Sunday, 18 August 2019

The George

The Clandeboye estate schoolhouse, County Down, was built by Lord Dufferin in ca 1858.

William Burn submitted designs for the school in 1850, and a further design was commissioned from Benjamin Ferrey in 1854.

Neither plan was executed and the architect of the school as it was built remains uncertain.

In the mid 1970s Ballysallagh Primary School was converted to licensed premises (The George) and was largely extended in the process, with large function rooms added.

Click to Enlarge

The George at Clandeboye, County Down, was a hostelry I frequented often in my younger days.

I have found a little leaflet entitled The George.

Many Saturday nights were spent here during the seventies and eighties.

Incidentally, the George's postal address was Crawfordsburn Road, Clandeboye, County Down.

The lodge bedroom block was constructed in 1992-4 to designs by Alan Cook Architects.

It now forms a part of Clandeboye Lodge Hotel.

First published in June, 2011.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

The Hermitage


The first of this noble family that settled in Ireland was

GENERAL HUGH MASSY, who had a military command to repress the rebellion of 1641.
General Massy was descended from Hamon de Massey, one of the companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, who obtained large grants in the counties of Durham and Cheshire, and was created Baron of Dunham Massy.
He wedded Margaret Percy, and had a son,

HUGH MASSY, of Duntrileague, who espoused Amy, daughter of John Benson, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
John, of Knockaneevan, County Limerick;
William, of Stoneville, County Limerick;
Charles (Very Rev), Dean of Limerick, ancestor of the Massy Baronets;
Margaret, m William Baker.
The eldest son,

COLONEL HUGH MASSY (1685-1757), of Duntrileague, married Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Hon George Evans, and had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
George (Ven), Archdeacon of Ardfert;
John, killed in a duel;
Godfrey, in holy orders;
Amy; Elizabeth; Catharine.
Colonel Massy was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH MASSY (1700-88), of Duntrileague, who, having represented County Limerick in several parliaments, was raised to the peerage, 1776, in the dignity of BARON MASSY, of Duntrileague, County Limerick.

His lordship espoused firstly, Mary, daughter and heir of James Dawson, of Ballinacourty, County Tipperary, and had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
He married secondly, Rebecca, daughter of Francis Dunlap, of Antigua, and had further issue,
Francis Hugh;
Margaret; Rebecca Frances; Caroline; Amy.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH, 2nd Baron (1733-90), who wedded, in 1760, Catherine, eldest daughter and co-heir (with her sister Sarah, Countess of Carrick) of Edward Taylor, of Ballymore, County Limerick, and had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
George Eyre;
Catherine; Mary Anne; Jane; Sarah.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH, 3rd Baron (1761-1812), who married, in 1792, Margaret, youngest daughter of William Barton, of Grove, County Tipperary, and had issue,
HUGH HAMON, his successor;
George William;
Dawson, in holy orders;
Grace Elizabeth; Catherine; Susan Maria; Margaret Everina; Elizabeth Jane Sarah Anne.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH HAMON, 4th Baron (1793-1836), who wedded, in 1826, Matilda, daughter of LUKE WHITE, of Luttrellstown Castle, County Dublin, and had issue,
HUGH HAMON INGOLDSBY, his successor;
John George Hugh.
The 5th Baron died young, and the 6th Baron, a young man of 19, inherited up to 38,000 acres.

He was said to have an affluent lifestyle with little regard to pecuniary matters.

Grand parties took place at Killakee, and numerous hunting expeditions both there and in Limerick. 

His great-grandson, the 6th Baron, sat in the House of Lords from 1876 to 1915.

As of 2010, the title is held by the latter's great-great-grandson, the 10th Baron, who succeeded his father in 1995.

THE HERMITAGE, Castleconnell, County Limerick, was an imposing Georgian house built about 1800 for George Evans Bruce, a disgraced banker.

It was situated in a spectacular location overlooking the Falls of Doonass on the River Shannon.

The Hermitage had a five bay entrance front with a pediment supported by paired huge Corinthian pilasters which framed the centre bay.

There was a balustraded roof parapet.

The garden front consisted of five bays, the end bays having quoins. 

There was a modest, though richly decorated hall with statue niches.

The Hermitage is now demolished.

Seemingly only the foundations now remain of the once beautiful house; broken steps, old kitchen garden walls and the dilapidated fountain all indicating that this was once a very wealthy estate.

