The five-bay, two-storey detached house with it's grand entrance and flight of steps was built in 1740 by the Ffrenches.
The Ffrenches were an Anglo-Norman family who first settled in Ireland in Co. Wexford and from there gradually spread to other parts of the island. The family first arrived in Galway in the early fifteenth century. It is said that the family descend from Sir Maximilian Ffrench, the first of the name, whose descendants accompanied their kinsman, William the Conqueror, into England and fought at the Battle of Hastings.
The house was originally known as Kentfield House, before becoming Glenlow or Glenloe House, deriving from the Irish Glean Locha, meaning ‘Glen of the Lake’.
The adjacent Abbey was constructed in the 1790's as a private church for the family but was not completed and never consecrated. It is typical of eighteenth-century Church of Ireland chapels, which are often found on large demesnes.
In 1846, the house and surrounding 138-acre estate were put up for sale, being described as an “admirable and unique mansion, wanting scarcely anything that art or taste can suggest” and as having “every accommodation a family of distinction can desire, in which are included, three Reception rooms, nine Bed Chambers, Closets, Halls, Corridors, Cellars, Kitchen Pantry, Laundry, Servants Hall and sleeping rooms, Dairy, Turf and Coal Lock-up Houses, with very appropriate and well-built offices, Stewarts’ Apartments Garden, Farm Yard”.
It was eventually purchased by the Blakes, another of Galway’s illustrious tribal families. In 1897, the estate was purchased by the Palmers who remained there for the following 90 years.