Thursday, 21 August 2014

1st Baron O'Neill

THE BARONY OF O'NEILL WAS CREATED IN 1868 THE REV WILLIAM CHICHESTER

THE REV WILLIAM CHICHESTER (1813-83),
eldest son of the Rev Edward Chichester, great-great-great-grandson of John Chichester, younger brother of Arthur 2nd Earl of Donegall, succeeded, in 1855, to the estates of his cousins, Charles, Earl O'Neill, and John, 3rd Viscount O'Neill (both extinct); and in that year assumed (by royal licence) the surname of O'NEILL.
This gentleman married firstly, in 1839, Henrietta, daughter of Robert Torrens, a Judge of the Common Pleas in Ireland; and secondly, in 1858, Elizabeth Grace, daughter of the Ven Robert John Torrens DD, Archdeacon of Dublin.

He had issue by his first wife,
EDWARD, of whom hereafter;
Arthur;
Robert;
Anne.
Dying in 1883, he was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD, 2nd Baron, DP, DL, (1839-1928), who wedded, in 1873, Lady Louisa Katherine Emma Cochrane, daughter of 11th Earl of Dundonald, by whom he had issue,
William Thomas Cochrane (1874-82);
Arthur Edward Bruce (1876-1914), k/a;
Robert William Hugh, 1st Baron Rathcavan;
Louisa Henrietta Valdivia;
Rose Anne Mary;
Alice Asmaralda.
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson (son of the Hon Arthur Edward Bruce O'Neill),

SHANE EDWARD ROBERT, 3rd Baron (1907-44), who espoused, in 1932, Anne Geraldine Mary, daughter of the Hon Guy Lawrence Charteris (2nd son of 9th Earl of Wemyss); and by her had issue,
RAYMOND ARTHUR CLANABOY, 4th Baron O'Neill;
Fionn Frances Bride.
The 3rd Baron was killed in action, in 1944, during the 2nd World War.

*****

The Rt Hon Raymond Arthur Clanaboy 4th Baron O'Neill, KCVO, TD, JP, heads a most distinguished family, in historical and dynastic terms.

I have written about the house of O'Neill here.

Lord O'Neill has many interests, not least of which remains his stewardship of the family seat, Shane's Castle.

Shane's Castle now extends to about 3,000 acres.

Lord O'Neill was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order following his relinquishment as Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim in 2008.

Lord O'Neill has, like his father, had a military background.

His father, the 3rd Baron, was killed in action in 1944; so Lord O'Neill succeeded to the title when he was only 11 years old.

Photo credit: Randalstown Heritage Society

His other main interests include conservation, transport history and tourism. He held the office of chairman of the National Trust in NI for many years; and the NI Tourist Board too.

His passion is railways, particularly trains. I recall the Shane's Castle railway, which ran through the demesne, and visited it as a child.

Lord O'Neill was the stepson of Ian Fleming, the James Bond creator.

His uncle Terence, Lord O'Neill of the Maine, was a former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

He has three sons: the Hon Shane O'Neill, his heir; the Hon Tyrone O'Neill; and the Hon Rory O'Neill.

The Shane's Castle estate is one of the largest and finest private demesnes in Northern Ireland, extending to some 3,000 acres.

It lies in a particularly scenic, not to say strategic, position on the northeast shore of Lough Neagh, between Antrim and Randalstown. Part of the Estate is a nature reserve.

The O'Neill family has had a hapless history with regard to the fate of their houses: the first Shane's Castle dated from the early 1600s and was utterly destroyed by an accidental fire in 1816.

The family moved to a small house adjoining the stables.

This house was replaced in 1865 by a larger, Gothic Victorian castle which, tragically, was burnt by the IRA in 1922 (as was the nearby Antrim Castle).

Its ruin was subsequently cleared away, and for the next 40 or so years the family lived once again in the stables.

The present mansion house at Shane's Castle, County Antrim, was built in 1958 for the present Lord O'Neill to the designs of Arthur Jury, of Blackwood & Jury, architects.

The formal gardens to the south were laid out from the 1960s.

This house was built to replace a Victorian predecessor designed by architects Lanyon, Lynn & Lanyon, which was built in 1865 on a site immediately to the north, facing this house across the stable yard, but which was maliciously burnt in 1922.

The Victorian castle was itself a replacement for the original Shane's Castle, which was accidentally burnt in 1816.