During the 18th century, Duntrileague was the seat of the Massys, but in the 19th century their main residence was The Hermitage, close to Limerick city.
In the 1870s Lord Massy owned 8,568 acres in County Limerick and 1,120 acres in County Tipperary; however, his largest estate was in County Leitrim, amounting to over 24,000 acres in 1878.
The Massy family had property in north County Leitrim following the bequest of the White estate at Lareen to John, 6th Lord Massy.

In the 1830s, the Massy estate also comprised property in the parish of Killora, County Galway, where the agent was George Falkner.

This property seems to have been leased by Richard Rathbourne, of Ballymore.

It was offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates court in 1852.

Most of the Massy lands were sold in the last two decades of the 19th century; followed by the family residences in the early years of the 20th century.

There is a good article about the Massy family here.

First published in May, 2011.  Massy arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Lady Alice's Temple

LADY ALICE'S TEMPLE, Hillsborough Castle, County Down, stands most elegantly in the castle grounds.

This exquisite, neo-classical temple was built about 1880.

It was said to be inspired by Sir John Vanbrugh’s creation of a temple garden at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, in the early 18th century.

Garden temples had become fashionable during this era.

The temple was built using masonry and cast-iron.

The copper-cladding is likely a replacement; the structure, however, seems to retain mainly original materials.

It affords a picturesque focal point at the end of the Yew Walk to the east, and the Lime Walk to the north.

Lady Alice's Temple replaced a summer-house which occupied the same site.

The Lady Alice Maria Hill (Countess of Bective) was the sister of the 5th Marquess of Downshire and Lord Arthur Hill, who lived at Hillsborough Castle in the last quarter of the 19th century during the 6th Marquess's minority.

Many garden temples were designed as seats to provide shade, shelter and a fine prospect of the grounds.

Moreover, Lady Alice’s Temple provides a focal point at the end of the striking Yew Walk, which approaches it.

First published in August, 2017.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Barcelona Visit

Palacio Moja in La Rambla

Barcelona, Spain's second city, is one of those places you hear a lot about though have never visited.

A friend of mine suggested that we pay it a visit for three or four days before he started a new job.

Catalonia, an autonomous province of Spain, is hot at this time of the year, so we both travelled lightly (I wore the usual navy blazer, light blue shirt, a pair of linen shorts etc).

I think I made a mistake in wearing the suede Chukka boots, because miles of constant walking chafed part of a small toe.

These shoes are normally comfortable (I wear them all the time), with their Dainite soles.

Despite wearing ankle socks I fitted a plaster to the toe and this did the trick; though I tended to wear my very comfortable espadrilles from then on.

Can any readers recommend traditional, light walking shoes (excepting trainers, flip-flops, sandals etc)?

Barcelona is served well by pubic transport: we tended to use the Metro underground service which is not dissimilar to the Tube in London.

A highlight of the trip was intended to be a visit to the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, though we were to be disappointed because it was fully booked up for days (if not weeks) in advance.

Instead we hopped on to one of those open-top double-decker sightseeing buses, which proved to be an enjoyable experience.

This bus passed the Barça football stadium, an ancient convent in the hills, Gaudí's house, and many more "must-see" places.

Roof of Gaudí's House

The Regent Street or Bond Street of Barcelona is Passeig de Gràcia, where I stopped twice for refreshments at a pavement café.

Gaudí's House

Antoni Gaudí's house is quite fabulous, notably the scaly colourful roof.

The famous La Rambla street is in the city centre, off Catalunya Square.

It has a wonderful market which sells fresh seafood, cheeses, fruit etc.

On Wednesday I lunched at the Marquess of Comillas's palace in La Rambla, in a manner of speaking (!).

Main Staircase

The Palacio Moja now contains government departments, a tourist information centre and a cafeteria on the ground floor.

I had a nutritious dressed salad comprising abundant lettuce leaves, sliced apple, walnut, and crumbled stilton cheese, accompanied by a large glass of freshly-squeezed, sweet orange juice.

Barcelona, by the way, has a large marina filled with super-yachts, some with four or five decks.

I wondered if some belonged to members of the Barça football club.

I should think that two or three days would suffice for a visit to this cosmopolitan city.

Moyne House


HUGH HAMILTON settled at Lisbane, County Down, during the reign of JAMES I, and was made a denizen of Ireland in 1616.

