Saturday, 11 April 2020

Florence Court: Larders

THE EARLS OF ENNISKILLEN WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY FERMANAGH, WITH 29,635 ACRES 


The five largest landowners in Fermanagh were the Marquess of Ely, the Earl of Erne, the Earl of Enniskillen, the Brooke Baronets (the Viscount Brookeborough), and the Archdales.

They all owned about 30,000 acres, give or take a few thousand or so.

Lord Enniskillen owned a vast amount of land at Florence Court estate.

I digress.

Nancy, Countess of Enniskillen (1917-98) wrote her chronicles of life at Florence Court, County Fermanagh, in 1972.

My mother bought me the hardback book as a gift while we were staying at Castle Archdale in 1979.

It's entitled Florence Court, My Irish Home.

If my memory serves me well, it was purchased in Hall's bookshop, Enniskillen, at the far end of Darling Street, not far from Castle Street.

On page forty-five, Lady Enniskillen describes how the dining-room and drawing-room looked through their western windows to a terrace planted by her husband David, the 6th Earl, with flowering cherry trees around an old parterre.


The Crescent Lawn was (and remains) about seven feet above the back drive and about the same distance below the house.

A reader informs us that the Crescent Lawn
"Actually dated from Victorian times with Cherry trees later planted at the sides by David Enniskillen to replace original large Chestnut trees. These Cherry trees are also now removed. The Parterre was removed due by the National Trust for maintenance reasons and the argument that it blocked the view out across the park which of course it didn't as the lawn is much lower than the windows of the Drawing and Dining rooms."
Sadly the curvilinear row of staff rooms which surrounded the Crescent Lawn were all demolished, including the Boot House, Cook's Larder, Game Larder, Bottles, Hamper House, Hens, Store, and two water closets.

Only the foundations of these outbuildings (which overlooked the Laundry Court) remain.

Each room had its own fireplace.

Nancy Enniskillen tells us in her book that the National Trust removed the rooms and rebuilt the wall without them.


The Laundry or Stick Yard was to one side of the Crescent Lawn; the stable-yard to the other.

First published in April, 2016.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

I remember the Crescent Lawn with its parterre well. It actually dated from Victorian times with Cherry trees later planted at the sides by David Enniskillen to replace original large Chestnut trees. These Cherry trees are also now removed. The Parterre was removed due by the National Trust for maintenance reasons and the argument that it blocked the view out across the park which of course it didn't as the lawn is much lower than the windows of the Drawing and Dining rooms. The only photograph I know of is already on your site. Look at Tuesday 10th August 2010 entitled Florence Court Outing - it shows the Belfast Telegraph front page of an aerial view of Florence Court at the time of the fire with the Parterre clearly visible.

Timothy Belmont said...

How wonderful. I'd completely forgotten about the newspaper photograph and my article of 2010.

Very many thanks - I'll see if I can edit it and enhance the parterre.

Tim