Sunday, 25 October 2020

Terrace Hill House

TERRACE HILL HOUSE was located in the townland of Ballynahatty, Edenderry, on the outskirts of Belfast.

It was close to Minnowburn, now a property of the National Trust.

Frederick Russell (1811-76) was Terrace Hill's first owner, having been brought up at Edenderry House.

The original house of ca 1856 was said to have been commodious, with servants' quarters.
At least as early as 1780 there was a bleach-green in Edenderry which belonged to John Russell, but in the 1830s the Russell family gave up linen bleaching and converted their premises into a flour mill drawn by water power. At this period (1780) the Russells, later associated with Newforge, were settled at Edenderry.
When Russell died, Terrace Hill House was briefly occupied by a family called Ferguson before becoming the home of Matthew Coates, who lived there with his wife ca 1898.

Freddy’s Steps were first constructed by Frederick Russell in late 1800s and are the most direct route to Terrace Hill viewpoint at Minnowburn.

In the County Down land deeds of 1876, "Frederick Russell, address Ballynahatty, Newtownbreda, owned 18 acres". 

Several years later, in the early 20th century, Terrace Hill was purchased by Edward (Ned) Robinson, proprietor of the Robinson & Cleaver's department store in Belfast.

When Robinson sold his interest in the store he demolished Terrace Hill House and, in 1936, built a new residence (still called Terrace Hill).

It was designed by the architects Young & Mackenzie.

Terrace Hill House is surrounded by lawns, gardens and a swimming pool, and was occupied by Mr Robinson until his death in 1947.

In the 1980s, it was a residential home for children.

The farm buildings, now the National Trust warden's office, were the base for Minnowburn Youth Farm.

The house was for sale in October, 2014, and now has a new owner.

Robinson & Cleaver's Royal Irish Linen Warehouse, Donegall Square North, was built 1886-88 by Young and Mackenzie. It used to be one of Belfast's finest department stores. Fifty heads of the store's erstwhile patrons still pop out of the exterior, including Queen Victoria and the Maharajah of Cooch Behar.

First published in February, 2011.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Norwood Tower Painting

I visited Mrs Primrose Henderson in 2011.

Her late husband was Captain Oscar William James (Bill) Henderson OBE DL.

The Hendersons once owned the Belfast Newsletter newspaper.

Brum Henderson ran Ulster Television for many years.

Mrs Henderson generously gave me permission to photograph the family's 1864 oil-painting of the old family home, Norwood Tower, Strandtown, Belfast.

Norwood Tower, which stood between Circular Road and Sydenham Avenue in east Belfast, was their home until 1934.

West Lodge ca 1845 (Drawing by the Rev J McC Auld)

The grounds extended to about fifty acres.

On the large, ten-acre field to the east of the former mansion, Norwood Park and Norwood Gardens were built.

Mrs Henderson recalled, as a girl, riding her pony across a track through the grounds to the stables and house itself (presumably in the 1930s).

Primrose Henderson's mother was Gundreda Forrest (née Ewart), daughter of Sir William Quartus Ewart Bt.

Miss Florence Henderson bequeathed Norwood Tower to a distant cousin and baronet, Sir Christopher Musgrave, rather than her nephew Oscar Henderson.

The Musgraves were at Norwood for 20 years.

Click on the images to enlarge.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2011)

The painting is dated March, 1864, and entitled NORWOOD TOWER, Seat of J A Henderson, Esq; painted by Hugh Fraser, ex-Professor of Painting of the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2011)

This painting, together with another one of Norwood Tower, was discovered by the Rt Hon Terence O'Neill DL MP [the Lord O'Neill of the Maine] in the auction rooms of Messrs Robert Stirling, Antrim, in the autumn of 1957. 
They were given as a present by him to Captain OWJ Henderson MP, with the instructions that he was to keep one of them and the other was to be given to his brother, Mr RB Henderson.
It would seem likely that these paintings were sold by Musgrave when he came into possession of Norwood Tower on the death of Miss Florence Henderson, great-aunt of Bill and Brum Henderson. 
At the time when Sir Christopher inherited Norwood Tower, it was known that he sold as many of the Henderson family's possessions as possible; and it is indeed surprising that, over twenty years later, these two paintings should be discovered in Antrim by Captain O'Neill and returned to the Henderson family.
Norwood Tower was sold and demolished in ... 1955 and the site is now part of suburbia; and, at the present time, August 1958, only the gate lodge remains standing; and this will, itself, be shortly demolished.
First published in May, 2011.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Belle Isle: VI


I have previously written that the Belle Isle people travelled to the west coast of Ireland each year, from 1950 onwards, to holiday at Captain Hermon’s house at Mullaghmore in County Sligo, Southern Ireland.