He died in 1655 and was buried at Bangor, County Down, leaving issue,
John, of Ballymenoch;
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
The second son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Killyleagh, County Down, married Jean, daughter of John Hamilton, of Belfast, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
Jane, m William Sloane, of Chelsea.
Mr Hamilton died in 1676, and was succeeded by his son,

HUGH HAMILTON, of Ballybrenagh, who wedded Mary, sister of Robert Ross, of Rostrevor, and daughter of George Ross, of Portavo, by Ursula his wife, daughter of Captain Hans Hamilton, of Carnesure, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
George, of Tyrella;
Mr Hamilton died in 1728, and was succeeded by his elder son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Knock, County Dublin, and of Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, MP for Killyleagh, 1730-61, who espoused Isabella, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, County Down, by Jane, daughter of the Rev Simon Chichester, Vicar of Belfast (eldest son of Henry Chichester, of Marwood, by Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Maxwell, Lord Bishop of Kilmore).

He died in 1768, leaving four sons and three daughters, viz.
HUGH (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Ossory;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
Isabella; Anne; Elizabeth.
The second son,

ROBERT HAMILTON, of Gloucester Street, Dublin, married Hester, daughter of Crewe Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
Mr Hamilton died in 1790, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV ALEXANDER CHETWOOD HAMILTON, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny, who married, in 1801, Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of THE REV SEWELL STUBBER, and assumed, in 1824, the surname of STUBBER in lieu of Hamilton, and the arms of Stubber only.

By her he had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Sewell (Rev);
William, of Roundwood, father of
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh (Rev);
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anne Matilda.
The Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton died in 1830, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT HAMILTON STUBBER JP DL (1803-63), of Moyne, High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1831, who married, in 1840, Olivia, daughter of the Rev Edward Lucas, of the Castleshane family, and widow of Henry Smyth, of Mount Henry, Queen’s County, and had issue,
Olivia Harriet Florence Hamilton; Eleanor Frances Beatrice Hamilton.
Mr Hamilton-Stubber was succeeded by his son and heir,

ROBERT HAMILTON HAMILTON-STUBBER JP DL (1844-1916), of Moyne and Castle Fleming, Queen’s County, High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1873, Lieutenant, Royal Dragoons, who espoused firstly, in 1877, Adèle Grainger, daughter of Alexander Duncan, of Knossington Grange, Leicestershire, and had issue,
He wedded secondly, in 1885, Georgina Alice Mary, youngest daughter of George Power, sixth son of Sir John Power Bt, of Kilfane, County Kilkenny, and had issue, a daughter, Margery.

Mr Hamilton-Stubber sold the Moyne estate to his cousin,

CHARLES PAULET HAMILTON (1834-1907), grandson of the Rev A C Hamilton, who wedded, in 1878, Emily Louise, daughter of William Smyth-King, and had issue,
Maurice William Chetwode (1882-1955);
Elinor Frances; Kathleen Elizabeth; Alice Maude; Mary Beatrice.
Mr Hamilton's younger son,

HUBERT CHARLES HAMILTON DSO (1887-1946), of Moyne, Barrister, wedded, in 1912, Honoria Eliza Sylvia Vera, daughter of Major Travers Robert Blackley, and had issue, an only child,

HUBERT CHARLES PAULET HAMILTON (1915-2007), of Moyne, Captain, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who married firstly, in 1941, Margaret Helen, daughter of Sir Owen Watkin Williams-Wynn Bt, and had issue,
He espoused secondly, in 1950, Katharine Frances, daughter of William Evelyn Joseph Dobbs, and had further issue,
Hubert Kildare, b 1953;
Dominick Charles, b 1954;
Sophia Elinor, b 1960.

MOYNE HOUSE, near Durrow, County Laois, is a five-bay two-storey house with dormer attic, built ca 1730.

It has a pedimented central bay with a projecting porch.

Moyne was renovated and extended about 1880, with two-bay, two-storey wings and a dormer attic.

The house has a double-pitched and hipped slate roof, with rolled lead ridge tiles and limestone ashlar chimney-stacks.

The roof is gabled; rubble limestone walls; a Venetian-style window opening to entrance bay and oculus to pediment.

The house is set back from the main road in its own landscaped grounds.

It has a stable complex, including two-storey rubble stone ranges, one of which was renovated about 1970 to accommodate residential use.

Of its interior, the drawing-room is notable for its Adam-Revival ceiling; while the dining-room has a frieze of plasterwork in late 18th century style; and a carved wood chimney-piece in Elizabethan style. 

Moyne Polo Club, established in 1996, is affiliated to the Hurlingham Polo Association.

A Midsummer Ball and one-day tournament is held in June; a two-day tournament on the penultimate weekend in July; and a tournament in August with the emphasis on junior polo.

