Saturday, 4 July 2020

Belfast Castle: II



"In the foreground is the Farset River, flowing down High Street, with Chads' Bridge opposite the Market House.

The small houses to the extreme right, or west, are on the site of the present Bank Buildings, where Castle Street terminated as a continuation of High Street.

The Castle had a north-easterly aspect, and opposite the entrance gates, on the east side of the Corn Market, was the Market-House with its square tower, on the first floor of which, above the market stalls, was the room in which the burgesses met at their assembly meetings.

The house adjoining on the east side of the corn market was the Castle brew-house, wherein the cider was brewed from the apples gathered in the orchards.

On the west side of the Corn market, and opposite the brew-house, was the house containing the pleasure boats in the barge-yard, from which in a south-east direction was the castle wharf, joining "The New Cutt River" at the sluice, and entering the Lagan on the south side of the Long Bridge.

High Street, Belfast, in the 17th Century

The garden path in front of the barge-yard, running in a south-west direction, was the Long Walk, extending the entire length of the Pleasure Garden.

The Pigeon House was the small house with the pointed roof.

Proceeding from the Pigeon House, past the back of the Castle are the stables, with their five dormer windows, having a carriage entrance from Castle Street.

The Ash Walk, as it appears in Phillips' Map of 1685, did not extend the whole length of the gardens.

It seems, however, to have been extended, at a later date, as in a lease, bearing the date 14th June, 1717, its measurement is given as 530 feet from Castle Street in a southerly direction.

According to that measurement, it formed the western boundary of the Castle gardens, and was probably planted with ash trees as a shelter to the fruit gardens from the prevailing westerly winds.

Its frontage to Castle Street was 250 feet, so that we can fix its area as three acres.

To the east of the Ash Walk was Robin's Orchard, having a frontage to Castle Street; and the garden situated between Robin's Orchard and the Castle was the Melon Garden.

The small building, with an entrance through the Melon Garden, was originally the Coach House.

First published in July, 2012.

Fermanagh DL


The Viscount Brookeborough KG, Lord-Lieutenant of County Fermanagh, has been pleased to appoint:-
Mrs Catherine Mary Maguire
County Fermanagh
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, her Commission bearing date, the 29th June, 2020.

Lord Lieutenant of the County

Friday, 3 July 2020

Drumnasole House


FRANCIS TURNLY JP (1732-1801), of Downpatrick, County Down, married, in 1760, Catherine Black, of Bordeaux, France, and had issue,
JOHN (1764-1841), of Rockport House; dsp;
FRANCIS, of whom presently;
The second son,

FRANCIS TURNLY (1766-1845), of Drumnasole, County Antrim, and Richmond Lodge, County Down, High Sheriff of County Down, 1806, wedded, in 1804, Dorothea Emilia, daughter of John Rochfort, of Clogrennane, County Carlow, and granddaughter of Robert Burgh, of Birt, and had issue,
John, died in infancy;
Francis, died unmarried, 1820;
Robert Alexander (1805-85), of Drumnasole, died unmarried;
Joseph, died unmarried;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Charles Horace, d 1885;
Dorothea Anna, d 1885;
Catherine, d 1906.
Mr Turnly, born at Richmond Lodge, made a £70,000 fortune (£5 million today) with the East India Company.

The Turnlys were prominent merchants during the 17th and 18th centuries, involved with multifarious trading enterprises in and around Belfast.

Francis Turnly and Narcissus Batt imported alcoholic products from Holland and the Channel Islands.

They became business partners, running a brewery at one time, probably supplying the publicans of the local area.

The fifth son,

JOHN TURNLY JP DL (1818-1909), of Drumnasole, wedded, in 1850, Charlotte Emily, daughter of the Rt Hon Edward Litton QC, Master in Chancery in Ireland, and had issue,
FRANCIS JOHN SEYMOUR, of whom presently;
John Edward Litton Alexander, b 1869;
Sophia Dorothea; Dorothea Vescina; Charlotte Augusta Anne;
Flora Eugenie; Catherine Beatrice; Nina Rochfort; Gertrude; Hilda.
The eldest son,

FRANCIS JOHN SEYMOUR TURNLY JP (1862-1934), of Drumnasole, married, in 1896, Hessie Metcalfe McNeill, daughter of Charles Higginson, of Springmount, County Antrim, and had issue,
John Francis, 1898-1918, killed in action;
ARCHIBALD GORDON EDWARD, of whom we treat;
Mary Dorothea Rochfort, b 1900.
Mr Turnly's only surviving son,

MAJOR ARCHIBALD GORDON EDWARD TURNLY DL (1902-), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1949, wedded, in 1933, Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Alexander Young, of Lisvarna, Ballycastle, County Antrim, and had issue,

JOHN FRANCIS CECIL TURNLY, a local politician and activist, who was assassinated in 1980.