Since the partition of Ireland, the north was becoming prosperous and changes could be seen everywhere. 

But, at that time, the south was set in the past: Ireland was now divided into Northern Ireland and the newly established Irish Free State.

Barriers and customs posts were set up at the border.

In the south, road signs were changed into Gaelic, the countryside began to look subtly unfamiliar.

The west coast of Ireland, in the 1950s, was a world where time had stood still.

Dry stone walls divided small fields; white-washed, thatched cottages were commonplace.

The southern towns were old-fashioned and picturesque, cars were rarely to be seen. 

There was no television service and few homes had electricity.

The rural south of Ireland had hardly changed in a hundred years.

Most of the people led simple, uncomplicated lives.

A common sight, on the narrow roads, was donkeys and carts, carrying creels of turf.

It was a world of immense charm and innocence.

This may seem strange, given the history of Ireland; but it was essentially true.

Captain Richard Outram Hermon, of Necarne Castle (Dick Hermon, to those around him) bought his house near Lord Mountbatten’s castle, Classiebawn, which had belonged to Edwina Mountbatten's family. 

Lady Mountbatten had inherited Classiebawn and ten thousand acres of land in County Sligo from her grandfather, Sir Edward Cassel, who had been one of the richest men in the world and a friend of King Edward the Seventh at the turn of the century.

Captain Hermon chose Mullaghmore, because of his friendship with Lord Mountbatten.

They were both keen sportsmen, and shot and fished together. 

Captain Hermon and Lord Mountbatten both kept sea-going boats at Mullaghmore. 

A friendship developed between Lord Mountbatten and the rest of the Belle Isle household; he was sometimes their guest for dinner.

Lord Mountbatten repaid the compliment on more than one occasion. 

Indeed, Lord Mountbatten wrote the forward to Vida Leigh’s book about her mother that she wrote following the death of Mrs Brunt, ‘Mary Bright of Fiddler's Green.’

Lord Mountbatten’s contribution was handwritten on Classiebawn headed notepaper. 

I recall a visit to Classiebawn Castle as a very small boy, sitting in a car outside the castle.

I retain an impression of grey walls, lichen, turrets and small trees in tubs, but not much more.

My father had called for some reason on one of the Sundays when we were at Mullaghmore. 

I have a recollection of being out in a boat at Mullaghmore with my father, Captain Hermon, Mr Porter and others.

They were very fond of fresh mackerel at Mullaghmore.

It was held that mackerel had to be eaten when they were freshly caught, because they were scavengers and it was unwise to keep them! 

They were often fried in butter very simply and delicious!

Another way of cooking them was by coating them in oats and then baking them in the oven.

Miss McDougal, the old cook at Belle Isle, was fond of using oats in cooking; it must have been her Scottish upbringing. 

It was rare for Miss McDougal to get her hands on fresh mackerel; she could only really obtain these if the household returned from Mullaghmore with some that had been caught that morning. 

On Sundays, lunch was always a happy occasion at Mullaghmore: Everyone would sit down and dine in view of the sea through the large plate glass windows.

Sometimes lunch was served by a butler, as far-fetched as that sounds! 

Tom McKervey had been Captain Hermon’s butler at Necarne Castle in the days when the castle was occupied.

Captain Hermon continued to employ Tom after he abandoned Necarne Castle, and retained Tom’s services till the day he died.

Tom took on many roles in later years but he was always Richard Hermon’s loyal servant. 

Tom did, when required, still attire himself in black jacket, waistcoat, striped trousers and wait on table; sometimes at Mullaghmore; and sometimes his services were used at Belle Isle if there was an occasion that called for the old razzmatazz! 

There was a different cook at the Mullaghmore house during the summers: her name was Maggie and she had worked for Captain Hermon in the castle at Necarne in the past.

