Friday, 20 May 2016

Stephenstown House

THE FAMILY OF FORTESCUE WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LOUTH, WITH 5,262 ACRES

This is a cadet branch of the FORTESCUES of Drumiskin (from whom descended the EARLS OF CLERMONT, and the BARONS CLERMONT and CARLINGFORD).

WILLIAM FORTESCUE, of Newrath, County Louth, younger son of SIR THOMAS FORTESCUE, of Dromiskin, married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Nicholas Gernon, of Milltown, County Louth.

He died in 1734, leaving, with other issue, a third son,

CAPTAIN MATTHEW FORTESCUE, Royal Navy, who wedded, in 1757, Catherine Doogh, and had (with a daughter, Catherine) a son,

MATHEW FORTESCUE, of Stephenstown, who espoused Mary Anne, eldest daughter of John McClintock MP, of Drumcar, and had issue,
MATHEW, his heir;
Anna Maria; Harriet; Emily.
The only son,

MATHEW FORTESCUE DL (1791-1845), of Stephenstown, married, in 1811, Catherine Eglantine, eldest daughter of Colonel Blair MP, of Blair, and had issue,
Mathew Charles, died in infancy;
JOHN CHARLES WILLIAM, his heir;
Frederick Richard Norman, father of
MATTHEW CHARLES EDWARD;
William Hamilton;
Clermont Mathew Augustus.
Mr Mathew Fortescue was succeeded by his son,

JOHN CHARLES WILLIAM FORTESCUE JP DL (1822-91), of Stephenstown, and Corderry, Lieutenant-Colonel, RA; High Sheriff, 1861; Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Louth, 1868-79.

Colonel Fortescue wedded, in 1857, Geraldine Olivia Mary Anne, daughter of the Rev Frederick Pare, by the Hon Geraldine de Ros his wife.

He dsp in 1891, when he was succeeded by his nephew,

MATTHEW CHARLES EDWARD FORTESCUE JP DL (1861-1914), of Stephenstown, High Sheriff, 1903, Major, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, who wedded, in 1894, Edith Magdalen, eldest daughter of Sir Charles Arthur Fairlie-Cunninghame Bt, in an issueless marriage.

*****

After the death of Mrs Pike-Fortescue in 1966, Stephenstown was inherited  by her nephew, Major Digby Hamilton, who sold it about 1974.


STEPHENSTOWN HOUSE, near Dundalk, County Louth, was a square Georgian house of two storeys over a basement, five bays long and five bays deep.

The house was extended in 1820 by the addition of two wings of one storey over the basement.

One of these wings was demolished later in the 19th century.

At some time in the earlier part of the 19th Century the windows were given Tudor-Revival hood mouldings, but later the house was refaced with cement and the hood mouldings replaced by classical pediments and entablatures.


Alas, the once-great mansion is now ruinous.

Although neglected in recent years, Stephenstown House continues to play a vital role in its surroundings.

It is located on the highest point in the locality dominating the skyline and providing a point of drama in the landscape.

The outlying buildings are in fair condition and their survival contributes further to Stephenstown's significance.

The house became ruinous by the 1980s.

Abandoned Ireland has an interesting article about it here.

Other former seat ~ Wymondham Cottage, Oakham, Rutland.

First published in March, 2012.

2 comments :

Ian Gregory said...

Dear Timothy,My name is Janice Gregory and i live in Sydney Australia,I saw your story on Stephenstown House in Louth and the history of the Fortescues. Major F.R.N.Fortescue was my G.G.Grandfather, he had two children out oif wedlock to a Elizabeth Albertina Quinn in India .One being my G.Grandfather Henry Norman Anstruther Ebrington Fortescue who was born in Meerut in 1851 and a daughter Florence Eglantine Fortescue born in Agra in 1854,after her birth FRN and Elizabeth parted and he married Maria Jane Garstin and had Matthew and Kathleen.We do not know what happened to Florence she could have died,but Elizabeth married a soldier called Turner. My husband and I have been to Meerut and found FRN Fortescue's grave, and we have also visited Matthews grave in Knockbridge. Henry is buried in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney he died in 1896 at age 46 Hope you find this interesting,but that line of Fortescues is alive and well in Sydney Australia Regards Janice Gregory

Sandra Fee said...

Hi Janice. I'm hoping to do a mini-thesis on Stephenstown House for my Fine and Decorative Arts course, Diploma, in Dublin. I am from Dundalk, and have always wondered about Stephenstown house! Its so sad to see it looking so neglected these days! Would you mind if i were to use your information above as part of my thesis? Kind regards. Sandra Fee M.Sc