Thursday, 10 August 2017

Ballygawley House


CAPTAIN ANDREW STEWART, a native of Scotland, settled in Ulster about 1627, and marrying Sarah, eldest daughter of Andrew, 3rd Baron Castle Stewart, and sister to Mary, Countess of Suffolk, had three sons,
HUGH, of whose line we treat;
James. a naval officer slain in battle.
Captain Stewart, who had been actively engaged against the rebels, fell in one of his encounters with them, about 1650.

His second son,

HUGH STEWART, married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Morris, of Mountjoy Castle, and had two sons, Hugh and John; the elder of whom,

THE REV HUGH STEWART, Rector of Termon, County Tyrone, wedded Sarah, daughter of the Rev Andrew Hamilton, by his wife, the only daughter and heir of Sir William Conyngham Bt, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Andrew, an officer in the East India Company;
Henry (Rev Dr), Rector of Loughgilly;
Ann; Sarah; Amelia.
The Rev Dr Stewart was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN STEWART (c1758-1825), of Ballygawley, who having attained eminence at the Bar, was appointed Attorney-General for Ireland, 1799, and sworn of the privy council of that kingdom.

He subsequently represented the counties of Down and Tyrone in parliament, and was created a baronet, 1803.

Sir John espoused Mary, daughter of Mervyn Archdale, of Castle Archdale, and by her had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
Sir John was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HUGH (1792-1854), 2nd Baronet, MP for Tyrone, 1830-34, who wedded firstly, in 1826, Julia, daughter of Marcus McCausland Gage, of Bellarena, County Londonderry, and had issue,
JOHN MARCUS, his successor;
Sir Hugh espoused secondly, in 1837, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev Henry Lucas St George, Rector of Dromore, County Tyrone, by whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth.
  • Sir Hugh, 2nd Baronet (1792–1854);
    Sir John Marcus, 3rd Baronet (1830–1905);
    Sir Hugh Houghton, 4th Baronet (1858–1942);
    Sir George Powell, 5th Baronet (1861–1945);
    Sir Hugh Charlie Godfray, 6th Baronet (1897–1994);
    Sir David John Christopher, 7th Baronet (b 1935). 
Sir Hugh, 6th Baronet, of Loughmacrory Lodge, County Tyrone, was a major in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; High Sheriff, 1955, and DL for County Tyrone in 1971.

The 7th and present Baronet, Sir David, lives in Somerset.

Nick Stewart, whose half-brother is the present baronet, has kindly sent me two old photographs of Ballygawley House taken by Sir Hugh in the winter of 1914.

At that time the demesne was known as Greenhill.

Photo credit: Kenneth Allen

BALLYGAWLEY HOUSE, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone, was set in its own parkland, was a Classical mansion of two storeys, with a two-storey portico supported by two giant Doric columns and a shallow dome.

It was built for the 2nd Baronet between 1825 and 1833, to the design of John Hargrave.

Seemingly, the mansion suffered an accidental fire during the 1920s and the Stewart family never returned to it. 

First published in December, 2009.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining the background to that ruin which I have seen for decades from the road and wondered about its history.

Was the fire really accidental?

SandyWilson said...

Hi Tim,
I am a decendant of the Stewart family from Ballygawley. My great great grandfather Sir George Vesey Stewart (born in Ballygawley) brought the first Irish settlers to New Zealand. He was a prolific businessman and land owner here and is brother Sir Hugh Stewart (and his wife Adela), built a homestead in Athrenee (NZ) and called it Mount Stewart. We have recently completed a full restoration of the homestead and in 2004 celebrated its 100 years.
My 2nd cousin Sir David Stewart is the current marquess and lives in London.
My mum's maiden name is Stewart and I have fond memories of her childhood stories of growing up in KatiKati and playing at the homestead in Athenree.
I have studied the Stewart family history and tree but welcome any information you may have.


Richard Stewart said...


I too am a descendant of George Vesey Stewart. I am in Christchurch. Is is possible to maybe collect some of this information from you?


Anonymous said...

I wonder if Nick Stewart still has his BSA C15 chopper? He and I and Ricky Moore had great times tearing around the roads on our motorbikes in our younger days.

Laura said...

Hi Tim, who owns the building now? And what do you think could happen it in the future? It would be great to see it restored

Anonymous said...


Ann Allen said...

Fascinating to learn something about this grand old ruin, which I too have observed from the main road all my life and been intrigued by! Only found out the name "Greenhill" today. Wonderful to learn a little about the people who lived there. Many thanks for sharing the wonderful old photographs. I, too, hope the shell of this gracious building will someday be restored to its former glory.

Patrick Stewart said...

Hi Sandy Wilson & Richard,

I'm the great-great-great grandson of Adela and Hugh Stewart. I was just at the old restored estate this last Christmas with my wife and it looked incredible! I'd love to exchange notes some time!

Probably most secure way to reach me is via

Ronan McElholm said...

Was this house not burned by the IRA in the 1920?