I remember nosing about in the kitchen at Mullaghmore while she was there and she was very kind to me. 

As usual I got under everyone’s feet and had to stick my nose in everywhere!

In any event, Miss McDougal never had leave from Belle Isle to cook at the holiday house.

Just as well or she would have had a blue fit! 

The trips to Mullaghmore on the coast continued for some years, as Audrey (right) and I were growing up.

In 1964 I left Ireland, like countless thousands of young Irish men before me, to work in England. 

I went back to Ireland often, and made what was to be to be my final visit to my old Belle Isle friends at Mullaghmore in 1965.

I was seventeen, a lanky, awkward and sallow youth. 

I remember this occasion vividly: Vida Leigh took my mother, father, Audrey and Tiggy on a drive around the coast road; I don’t recall where Dick Hermon and Nicholas Porter were, but old Mrs Brunt and I were left alone, sitting in the porch, overlooking the sea. 

We were old friends and easy with each other.

Gigi made polite conversation, how did I enjoy England? Had I made friends? Would I come back to Ireland?

She looked at me closely and, smiling at me, took my hand, “I have known you since you were born Julian, you must not let England spoil you, you know, do not lose touch with Ireland and your mother, you must always come back.”

I remember this clearly, it was one of those moments.

 I recall looking closely at Gigi and registered how old she had become.

Her hair was still chestnut in colour, but her eyes were yellow and tired.

She was 87 years old. 1965 became 1966. 

I was at work in Hatfield, near London, when the telephone rang one morning: it was a payphone in a passage on a wall outside for the use of staff.

“It’s for you Jules,” I left what I was doing and went to the phone, it was my mother.

She told me quietly that Gigi had died peacefully in her sleep the evening before, on New Year’s Day, 1966. 

It was the end of an era, the Belle Isle folk never returned to Mullaghmore. 

In 2008, in summer Audrey and I returned to Mullaghmore with Audrey’s husband, Jack, and her daughters Caroline and Jackie.

I was sixty years old and Audrey was fifty five.

We walked round the harbour and had something to eat in what had been Peter’s public house, all those years ago. 

It bore no resemblance to the old inn of the 1950s, and had changed beyond recognition; it was clean and modern and bright and welcoming, but no trace remained of how it had been before.

It was a different world.

Mr Hermon’s house was still there on the hill; it belonged to someone else now.

We drove up to the gates and sat for a minute or two in silence, remembering. 

It seemed smaller and greyer and strange; there was nothing for us there, no trace of what had been, the sheet had been wiped clean; and I remembered Tiggy’s words to me at Necarne, when she was talking about Belle Isle, “You can never go back to the past.” 

It was a page from another time and no-one standing on that hill now would know how it had been back then. 
I can still see my sister Audrey, running along a stone wall beside the beach at Mullaghmore in 1958.

Our father would be teasing her; they played a little game, time and time again. “Audie, two!” 

She would shake her head and respond, “No, Audie three!” young Audrey was the apple of Esmond’s eye and the age game was played often, but Audrey knew she was three!

“Come on Juna!” she would shout excitedly, as she ran to the beach. 

I was ‘Juna’ to Audrey and the beach was waiting!

All those who laughed and danced and walked on the sand and paddled in the sea, with the wind in their faces, have gone.

Esmond and Pearl, Nicholas Porter and Richard Hermon, Vida Leigh and Gigi and Tiggy - and Audrey. 

My beloved sister Audrey was dying from lung cancer when she made the last visit to Mullaghmore.

She died on 22nd January, 2009.

First published in March, 2010.

Blessingbourne House


HUGH MONTGOMERY was settled at Derrybrusk, County Fermanagh, by his kinsman, the Rt Rev Dr George Montgomery, Lord Bishop of Clogher, about 1618, and was father of

THE REV NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY (c1615-c1705), of Derrybrusk, Laureate of Glasgow University, 1634, Lieutenant in Sir James Montgomery's Regiment, and afterwards Rector of Carrickmacross, County Monaghan.

