Monday, 30 March 2015

Lane-Fox Estate


The family of Fox, which is of ancient descent, ranked amongst the most influential and opulent in the north of England.

WILLIAM FOX, living in the reign of EDWARD IV, acquired by marriage with Sybil, daughter of John de Grete, the lands of Grete, Yardley, Worcestershire. He was succeeded by his son,

JOHN FOX, of Grete, living in 1523, father by alice his wife of

JOHN FOX, of Grete, who married and left issue, his son,

THOMAS FOX, of Grete, who, by his wife, had issue, the youngest son,

EDMUND FOX, of Birmingham, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Hugh Grossbrooke, and had issue, the 3rd son,

JOSEPH FOX ESQ, born in 1617, who held a major's commission in the army serving in Ireland.

He married the Hon Thomasine Blayney, widow of Sir Henry Pierce Bt and daughter of Henry, 2nd Lord Blayney, by Jane his wife, daughter of Gerald, Viscount Drogheda. His son and successor,

HENRY FOX ESQ, who married secondly, in 1691, THE HON FRANCES LANE, daughter of Sir George Lane, of Tuske, County Roscommon, principal secretary of state in Ireland, created Viscount Lanesborough, who died in 1724. His heir,

GEORGE FOX ESQ, MP for the city of York, who inherited by will the great estates of Lord Lanesborough, and assumed, by act of parliament, in 1750, in accordance with the testator's injunction, the additional surname and arms of LANE.

He wedded, in 1731, Harriet, daughter and sole heiress of the Rt Hon Robert Benson, Lord Bingley; and was created, on the extinction of his father-in-law's peerage, in 1762,

BARON BINGLEY (2nd creation), of Bingley, Yorkshire. His only son,

ROBERT, 2nd Baron, born in 1732, wedded secondly Lady Brigit Henley, eldest daughter of Robert, Earl of Northington, Lord Chancellor of England; but predeceased his father, issueless, in 1768.

Lord Bingley died in 1772, and having survived his only child, devised his great estates in England and Ireland to his nephew,

JAMES LANE-FOX ESQ, of Bramham Park, Yorkshire, MP for Horsham.

This gentleman wedded, in 1789, the Hon Mercia Lucy Pitt, youngest daughter of George, Lord Rivers.

Mr Lane-Fox died in 1825, leaving his very extensive estates strictly entailed upon his eldest son,  

GEORGE LANE-FOX ESQ, of Bramham Park.

He devised £300,000 first to his widow and then to his younger children, in addition to their marriage settlements.

He was a gentleman so highly respected in Yorkshire, where he resided with princely hospitality, that during his last illness, the newspapers of Leeds were stopped to announce his state of health.

He lived upon habits of intimacy with His Majesty, GEORGE III, who, when Prince of Wales, frequently sojourned at Bramham at hunting parties.

There is still preserved at Bramham, a correspondence between Mr Pitt and Mr Fox-Lane, wherein the minister offers to renew the Bingley peerage; and Mr Fox-Lane replies that "he being one of the very few old English families - a commoner (not a trader) of high birth and fortune, piqued himself upon that".

Mr Lane-Fox was succeeded by his son,

GEORGE LANE-FOX ESQ (1793-1848), of Bramham Park, who wedded, in 1816, Georgiana Henrietta, daughter of Edward Percy Buckley Esq, by Lady Georgiana West, his wife, daughter of John, Earl De La Warr, and had issue, his son,

GEORGE LANE-FOX ESQ, for whom The Duke of York and the Duchess of Rutland stood sponsors.

He was a great character and sportsman, known to all and sundry in Yorkshire as ‘The Squire'.  He married Katherine Stein in 1837.

His life was not made any easier by inheriting debts of over £175,000 from his father.  In due course he managed to pay these off, but did not have, at the same time, the means to rebuild his family home.  He was very popular with his tenants and his portrait was presented to his wife by his tenants ‘as a memorial to their landlord's generosity'.

He was also one of the finest amateur coachmen in England, having learned on the long journey south to school at Eton College.

The four-in-hand, which he drove with such skill, is to be seen in the Castle Museum in York.

The Squire's elder son, George, had a vocation for the priesthood and father and son agreed that he would not succeed to the Estate.

His lineal descendant,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL THE RT HON GEORGE RICHARD LANE-FOX (1870-1947), who, in 1903, married Agnes, daughter of 2nd Viscount Halifax.

The combination of her wealth, his determination and the compulsory purchase of the family's Irish estates, allowed George to honour a promise he had made to his grandfather, The Squire, to rebuild the House.  The family reoccupied in 1907.

