Thursday, 9 February 2017

Holestone House

THE OWENS FAMILY OWNED 3,766 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

The family of Gillilan, from which that of Owens derived the Holestone property, went from Scotland to Ulster in the reign of CHARLES II.

HENRY OWENS wedded, in 1724, Jane, eldest daughter of William Gillilan, of Holestone (by which marriage the Gillilan property, for want of heirs male, passed to the OWENS), and had issue (with a daughter Hessie) two sons,
William, of Holestone, died unmarried, 1725;
JOHN.
The younger son,

JOHN OWENS, of Tildarg (1726-1806), wedded, in 1769, Anne, daughter of the Rev George Rogers, rector of Dunaghy, County Antrim, and had issue,
William Gillelan, dsp;
John, dsp;
JAMES, of whom presently;
Anne; Jane; Rachel Margaret Hester.
The third son,

JAMES OWENS JP DL (1777-1848), of Holestone, married, in 1799, Mary, daughter of John Forsythe, of Ballynure, by Sarah his wife, daughter of William Gillilan, of Collin, and by her left a son and successor,

JOHN OWENS JP (1801-74), of Holestone, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1838, who espoused, in 1828, Jane, daughter of James Stewart Moore JP DL, of Ballydivity, and had issue,
JAMES, of Holestone;
Harriett Skeffington, m,1850, the Rev James Orr*;
MARGARET, of Holestone;
Jane, d unm 1902;
Elizabeth Anne.
The only son,

JAMES OWENS JP DL (1836-1900), of Holestone, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1878, wedded, in 1861, Evelyn Margaret, daughter of Robert James Tennent JP DL, of Rushpark, County Antrim.

Mr Owens died without issue and was succeeded by his sister,

MISS MARGARET OWENS, of Holestone, who died unmarried in 1904, and was succeeded by her niece,

MISS JANE EMILY ORR-OWENS, of Holestone, daughter of the Rev James Orr*, by his wife, Harriett Skeffington, daughter of John Owens, of Holestone.

In 1904, she assumed the arms and name of ORR-OWENS.


HOLESTONE HOUSE, near Doagh, County Antrim, is a two-storey, five-bay house.

It has a single-storey porch with Doric pilasters.

Two-storey semi-circular bays project at each end.

Holestone House was built in 1827 for James Owens, to replace a previous smaller house on the site.

The property had been owned by the Owens family from at least as early as the 1760s.

The Owens' ceased to own the property in 1919 and it was sold to Captain W G Hamilton in 1932.

The house takes its name from an unusual antiquity in the form of a standing stone slab with a hole through it, aptly called the Hole Stone, which stands some distance to the north of the house.

An undressed recumbent stone in the grounds to the south of the house is inscribed "2,500 forest trees planted by William Owens on this farm from the year 1791 to the year 1802".

Former town residence ~ 39 Ovington Square, Lennox Gardens, London.

First published in February, 2015.

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