Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Ballydugan House

THE KEOWN-BOYDS OWNED 4,191 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN

This family descended maternally from BOYD, of Glastry, County Down, who claimed to be a branch of the Kilmarnock family.

RICHARD KEOWN, of Downpatrick, County Down (son of Richard and Margaret Keown, m 1768), married Mary (who assumed the name of BOYD, as heiress of the Boyds of Glastry and Portavogie), daughter of Henry Keown, and had issue,
John, JP, barrister;
Henry, a military officer;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Mary, m William Beers;
Margaret;
Anne, m George Gulliver;
Isabella, m Dr R Boyd.
The third son,

WILLIAM KEOWN JP (1816-77), of Ballydugan House, County Down, High Sheriff of County Down, 1849, MP for Downpatrick, 1867-74, wedded, in 1845, Mary, eldest daughter of the Rev Robert Alexander, Prebendary of Aghadowey, County Londonderry, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Robert;
William;
John Maxwell;
Alfred Henry;
Edmund Walter;
Mary; Matilda Catherine; Hilda Margaret.
Mr Keown assumed the surname of BOYD in 1873, under the will of his grand-uncle, Major David Hamilton Boyd, of Glastry.

The eldest son,

RICHARD KEOWN-BOYD (1850-), Lieutenant, Royal Navy, of Ballydugan and Glastry, married, in 1875, Florence, fourth daughter of Charles Manners Lushington MP, and had a daughter,

SYLVIA IRONSIDE KEOWN-BOYD, who espoused, in 1927, Sir Denys Henry Harrington Grayson, 2nd Baronet.

They divorced in 1937.


BALLYDUGAN HOUSE, near Downpatrick, County Down, is a three storey, five bay, Georgian house of ca 1770.

The estate lies close to Ballydugan Lake and flour mill, and the disused railway line, one of my favourite places in the county.

A two-storey, bow-fronted wing was added about 1815.

The estate today comprises about 750 acres.

Ballydugan has changed ownership on several occasions.

Stephen Richard Nassau Perceval-Maxwell (whose ancestral home was Finnebrogue House) lived at Ballydugan House until about 1935.

It appears that it was subsequently purchased by the Brownlows of Ballywhite House.

In 1976, Captain James Christy Brownlow (1922-2006), High Sheriff of County Down, 1971,  lived at Ballydugan House.

Stuart Blakley has written an informative piece about Ballydugan here.


The demesne was established in the 18th century.

There are mature shelter trees and woodland.

The walled garden is not cultivated but there is a very large English yew flourishing in the centre.

A maintained ornamental and productive garden is near the house.

The gate lodges have gone.

This site lies to the south of a much larger demesne, Hollymount, which has completely gone.

There are remnants of a fine oak wood on the east side, amongst forest planting.

The Keown-Boyd mausoleum of ca 1825 remains in very good condition.

First published in March, 2016.

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