DRUMNASOLE HOUSE, near Garron Point, County Antrim, is a country house of ca 1810, described in 1845 as "a most romantic and sheltered site at the base of the perpendicular hills".

Building began before 1819 and was finished ca 1840.

It was built near the site of an earlier house of the same name which had been occupied in the 1760s by the Donaldson family; and in the 1780s by Francis Shaw, who sold the estate to Francis Turnly in 1808.

Turnly had amassed a considerable amount of money while in China in the 1790s, and following his return to Ulster in 1801, he bought two estates, one at Drumnasole and another at Cushendall.

To facilitate his frequent journeys between the two, he cut first the Red Arch near Waterfoot in 1817, and then the Split Rock, known locally as Turnly's Cut, near Garron Point in 1822, thus creating a predecessor of the present coast road.

Turnly also erected the building in Cushendall known as Turnly's Tower.

Elsewhere in the Drumnasole estate Turnly built a schoolhouse ca 1820, and a descendant built a gate lodge about 1860.

Drumnasole House is built of basalt from the hill behind, of two storeys over a basement.

The entrance front has a breakfront centre with windows flanked by two narrower windows above.

A fan-lighted doorway is under a shallow porch of four engaged Doric columns below, one bay on either side. The side elevation comprises five bays.

The long hall with a plasterwork ceiling; the stairwell lit by a dome.

The gate-lodge is at the Antrim coast road entrance.

Photo Credit © Rev John McConnell Auld

Richmond Lodge, Knocknagoney, County Down, another property of the Turnlys, was eventually acquired by the Dunville family, who moved there in 1845.

Plans showed a long drive-way leading to the house and extensive grounds, substantial enough for Captain R L (Bobby) Dunville to establish a private zoo there during the 1920s.

First published in December, 2010.

Wilson of Maryville

THOMAS WILSON, of Croglin, said to have been son of John Wilson of Croglin, of an old-established family in Dumfriesshire, had a sister, Christian, married to Gilbert Grierson.

Mr Wilson wedded Agnes Grierson, and died in 1571, leaving issue,
MATTHEW, of Croglin;
Janet; Katherine; Malic.
The elder son,

MATTHEW WILSON, of Croglin, Dumfriesshire, died about 1612, leaving two sons,
JOHN, his heir;
Thomas, merchant burgess of Edinburgh.
The elder son,

JOHN WILSON JP, of Croglin, wedded firstly, in 1610, Margaret, daughter of Robert, 1st Lord Dalzell, and died before 1641, having had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Susanna, m 1626 John Sitlington, of Stanehouse;
Anne, m John Stewart, of Drumbeg.
He espoused secondly, Helen Maxwell, and had issue,
JAMES, of whom presently;
The eldest son,

JOHN WILSON, of Croglin, Commissioner of War for Dumfriesshire, 1643-9, married firstly, _____ Halliday; and secondly, the daughter of _____ Gordon, and had a son,


His direct lineal descendant,

WALTER WILSON, of Croglin (which was sold owing to losses sustained through the failure of the Bank of Ayr), wedded, in 1795, his cousin Jane, daughter of Robert Stewart, of Drumbeg, County Antrim, and through her became possessed of Maryville, Belfast.

He died in 1807, having had issue,
Robert Gordon, died young;
Walter, died young;
Mary Isabella.
The only surviving son,

ALEXANDER GEORGE WILSON (1797-1856), of Maryville, married, in 1837, Emily Lawrence, daughter of the Rev Charles Boyd, Rector of Magheradroll, by Emilia Juliana Theresa, his wife, daughter of Colonel Thomas Dawson Lawrence, of Lawrencetown, County Down, and had issue,
WALTER HENRY, his heir;
Alexander Basil (1846-1913), of Maryville, Malone, Belfast;
Emily Lawrence.
The elder son,

WALTER HENRY WILSON JP (1839-1904), of Maryville, and Cranmore, married, in 1875, Sarah Elizabeth, eldest daughter and co-heir of James Owen Wynne, of Hazelwood, and had issue,
Marion Emily; Lilian Lawrence; Florence Stewart;
Dorothy Gladys; Mary Wynnefred Kathleen.
His son and heir,

ALEXANDER GEORGE WILSON JP (1876-1959), of Maryville and Cranmore, Lieutenant, Army Motor Reserve, educated at Harrow, succeeded in 1904.


