Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Great Tyrone Landowners

I am beginning a new series about the great landowners of County Tyrone. I intend to focus on the largest landowners, notwithstanding the fact that there were many with between five and ten thousand acres.

The greatest landowners in the county were, and probably still are, the Dukes of Abercorn. The Dukes, whose ancestral seat has been the stately Baronscourt Estate near Newtownstewart for centuries, held 60,000 acres in 1872. Even today, the present Duke holds a substantial 15,000 acres.

The Earls Castle Stewart, whose seat remains at the Stuart Hall Estate near Stewartstown, owned 32,615 acres.

The Earls of Caledon held vast amounts of land amounting to 29,236 acres.

The Church of Ireland - the Church Commissioners - held 28,002 acres.

The Stewart Baronets, of Athenree in County Tyrone, owned 27,905 acres; and their residence was Ballygawley House.

The Cole-Hamilton family lived at Beltrim Castle, near Gortin, and had 16,682 acres.

The McMahon Baronets, of Dublin, owned 16,326 acres. The village of Mountfield, near Omagh, was developed mainly in the 1800s by Sir William McMahon, Bt, and today is a quiet, tranquil place with its economy dependent on agriculture. Their residence was Fecarry Lodge.

The Verner Baronets, of Verner's Bridge in County Armagh, had 16,042 acres.

Although the Earls of Belmore lived principally at the palatial and stately Castle Coole in County Fermanagh, they also had 14,359 acres in County Tyrone.

Mr Thomas Arthur Hope, of Wavertree in Lancashire, owned 13,995 acres.

The 1st Lord Dorchester owned 12,607 acres. Born in Strabane in 1724, Sir Guy Carleton went on to become Military Governor of Quebec and was instrumental in successfully challenging an invasion of Canada by the rebel forces of the American Colonies in 1776. Ironically his opposite number was Donegal man Richard Montgomery.

The Knox-Browne family owned 10,125 acres at Aughentaine Castle, near Fivemiletown. The Castle was sold to the Hamilton-Stubber family in 1954.


Mrs L E de Bille. of Slaghtfreedan Lodge, near Cookstown, owned 12,680 acres.


Anonymous said...

The aerial photograph on the estate web-site doesn't mach these -http://www.mcclintockofseskinore.co.uk/aughintaine_castle_gallery.html. The, presumably recent, aerial photo' is in want of a tower.

Timothy Belmont said...

Yes, Aughentaine Castle was demolished after 1954 when it was sold to the H-Stubbers.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I thought that was the case.

Richard HS is married to Lord Brookeborough's sister, they live in Richhill, very pleasant family.

Anonymous said...

I think Brig. Sinton had a thousand acres or so in his day at Cookstown too. An English cousin of mine was at Stowe with one of his nephews, Tim (he was "in" linen).

Timothy Belmont said...

Brig Sinton's old home, Slaghtfreedan, is on my list. It used to be a large estate.

I'll be writing about it.