George was wounded in the First World War, serving with the Yorkshire Hussars, a regiment he later commanded.  He had been elected to Parliament in 1906 and held several government posts including Secretary of State for Mines in 1923.

In 1933 he was created BARON BINGLEY (3rd creation); however, he had four daughters and, on his death, the title again became extinct.

THE FAMILY continues to live at their ancestral seat, Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, where their estate comprised 15,000 acres.

The Lane-Foxes had estates in Yorkshire, Dorset, and near Lanesborough, in Ireland.

Their town residence was at 12 Albemarle Street, London, presumably the site of The Lanesborough Hotel.

IN 1666, GEORGE LANE (1620-83) was granted lands in counties Dublin, Meath, Kilkenny, Longford, Waterford and Cork.

This George was the son of Richard Lane, of Tulsk, County Roscommon, and was created Viscount Lanesborough in 1676.

He acquired lands in the baronies of Roscommon and Ballintober, County Roscommon, and in County Longford, in 1678 and 1679 respectively.

These grants were further augmented by the purchase of the Duke of Buckingham's Irish estates in 1710.

In 1724, the Lanesborough title became extinct. The Lanesborough estates in England and Ireland were inherited by the 2nd Viscount's sister, who was married to Henry Fox.

Though the Longford and Roscommon properties were sold to Luke White in 1819, the Lane-Fox family continued to hold substantial property in both counties Leitrim and Waterford.

For the most part they were absentee landlords, their estates being managed by a succession of stewards, including Joshua Kell, who was a member of the Grand Jury for Leitrim, in 1851.

The family sold the bulk of their remaining estates to the Irish Land Commission in the early years of the 20th century.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Garryhinch House


This branch of the family is stated to be of Norman descent, springing from the Warburtons of Arley, in Cheshire.

RICHARD WARBURTON, of Dublin, living there in 1622, left three sons and a daughter, viz.
RICHARD, his heir;
George, of Aughrim, MP;
The eldest son, 

was a junior Clerk of the Council, Ireland, 1654, and afterwards Clerk-Assistant to the Irish House of Commons. He was styled of Garryhinch in 1662, and was MP for Ballyshannon, 1695-1711 and 1703-13; and High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1701.
Mr Warburton wedded, in 1656, Judith, daughter of William Sandes, of Dublin.

He died in 1717, having had (with five daughters) an only son, 

RICHARD WARBURTON (1664-1715), of Garryhinch, MP for Portarlington, 1692-1715, who married, in 1695, Elizabeth, daughter of John Pigott, and had issue,
RICHARD, of Garryhinch (1696-1711);
JOHN, died unmarried;
GEORGE, of whom presently;
PETER, devisee of his brother Richard;
Gertrude; Judith; Jane.
RICHARD WARBURTON died dvp in 1715. His third son,

GEORGE WARBURTON, of Dublin, espoused Jane, daughter of Richard Le Hunte, of Artramont, County Wexford, and was father of

JOHN WARBURTON, of Garryhinch, MP for Queen's county, 1779-94; High Sheriff, 1786.
This gentleman was heir to his uncle Peter. He served in early life as a military officer, and was at the taking of Quebec, under General Wolfe.
He married Martha, daughter of Bowes Benson, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Colonel Warbuton died in 1806, and was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD WARBURTON JP DL (1778-), of Garryhinch; High Sheriff, 1801, who wedded, in 1800, Anne, daughter of Thomas Kemmis, of Dublin, and had issue,
John, of Garryhinch, dsp 1839;
RICHARD, his successor;
William (Very Rev), Dean of Elphin;
Anne; Susan; Mary.
The second son,

RICHARD WARBURTON JP DL (1804-62), of Garryhinch, High Sheriff of King's County, 1845, and of Queen's County, 1849, married, in 1844, Mary Ellinor, daughter and heir of Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, of Millbrook, King's County.

He died in 1862, having by her had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Hugh Dutton;
Catherine Janette; Ellinor Mary Anne;
Jessie Isabelle; Frances Sophia;
Ada Blanche; Maude Alyne.
He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

RICHARD WARBURTON JP DL (1846-1921), of Garryhinch; High Sheriff, 1869 and 1872, who wedded, in 1867, Georgina Wilhelmina Henrietta, daughter of William Henry Hutchinson, of Rockforest, County Tipperary, and by her had issue,
Jessie Georgina Hutchinson;
Mary Anne.

GARRYHINCH HOUSE, near Portarlington, was a house of early to mid-18th century appearance.

It comprised three storeys with a three-bay centre recessed between two projecting one-bay wings.

