Friday, 23 June 2017

Old Court House

THE BARONS DE ROS OWNED 2,952 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN

OLD COURT demesne is located at Strangford, County Down.

I have written about the barony of de Ros here.

The 23rd Baron de Ros, a grandson of the 20th Earl of Kildare and 1st Duke of Leinster, inherited the port and village of Strangford, which became his principal seat.

In 1844, he built Old Court and surrounded it with pleasant walks and gardens.

Lord de Ros also made many improvements, extended Payne's Chapel at Old Court and built Katherine's Quay as his own private harbour.

Dudley, 24th Baron, was equerry to HRH The Prince Consort (Prince Albert), 1853-74.

His life at Court during the period 1850-62, and his manuscript account, gives interesting personal reminiscences of certain events which occurred while he was acquainted with, and in the service of, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as well as dinner and shooting lists, etc. 

Una Mary, 26th Baroness, attended Court in an application for compensation for criminal injury to property, after a malicious fire had destroyed Old Court at the end of 1921, together with two lists of articles lost.

Nevertheless, it seems that the family were popular with the villagers generally and there was much sadness at the time when the old house was burnt.


OLD COURT was a low, rambling two-storey house with many gables, some of them set on three-sided bows, the angle walls of which curved outwards under the eaves, so that some of the upstairs windows were bent in a vertical plane, like the windows at the stern of an old man-of-war ship.


There were barge-boards on the gables and hood mouldings over the windows.

It was located at the site of the present 1970s house (also called Old Court) in a most picturesque setting overlooking the harbour and Strangford Lough.


In the grounds, nestling in a glade nearby, there is a splendid little private chapel originally built in 1629, surrounded by an old graveyard.

It is believed that the chapel is still used regularly by the family and villagers.

Today the demesne stretches from Strangford Bay to Strangford village, skirting the shore-line.

In the 1980s Georgiana, 27th Baroness, and her husband (Lieutenant-Commander J D Maxwell DL RN) lived in the present Old Court House; while their son Peter Maxwell (present Lord de Ros) had a bachelor pad down in the little boat-house at Katherine's Quay.

When he married and succeeded to the title, he built a relatively modern house in the grounds, not far from the delightful little Old Court chapel.

Peter Maxwell is the 28th and present Baron.

First published in July, 2011.  De Ros arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Caledon Estate

THE EARLS OF CALEDON WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TYRONE, WITH 29,236 ACRES

CALEDON HOUSE, County Tyrone, otherwise known as Caledon Castle, is a Classical mansion of 1779 built for James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon.

The designer was Thomas Cooley.

The house was originally of two storeys, with a seven-bay entrance front and pedimented breakfront centre.

Garden front

The garden front has one bay on either side of a broad, central, curved bow.

The side elevations comprise five bays.

Side elevation and library wing

In 1812, the 2nd Earl extended and enhanced the mansion to the designs of John Nash.

Two single-storey domed wings (otherwise pavilions) were added to each side of the entrance front, projecting forwards.

These wings contain a colonnade of coupled Ionic columns and formed a veranda.

One wing, with its coffered dome and smaller columns, contains the library.

The oval drawing-room is said to be one of the finest of its kind, with its sumptuous Regency interior; gilded friezes of Classical figures; and mouldings in cut paper work.

The drapery pelmets are intricately shaped.

The 2nd Earl undertook further additions to the house in 1835.

Original entrance front

A third storey was built on to the main block and the pediment, resplendent with the Caledon arms, was also raised.


The entrance was relocated to one side of the house, with a single-storey extension with another domed octagonal hall.

Caledon crest at entrance porte-cochère 

A noble porte-cochère stands over the porch, with smaller Ionic columns with a splendid stone and metal cast of the Caledon crest (a raised arm in armour holding a sword).

The original hall of the mansion house became the saloon.


THE walled demesne at Caledon is one of Northern Ireland's finest landscape parks.

During the Victorian era, the Earls of Caledon were the third largest landowners in County Tyrone, after the Dukes of Abercorn and the Earls Castle Stewart.

The estate's significance and condition has been enhanced throughout successive generations of the same family to the present day.

Caledon Estate is largely contained by the river Blackwater within its eastern and southern boundaries; and the village of Caledon to the north-east.

Most of the estate lies in County Tyrone, though it straddles counties Armagh and Monaghan.

The original Caledon Castle was the seat of the 5th Earl of Cork and Orrery, a friend of Dean Swift.

It was said, in 1738, to be "old, low, and, though full of rooms, not very large."