He left issue, with two younger sons (Robert, of Derrybrusk, Captain in the army, and Andrew, who succeeded his father as Rector of Carrickmacross), and a daughter, Catherine, who married Captain Alexander Acheson, an elder son,

HUGH MONTGOMERY JP (1651-1723), of Derrygonnelly, Captain of Horse under WILLIAM III, who married Katherine, daughter and heir of Richard Dunbar, of Derrygonnelly (by his wife, Anna Catherina, daughter of Lars Grubbe Stjernfelt, a cousin of King Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, and widow of Ludovic Hamilton, Baron of Dalserf, in Sweden), and great-granddaughter of Sir John Dunbar, Knight, of the same place, and had issue,
HUGH, of whom we treat;
Richard, of Monea, Co Fermanagh;
Sarah; Anne; Jane; Margaret; Sidney.
Mr Montgomery's eldest son,

COLONEL NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY (1690-1763), of Derrygonnelly, married firstly, Angel, daughter and heir of William Archdall, of Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, and assumed the surname of ARCHDALL.

By his first wife he had issue, an only son, Mervyn, MP, of Castle Archdale.

Colonel Montgomery wedded secondly, Sarah, daughter of ______ Spurling, of London, and had further issue,
Catherine; Sarah; Augusta; Elizabeth.

Hugh Montgomery's second son,

HUGH MONTGOMERY, of Derrygonnelly, wedded Elizabeth, daughter of the Ven William Armar, Archdeacon of Connor (by Martha his wife, daughter of Captain William Leslie, of Prospect), and sister of Colonel Margetson Armar (1700-73), of Castle Coole, County Fermanagh, and was father of Hugh Montgomery, of Castle Hume.

Mr Montgomery died before 1760, leaving a son,

HUGH MONTGOMERY (1739-97), of Castle Hume, who espoused, in 1778, Mary, daughter of Sir Archibald Acheson (afterwards 1st Viscount Gosford), and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
Archibald Armar;
Mary Millicent.
Mr Montgomery was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH MONTGOMERY (1779-1838), of Blessingbourne, Captain, 18th Dragoons, Lieutenant-Colonel, Fermanagh Militia, who married, in 1821, Maria Dolores Plink, of Malaga, Spain, and had an only son,

HUGH RALPH SEVERIN MONTGOMERY (1821-44), of Blessingbourne, who wedded, in 1843, Maria, daughter of Philipp Emanuel von Fellenberg, of Hofwyl, Switzerland, sometime Landmann of the Republic of Bern, and had issue, a son and heir, 

THE RT HON HUGH DE FELLENBERG MONTGOMERY JP DL (1844-1924), of Blessingbourne, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1871, Tyrone, 1888, Captain, Fermanagh Militia, who espoused, in 1870, Mary Sophia Juliana, youngest daughter of the Hon and Rev John Charles Maude, Rector of Enniskillen, and had issue,
Archibald Armar (Sir), GCB etc, Field-Marshal;
Geoffrey Cornwallis;
Francis Trevilian;
(Charles) Hubert (Sir), KCMG etc;
Maurice William de Fellenberg;
Walter Ashley;
Ralph Noel Vernon;
Mary Millicent.
Mr Montgomery was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HUGH MAUDE DE FELLENBERG MONTGOMERY CB CMG (1870-1954), of Blessingbourne, who married, in 1894, Mary, second daughter of Edmund Langton, and Mrs Massingberd, of Gunby, Lincolnshire, and had issue,
Hugh Edmund Langton (1895-1971);
PETER STEPHEN, of whom hereafter;
Mary Langton; Elizabeth; Anne.
The younger son,

PETER STEPHEN MONTGOMERY JP DL (1909-88), of Blessingbourne, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, died unmarried.

BLESSINGBOURNE HOUSE, near Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, is an Elizabethan-Revival style manor house built between 1870-74.

It comprises two storeys and an attic storey.

The windows are multi-gabled and mullioned, with carved, round chimney stacks. 

Located just north of Fivemiletown in County Tyrone, much of the estate was in the neighbouring county of Fermanagh.

Blessingbourne passed to the Montgomery family through marriage to the Armor family early in the 18th century.

This is a Regency period demesne, created for a modest dwelling of 1810, referred to as, ‘a romantic thatched cottage’ built as a bachelor pad for Hugh Montgomery. 

When the family left County Fermanagh their former seat was Derrygonnelly Castle, which was burnt in the late 18th century. 