THE Wilson family home was Maryville, off the Malone Road.

Maryville originally belonged to the wealthy Stewart family of Ballydrain.

One member of the Stewart family built Maryville and Myrtlefield; another built Macedon.

Maryville was located close to the junction of Malone Road and Stranmillis Road.

It was located at the site of the present Osborne Park Playing Fields, opposite Bladon Park and Bladon Drive.

Maryville might originally have been a farm and it stretched from Malone Road to the present Lisburn Road at Cranmore House.

Cranmore House in 1888

Walter Wilson subsequently purchased Cranmore House and turned it into a fernery.

This part of Belfast was developing rapidly and, in 1900, Mr Wilson took a twenty-year lease of Belvoir Park, Newtownbreda, from Lord Deramore.

Mr Wilson was a partner with Lord Pirrie in the Belfast shipyard, Harland and Wolff.

His first marital home was 1, Botanic Avenue, Belfast.

Thereafter he rented Stranmillis House prior to leasing Belvoir.

The Wilsons' lease on Belvoir Park was terminated in 1918.

WILLIAM III is said to have rested at Cranmore, near Maryville, en route to Belfast, and the tree where his horse was tied is still growing.

Cranmore was formerly called Orange Grove and was the residence of a family named Eccles.

First published in February, 2012.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Dundonald: Glebe House

Dundonald, County Down, now almost consumed within Greater Belfast, was once a charming, picturesque village, with its own tavern, meeting-house, parish and presbyterian churches, and a row of cottages lining the main road.

This continuous line of cottages was known as Gape Row.

Gape Row on the right, not far from the former Old Moat Inn.

The last cottage to stand was the old post office, and they were all swept away by 1934.

Opposite Gape Row, across the main road, the prospect remained rural and agricultural.

The Glebe House. Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020

The Glebe House, former residence of the Rectors of Dundonald, still stands on the hillside, in its own grounds.

It was erected in 1819 by the Rev Roger Moore Dillon, Rector from 1810 till 1851, and cost £830 to build (about £73,000 in 2019).

This Georgian rectory is today part of a residential home, and is surrounded by extensions and various additions.

The residential home, St Elizabeth's Court, is named after the parish church which still stands on the other side of the main road.

The parish church was named after Elizabeth Cleland, of Stormont Castle.

The main block comprises two storeys and three bays, with a fanlighted door.

Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020

There are single or one and a half storey wings.

The outbuildings, however, included a carriage house, piggery, and potato house.

A garden remains at the front of the house, down a few steps, and the grounds originally extended to twelve acres.

A series of Rectors resided in the Glebe House, including the Rev Andrew Cleland (from 1851-80).

The Rev Thomas Herbert Frizelle, Rector from 1951-80, built the new parish church, which was completed in 1966.

Thomas Frizelle was probably the last Rector to live at the Glebe House, because a new rectory was built within the glebe grounds, south of the Glebe House.

Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020

On my way home I cycled over to Church Green, now the heart of old Dundonald, and spotted a Victorian post-box.

1st Earl of Erne

This name originally assumed from the barony of Crichton, Edinburgh.

WILLIAM DE CRICHTON, living about 1240, was ancestor of the Crichtons, Viscounts Frendraught, which title ceased with Lewis, 5th Viscount, about 1699; and of

JOHN CREIGHTON, of Crum [sic] Castle, County Fermanagh, settled in County Fermanagh during the 17th century.

This John married Mary, daughter of Sir Gerald Irvine, of Castle Irvine, and was succeeded by his son,

ABRAHAM CREIGHTON (c1631-1705), MP for County Fermanagh, 1692-3, Enniskillen, 1695-9, who commanded a regiment of foot in WILLIAM III's service at the battle of Aughrim, 1692.

Colonel Creighton married Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev James Spottiswood, Lord Bishop of Clogher, and was father of

DAVID CREIGHTON (c1670-1728), celebrated for his gallant defence, in 1689, of the family seat of Crom Castle, against a large body of the Royal Army (JAMES II's).

