Riversdale, near Ballycassidy, is presently the regional office of the NI Rivers Agency in County Fermanagh.
The Forest Service afforested the grounds and, regrettably, demolished the old house in 1960, along with the two gate lodges for good measure.
Riversdale was the seat of the Archdale Baronets, scions of the Archdales of Castle Archdale.
"As far as I know, Riversdale was built sometime between 1800 and 1817 by Edward Archdale (above), 3rd son of Mervyn Archdall and Hon. Mary Dawson. He died in 1864, when the property passed to his second son William Humphrys Mervyn Archdall (below)."
"The latter died without an heir in 1889, so the house and land passed to his nephew, my great-grandfather Edward Mervyn Archdale. Attached is a photo (bottom) of his family taken in 1932. Edward Mervyn Archdale farmed Riversdale and also had large farms at Rossahilly and Crocknacrieve - almost 1,000 acres."
"His original estate was 5,300 acres and he was one of the first landlords to sell to his tenants. He moved to his late uncle's house at Riversdale in 1897, but during the five years 1898-1903 while he represented North Fermanagh, he rented a house in Warwick Square for his family."
"During his later service as an MP, he also maintained a house in 36 Belgrave Road, SW. He sold Crocknacrieve and about 250 acres of land to John West, uncle of Harry West, for £2000 who in turn sold it to the Loanes in 1921. John West then bought Rossahilly."
"He became a Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for Fermanagh, was High Sheriff of the county in 1884. He sat in Parliament for North Fermanagh, as a Unionist, from Apr 1897 to 1903 and again from 1916-1922, for the same county, being made a Privy Councillor on 7 Mar 1921, and Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Commerce in the Ulster Parliament in 1921-33."
"...Imperial Grand Master of the Loyal Orange Institution from 1926 to 1937 and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland from 1924 to 1940. President of Belfast Chamber of Commerce 1929. In 1926 Queen's University Belfast awarded him the honorary degree of LL.D. Created Baronet 25 June 1928."
"On Edward Mervyn Archdale’s death in 1943 the estate passed to his son, Vice-Admiral Nicholas Edward Archdale (above), who felt he was unable to maintain the property and so sold it to the N Ireland Ministry of Agriculture in 1947, who subsequently pulled down the house in the 1960s, but kept the stables for offices and general storage."
I am most grateful to Peter Archdale, who sent me the pictures of Riversdale House and the Archdale family. First published in August, 2010.