Hugh Montgomery, known as ‘Colonel Eclipse’, married in 1821 and travelled abroad, needing the cottage only for very occasional visits.

The present house is considerably more substantial.

It is a large restrained Elizabethan style manor-house designed by F Pepys Cockerell and built between 1870-74 for Hugh de Fellenberg Montgomery, grandson of Hugh.
Its grey stone elevations overlook a natural lough, Lough Fadda and is surrounded by a present-day garden around former sunken lawns, Fastigate yews and a gravel terrace, vestiges of the garden made for the present house.
A planted area and lawns on the south east side, which leads to the lough, is now a grazing field.

Views were opened up in the 1960s.

There is also a late 19th century rhododendron walk.

There are fine mature woodland and parkland trees.

A walk through the woods goes round the lake; a lake walk, via a rockery. 

There is public access in the woods and the Ulster Wildlife Trust undertakes some management here. 

This wood dates from the time of the present house.

The boat house and summer house have gone.

The part-walled garden is partly cultivated and dates from the time of the first dwelling. 

The Gardener’s House was replaced by a bungalow in the 1970s.

There is a delightful little Tudor-style gate lodge, built ca 1845 by Hugh Ralph Severin Montgomery after he succeeded to the property in 1838.

Major-General Hugh Montgomery's brother was Field-Marshal Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd.

Peter Montgomery, former president of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, stylishly redecorated much of the interior at Blessingbourne.

In December, 2007, the Daily Telegraph published an obituary of Hugh (Montgomery) Massingberd: 

". . . He was born Hugh John Montgomery at Cookham Dean, in Berkshire, on December 30, 1946. His father was in the Colonial Service and later worked for the BBC; his mother was a "Leftward-leaning schoolmistress". 

His remoter background, however, was distinctly grand, even if it promised a great deal more than it delivered.The Montgomerys, seated at Blessingbourne in Co Tyrone, were a Protestant Ascendancy family, albeit exceptionally conscious of the need to right the wrongs suffered by Roman Catholics. 

In his youth Hugh stayed at the Montgomerys' pseudo-Elizabethan (actually 1870) pile in the full expectation that one day it would be his. There was a strong military tradition in the family. Hugh's paternal grandfather was Major-General Hugh Montgomery, while his great-uncle, the major-general's younger brother, ended his career as Field Marshal Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd, Chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1933 to 1936  

. . As a teenager, Hugh seemed to add substance to his dreams when he went to stay with his Uncle Peter at Blessingbourne. Peter Montgomery was something of a figure in Ulster, to such a degree that his homosexuality, at that date unknown to Hugh, did not prevent him from becoming Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone

... It was, therefore, a shattering blow to be told in his mid-teens that a cousin who intended to be a farmer would inherit Blessingbourne. This youth, it was judged, would be better qualified than Hugh to return the estate to order after years of benign neglect under Peter Montgomery".

The estate was eventually inherited by Captain Robert Lowry, a great-great grandson of Colonel Hugh Montgomery. 

I recall Captain Lowry voluntarily "skippering" the Duke of Westminster's motor yacht, Trasna, on loan to the National Trust ca 1988 at Crom estate:
The Grosvenors, Dukes of Westminster,  had a beautiful, classic, wooden motor yacht which they used to keep at Ely Lodge. It was called Trasna; it was the finest vessel I'd ever seen on Lough Erne. It was about fifty feet in length and held sixteen persons in comfort. Trasna sported a magnificent kind of figurehead on her bow: a golden sheaf, or bundle, of wheat (or corn). The vessel was acquired by the National Trust for a short period before acquisition by the Duke of Abercorn for Belle Isle. 
Colleen and Nicholas Lowry today operate self-catering apartments on the estate.