Lord Orrery was the biographer of Jonathan Swift and friend of Dr Johnson, as well as an improving landlord who did much to beautify the gardens around his newly-acquired residence, through planting and the addition of ornamental buildings and statues.

In 1747, he constructed a folly-like bone house in the garden (faced with ox bones), which he intended should "strike the Caledonians with wonder and amazement".

It is the only element of his garden ornamentation to survive to the present day.

On the death of his kinsman, Richard, 4th Earl of Cork, in 1753, Lord Orrery became Earl of Cork and Orrery.

His wife Margaret died in 1758 and, with the death of Lord Cork himself in 1762, the Caledon estate passed to their son, Edmund, 7th Earl (1742-98).

It is during the period of the 7th Earl of Cork and Orrery's tenure that the earliest documentation concerning the modern village of Caledon dates.

Lord Cork sold his estate to James Alexander in 1776 for £96,400 (about £14 million in 2014).

This new landlord was the second son of Alderman Nathaniel Alexander of Londonderry.

He made his fortune in the service of the East India Company during the 1750s and 60s, returning to Ulster in 1772 worth probably over £250,000 (£34 million in 2014).

With this money, he proceeded to accumulate estates in Counties Donegal, Londonderry, and Antrim, as well as Caledon, to which he added neighbouring townlands (some bought outright, some leased) in both Tyrone and Armagh.

In 1779, he built a new classical mansion, to designs by Thomas Cooley, either on the site of, or a short distance from, the old Hamilton residence.

The 1st Earl died in 1802 and was succeeded by his son, Du Pré, 2nd Earl, who served as the first governor of the Cape of Good Hope between 1806 and 1811, where the river Caledon and the District of Caledon are named after him.

The celebrated landscape designer, John Sutherland, re-designed Caledon estate in 1807.

In 1827, further improvements were made by the landscape designer W S Gilpin.

There are splendid parkland and woodland trees (some renowned for their monetary value), and the estate has a benign climate for tree growth.

The estate boasts a 19th century pinetum, fastigiate yew avenues, a lake, deer park (red deer) with a lake.

The disused Union Canal and river Blackwater enhance the water features.

In the late 19th century the park was inhabited by black bears, caught by the 4th Earl (1846-98), who had ranched in the American west (father of Field Marshal the 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis).

The walled gardens are in sections, the one closest to the offices with glasshouses, fruit and vegetables.

Stables

The estate contains a large number of buildings, including gardeners' cottages, lodges, stables, and offices.

A number of the former estate workers' cottages have been modernized and are available for rental.

Head gardener's cottage

The Doric Lodge, dating from about 1780, is possibly by Thomas Cooley.

The grand and elaborate Twin Lodges of 1812 at the main entrance, by John Nash, are guarded by Coade stone sphinxes, Caledon arms and gilded earls' coronets.

The Glaslough gate lodge, the School gate lodge, and the Tynan gate lodge (all ca 1833) are likely the work of Thomas J Duff.

Other buildings include the head gardener’s cottage, a sunken tunnel to the offices, the keeper’s house, the dower house and several bridges.

There is an old cross and well along the main drive to the House.

First published in June, 2015.  Caledon arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Scott of Willsboro'

THE SCOTTS OWNED 2,505 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

THE REV GIDEON SCOTT, Oxford, went over to Ulster as Chaplain in WILLIAM III's army in 1688, and purchased the Willsboro' estate, 1696.

He married Jane, daughter of Robert McNeill, of Ballintoy, County Antrim, by Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir John Ruthven, and widow of Sir Dugald Stuart Bt.

Mr Scott died in 1724, leaving (with two daughters, Anne and Jane) an only son,

WILLIAM SCOTT (1705-76), of Willsborough, County Londonderry, for many years Recorder and MP for the city of Londonderry, Prime Sergeant, Judge of the King's Bench, and eventually a Baron of the Exchequer.

He married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Gledstanes, and had issue,
Thomas, Recorder of Londonderry, 1765; d 1770;
JAMES, of whom presently;
Anthony, died 1770.
The second son,

JAMES SCOTT (1745-1820), of Willsboro', wedded, in 1779, Catherine Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Rev James Leslie, Lord Bishop of Limerick, and sister of Sir Edward Leslie, 1st Baronet, of Tarbert House, County Kerry, and had issue,
William, died 1803-4;
THOMAS, his heir;
Edward, a major in the army;
Richard;
George (Rev), Rector of Banagher;
Charles;
James Leslie Montgomery (Rev), Chancellor of Down, Rector of Portaferry;
Joice, m R Ogilby, of Pellipar;
Hannah; Mary Anne Martha; Jane.
Mr Scott was succeeded by his second son,

THOMAS SCOTT JP DL (1783-1872), of Willsboro', High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1844, Lieutenant, Bengal Army, Brigade Major of Yeomanry, Ireland, who espoused firstly, in 1823, Hannah, widow of John Campbell, of Limavady.