A proposal to replace the Victorian castle with a neo-Georgian house designed by the English architect Oliver Hill in 1938 was not carried out.

The present neo-Georgian house is classical and well-proportioned, with a handsome fanlighted doorway.

First published in July, 2008.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Darragh Island


I've spent the day on Darragh Island, a property of The National Trust, on the western side of Strangford Lough, not far from Killinchy and Whiterock, County Down.

Our boat took us from Whiterock, passing Braddock Island and Conly Island. Darragh Island is close to Conly Island.

Today we were excavating and dredging a series of ponds; and spraying bracken with a selective herbicide.

Darragh is a great example of how the correct management can produce species-rich grassland with superb displays of wild flowers and insects.

The National Trust uses a purpose-built barge to bring cattle out to this island, whenever possible.

This ensures that the grass is grazed to the optimum height to maximize biodiversity.

In the summer, the island is carpeted in colourful meadows – a rare sight in the countryside these days.

There are the remains of a kelp-house at the southern end (see photograph above).

This simple stone building was built at the end of the 18th century and similar structures would have been common on many of Strangford Lough's islands.

Back then, many local farmers supplemented their income by harvesting seaweed from the shore and burning it in stone kilns.

The residue that was left after burning (called kelp) was an important source of sodium carbonate, which was used in industrial processes such as the production of glass and soap.

It was also used as a bleaching agent in the linen industry.

The kelp was stored in the kelp-houses until it was sold and transported to the various factories and mills.

The remains of a kelp kiln is found just a short distance from the kelp-house.

There are other kelp kilns on the National Trust islands of Taggart, Chapel and South.

Interestingly, they are all built to slightly different designs.

Mullaghmore House

 THE STACK FAMILY OWNED 3,134 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE

MULLAGHMORE HOUSE, near Omagh, County Tyrone, is a detached three-bay, two-storey, Georgian house, built ca 1750.

There is a two-storey return to the rear, with an extended lower two-storey addition; single-bay two-storey annex to east of return; lean-to two-storey addition to west of return, lean-to single-storey porch to north of extension.

The late-Georgian front pile may have been built ca 1800, but the rear is possibly older.

The Stack family owned Mullaghmore during the Victorian era.

According to the present owner, the orangery was re-built in 2002 on the site of an early 19th century predecessor that collapsed in the 1940s.

The interior was renovated in 1952, when many historic features were altered.

The house was restored between 2000-02 by the present owner.

Upon the removal of render during the most recent renovation, the front pile was discovered to be built of random rubble stone with very large quoins that likely came from a more substantial structure.

The owner believes that the re-used, tooled quoins may be late medieval. The temporary removal of render also revealed several blocked low doors and diminished windows with deeply splayed embrasures.

Additionally, two low brick tunnels originating from the kitchen were discovered, one leading outside to east of the kitchen and the other running under the boiler room.

During that renovation, a toppled twelve-foot standing stone was discovered buried in front of the house. The stone weighs several tons, is tooled and not indigenous to this area.

The present building, as it appears today, was in all probability built by the Stack family, who had connections to several properties in the area, and in England, and who also constructed the nearby Knock-na-moe Castle (1875), which was demolished ca 1990.

The Stack family donated stained-glass windows in St Columba's parish church, where one member, the Rev William Stack, had been curate.

Another family member, the Rev Richard Stack, was rector of Cappagh, 1807-12.

Mullaghmore House was later owned by the Scott family, who had many military connections and frequently rented out the house.

In 1922, Major-General Patrick Scott rented the house to the Gorman family.

The late Sir John Gorman was born here in 1923.
Sir John's father had been a Royal Irish Constabulary district inspector for County Tyrone, and during the partition, he along with several other former RIC members formed the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the house. The house served as the RUC headquarters for a number of weeks before the group moved to the more secure Seskinore House.
According to the owner, the present house was built in stages and the oldest section is likely to be the kitchen.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Freemen of Belfast: 1951-60

 Honorary Burgesses of the City of Belfast


ELECTED AND ADMITTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELFAST UNDER THE MUNICIPAL PRIVILEGE (IRELAND) ACT, 1875


55  HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, Countess of Ulster ~ 1952

56  Rt Hon William Spencer [Leveson-Gower] Earl Granville, KG GCVO CB DSO ~ 1952

57  Rt Hon Rose Constance [Leveson-Gower] Countess Granville, GCVO ~ 1952

58  Royal Ulster Rifles ~ 1954

59  Sir James Henry Norritt JP DL ~ 1955

60  Mrs Margaret Lawson OBE ~ 1955

61  Rt Hon Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG OM CH TD DL ~ 1955

62  Sir Cuthbert Lowell Ackroyd Bt JP DL ~ 1956

63  Lady Ackroyd ~ 1956

64  Royal Air Force Aldergrove ~ 1957

First published in August, 2012.