First published in December, 2009.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Ballinderry Park


ANDREW COMYN, of Ryefield, County Roscommon, married, in 1786, the sister and heir of Lewis Ward, of Ballymacward and Ballinderry, County Galway, and had an eldest son,

NICHOLAS COMYN (1787-1843), of Ballinderry and Ryefield, who wedded, in 1830, Sabina, daughter of John Joyes, of Woodquay, County Galway, and had issue,
ANDREW NUGENT, his heir;
John Ward;
Mary Ellen; Sabina; Elizabeth.
Mr Comyn was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW NUGENT COMYN JP (1831-1917), of Ballinderry and Ryefield, who married, in 1867, Mary, second daughter of John O'Connell MP, and granddaughter of Daniel O'Connell, of Derrynane, and had issue,
Andrew Daniel;
Lewis James;
Elizabeth Mary; Geraldine Mary; Eily Mary.
The eldest son,

NICHOLAS O'CONNELL COMYN JP (1869-1945), of Ballinderry, High Sheriff of County Galway, 1917, wedded, in 1911, Mary Cecilia Hyacinth, daughter of Francis Walter Mahony, of St Helen's, Blarney, County Cork, and had issue,
Nugent Gerald Ward;
Marguerite Mary Cecilia; Maureen; Veronica Joan Mary.

BALLINDERRY PARK, Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, County Galway, is a plain Georgian house of ca 1740, rising from the plans of east County Galway.

It originally belonged to Kilconnell Friary, a Franciscan foundation of 1280.

In the late 17th century the land passed to the Diocese of Clonfert and was leased to Henry Stanford, who shortly afterwards leased his house to Lawrence Ward from a local family in the vicinity.

His tenancy was inherited by his sister and passed to her son, Nicholas Comyn.

Nicholas Comyn's descendants farmed this small property, sandwiched between some of County Galway’s largest estates, where they were closely involved with horses and hunting.

They purchased the freehold from the Church of Ireland following its disestablishment in 1871.

Nicholas’s son Andrew married Mary, granddaughter of Daniel O’Connell ‘The Liberator’.

Nicholas O'Connell Comyn was the last of the family to live at Ballinderry and when he died, in 1945, the estate was acquired by the Irish Land Commission, which subdivided the property.

The house thereafter became derelict.

George and Susie Gossip bought Ballinderry in 2000 and began a careful restoration.

They reversed some Victorian alterations to the façade and, by 2005, work had progressed sufficiently to allow them to move in.

The hall, staircase and landings, which take up a third of the house, have been authentically restored; while the principal rooms have been panelled in the early 18th century style and given early chimney-pieces.

The Gossips have filled the house with their collection of furniture, pictures, porcelain and objects.

Much of this was passed down from Susie’s ancestors, the Dillon family from nearby Clonbrock, so that it is, in effect, returning home.

Ballinderry is surrounded by fine specimen trees, including a large and remarkable London plane tree, rarely, seldom found in a parkland setting.

First published in November, 2017.  Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Jameson of Windfield


WILLIAM JAMESON, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, married, in 1737, Helen Horne, of Thomanean, Kinross-shire, and had, with other issue, a son,

JOHN JAMESON (1740-1824), Sheriff Clerk of Clackmannanshire, who wedded, in 1768, Margaret, elder sister of James Haig, of Blairhill, Perthshire, and Lochrin, Midlothian, and had issue,
Robert (1771-1847), died unmarried;
John, of Prussia St, Dublin;
William, b 1777; dsp;
JAMES, of whom presently;
Andrew, b 1783;
Margaret; Anne; Jennett.
JAMES JAMESON (1781-1847)succeeded to the fortune of his immediate elder brother, William, of Merrion Square, Dublin, and purchased the estate of Windfield, County Galway, and the demesne of Montrose, County Dublin.

He married, in 1815, Elizabeth Sophia, youngest daughter of the Rev William Woolsey, of Priorland, County Louth, by his wife Mary Anne, youngest sister of Sir William Bellingham Bt, of Castle Bellingham, County Louth, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
William, of Montrose;
James, of Airfield;
Sydney Bellingham;
Robert O'Brien;
Mary Anne; Elizabeth Sophia.
Mr Jameson, a director of the Bank of Ireland and Deputy Governor at the time of his death, was succeeded in his Windfield estate by his eldest son,

THE REV JOHN JAMESON (1816-72), of Windfield, who espoused, in 1845, Isabella Anne, eldest daughter of General Sir Henry David Jones GCB, and had issue,
JAMES FRANCIS, his heir;
Harry William, Lt-Col RIR;
Arthur Bellingham;
Charlotte Elizabeth; Edith Sophia Inkerman.
The eldest son,

JAMES FRANCIS JAMESON JP (1848-96), of Windfield, Major, 4th Battalion, Connaught Rangers, wedded, in 1879, Helen Maud, eldest daughter of William Jameson, of Montrose, County Dublin, and had issue,

MAURICE EYRE FRANCIS BELLINGHAM JAMESON (1888-1950), of Windfield, who espoused, in 1915, Amelia May Moss, and had issue,
Patricia Joan, born 1915.