He wedded secondly, in 1827, Anne Monaghan; and thirdly, in 1844, Katharine Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rev Thomas Richardson, of Somerset, near Coleraine, County Londonderry.

Major Scott had issue by his second wife,
James, died 1846;
WILLIAM EDWARD, of whom hereafter;
Thomas Lucas (Rev);
Charles Stewart (Rt Hon Sir), GCB, GCMG;
Henry Richardson;
Elizabeth; Hannah; Annette; Hatton Thomasina; Katharine Emily; Jane B.
The eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM EDWARD SCOTT JP DL (1833-1913), of Willsboro', High Sheriff, 1857, Captain and Honorary Major, Londonderry Militia, married, in 1861, Catherine Georgina, daughter of the Ven Alexander Stuart, Archdeacon of Ross, and had issue,
Thomas George Stuart, died in 1868;
KATHERINE ELIZABETH, mother of WILLIAM EDWARD PHILLIPS SCOTT;
Anne Frances Emily.
Major Scott's daughter,

KATHERINE ELIZABETH SCOTT (d 1934), wedded, in 1896, Edward Loftus Phillips, fourth son of Charles P Phillips, of Berkeley Cottage, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM EDWARD PHILLIPS, b 1903;
Anne Frances Emily, d 1891.
Mrs Katherine Elizabeth Phillips & Daughter, by BM Torrens

*****

Willsboro' seen though a wide-angled lens. Photo credit: Tyler Collins

WILLSBOROUGH HOUSE, otherwise Willsboro', near Eglinton, County Londonderry, is a mid-19th century house of two storeys and six bays, flanked by canted, projecting bays at either end.

The roof is concealed behind a cornice and parapet.

It faces westwards across flat terrain to the river Foyle, County Londonderry.

There is a courtyard to the rear.

The demesne dates from 1696.

A walled garden, gate lodge, and some mature trees remain.

*****

In 1735, the Londonderry City Corporation had set up a committee to find an economical way of furnishing the poor of the city with heating fuel.

They agreed to contract William Scott of Willsborough, near Eglinton, to supply turf to the city. 

The lands of Willsborough were originally deep flat bog and the Scotts reclaimed this bog, over the next one hundred years, by constructing canals and shipping turf to the city’s quay.

From 1746, William Scott agreed to supply the city annually, for 21 years, 32,000 barrels of turf at 1½ pence per barrel.

The Corporation also agreed to pay Mr Scott an additional £50 per annum if he supplied the quota of 32,000 barrels.

First published in June, 2015.

The Duke of Cambridge

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS Prince William Philip Arthur Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, KG, KT, PC, is 35 today.
  • Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter 
  • Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle
  • Colonel, Irish Guards
  • Lieutenant-Commander, Royal Navy
  • Major
  • Squadron-Leader, Royal Air Force
  • Personal Aide-de-Camp to HM The Queen

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Lisnavagh House

THE BARONS RATHDONNELL OWNED 4,960 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY CARLOW

ALEXANDER McCLINTOCK, of Trinta, County Donegal (only son of Alexander McClintock, who came from Argyllshire and purchased in 1597 the estates in Donegal) wedded, in 1648, Agnes Stenson, daughter of Donald Maclean.

He died in 1670, leaving issue,
JOHN, his heir;
WILLIAM, ancestor of McClintock of Dunmore.
The elder son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1649-1707), of Trinta, married, in 1687, Janet, fourth daughter of John Lowry, of Ahenis, County Tyrone, and had issue,
John, died young;
Alexander, of Drumcar;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Robert.
The third son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1698-), married Susannah Maria, second daughter of William Chambers, of Rock Hall, County Donegal, and had issue,
William;
James;
JOHN, succeeded his uncle at Drumcar;
ALEXANDER, of Newtown, Co Louth;
Francelina; Rebecca; Catherine; Anne.
The third son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1742-99), of Drumcar, County Louth, MP for Enniskillen, 1783-90, and for Belturbet, 1790-7, espoused, in 1766, Patience, daughter of William Foster MP, of Rosy Park, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Alexander (Rev);
William Foster;
Henry;
Mary Anne; Elizabeth; Rebecca; Fanny.
The eldest son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1770-1855), of Drumcar, 'Bumper Jack' McClintock, MP, commissioned the building of Drumcar House, near Dunleer, in 1777.