Having repulsed the assailants, young Creighton made a sally, at the instant that a corps of Enniskilleners was approaching to the relief of the castle, which movement placed the besiegers between two fires, and caused dreadful slaughter.

The enemy attempting to accomplish his retreat across an arm of Lough Erne, near Crom Castle, that spot became the scene of such carnage, that it bore the name of the "Bloody Pass".

This gentleman represented Enniskillen in parliament, and attaining the rank of major-general in the army, was appointed governor of the Royal Hospital of Kilmainham.

He wedded, in 1700, Catherine, second daughter of Richard Southwell, of Castle Mattress, County Limerick, and sister of 1st Lord Southwell.

Mr Creighton, MP for Augher, 1695-9, Lifford, 1703-28, was succeeded by his only son,

ABRAHAM CREIGHTON (c1700-72), MP for Lifford, 1727-68, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1768, in the dignity of Baron Erne, of Crom Castle.

His lordship espoused Elizabeth, eldest daughter of  John Rogerson, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench in Ireland, and had issue,
David, died young;
JOHN, his successor;
Meliora; Charlotte; Mary.
He married secondly, in 1762, Jane, only daughter of John King, of Charlestown, County Roscommon, and widow of Arthur Acheson.

His lordship was succeeded by his elder surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Baron (1731-1828), who was created, 1781, Viscount Erne; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1789, as EARL OF ERNE.

His lordship wedded firstly, in 1761, Catherine, 2nd daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Howard, Lord Bishop of Elphin, and sister of the Viscount Wicklow, and had issue,
ABRAHAM, his successor;
Elizabeth; Catherine.
He espoused secondly, in 1776, the Lady Mary Hervey, eldest daughter Frederick Augustus, Earl of Bristol, Lord Bishop of Derry, and had an only daughter, Elizabeth Caroline Mary, who wedded James Archibald, Lord Wharncliffe.

His lordship was succeeded by his son and heir,

ABRAHAM, 2nd Earl (1765-1842), MP for Lifford, 1790-97, who changed the spelling of the family name to CRICHTON.

He died unmarried, and was succeeded by his nephew,

JOHN, 3rd Earl (1802-85), KP, who wedded, in 1837, Selina Griselda, daughter of the Rev Charles Cobbe Beresford, and had issue,
JOHN HENRY, his successor;
Charles Frederick;
Henry George Louis (Sir), KCB;
Louisa Anne Catherine.
His lordship was installed a Knight of St Patrick in 1868.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN HENRY, 4th Earl (1839-1914), KP PC, who wedded, in 1870, the Lady Florence Mary Cole, daughter of William Willoughby, 3rd Earl of Enniskillen, and had issue,
Henry William, MVO, DSO, dvp;
George Arthur Charles (Sir), GCVO;
Arthur Owen;
James Archibald, DSO;
Evelyn Louisa Selina;
Mabel Florence Mary, MBE.
His lordship was appointed a Knight of St Patrick in 1889.

4th Earl of Erne KP

He was succeeded by his grandson,

JOHN HENRY GEORGE, 5th Earl (1907-40), DL, who espoused, in 1931, the Lady Davidema Katharine Cynthia Mary Millicent Bulwer-Lytton, daughter of Victor, 2nd Earl of Lytton, and had issue,
Rosanagh Mary; Antonia Pamela Mary.
His lordship, a Page of Honour to GEORGE V, 1921-24, and Lord-in-Waiting to GEORGE VI, was killed in action in France during the 2nd World War.
  • John Henry Michael Ninian Crichton, 7th Earl (b 1971).
The heir presumptive is the 4th earl's great-grandson, Charles David Blayney Crichton (b 1953), and his son, Oliver Charles Martin Crichton (b 1995), heir apparent.
Crom Castle, County Fermanagh, is the ancestral seat of the Earls of Erne.

Crom Estate, however, has been a property of the National Trust since 1988.

The name Crom is customarily pronounced "Crum", as in bread-crumb.

The 6th Earl, who died on the 23rd December, 2015, is survived by wife Anna, Countess of Erne, and his son and four daughters: John, 7th Earl; Lady Cleone; Lady Davina; Lady Katherine; and Lady Tara.