Carrowdore Castle

De La Cherois-Crommelin of Carrowdore Castle

THE FAMILY OF DE LA CHEROIS-CROMMELIN, OF CARROWDORE CASTLE, OWNED 1,082 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN
The family of DE LA CHEROIS descends from the younger branch of an ancient and noble house in France, formerly resident at Cheroz or Cherois, a small town near Sens, in the province of Champagne, whence the name is derived.
It had there, in the beginning of the 17th century, large possessions, and was allied to some of the first families in that country, among others, to the great family of Montmorency, in consequence of the marriage of Catherine de la Cherois with Jean Seigneur de Beaurnez, whose daughter, Marguerite, married Antoine de Montmorency.
The revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685, compelled the de la Cherois', being protestants, to abandon country, kindred, and fortune, to preserve their freedom of conscience.
In the hurry and distress, unavoidably attendant upon so disastrous a flight, and consequent dispersion that ensued, many particulars relating to their family and history, together with other interesting documents, were destroyed.
In 1641,

CAPTAIN SAMUEL DE LA CHEROIS (ancestor of the branch of the family settled in Ireland), served in the war, undertaken by Cardinal Richelieu, against the House of Austria.

He left three sons, viz.
NICHOLAS, officer in the army of LOUIS XIV;
DANIEL;
Bourjonval.
In 1685, these brothers fled to Holland, where they were received with kindness by the Stadtholder, into whose service they entered, obtaining commissions in the Dutch army of the same rank as those they had held in France.
In 1689, WILLIAM, Prince of Orange, being called to the throne of Great Britain, formed two regiments of the French Hugenots, of which Nicholas de la Cherois was appointed major; Daniel, captain; and Bourjonval, lieutenant.
By 1685, the year of the Revocation, they were living in Ham in Picardy, where they owned land and other property, as did many Huguenots.

They accompanied WILLIAM III to Ireland in 1690 and finally settled there.

The eldest,

MAJOR DE LA CHEROIS,
distinguished himself at the battle of the Boyne, and afterwards performed a very gallant action, making 1,500 men lay down their arms with only a subaltern's guard, for which he was presented by the government with 1,500 crowns, and a lieutenant-colonelcy.
His commission was made out, but not gazetted, when he was unfortunately carried off, by being sent poison by mistake, instead of medicine.
He wedded Mary, daughter of Samuel Crommelin, of Lisburn.

The son and successor,

SAMUEL DE LA CHEROIS, married Mademoiselle Cormiere, and had issue,
DANIEL;
Nicholas, 1737-1829;
SAMUEL, of whom presently;
Judith.
The fourth son,

SAMUEL DE LA CHEROIS (1744-1816), assumed, in compliance of the will of his cousin, Nicholas Crommelin, of Lisburn, the additional surname of CROMMELIN.

He espoused Maria, only daughter of the Rev Dr Thomas Dobbs, fellow of Trinity College, Dublin (brother of Conway Dobbs, of Castle Dobbs, County Antrim, Governor of North Carolina), and by her had issue,
NICHOLAS, his heir;
Richard;
Mary; Sarah; Anne;
Harriet Judith; Jane Suzanna.
Mr de la Cherois was succeeded by his eldest son,

NICHOLAS DE LA CHEROIS-CROMMELIN JP DL (1783-1810), of Carrowdore Castle, who wedded, in 1810, Elizabeth second daughter of William, 2nd Baron Ventry, and had issue by her,
SAMUEL ARTHUR HILL;
Nicholas;
William Thomas;
Anna Sarah; Maria Matilda;
Clara Suzanne; Elizabeth Emily.
SAMUEL ARTHUR HILL DE LA CHEROIS-CROMMELIN (1817-85) married Anna Maria Thompson in 1845, and by her had issue,
FREDERICK ARMAND (1861-1902);
Maria Henrietta;
Caroline;
Florence;
Evelyn Angélique.

 *****

ON THE WALL of the church at Carrowdore there is another memorial, put there by Samuel Arthur Hill de la Cherois-Crommelin in memory of his two sons, Louis and Arthur Claud. 

