Friday, 18 August 2017

Colebrooke Park

THE VISCOUNTS BROOKEBOROUGH WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY FERMANAGH, WITH 27,994 ACRES


SIR BASIL BROOKE (1567-1633), Knight, of Magherabeg and Brooke Manor, County Donegal, went over to Ulster during the reign of ELIZABETH I.

Sir Basil served under Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy, and was appointed Governor of the town and castle of Donegal.

He was likewise one of the commissioners for the settlement of Ulster, and obtained from the crown large grants of land in County Donegal.

Sir Basil's son and successor (by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of John Leycester, of Toft),

SIR HENRY BROOKE, Knight, of Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, Governor of Donegal, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1669, MP for Brooke'e Borough.

This gentleman received, in recompense for his services during the rebellion of 1641, grants of lands in County Fermanagh.

He married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Captain John Wynter, by whom he had a son, GEORGE.

Sir Henry espoused secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, 1st Baron Docwra, and had issue, a son, BASIL; and thirdly, in 1652, Anne, daughter of Sir George St George Bt, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Elizabeth; Anne.
Sir Henry died in 1671, and was succeeded by his surviving son,

THOMAS BROOKE MP (1653-96), of Donegal, Major, Williamite Regiment of Foot, who wedded Catherine, daughter of Sir John Cole Bt, of Newlands, County Dublin, and sister of Cole, 1st Baron Ranelagh, and had issue, an only child,

HENRY BROOKE (1671-1761), of Colebrooke, MP for and Governor of County Fermanagh, who married, in 1711, Lettice, daughter of Mr Alderman Benjamin Burton, of the city of Dublin, and had (with four daughters),
FRANCIS, his heir;
Arthur, MP; cr baronet, 1764.
Mr Brooke was succeeded by his elder son,

FRANCIS BROOKE, who wedded, in 1765, Hannah, daughter of Henry Prittie, of Dunalley, County Tipperary, and sister of the 1st Lord Dunalley, and had issue,
Arthur (Sir), KCB, lieutenant-general;
Richard Prittie, major-general;
Francis, lieutenant-colonel;
HENRY, of whom presently;
George Frederick;
Caroline; Harriet; Elizabeth.
Mr Brooke died in 1800, and was succeeded by his youngest surviving son,

HENRY BROOKE (1770-1834), of Colebrooke, County Fermanagh, who was created a baronet in 1822.

This gentleman married, in 1792, Harriet, daughter of the Hon John Butler, and granddaughter of Brinsley, 1st Viscount Lanesborough, by whom he had issue,
Francis, fell at Waterloo;
Henry, died young;
ARTHUR BRINSLEY;
Butler (Rev);
Edward Basil, major-general;
Richard, later HOWARD-BROOKE;
Thomas;
George Augustus Frederick;
Harriett Elizabeth; Maria; Selina.
Colonel Brooke was created a baronet in 1822, denominated of Colebrooke.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ARTHUR BRINSLEY BROOKE, 2nd Baronet (1797-1854).
The Brookes of Colebrooke remain one of the oldest landed families in Ulster.

The Brookeborough Papers are deposited at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Sir Arthur, Arthur, 4th Baronet, was Sheriff of County Fermanagh in 1896, a Deputy Lieutenant, and Justice of the Peace for the county.

His younger brother was Field Marshal the Viscount Alanbrooke.

The Rt Hon Sir Basil, 5th Baronet, KG CBE MC PC, third prime minister of Northern Ireland, was elevated to the peerage in 1952 as VISCOUNT BROOKEBOROUGH.

His second but eldest surviving son, John, 2nd Viscount, and 6th Baronet, was also a notable politician.

As of 2010, the titles are held by the latter's eldest son, Alan, 3rd and present Viscount and 7th Brooke Baronet, who succeeded in 1987.

Lord Brookeborough is a Lord in Waiting to HM The Queen and Lord-Lieutenant for County Fermanagh.


COLEBROOKE PARK, near Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, is a rather austere Classical mansion of 1825, by William Farrell under the auspices of Sir Henry Brooke, 1st Baronet (of the second creation).

Colebrooke has a two storey, nine bay front; with a pedimented portico of four giant Ionic columns; an irregular three storey side; and an eaved roof.

The house is constructed with cut-stone with a sprinkling of red sandstone ashlars which gives the elevation a particularly agreeable tinge.

There is a substantial entrance hall, with a double staircase to the rear.

The drawing-room has the original white and gold damask wallpaper; while the sitting-room boasts 19th century arabesques.

The dining-room is stately; described by the first prime minister of Northern Ireland, Sir James Craig, later 1st Viscount Craigavon, as "Golgotha" owing to the numerous deer skulls lining the walls.



Colebrooke stood empty for a period during the 1970s, following the death of Basil Stanlake Brooke, 5th Baronet and 1st Viscount Brookeborough (1888–1973).

The 2nd Viscount lived at the dower house, Ashbrooke.

The 3rd and present Viscount has transformed Colebrooke into a country estate fit for the 21st century.

The great house thrives once more, having been largely restored and re-furnished.

A fuller history of Colebrooke, as told by Lord Brookeborough, can be viewed here.

The history of the Brooke family is publicly available in the Brookeborough Papers.

Illustrious members of the Brooke family have included Field-Marshal the Viscount Alanbrooke and the 1st Viscount Brookeborough, second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

In Colebrooke parish church hang the banners of the Orders of the Garter and the Bath: Lord Alanbrooke was appointed to both of these Orders; and the 1st Viscount Brookeborough to the Garter.

The present estate extends to about 1,100 acres.

Colebrooke Park is a fine demesne, the nucleus of which is the mansion which lies in a declivity in undulating ground.

It is approached via an oak avenue and surrounded by parkland, with mature trees.

There are blocks of mature woodland throughout the demesne.

The Colebrooke River meanders through the parkland, which adds to the pleasant landscape. One feature is a classical iron bridge.

The Park Bridge of about 1830 is functional and attractive.

A sunken garden on the west side of the house was added in the 1920s and the ‘Cottage Garden’, a woodland walk near the river and planted with shrubs has been developed since that time.

The walled garden of 1830 is not planted up but contains a very fine iron-framed glasshouse by Turner, built in 1834, with additions in 1835 and 1837.

There are many fine listed demesne buildings, including a triumphal arch and two gate lodges by Farrell.

The demesne includes Ashbrooke, the dower house, which has a surrounding maintained ornamental garden.

First published in January, 2010.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Basil always said he expected Colebrooke to leave the family after his death, it certainly is admirable that they're still there.

W.