Moyne House became the Hamilton family home in the early part of the 19th century, when Robert Hamilton-Stubber (1803-63) moved there from Kilkenny.

The house then descended via Robert Hamilton-Stubber (1846-1916) to Major Robert Hamilton-Stubber DSO (d 1963), who sold Moyne to his cousin, Hubert Charles Hamilton, in the 1920s; from whom the present branch of the family is descended.

The Hamilton family still live at Moyne.

First published in December, 2012.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

The Princess Royal

Her Royal Highness THE PRINCESS ROYAL KG KT GCVO is 69 today.

The Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born at Clarence House, London.

HRH is married to Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO CB.

Princess Anne is a Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and an Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

Her Royal Highness is also Grand Master and Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Florence Court House


The first of this family who settled in Ulster was

SIR WILLIAM COLE (c1575-1653), Knight, a professional soldier born in London, but belonging to the Cole family of Slade, in Devon, who descended (or who, on the evidence of a magnificently emblazoned pedigree in the archive, could plausibly claim to descend) from an ancient Conquest family.

Sir William fixed his abode, early in the reign of JAMES I, in County Fermanagh, and becoming an undertaker in the plantation of Ulster, had an assignment, in 1611, of 1,000 acres of escheated lands in the said county; to which, in 1612, were added 312 acres in the same county, 80 whereof were assigned for the town of Enniskillen, and that town was then incorporated by charter, consisting of a provost and twelve burgesses, Sir William being the first provost.

He raised a regiment, which he commanded against the rebels, in 1643, with important success.

Sir William married firstly, Susannah, daughter and heir of John Croft, of Lancaster, by whom he had two daughters; and secondly, Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence Parsons, of Birr, second Baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left at his decease, two sons,
MICHAEL, his heir;
John, of Newland, father of 1st BARON RANELAGH;
Mary; Margaret.
The elder son,

SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight (1644-1710), of Enniskillen Castle, MP for Enniskillen, 1692-3, 95-9, 1703-11, wedded Alice, daughter of Chidley Coote, of Killester.

Sir Michael was succeeded by his only surviving child,

JOHN COLE (1680-1726), of Florence Court, MP for Enniskillen, 1703-26, who espoused, in 1707, Florence, only daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey Bt, of Trebitch, in Cornwall, and had issue,
Henry (Rev);
JOHN, his heir;
Letitia; Florence.
Mr Cole was succeeded by his younger son,

JOHN COLE (1709-67), of Florence Court, MP for Enniskillen, 1730-60, who married, in 1728, Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Willoughby Montgomery, of Carrow, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
Arthur, m in 1780 Caroline Hamilton;
Flora Caroline; Catherine.
Mr Cole was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, in the dignity of Baron Mountflorence, of Florence Court, County Fermanagh.

His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY2nd Baron (1736-1803), MP for Enniskillen, 1761-7, who was created Viscount Enniskillen in 1776; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1789, as EARL OF ENNISKILLEN.

His lordship wedded, in 1763, Anne, daughter of Galbraith Lowry Corry, of Ahenis, County Tyrone, and sister of Armar Corry, Earl of Belmore, and had issue,
JOHN WILLOUGHBY, his successor;
Galbraith Lowry (Sir), GCB, a general in the army;
William Montgomery (Very Rev), Dean of Waterford;
Arthur Henry, MP for Enniskillen;
Henry, died young;
Sarah; Elizabeth Anne; Anne; Florence; Henrietta Frances.
The 2nd Earl was a Knight of St Patrick (KP).
  • Michael Galbraith Lowry Cole, styled Viscount Cole (1921–1956) who died unmarried.
  • David Lowry Cole, 6th Earl, MBE (1918–1989);
  • Andrew John Galbraith Cole, 7th Earl of Enniskillen.
The heir presumptive is the present holder's first cousin Berkeley Arthur Cole (b 1949).
Further reading about the Cole family is available in the Enniskillen Papers.

FLORENCE COURT HOUSE, County Fermanagh, having been a property of the National Trust since 1953, is a tall, early to mid-18th century block of three storeys over a basement.

It consists of seven bays, its front heavily enriched with rustication, balustrades, pedimented niches and other features.

The main block is joined by long arcades with rusticated pilasters to pedimented and pilastered single-storey pavilions.

The central block was probably built by John Cole MP, later 1st Lord Mountflorence, whose mother was the Florence after whom the mansion is named.

There was probably another property on the site, such as a shooting lodge, in the days when the family inhabited Enniskillen Castle.