Another member of the family, Maria Henrietta de la Cherois-Crommelin, known as May Crommelin, (1849-1930) was a novelist and travel writer born in Northern Ireland at Carrowdore Castle.

While growing up, she and her family often lived elsewhere because of the political situation at home, and Crommelin was educated by governesses.

After the death of her "traditionalist" father in 1885, she lived independently in her own flat in London.
 
Though her family were considered gentry, descended from the Huguenot linen merchant Louis Crommelin of Lisburn, they were not at all wealthy, and Crommelin earned a living by writing.

One of her cousins was the astronomer Andrew Claude de la Cherois-Crommelin.

She travelled widely, going to the Andes, the West Indies, North Africa and elsewhere, and was also a productive novelist, starting with her novel Queenie which was published in 1874.

She contributed travel pieces and short stories to magazines like The Idler.

Crommelin's work is not well-known today. Her travel writing seems romanticised to contemporary critics, and her fiction melodramatic.
CARROWDORE CASTLE, County Down, is Georgian-Gothic, built in 1818-20 by Nicholas de La Cherois-Crommelin.

This three-storey rubble and brick country house was built in a rustic gothic style, with castellations, corner turrets and large projecting tower.

The interior is still largely intact, though some rooms to the rear of the house have been altered in recent times and a large, modern, glazed sun-room has also been added.

The three-storey tower to the south has a Jacobean-Gothic feel and appears to be largely intact; whilst the similar (but much smaller) three-storey gazebo to the east of the house is now in a ruinous condition.


There is some very graceful Gothic plasterwork fretting on the hall ceiling.

Parkland surrounds the house and small blocks of woodland, with a shelter belt beyond.

There is a well planted and manicured ornamental garden to the east of the house, which slopes to a lake.

A stone gazebo terminates the castle battlements.

The layout of the parkland has changed remarkably little from the early 19th century, except for the presence of a modern mansion built south-west of the old house. 

The Millisle gate lodge, a surviving one of two gate lodges, is contemporary with the old house and is notable for a castellated parapet and towers, with a pair of dwellings.

Carrowdore Castle is now the home of Dr Francis Jennings DSc, brother of Shamus Jennings CBE.
The Jennings brothers are regularly rated as among the wealthiest people in Northern Ireland. In 2008, they sold their building services firm, Rotary, to an Australian engineering company in a cash and shares deal worth £95m. The same year they sold the Cromwell Hospital in London in a £90m deal. Among their properties is a fishing and shooting estate on the Isle of Islay.
First published in January, 2011.

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Rawdon Baronetcy

THE RAWDON BARONETCY, OF MOIRA, LEICESTERSHIRE, WAS CREATED IN 1665 FOR THE RT HON GEORGE RAWDON MP


The illustrious family of RAWDON deduced its pedigree from Paulinus de Rawdon, to whom WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR granted considerable estates.

This Paulinus, or Paulyn, commanded a band of archers in the Norman invading army, and derived his surname of RAWDON from the lands of that denomination, near Leeds, which constituted a portion of the royal grant.

From this successful soldier lineally sprang, 19th in descent, through a line of eminent ancestors,

GEORGE RAWDON (1604-84),
who settled in Ireland, and took an active part as a military commander during the rebellion of 1641, in that kingdom; and subsequently, until his decease, in 1684, in the general affairs of Ireland. 
This gentleman married, in 1654, the Hon Dorothy Conway, daughter of 2nd Viscount Conway, and they lived at Moira, County Down.

He was the only son and heir of Francis Rawdon, of Rawdon Hill, near Leeds, in Yorkshire.

Rawdon went to Court about the end of the reign of JAMES I and became private secretary to Lord Conway, Secretary of State.

After Lord Conway's death, Rawdon was attached to his son, 2nd Viscount Conway, who had large estates in County Down. 

George Rawdon became his secretary (or agent) and frequently visited the Lisburn area.

He commanded a company of soldiers, and sat in the Irish Parliament of 1639 as MP for Belfast.

When the Irish Rebellion broke out in 1641, Rawdon was in London; but he lost no time in coming to the post of duty.

He travelled at once to Scotland, and crossed to Bangor, reaching Lisburn on the 27th November. 

The account of his visit to Lisburn at this critical time is fully recorded in a most interesting and vivid contemporary note in the old Vestry Book of Lisburn Cathedral.

