Friday, 8 May 2015

Killadeas Manor


WILLIAM IRVINE, of Ballindullagh, third son of Christopher Irvine, of Castle Irvine, married Elizabeth, daughter of Herbert Gledstanes, Colonel under GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS of Sweden; and dying in 1691, leaving, with other issue,
CHRISTOPHER, who s his cousin; ancestor of IRVINE of Castle Irvine;
JOHN, who s his father, of whom presently.
The second son, 

JOHN IRVINE, of Cooles and Killadeas, County Fermanagh, wedded firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of J Hamilton, and by her had issue,
CHRISTOPHER, his heir;
Margaret, m to the Rev Alexander Smyth.
He married secondly, Catherine, daughter of Launcelot Carleton, of Rossfad, and by her had issue,
John, d umn 1728;
Magdalen; Katherine;
Dorothy Maria; Syndey; Sophia.
His will bore the date 1716, and was proved in the same year.

The eldest son, 

MAJOR CHRISTOPHER IRVINE, of Cooles and Rockfield, High Sheriff of Fermanagh, 1734, married Jane, daughter of the Rev William Greene, of Dresternan, County Fermanagh, and died in 1760, having had issue,
JOHN, his successor, of whom presently;
Gerard, of Greenhill;
The elder son, 

JOHN IRVINE, of Rockfield, High Sheriff of Fermanagh, 1763, wedded, in 1745, Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rt Rev Joseph Story, Lord Bishop of Kilmore, and had issue four sons and three daughters, viz.
Christopher, died unmarried;
Joseph, died unmarried;
GERARD, his heir;
William, of Cookstown;
Deborah; Elizabeth; Sophia.
Mr Irvine died in 1787, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

GERARD IRVINE, of Rockfield,
born in 1749, Deputy Governor of Fermanagh, and High Sheriff, 1803; Captain, 47th Regiment, with which regiment he served in the American War, and was at the battle of Bunker's Hill.
He married Catherine, daughter of Robert Hassard, of Stoneville, Skea, County Fermanagh, and by her had issue,
JOHN, his successor, of whom we treat;
Arthur Henry (Rev);
Jane, Catherine.
The eldest son, 

JOHN IRVINE JP DL, of Rockfield and Killadeas, born in 1788; major, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers Regiment of Militia; High Sheriff of Fermanagh, 1819.

He espoused, in 1817, Sarah, eldest daughter of Thomas Towers, of Bushy Park, County Tipperary, and by her had issue,
Gerard, died unmarried in 1840;
JOHN GERARD, late of Killadeas;
Christopher (Rev);
Charles Dopping;
Malcolm Edward;
Arthur Benjamin (Rev);
Duncan Malcolm;
Mary; Kathleen;
Caroline Sophia; Sarah Elizabeth.
The eldest surviving son, 

JOHN GERARD IRVINE JP DL, of Killadeas, born in 1823, High Sheriff, 1852 and 1878; colonel commanding 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

He married, in 1860, Elizabeth, Daughter of William Daniell, of Ballymackney, County Monaghan, and Manor Hassett Lodge, County Fermanagh.

He died in 1902, having by her had issue,
William Peregrine Daniell;
Arthur Launcelot Carleton;
Charles Edward Stannus;
Geoffrey George Vaughan;
Mary Elizabeth Geraldine;
Kathleem Margaret Matilda; 
Elsie Beatrice Blanche.
His eldest son and heir, 

JOHN GERARD CHRISTOPHER IRVINE JP DL (1865-1938), of Killadeas, High Sheriff, 1891; major, 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; served in South African War, 1900-1.

He married, in 1886, Georgina Emma Matilda, daughter of Captain Mervyn Archdale MP, of Castle Archdale, and had issue,
Marjorie Matilda.

THE MANOR HOUSE, Killadeas, County Fermanagh, stands in a prominent position overlooking Lower Lough Erne.

It is seven miles north of Enniskillen. Irvinestown is probably the nearest village.

