservation, measuring on the water side 25 feet by 23 feet, 7 inches, and about 50 feet high, and that it was much used as a store by a farmer whose house is built against it.
The old postcard shows the castle in a ruined state circa 1909. It was taken by Benjamin Browne who had lived in Tacumshane, emigrated to Philadelphia, PA and returned to photograph the area and his relatives.
In this rather long history of several hundred years and many families, we come to the present day. Our purchase of the castle in 2016 now becomes a single event and small period of this building's long life. We hope to make it habitable and use it to hold some heritage and living history events. We will continue to research the people and events of this fascinating and ancient place. We are grateful to the many local people who have helped us thus far, and to the far-flung descendants of the Siggins, Jacobs and Wilsons who send in precious bits of information.