The towns of Moira and Ballynahinch were founded by Rawdon.

He married, in 1639, Ursula, daughter of Sir Francis Stafford, and widow of Francis Hill, of Hillhall, by whom he had no surviving issue.

After her death he married, in 1654, Dorothy, eldest daughter of Edward, Viscount Conway.

There was an only son of this marriage, Sir Arthur Rawdon, who was buried beside his father in the vault.

Rawdon was created a baronet in 1655, being denominated, of Moira, in the County of Down.

He died in 1684 and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,  

SIR ARTHUR RAWDON (1662-95), 2nd Baronet, MP for County Down,
a distinguished soldier, like his father, and a leader of the "loyalists of Ulster" and fought against the army of JAMES II. Sir Arthur was in Londonderry during the siege, but as he was dangerously ill he had to leave the town by the advice of his doctor. 
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,


SIR JOHN RAWDON (1690-1724), 3rd Baronet, was also MP for County Down.

He married, in 1717, Dorothy, daughter of Sir Richard Levinge Bt, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons (she, after his death, married the Most Rev Charles Cobbe, Lord Archbishop of Dublin).

Sir John's successor,

SIR JOHN RAWDON (1720-93), 4th Baronet, was elevated to the peerage in 1750, as Baron Rawdon, of Moira, County Down.

His lordship was further advanced to an earldom, as EARL OF MOIRA, in 1762.
He married thrice: Firstly, to Lady Helena, daughter of the Earl of Egmont; secondly to the Hon Anna Hill, daughter of Viscount Hillsborough; and thirdly, to Lady Elizabeth Hastings, daughter of the Earl of Huntingdon.
His eldest son,

FRANCIS EDWARD (1754-1826), 2nd Earl, KG, was created MARQUESS OF HASTINGS in 1816.

This nobleman was styled the Hon Francis Rawdon from birth until 1762; and as Lord Rawdon between 1762-83; and Earl of Moira, 1793-1816.

The 1st Marquess was a distinguished soldier and scholar; and Governor-General of India; a Fellow of the Royal Society; fought in the American war; and was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill.


All of these subsidiary titles, including the Baronetcy, became extinct following the death of the 4th Marquess and 8th Baronet, in 1868.

Former seats ~ Donington Hall, Leicestershire; Rawdon Hall, Yorkshire; Loudoun Castle, Ayrshire; Moira, County Down; and Montalto, County Down.

First published in March, 2011.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tintern Abbey

THE COLCLOUGH FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WEXFORD, WITH 13,329 ACRES

A visit to Staffordshire shows this family to have been of consideration in that county before it became eminent in Ireland. 

RICHARD COLCLOUGH, living in the reign of EDWARD III, had issue, three sons, viz.
HUGH;
William;
Richard.
The eldest son, 

HUGH COLCLOUGH, granted Blurton and Cockenidge to his son during the reign of EDWARD III, namely, 

RICHARD COLCLOUGH, living in the reign of HENRY V, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Delves.

JOHN COLCLOUGH, whose relationship to the above is not given, had a son and heir, 

THOMAS COLCLOUGH, living during the time of HENRY VI,  who had a son,


RICHARD COLCLOUGH, Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme, in the reign of EDWARD IV, who wedded Blanche, daughter of William Davenport, of Davenport, Cheshire, and had a son,

JOHN COLCLOUGH, of Blurton, Staffordshire, who espoused Agnes, daughter and heir of Mr Lockwood, and left two sons, namely,
RICHARD, his heir;
Thomas, who had Delfe House, alias High Haugh, by gift of his father.
The elder son,

RICHARD COLCLOUGH, of Wolstanton, Staffordshire, wedded Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Draycot, knight, of Painsley Hall, by whom he had
ANTHONY, of whom presently;
John;
Matthew;
Richard.
ANTHONY COLCLOUGH, of Blurton, Staffordshire, in 1566, was captain of the band of pensioners to ELIZABETH I, and was granted the abbey and lands of Tintern, County Wexford.
This gentleman first arrived in Ireland in 1542, and was knighted by the Lord Justice of that kingdom in 1500. Sir Anthony died in 1584, and is interred under a handsome monument in Tintern Abbey. His wife was Clare, daughter of Thomas Agard, who amassed a great fortune as one of the receivers of the Irish revenue.
By her, Sir Anthony had a number of children, of whom the eldest surviving son, 

SIR THOMAS COLCLOUGH, knight, of Tintern Abbey, born in 1564, succeeded his father and had livery of his estate.

