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The Hanora Brosnan’ Quilt

  • Owner:
    Name withheld as requested
  • Location:
  • Maker:
    Attributed to Hanora Brosnan
  • Pattern:
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 192
    Width: 175


The quilt maker is unknown but possibly Hanora Brosnan on the family farm at Close, Castleisland, County Kerry, Ireland. It was brought to Australia in 1861 when the family migrated. It passed to her granddaughter Daisy Brookes and on her death to the present owner. It is not used now. "The Hanora Brosnan Quilt - Born in 1827 at Ballinvariscal, Castleisland, County Kerry, Hanora Brosnan was the third child and eldest daughter of Timothy 'Wig' Brosnan and Mary Slattery.
Sometime in the 1830s the family moved to Close, Castleisland where further members of the family were born. About 1857 Hanora met and married John Brosnan and migrated to London where their two eldest children were born. In 1861 the family migrated to Brisbane, Queensland, on the 'Mangerton', where John had been offered a position of warder at the old jail. Being free settlers the family were offered a grant of land, near Creek Street, Spring Hill. Later they moved to Normanby, 'the old house still standing on the turn off for Red Hill'. About 1865 the family moved to the Redbank area where they took up land and grew cotton as well as a mixed farm of vegetables, fruit trees, wheat, corn, pigs and cattle. John took up a post at the Asylum when the insane were moved there from the old Brisbane jail. In the latter part of the 1870s the family moved to Ipswich where the father had taken up the old Criterion Hotel, near the old Court House, now the site of a church. Sometime later Hanora Brosnan moved to Paddington and finally lived with one of her daughters before she died in 1907. According to her granddaughter, Daisy Brookes: 'In those days (on the farm at Close, County Kerry) flax was grown for the making of their own linen. This was made into thread after being taken from the pits and treated, then woven into material. A quilt woven the correct size was stretched on a frame, two thicknesses, padded between with finely clipped wool from their sheep, then quilted in a closely patterned design'. The date of actual construction of the quilt or who actually made it is unknown but more than likely Hanora and possibly some of her sisters were involved in its construction. The quilt passed to its present owner, a great-great grandniece of Hanora on the death of Daisy Brookes in 1978."
[Name withheld as requested, 8 February 1999]


Wholecloth quilt with top and backing made from coarsley woven linen. The edges are bound with paisley printed material. The quilting pattern consists of a series of whorls in different sizes. The padding is fleece wool.
1920 x 1756mm

One thought on “The Hanora Brosnan’ Quilt

  1. Good evening,
    Just a note to let you know that Hanora’s family were in Close Castleisland well before the 1830s. In my estimation it would have been about 1800.There are still some flaxen woven bed sheets from that time that are used still as bed sheets in the old house.
    Hanora had a reputation in the family as a great horse woman and by nature very courageous.
    I am a descendant of old Timothy Wig Brosnan and born and raised at Close.

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