Friday, 22 May 2015

Galtee Castle


NATHANIEL BUCKLEY DL (1821-92) was a landowner, cotton mill owner and Liberal Party politician.

By the 1870s, Buckley was a millionaire and, in 1873, he purchased the Galtee estate, near Mitchelstown in County Cork, from the Earl of Kingston.

Following a revaluation, he issued rent demands to his new tenants of between 50% and 500%.

This led to a great deal of agrarian unrest, evictions and an attempted assassination of Buckley's land agent.

His actions also demonstrated weaknesses in the Irish Land Acts which were consequently amended.

Buckley was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire in 1867. At the 1874 general election Buckley was defeated and did not return to parliament.

At the time of his death aged 71, in 1892, he had residences at Alderdale Lodge, Lancashire, and Galtee Castle, County Cork.

His nephew,

ABEL BUCKLEY JP (1835-1908) was born at Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, the younger son of Abel Buckley and Mary Keehan, of Alderdale Lodge.

He was educated at Mill Hill School and Owen's College.

In 1875, he married Hannah Summers and they had one son, also Abel, born in 1876.

The Buckley family owned two cotton mills in Ashton: Ryecroft and Oxford Road, and Abel became involved in the business.

At his death he was described as "one of the old cotton lords of Lancashire".

In 1885, Buckley inherited Ryecroft Hall from his uncle, James Smith Buckley, and was to live there for the rest of his life.

He subsequently inherited Galtee Castle.

The estate had been purchased by his uncle, Nathaniel Buckley DL, MP, in 1873.

In 1885, Abel Buckley was elected Liberal MP for the newly created Prestwich constituency.

In the general election of the following year, however, he was defeated.

Apart from his interests in the cotton industry, Buckley was a director and chairman of the Manchester and Liverpool District Banking Company and a justice of the peace.

He was a collector of fine art, and a racehorse breeder. He died at Ryecroft Hall in 1908, aged 73.

GALTEE CASTLE, County Tipperary, was a mansion situated at the foothills of the Galtee Mountains, not far from Mitchelstown.

The original structure was built as a hunting lodge for the 2nd Earl of Kingston, ca 1780. The 3rd Earl further remodelled it ca 1825.

In the 1850s, the Kingstons were forced to sell off vast amounts of their landed estate due to debts, including the lodge and approximately 20,000 acres surrounding it.

This became a new estate, the majority of which remained leased to tenant farmers.

The building was remodelled and expanded ca 1892, when its new owner, Abel Buckley, inherited the estate from his brother Nathaniel, who had previously purchased sole ownership in 1873.

The Irish Land Commission, a government agency, acquired the demesne and house in the late 1930s, after allocating the land between afforestation and farmers.

The house was offered for sale.

An offer was accepted from Father Tobin of Glanworth, County Cork, who wished to use the stone and the slates to build a new church in his parish.

Galtee Castle was thus torn down and dismantled ca 1941.

Today, very little is left on the site of the former mansion: Some of the lower base foundations are all that remain.

Nearby are some estate cottages and two gate houses.

The woods and trails around the site have been developed as a public amenity area, known as Galtee Castle Woods.

First published in May, 2013.

Riverside Landscape

A section at river Conn's Water: May, 2015

Work is continuing along the river-bank beside Mersey Street Bridge, as part of the Connswater Greenway Project.

The section above is at King George V Playing-Field and The Oval football ground.

It runs from the bridge to Victoria Park.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Royal Visitors

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have begun a two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

Their Royal Highnesses will visit St Patrick's church, Donegall Street, Belfast, where they shall meet a cross-section of parishioners and clergy.

Later TRH will visit east Belfast, including Ballyhackamore.

Their Royal Highnesses will have private audiences with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland at Hillsborough Castle, County Down.

A Lidl Bit of Chocolate

Lidl are running a major television advertizing campaign on the Mainland. I know, because I watch ITV's London region.

In comparison with other similar ads, theirs are quite impressive, focusing on the virtues of Quality and Value.

They play with the name, too, by talking about "a Lidl bit of Greece", and so on.

I have to say that I pop into my local Lidl fairly regularly.

I use all the supermarkets, depending on where I happen to be. Belmont embraces Democracy (!).

They sell a plain chocolate called Bellarom. Is it manufactured in Germany?

The one I buy comprises 74% cocoa.

It is excellent; to the extent that I personally find it hard to tell the difference between it and Lindt's 70% bar which, I think, costs about £1.79 or thereabouts.

Certainly until now the Lindt 70% has been my preferred choice.

The Bellarom cost me 79p for one 100g bar.

McCutcheon's Field

Groomsport from McCutcheon's Field

I spent yesterday with other National Trust volunteers at a place known as McCutcheon's Field.

This comprises several acres of coastline at Brigg's Rocks and close to Sandeel Bay, in north County Down.

There's a holiday park here called Windsor Caravan Park.