THE JAMESONS were best known as distillers of Irish whiskey.

Portmarnock Hotel

THE PORTMARNOCK HOTEL, Portmarnock, County Dublin, stands on land which was originally part of the Jameson family estate.

The house itself was called St Marnock's.

EDWARD VII often visited the Jamesons.
On his last official visit in 1907, His Majesty unveiled a plaque which was designed specially for the occasion of the marriage between members of two great distilling families, Jameson and Haig. The plaque is still to be seen in what was the secret south garden.
The Jameson family had a nine-hole golf course on the site over a century ago.

This course is now part of both Portmarnock Golf Club and the Bernhard Langer-designed Dublin Golf Links course.

Sutton House

SUTTON HOUSE, Sutton, County Dublin, was also a Jameson residence.

It is Victorian-Tudor in style, with mullions, gables and huge chimneys.

One end of the mansion has a tower of four storeys.

Sutton House subsequently became a hotel.


WINDFIELD HOUSE, County Galway, was purchased by James Jameson in the 1820s.

The family owned Windfield for over a century.

First published in October 2017.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Conway House


The family of CHARLEY, or CHORLEY, passing over from the north of England, settled in Ulster during the 17th century, at first in Belfast, where they were owners of house property for two hundred years; and afterwards at Finaghy, County Antrim, where

JOHN CHARLEY (c1659-1743), of Belfast, left a son,

RALPH CHARLEY (1674-1756), of Finaghy House, County Antrim, who wedded Elizabeth Hill, and had an only child,

JOHN CHARLEY (1711-93), of Finaghy House, who married Mary, daughter of John Ussher, and had issue,

Matthew, died unmarried;
JOHN, of whom hereafter;
Hill, died unmarried;
Jane, died unmarried.
The eldest surviving son,

JOHN CHARLEY (1744-1812), of Finaghy House, married, in 1783, Anne Jane, daughter of Richard Wolfenden, of Harmony Hill, County Down, and had issue,
John, of Finaghy House (1784-1844), dsp;
Matthew, of Finaghy House and Woodbourne;
WILLIAM, of whom we treat.
The third son,

WILLIAM CHARLEY (1790-1838), of Seymour Hill, Dunmurry, married, in 1817, Isabella, eldest daughter of William Hunter JP, of Dunmurry, and had issue,
John, his heir;
William, succeeded his brother;
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
Mary; Anne Jane; Eliza; Isabella; Emily.
The third son,

EDWARD CHARLEY (1827-68), of Conway House, Dunmurry, County Antrim, wedded firstly, Mary, daughter of A Caldecott, of Woodford Hall, Essex, and had a daughter,
Mary Caldecott, m Captain George Leslie Poë JP DL RN.
He espoused secondly, Catherine Jane, daughter of Jonathan Richardson, and had issue,
Edward (Rev), dsp;
Ernest William Ralph (1864-9);
Edith Margaret; Kathleen Isabel Airth.
CONWAY HOUSE, Dunmurry, Belfast, was a two-storey Victorian mansion with a symmetrical front of two shallow, curved bows and a central projection.

A pillared and balustraded veranda ran on either side, joining to a single wing.

At the other end there was a pilastered conservatory.

An Italianate tower rose from the roof above a bracket cornice.

In 1852, William Charley, who had succeeded to Seymour Hill, gave land to his younger brother, Edward, to build a house for his first wife Mary.

Edward named it Conway after the local landowner, Lord Hertford (also Baron Conway).

The house was then occupied, until his death in 1892, by the Lord Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore, the Rt Rev William Reeves.

Thereafter it was sold by the executors of Edward Charley's brother, William, to John D Barbour, of Hilden, father of Sir Milne Barbour Bt. 

Sir Milne lived at Conway for many years until his death in 1951.

At one time the Charley crest stood over the front door.

The Conway Hotel

Conway House operated for many years as a hotel operated by Trusthouse Forte.

First published in February, 2011.