The original Victorian-Italianate house consists of two storeys.

The entrance front has a pediment and porch in the form of a three-arched loggia, flanked by a square tower with a glazed belvedere and urns on its parapet.

The house has been a hotel for over fifty years, having been owned by the Noble family prior to the present proprietors.


DURING my childhood I used to spend weekend breaks and longer spells in this area of the county.

We had a sort of circuit of hotels and restaurants which we frequented, viz. the Manor House Hotel at Killadeas, the Lough Erne Hotel in Kesh, the Encore Steak-house in Ballinamallard and the Hollander restaurant in Irvinestown.

The Manor House Hotel was a small, country house hotel then. We probably went there more often because it was quite close to Castle Archdale.

The proprietor was, I think, called Raymond Noble, and I have memories of him wearing a naval sweater and taking us down to the games-room in the basement for a spot of snooker.

He was follicly challenged, I seem to recall!

Needless to say, I preferred the hotel in its original state compared to now. There was a very spacious lounge bar, another large dining-room, and a residents' lounge.

These were the main rooms on the ground floor.

THE MANOR HOUSE HOTEL has published an interesting history of the manor house: 

"The lands of Killadeas on which the Manor House Hotel stands, acquired this name from the Religious Community of the Culdees or Ceile-De of Devenish, who owned these lands for many centuries and on which there was an Ancient Church and Grave. 

It is unknown whether or not the Ancient Church of Killadeas existed before the Culdees acquired these lands.  

In fact, almost all that is known about it is tht it was called the Yellow Church, and that Isaac Butler saw it on his way to Lough Derg in 1644 and he gave the following account of it – “Two miles from Ballycassidy and ye ruins of ye Yellow Church on the roadside, it is rude sculpture and built like a barn.” 

The ancient churchyard of Killadeas or, at least part of it, is incorporated in the church-yard surrounding the modern church to today. 

Captain John Irvine, next brother to Colonel Christopher Irvine, of Castle Irvine, acquired the Killadeas estate in 1660, and the manor-house was then known as Rockfield. 

It remained as Rockfield until it was rebuilt in 1860 by Colonel J G Irvine, who brought from Italy, workmen to do the interior decoration which exists to this day. The Irvine family were the descendants of the Irvines of Bonshaw. 

The name of Rockfield was changed to Killadeas manor-house by Major John Irvine who succeeded to Killadeas in 1835 and died in 1860.
His son, Colonel J G Irvine, who rebuilt Killadeas, incorporated some parts of the old house into the new mansion. 

In a directory of Fermanagh, published in 1879, the author states that Rockfield was built in 1710, and greatly altered and added to in 1868 by Colonel Irvine under the direction of that able and artistic architect, Mr Armstrong of Belleek. 

During the 2nd World War it was requisitioned by the Government and was for a time used by the American Forces. 

The house itself was used as an Officers’ Mess and GHQ for the seaplane base of Killadeas. It was a plane from this base which sighted the ‘Bismarck’ and consequently resulted in the destruction of the mighty battleship. 

The manor-house remained in the Irvine family until 1957 when it was acquired for use as a hotel".

First published in January, 2010.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

As a fellow OC, some 16 years older than you,and also still living in the Belmont area, your comments about the Irvine family and Kiladea, brought back many memories.
It was an American built, but RAF/RCAF crewed, Catalina flying boat flying from Castle Archdale,that spotted the Bismarck leading to it being sunk at the end of May 1941. The RAF flew both Sunderlands and Catalinas using the convenience corridore over Ballyshannon for easy access to the Atlantic. It is less well known that the RAF maintained a high speed rescue launch in Killybegs harbour, with a crew in civilian uniform.
Pearl Harbour was on 7th December 1941, and it must have been some time after that that the US forces took over the estate of Kiladeas and Goblusk as a base for their Catalinas.
My father was friendly with, and sailed with Gerard Irvine at both RNIYC and later Lough Erne, after he returned from Holywood to live in a renovated house at Goblusk long after the Americans had gone home.