The field is close to Groomsport.

We were gathering old gorse cuttings and burning them.


We've been clearing gorse here for a few years. It will be impossible to eradicate it completely, because it's so abundant (gorse is beautiful at this time of the year anyway).

However, some clearance encourages lovely wild flowers to blossom, including squill.

I had banana sandwiches today, made with my favourite granary wholemeal bread and Ulster butter.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Shortcross Event

I was invited to Shortcross Gin's Signature Serve event last night in Belfast.

I have mentioned Shortcross Gin on a number of occasions on this blog and extolled its outstanding virtues; especially since it is distilled in County Down at the Rademon estate.

The cocktail party took place at Sixty6 cocktail bar, 68 High Street (formerly the executive offices of a bank).

As we entered we were offered champagne cocktails just inside the door.

This club retains the feel of an old directors' boardroom or dining-room, with plasterwork ceilings, fireplaces and so on.

Sixty6 is spread throughout the first, second, and even third floors of the building.

When I entered the room on the first floor it was busy already. I managed to start chatting to a pretty girl who was seated at the side of the room; and there we remained for quite some time.

Fiona and David, the proprietors of Shortcross Gin, were perfect hosts and introduced me to quite a few guests.

During the evening trays of sumptuous canapés were offered to us: the Belmont nose-bag quivered with joy.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I'd merely wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to Fiona and David for such a delightful evening.

Classiebawn Castle


The TEMPLES, from whom this family paternally, and the ducal house of Buckingham and Chandos maternally, descend, are said to have been of Saxon origin, and to have sprung immediately from the son and heir of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia,

EDWYN, who was deprived of the earldom by WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, and killed in defending himself against the Normans in 1071.

This Edywn left a son,

EDWYN, styled Earl of Leicester and Coventry, who is said to have assumed the surname of TEMPLE from the manor of Temple, in the hundred of Sparkenhoe, Wellsborough.

Be this, however, as it may,

HENRY DE TEMPLE was lord of Temple and Little Shepey in the reign of the CONQUEROR, and from him descended

THOMAS TEMPLE, of Whitney, Oxfordshire, whose great-grandson,

PETER TEMPLE, received a grant of the manor of Butlers Marston, in Warwickshire, and purchased, in 1560, the right which Laurence Denet had therein.

He married Millicent, daughter of William Jekyl, of Newington, Middlesex, and had two sons,

John, the elder, ancestor maternally, of the noble house of BUCKINGHAM and CHANDOS; and

ANTHONY TEMPLE, who was father of

SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE (1555-1627), Knight,
a learned and eminent person in the reign of ELIZABETH I, secretary to Sir Philip Sydney, and after his decease, to the unfortunate Earl of Essex; upon whose tragic end Sir William removed into Ireland, and was appointed provost of Trinity College, Dublin, which university he represented in parliament in 1613. He received the honour of Knighthood, in 1622, from the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Oliver St John, and was appointed one of the Masters in Chancery.
Sir William espoused Martha, daughter of Robert Harrison, of Derbyshire, by who he had two sons, and was succeeded in 1627 by the elder,

(1600-77), Knight, was constituted master of the Rolls in Ireland, and sworn of the Privy Council there.
He filled, for a series of years, high and confidential places in the government of Ireland; and was appointed, in 1648, Joint Commissioner of the Great Seal with Sir William Parsons. He joined, however, the standard of CROMWELL, but was nevertheless retained as Master of the Rolls after the Restoration, when he was constituted Vice-Treasurer of Ireland.
He wedded Mary, daughter of Dr John Hammond, of Chertsey, in Surrey, and had two surviving sons, viz.
Sir John's younger son,

SIR JOHN TEMPLE (1632-1705), Knight, was solicitor-general and attorney-general, and speaker of the house of commons in Ireland.

He married Jane, daughter of Sir Abraham Yarner, Knight, of Dublin, and had issue, among others,
HENRY, his successor;
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

, was elevated to the peerage, in 1722, in the dignities of Baron Temple and VISCOUNT PALMERSTON.

CLASSIEBAWN CASTLE, near Mullaghmore, County Sligo, is a Victorian-Baronial mansion, splendidly located in a commanding position on a bare headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

It was built in the early 1860s, near the end of his life, by the statesman, Lord Palmerston.

The Castle was designed by Rawson Carroll. It is of a yellow-brown sandstone, comprising a plain, gabled range and a central tower with a conical roofed turret.

The entrance front boasts a carved coat-of-arms; principal rooms are raised on a considerably high basement.

Classiebawn was bequeathed by Palmerston to his wife's grandson, the Rt Hon Evelyn Ashley MP, grandfather of Edwina, Countess Mountbatten of Burma; thus becoming the Irish seat of her husband Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Lady Mountbatten made a number of improvements to Classiebawn, including the installation of electricity and mains water.

The Castle is now privately owned.

Palmerston arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in April, 2012.