6th Earl of Erne KCVO

The 6th Earl retired as HM Lord-Lieutenant for County Fermanagh on the 9th July, 2012, having served 25 years in office.

One of his final official engagements was to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to the county during Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee tour, on the 26th June, 2012.

CROM CASTLE, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, is a large castellated mansion combining baronial and Tudor-Revival elements.

It was built in 1829 to the design of Edward Blore (who also completed the design of Buckingham Palace).

I visited the Castle about thirty years ago and remember the indoor swimming-pool, which was adjacent to the conservatory.

Although remote, Crom is one of my favourite places in Northern Ireland; I always relish revisiting it.

I stayed on the estate several times during the 1980s.

In those days, if my memory serves me correctly, the family had a golden retriever called Boomer which visited us at our cottage occasionally.


The then housekeeper, Mrs Johnston, was a well-known tea-leaf reader in the vicinity.

One night there was a knock on the door. It was a man inquiring if we read "tea"in a local accent.

At first we were puzzled and uncomprehending as to what he meant; later, however, we discovered Mrs Johnston's talented gift! 

Erne arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published December, 2009.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Old Dundonald

A Postcard of Dundonald taken about 1907

After breakfast this morning I cycled to Dundonald, County Down, formerly a village on the eastern outskirts of Belfast.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, dated 1814-45, describes Dundonald thus:
A parish in the barony of Lower Castlereagh. The surface is gently hilly, consists of excellent land, and is traversed by the roads from Comber and Newtownards to Belfast. 
The principal residences are Dunlady, Rosepark, Bessmount, Summerfield, Rockfield, Unicarval, and Camperdown. 
The village of Dundonald is the site of two places of worship and a large bleaching-green. 
About a mile from the village stands a remarkable monument called the Kempe Stone, resembling a Cromlech, yet so far unique as to seem sepulchral. 
This parish is a rectory, and a separate benefice, in the diocese of Down. Patron, the Rev John Cleland.
The approach to Dundonald from Belfast is dominated by the Ulster Hospital; though a little further along the main road stands the Norman motte, surrounded today by a peaceful and quiet park.

I climbed the steep steps to the top of this motte, said to be one of the largest of its kind in Ulster, and admired the spectacular view.

Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020

Immediately below the motte stand the impressive Cleland Mausoleum, the old and new parish churches, and the Presbyterian church.

The Mausoleum, said to be one of the tallest in Northern Ireland, was erected in 1842 by Elizabeth (Eliza) Cleland in memory of her beloved husband, Samuel Jackson Cleland (1808-42), of Storm Mount.

Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020

Eliza's desire was that her husband's memorial could be seen from Storm Mount, as the house was called until Stormont Castle was built in 1858.

The considerable wealth of the Clelands was manifested in this massive monument, which cost £2,000 to build in 1842 (equivalent to about £228,000 in 2019).

It dominates the graveyard, standing at a corner, several paces from the old derelict parish church of St Elizabeth.

This great mausoleum has no door. Its exterior is accessible by a gate, though there is no obvious means of entry to the building itself.

On closer examination I think there are steps leading down to its basement, though the ground has been concreted over.

How many Clelands are interred here, and when was the last burial?

St Elizabeth's Parish Church, de-consecrated in 1967 

I'm interested to know more about the history of the old church, though I was informed that the new church (several yards away from it) was built about 1965, and the old church was used as a church hall until it was de-consecrated on the 26th July, 1967.

Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020

A diamond-shaped stone on the tower bears the three dates of the churches built and rebuilt on this site, 1624, 1771 and 1838.

The adjacent Presbyterian church dates from about 1840.

From St Elizabeth's Church I rode along the Newtownards Road to Dunlady Road, where Dunlady House still stands, considerably altered today.

The original country house of five bays with quoins is recognizable.

Dunlady House. Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020

One of the chimneys seems to have gone.

Dunlady House might be the oldest building in Dundonald today.

Its original occupants were probably the Hamiltons, though it was acquired by the Lamberts at the very beginning of the 18th century.

George Lambert was High Sheriff of County Down in 1720; followed by Robert Lambert in 1727.

Richard, 2nd Earl Annesley (1745-1824) married, in 1771, Anne, only daughter and heiress of Robert Lambert, of Dunlady, County Down.

If any readers are interested in learning more about the history of Dundonald, I suggest 'The Most Unpretending Of Places', written by Peter Carr, first published in 1987.