He married Martha, fourth daughter of the Most Rev Adam Loftus, Lord Archbishop of Dublin; and by her, who died in 1609, and was buried in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, he had issue,
ADAM, son and heir
Thomas;
John;
Richard;
Leonard;
Anne; Jane; Martha;
Mary; Eleanor.
Sir Thomas espoused secondly, Eleanor, second daughter of Dudley Begenal, of Dunleckney, County Carlow, second son of Sir Nicholas Bagenal, knight, of Newry, marshal of ELIZABETH I's armies in Ireland.

The eldest son, 

SIR ADAM COLCLOUGH (c1590-1637), of Tintern Abbey, was created a baronet in 1628.

He married Alice, daughter of Sir Robert Rich, knight, a Master in Chancery in England, and by her had issue,
CÆSAR, his heir;
Anthony.
SIR CÆSAR COLCLOUGH, 2nd Baronet (1624-84), of Tintern Abbey, wedded and was succeeded by his only son,

SIR CÆSAR  COLCLOUGH, 3rd Baronet (c1650-87), Deputy Lieutenant-Governor of County Kilkenny in 1689, at whose decease the baronetcy expired.

His sister,

MARGARET, who duly became heiress to her brother of his great estates, married firstly, Robert Leigh, of Ballybrittas, County Wexford, who took the name of COLCLOUGH; and secondly, John Pigot, who also assumed the name of COLCLOUGH.

She died without an heir in 1722, and was succeeded in the manor of Tintern by her heir-at-law,

COLONEL CÆSAR COLCLOUGH, of Duffrey Hall, who, by Henrietta Vesey, his first wife, was great-grandfather of 

CÆSAR COLCLOUGH, of Tintern Abbey.


Situated on the west shore of Bannow Bay in County Wexford, Tintern Abbey was one of the most powerful Cistercian foundations in the South-east of Ireland until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536.

The first Cistercian foundation in Ireland, at Mellifont, County Louth, in 1142, was part of sweeping reforms which took place in the Irish Church in the 12th century.

The early Cistercians, who had their origins in the monastery of Citeaux in France, were dedicated to a simple life of prayer and manual labour.

By 1169, when the Anglo-Normans arrived in Ireland, there were already fifteen Cistercian houses in Ireland.

In 1200, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of Leinster. Threatened with shipwreck, he vowed to found an abbey wherever he could safely land.

On reaching safety in Bannow Bay, he redeemed his vow bequeathing about 9000 acres of land for a Cistercian abbey.

Consequently, Tintern Abbey, sited on a gentle south-facing slope overlooking Tintern stream, is sometimes called Tintern de Voto, 'Tintern of the vow.'

Once established, the abbey was colonised by monks from the Cistercian abbey at Tintern in Monmouthshire, of which William Marshal was also patron.

Following its foundation, Tintern acquired large tracts of land in County Wexford and, at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, appears to have been the third richest Cistercian abbey in Ireland (after St Mary's in Dublin and Mellifont).

Shortly after, Tintern Abbey and its lands were granted to Anthony Colclough from Staffordshire, an officer in HENRY VIII's army.

The Colclough family extensively modified the abbey church, converting the crossing tower and later, the nave, chancel and Lady Chapel to domestic quarters.

In the 18th century, Sir Vesey Colclough built many of the fine battlemented walls seen around the abbey today.

In the 1790s, John Colclough converted the nave into a residence of neo-Gothic style.

He also established a flour mill, the ruins of which stand on the south bank of the stream close to the upper bridge.

At this period also, a thriving weaving industry had developed in Tintern village, located across the stream south-west of the abbey.

Following John's death, his brother Caesar inherited the estate and, shortly after 1814, built the village of Saltmills to replace the old village of Tintern which was then demolished.

The final member of the Colclough family to reside at Tintern was Miss Lucy Wilmot Maria Susanna Biddulph Colclough, who left in 1959, a few years before the abbey was taken into state care.

Conservation and consolidation works started at Tintern in the early 1980s and archaeological excavations between 1982-94 exposed many of the features of the original Cistercian abbey.

Constructed to the standard Cistercian plan, the abbey church was located to the north of an  enclosed cloister garth, which was surrounded on all sides by covered walks and a sequence of domestic buildings.

First published in August, 2012.