Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Ely Lodge

Formerly the Ulster seat of the 5th Duke and Duchess of Westminster, Ely Lodge, County Fermanagh, sits on the southern shore of Lower Lough Erne

It has an association through marriage with the Hume family. Lord Ely married the daughter of Sir Gustavus Hume (of Hume Castle) and they lived at Ely Castle.

In 1870, the castle was in danger of collapsing and was demolished. The stable block remained, and was converted and extended to become Ely Lodge.

In 1948, Ely Lodge became the home of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Grosvenor, Lord Hugh Grosvenor's younger son; who subsequently became 5th Duke of Westminster. 

The 5th Duke's mother was Lady Mabel Crichton, of Crom Castle, and the Duke spent much of his childhood at Crom.

The late 5th Duke's son, the 6th and present Duke of Westminster, was born at Omagh, County Tyrone. 

The 6th Duke was then known as Gerald, Earl Grosvenor; and both he and his sisters spent their childhood at Ely Lodge.

Ely Lodge remained part of the Westminster Estates till about 1987, when Viola, Dowager Duchess of Westminster, Lord-lieutenant of County Fermanagh, was tragically killed in a car accident.

In 1994, Charles Plunket, the former land agent who inherited the estate on the Duchess's death, sold the estate privately.

First published in June, 2009.


Jonathan said...

What a splendid looking place. There are signposted walks around the forest at Ely Lodge so perhaps it is possible to catch a glimpse of the house.

Should be noted that it was Viola Westminster who famously ordered holes to be drilled in the dining room ceiling at Florence Court following the fire, allowing the water used to put the fire out to drain away and not risk the collapse of the ceiling.

Timothy Belmont said...

Do read my link on this blog to the present Duke, Jonathan.


Irishlad said...

Did her husband tell her to do that? He was in the Ulster Reform Club that night and more or less said "what do you expect me to do about it?"..nice,but there you go.

Timothy Belmont said...

Philip. I think you're referring to Lord Enniskillen's reaction to his countess at Florence Court! He was staying at the Ulster Club in central Belfast.

Anonymous said...

wouldn't the Ulster Reform Club benefit from the membership of Lord Belmont ? I am sure this could be proposed and passed without undue delay, were a discreet word to be had with a member. The club rooms are imposing,the cuisine of the highest order, and the members from a wide range of interesting backgrounds.

Anonymous said...

Ely Lodge was also used during the war by American troops and according to PRONI's records in June 1942 it was the headquarters for the 1st and 3rd battalion of the 168th infantry regiment, which was part of the 34th division.