The doorway was pointed; a two-storey, three-bay range was at one side, set back.

The former demesne is now a beautiful picturesque woodland for walking and was formerly part of the Warburton estate until it was sold in 1936.

There are a number of specimen trees (remnants of ornamental plantings which adorned the big house) in the forest including monkey puzzle and lime.

The house was accidentally burnt in 1913 and later demolished for safety reasons.

Ruinous outbuildings can still be seen in the forest.

There is an old, three-arched bridge crossing the Barrow. The forest is surrounded mainly by farmland.

Portarlington Golf Club, which has written a good history of Garryhinch and its association with the Warburtons, lies to the northeast of Garryhinch.

First published in March, 2013.  Photo credits: Liam O'Malley. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Prince Philip in NI

THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH, Patron, today attended a Reception at Hillsborough Castle, County Down, for young people who have achieved the Gold Standard in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

His Royal Highness was received at Belfast City Airport by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast (Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE).

In attendance was Kelly Gallagher MBE, the paralympic gold medalist from Northern Ireland.

His Royal Highness had the opportunity to chat with Gold Award recipients, their families and Duke of Edinburgh leaders.

Prince Philip presented Operating Authority license certificates to the Girls’ Brigade Northern Ireland, the Southern Education and Library Board and the Scout Foundation Northern Ireland.

HRH also presented certificates to the first group in Northern Ireland to complete The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Leadership Training Course.

Norwood Pictures

© Lord Belmont In Northern Ireland 2011


"One of them (below) has a photograph of both my aunts, Peggy and Mary, and Mary does not want her photo to go on the Internet so you cannot put that one on the site ...

Sadly it is the best one of the two, as it shows the full door the other one, with the single lady in it, you can use; however I have no idea who she is, it shows a little of what is in the hallway through the door.

I do have some information of the layout of the houses Riversdale [Co Fermanagh] and Norwood Tower from my aunt and will write it up for you ...

Norwood was powered by gas so had gas cookers and lights.


I do have a photograph of a woman standing at the front door which seems quite ornate with iron railings around it I will scan it and send later.

 I also have a photograph of my aunt sitting in front of a lion statue in the garden of Norwood Tower (above); she said that she didn't want it to go on the Internet however I have attached it for you to see.

The lady with her was Mrs Lutton or Litton and she rented part of the servants' quarters in Norwood Tower.

Mary said that another couple rented a different part of the house seemed to be outside of the main house but part of the surrounding building and the rent of those went to the upkeep of the house.

The photograph above shows a glass-house at Norwood Tower.

First published in May, 2011.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Greenmount Manor


SAMUEL THOMPSON (-1838), of Muckamore Abbey, County Antrim, had issue by his wife, Mary, daughter of John Olphert, a son, 

SAMUEL THOMPSON JP (1825-), of Muckamore Abbey, Muckamore, County Antrim, married, in 1865, Maria Hannah, second daughter of Robert Smyth, of Gaybrook, County Westmeath, and by her had issue,
John, 1867-80;
ROBERT, 1869-1952;
Richard, b 1870;
Hugh, 1874-90;
Alexander, b 1879;
Henry, b 1881;
Mary Frances; Henrietta;
Bessy; Eleanor.

THE LANDS occupied by Greenmount, once formed part of Muckamore Abbey, founded by St Colmán Elo in 550 AD. 

The Abbey flourished until the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of HENRY VIII.

The family of Thompson, of Scots-Presbyterian extraction, has been associated with Muckamore since about 1650.

Their descendants lived at Greenmount Manor from the mid-18th century.

The Thompsons were an influential family in the Antrim area, who prospered through their successful textile and bleaching businesses.

The manor house was built ca 1820 by Robert Thompson, to the design of Charles Robert Cockerell, with the balcony added by 1835.

It was described as “a sandstone house, presenting a portico and balcony supported by great Ionic columns”.

Greenmount was acquired in 1835 by the Venerable and Hon James Agar (1781-1866), Archdeacon of Kilmore, through his wife Louisa, youngest daughter of Samuel Thompson, of Greenmount.

On Louisa’s death in 1885, Greenmount passed to Richard Dyott MP, whose mother was a Thompson descendant.

In 1902, Greenmount was purchased by William Taylor Malcolm, a tenant farmer from Stirlingshire.

He delegated the management of the farm to his son John.

In 1910, Mr Malcolm sold Greenmount to the Government for £4,400 (£463,000 in today's money).

After some structural alterations to the house, the first term opened in 1912, with 11 students.

The current sandstone house consists of a portico and balcony supported by six great ionic columns.