His mother was Patience, daughter of William Foster, MP for County Louth and first cousin to John Foster, 1st Baron Oriel. His paternal grandfather was Alexander McClintock (d 1775).

Mr McClintock married firstly, in 1797, Jane, only daughter of William Bunbury, of Moyle, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
William Bunbury, of Lisnavagh, father of 2nd Baron;
Catherine.
Mr John McClintock wedded, secondly in 1805, the Lady Elizabeth Trench, daughter of William, 1st Earl of Clancarty, and had issue,
Frederick William Pitt;
Charles Alexander;
Robert Le Poer (Rev);
Henry Stanley, of Kilwarlin House, Co Down;
George Augustus Jocelyn;
Anne Florence; Harriette Elizabeth; Emily Selina Frances.
Mr John Clintock was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 1ST BARON RATHDONNELL (1798-1879), High Sheriff of Louth, 1840, MP for County Louth, 1857-59, Lord-Lieutenant of County Louth, 1867-79.

Mr McClintock was elevated to the peerage, in 1868, as BARON RATHDONNELL, of Rathdonnell, County Donegal, with remainder to the male issue of his deceased younger brother, Captain William McClintock-Bunbury.

His lordship married Anne, sister of Sir John Henry Lefroy, and they lived between Drumcar, County Louth. Their London home was at 80 Chester Square. The marriage was childless.

Lord Rathdonnell was succeeded in the barony, according to the special remainder, by his nephew,

THOMAS KANE, 2nd Baron (1848-1929), who wedded, in 1874, Katharine Anne, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Henry Bruen, of Oak Park, County Carlow, by his wife Mary Margaret Conolly, third daughter of Lt-Col Edward Michael Conolly, of Castletown, County Kildare.
Lieutenant, Scots Greys; Captain, Leicestershire Yeomanry; Honorary Colonel, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, 1896-1929; Sheriff of County Carlow, 1876; Lord-Lieutenant of County Carlow; President, Royal Dublin Society 1918-29.
The 2nd Baron was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Carlow, from 1890 until 1922.

His lordship was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS LEOPOLD, 3rd Baron (1881-1937), MBE, who married, in 1912, Ethel Synge, second daughter of Robert Wilson Jevers CMG, Sheriff of County Carlow, 1909.

His son,

WILLIAM ROBERT, 4th Baron, MC (1914-59), who married and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS BENJAMIN, 5th and present Baron, born in 1938; married, in 1965, Jessica Harriet, only daughter of George Gilbert Butler, of Scatorish, Bennetsbridge, County Kilkenny.


LISNAVAGH HOUSE, near Rathvilly, County Carlow, is a large, rambling, granite ashlar Tudor-Revival mansion, built in 1847 for William McClintock-Bunbury MP, brother of the 1st Baron Rathdonnell.

It's on an irregular plan with porte-cochere, bay windows and gables; designed by Daniel Robertson; truncated and re-ordered about 1953; Stable building and walled garden to rear.


Lisnavagh House was substantially reduced in size about 1953 by the 4th Baron; that section of which contained the principal rooms being demolished; while the service wing was adapted to provide requisite accommodation.

The estate has been a family home for eleven generations and covers hundreds of acres.

The estate includes Lisnavagh House, several cottages, excellent grazing for cattle & tillage land for maize, barley and wheat.

Over 250 acres of mainly hardwood woodland sees Beech, Oak and Ash and other native woodland species thrive allowing a healthy biodiversity of flora and wildlife to exist in its surrounds.

This woodland is now managed and protected and naturally fallen timbers are recycled into the now highly sought after exclusive wooden Bunbury chopping Boards.

Lisnavagh Estate and House are available for private hire for exclusive weddings, yoga sleep retreats, annual community and social events.

Also available to guests are short term rental of 4 self catering cottages on the grounds.

First published in June, 2013.   Rathdonnell arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Richmond Lodge

Richmond ca 1832, by E K Proctor

RICHMOND LODGE, Knocknagoney, County Down, was a large, two-storey, late Georgian residence.

It had octagonal bays at either end and a central porch.

The house stood in its own grounds comprising 24 acres, close to the location of the present Knocknagoney housing estate.