The 5th Earl of Enniskillen gave Florence Court to the National Trust in 1953.

Two years later the centre of the mansion was severely damaged by fire; indeed, the 6th Earl was staying at the Ulster Club in Belfast when Lady Enniskillen broke the news to him.

He is said to have cried,  “What the hell do you think I can do about it?”

Fortunately, most of the House has been totally restored, though the attic and nursery rooms on the top floor were not, it is thought, reinstated to their former glory.

The Hall in the 19th Century

The demesne stands in a very fine natural setting and the mansion-house contributes to making it an outstanding site.

When the house was built, it was enhanced by formal planting, which was in vogue at the time.

There were prominent straight avenues, only one of which (the west) survives today.

Traces of massive ditches indicate where the others were.

A curving main avenue replaced the earlier ones, when the park was radically altered in the 1780s under the direction of William King.

This was undertaken in accordance with the then fashion for informal landscapes.

The view from the house became a wide vista to parkland studded with trees and sweeping away to distant woodland.

This exists today, with fine specimens of parkland trees dotted about as originally intended.

The National Trust have replanted clumps from the early 1980s to maintain continuity.

The ornamental gardens, known as the Pleasure Grounds, cover seven acres close to the house.

This planting dates from the 1840s in an area of grass, paths, flowering shrubs and exotic trees.

The summer-house, known as the Heather House, is currently being restored.

The partly walled garden has a stream at one boundary.

It has been adapted for low maintenance and to provide interest for visitors and not filled, as originally intended with fruit, flowers and vegetables for family use.

The parkland today includes several good woodland walks, one of which leads to the original Florence Court yew (Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’) in the Cottage Wood.

It is the survivor of two trees discovered in the 1760s, from which all upright yew trees descend.

There are many listed demesne buildings in good repair, including the fine Grand Gates, which adorn a pair of identical lodges of ca 1778.

THE 5TH EARL had been pre-deceased by his only son, Michael, Viscount Cole (1921-56), who died unmarried.

Shortly before this, in 1954, Lord Cole, the legal owner of the property, had, in conjunction with his father, given Florence Court and the fourteen acres immediately surrounding it to the National Trust.

In 1955, the above-mentioned very serious fire broke out, which would have had far worse consequences but for the presence of mind of the 5th Earl's wife.

However, it still devastated the drawing room, the staircase hall and the Venetian Room, which have since been very largely, though not entirely, restored by the National Trust.

Lord and Lady Enniskillen continued to live in the house but, as Nancy Lady Enniskillen put it, '... with [a] reduced number of rooms and of staff - also new discomforts and inconveniences. ...'

Lord Cole died in 1956, leaving the rest of his County Fermanagh estate to David Cole, 6th Earl.

From his succession to the title in 1963 until 1973, the 6th Earl and his second wife Nancy, Lady Enniskillen, lived at Florence Court. During this period, the 6th Earl considerably developed the estate.

Between 1963-69 he served as a member of Fermanagh County Council, being Chairman of its General Purposes and Finance Committee.

From 1971-73, despite a weak heart, he was on active duty as a captain in the 4th (Fermanagh) Battalion of the Ulster Defence Regiment, whose new headquarters in Enniskillen he opened in March 1973.

In 1973, following disagreements with the National Trust which, happily, were laid to rest in 1997, Lord and Lady Enniskillen left Florence Court and Northern Ireland.

They brought most of the contents of the house with them, although there was an auction in 1973, at which the 5th Duke of Westminster purchased a number of important Cole family portraits (his widow Viola, Duchess of Westminster, presented these to the National Trust in 1980.)

Though no longer living in Northern Ireland, Lord Enniskillen continued to serve as a DL for County Fermanagh, and never failed to attend the House of Lords when Northern Ireland issues were under discussion, particularly issues relating to the police.

In 1974, he transferred nearly all his Florence Court land to the NI Department of Agriculture to enable it to create a forest park.

The 6th Earl died in 1989. He was succeeded by Andrew, Viscount Cole, his only son (by his first marriage) who became the 7th Earl.

The 7th Earl, following family tradition, lives in Kenya, where he is married with three daughters.

The heir presumptive to the earldom is therefore the 6th Earl's first cousin, Berkeley Arthur Cole (b 1949).

The 6th Earl's widow, Nancy, Countess of Enniskillen lived, until her death in February 1998, in Scotland.

First published in January, 2010.  Enniskillen arms courtesy of European Heraldry.