The present house replaced a previous villa within the demesne.

Extensions were added after Greenmount changed from being a gentleman’s demesne to being an agricultural college in 1912.

The basalt part of the building was added along with the Principal's House (now the lodge) in 1925.

Another extension was added in the 1950s around the time the main student residences were being constructed.

The demesne records show that in 1809 Greenmount was a fine gentleman’s demesne. There was a landscape in the style of Capability Brown.

A piece then written in 1838 sizes the Greenmount demesne as “about 160 acres, 39 of which were laid out in ornamental grounds and plantings”.

The following extract from Sketch of a Ramble to Antrim, which was published in the Belfast Monthly Magazine of July, 1809, paints a lovely picture of Greenmount in its heyday:-

We crossed the fields to Greenmount, the elegant seat of Robert Thompson Esquire, about one mile from Antrim. This beautiful villa stands on rising ground and is completely furnished in the modern taste.

The demesne is planted with a great number of trees and shrubs laid out into some very pleasing walks. At the rear of the building are two small lakes, well stocked with fish. On them also some swans.

On the verge of one of the fore-mentioned lakes, in a shrubbery is a hermitage build with romantic simplicity and opposite is a small island joined to the mainland by a stonework arch.

Indeed I believe few places in this country surpass in beauty the charming villa at Greenmount.

The stone arch situated at the top end of the Arch Pond, which is about 200 years old, is cleverly constructed from selected stones that press together, holding the arch in place.

This unusual landscape feature once connected an island to the shore in what was then a pond the size of the adjacent car park.

The summer-house, now ruinous, was built about 200 years ago. This summer-house would have looked out over Lough Neigh and the Antrim Town area and the meandering Six-mile Water River.

The Ice house (above) at Greenmount was built around 1820 by the Thompson family and the family crest can be seen above the entrance. 

The Walled Garden at Greenmount College was built in 1801 and has remained in horticultural use until the present day.

Changes in use over the years, and the presence of obsolete or inappropriate features, had by 1996 left a layout which did not do justice to the Walled Garden’s heritage or its potential.

At this stage proposals were put forward to redevelop the site as a resource which would make the best use of the garden’s unique history and aesthetic.

The dramatic formal garden you see today is a result of that vision.

The old farmyard appears on the Ordnance Survey map of 1837.  It is built in basalt as a square building enclosing a square courtyard.

Today it houses the main farm office.

The surrounding farmyard has substantially outgrown the courtyard. In the centre of the building on the roof is an old bell tower.

First published in August, 2011.

Lissan Visit

I visited Lissan House and demesne, near Cookstown, County Tyrone, in August, 2012.

Lissan, former seat of the Staples Baronets, comprised about 30,000 acres at the time of the Plantation of Ulster.

I arrived at about ten-thirty and spent five hours in the estate.

Much admirable work has already been done on the old house, though a lot remains to be done.

The ground in front of the house had two tennis-courts and a croquet lawn.

Funding for PHASE II (the restoration of the interior decorative schemes, re-building the Conservatory and the complete restoration of the farmyard and outbuildings) was being sought in 2012.

The fabric of the house has been restored, including a new roof.

The outbuildings, including the Creamery (attached to the house); the Turf House; the Donkey House; and the Great Barn, all await restoration.

The Donkey House in 2012

It has been envisaged that the Donkey House will be converted into two apartments for rent.

The Turf House was to have been restored in 2013, as a provisional tea-room until work began on the Creamery.

The walled garden is large, comprising 4½ acres.

The charming, though ruinous, gardener's cottage awaited restoration.

Gardener's cottage in walled garden

Lissan House itself is a wonderful old mansion house.

It is said to be about four centuries old, and the Staples Baronets were seated there for most of that time.

I believe that the 13th Baronet was the last to live at Lissan; and his daughter Hazel was born, lived and died there.

The volunteers running the property are enthusiastic and hospitable. We were given a terrific tour of the house at two o'clock today.

The upper storey (second floor) is presently closed to visitors, though the ground and first floors are open.

The late Hazel Dolling lived on the upper floor, after her mother, Lady Staples, died in 1990.

The Ballroom

The brightest room in the house is the Ballroom, a single-storey, Victorian addition.

Hazel Dolling's little dog Woofie has been immortalized in the form of a cushion in one of the bedrooms, dressed in Georgian attire complete with sash and star of an order of knighthood!

A trip to Lissan is most worthwhile and I heartily recommend it to readers.

I look forward to returning in future years.

First published in August, 2012.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Riverside Clearance

Work has begun clearing the riverside of the Conn's Water on a section near Mersey Street Bridge.