It was said to have been built ca 1798. 

The first known occupant of Richmond Lodge was Francis Turnly (1765-1845), son of Francis Turnly JP, of Downpatrick, County Down, who had leased it or the land from David McCance about 1800.

Turnly lived at Richmond Lodge in 1824.

The family also owned Rockport House.

Photo credit: Rev McConnell Auld

When Turnly's widow, Dorothea, died in 1846, Richmond passed to John Dunville (1786-1851), the well-known distiller.

Richmond Lodge remained with the Dunvilles until 1874, when John Dunville's son William died and it was sold to James Kennedy, who began a number of improvements, including a new avenue approach about 100 yards south of the original main entrance.

By 1902, Richmond Lodge had become the home of the Rt Hon William Henry Holmes Lyons JP DL (1843-1924).

First published in June, 2013.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Lough Cutra Castle

WILLIAM SMYTH, of Rossdale, Yorkshire, passed over into Ulster in the reign of CHARLES I, and settling at Dundrum, County Down, became ancestor of the family which we are treating, and of the Smyths of Drumcree, Gaybrook, etc.

His son,

WILLIAM SMYTH, of Dundrum, married Mary, daughter of Thomas Dewdall, and by her had two sons, viz.
THOMAS, his heir;
James.
The elder son,

THE RT REV THOMAS SMYTH (1650-1725), was, for his great piety and learning, at the recommendation of Dr Tennison, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, promoted to the see of Limerick in 1696.

His lordship married Dorothea, daughter of the Rt Rev Ulysses Burgh, Lord Bishop of Ardagh, and had issue,
William (Very Rev), Dean of Ardfert, dsp;
CHARLES, of whom presently;
John;
Michael;
Henry;
Thomas;
George;
Arthur;
Edward;
James;
Mary; Dorothea; Elizabeth.
The second and eldest surviving son,

CHARLES SMYTH (1694-1784), who succeeded to the estates of his father, represented the city of Limerick in parliament for 45 years.

He espoused Elizabeth, sister and heir of Sir Thomas Prendergast, last baronet of that name, and widow of John Dixon Haman, and had issue,
Thomas, MP, dsp;
JOHN PRENDERGAST, of whom we treat;
Charles Lennox;
Juliana, mother of CHARLES, 2nd Viscount.
The second son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST-SMYTH, was elevated to the peerage, in 1810, as Baron Kiltarton, with remainder to his nephew, Charles Vereker, the son of his sister Juliana.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1816, as VISCOUNT GORT, of Gort, County Galway.

The 1st Viscount died a bachelor, 1817, when the family honours devolved upon his nephew,

CHARLES, 2nd Viscount, PC (1768-1842), Constable of the City of Limerick, Colonel of its Militia, and Privy Counsellor.

His lordship married firstly, in 1789, Jane, widow of William Stamer, and had issue,
JOHN PRENDERGAST, his successor;
Juliana; Georgiana.
He wedded secondly, in 1810, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Palliser, by whom he had a son,
Charles, born in 1818.
His eldest son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST, 3rd Viscount (1790-1865), sold the family seat, Lough Cutra Castle.



LOUGH CUTRA CASTLE, once known as Loughcooter Castle, is near Gort in County Galway.

It was designed by John Nash and is located in a romantic setting above a lough.

The Castle was built from 1811 for the 2nd Viscount Gort, who had an admiration for East Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight and stipulated that his new home should be similar in design.

Lough Cutra Castle is battlemented with machiolations.


The 3rd Viscount suffered ruinous financial losses as a result of the Irish famine, since he refused to collect any rents and donated large sums to charity.

Consequently, Lough Cutra was sold by the Encumbered Estates Court in 1851.

The Gort family subsequently moved to the Isle of Wight, where they, somewhat ironically, acquired East Cowes Castle.

Lough Cutra was purchased in 1854 by Field-Marshal the Viscount Gough, who added a wing and clock-tower two years later.

During the Victorian era, the estate comprised 6,628 acres.

Interestingly, Lord Gough commissioned wallpaper by Cole & Son for a design featuring Union Flags and coronets.

The Castle was sold by the Gough family later in the 19th century and remained empty for many years; until it was bought back post-1945 by the 7th Viscount Gort for his great-niece, Elizabeth Sidney.

Thereafter the Castle was sold again and is now privately owned.

In May, 2015, TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Lough Cutra Castle.

First published in May, 2015.  Gort arms courtesy of European Heraldry.