Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Ampertaine House


This family, originally from Salford, settled in County Londonderry in 1690.

JOHN CLARK, of Maghera, County Londonderry, married, about 1695, Jane White, of Belfast.

He died in 1707, leaving issue by her,
JACKSON, of whom presently;
John (1697-1721).
The elder son,

JACKSON CLARK, of Maghera, born about 1698, wedded in 1720, and left issue,
John, adopted by his uncle John;
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
Arthur, settled in America;
William, also in america;
Sarah, m Dr J Ferguson, of Belfast;
a daughter; Jane; Margaret.
The second son,

ALEXANDER CLARK (1723-1806), espoused, in 1757, Elizabeth, daughter of William Stevenson, of Knockan, and had issue,
Alexander, his heir;
JACKSON, of whom presently;
William;
Margaret.
The second son,

JACKSON CLARK (1760-88), married, in 1785, Jane, daughter of General Patterson, of Maghera, County Londonderry, and had issue, a son,

ALEXANDER CLARK (1785-1871), of Ampertaine, Upperlands, County Londonderry.

This Alexander wedded, in 1814, Sarah, third daughter of Sir Simon Newport, of Waterford.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM CLARK (1816-1904), of Ampertaine House, Upperlands, linen manufacturer, married, in 1853, Marianne Elizabeth Paul, daughter of Captain Simon Newport JP DL.

Mr Clark was succeeded by his second son,

ALEXANDER WALLIS CLARK JP DL (1857-1937), of Ampertaine House; High Sheriff, 1922; Chairman, William Clark & Sons, 1913-37; Member, Advisory Committee, Ulster Bank.

This gentleman wedded, in 1893, Frances Lucinda Caroline, eldest daughter of William Maxwell Carpendale, of Falkland, Dungannon, County Tyrone.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER WILLIAM MAXWELL CLARK JP (1898-1973), of Ampertaine House; High Sheriff, 1936; Director, William Clark & Sons.

He married, in 1924, Dorothy Noelle, younger daughter of J R Lopdell JP, and had issue, his eldest son,

AUBREY ALEXANDER MAXWELL CLARK; born in 1925; 2nd lieutenant, Gordon Highlanders and RAOC, 1943-46.

He married Lillian Eleanor Mary, daughter of Colonel William Anderson Swales, in 1948.
He was educated at Oundle School, Oundle, Northamptonshire, and Campbell College, Belfast; Director of Everbond Interlinings,1942-71; Director of William Clark & Sons. He lived in 1976 at Ampertaine House, and Bayhead, Portballintrae, County Antrim.
His eldest son,

ALEXANDER WILLIAM JOHN, born in 1954, was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh; Bath Academy of Art, Bath, Somerset; and London Central College of Art & Textile Design.


AMPERTAINE HOUSE, Upperlands, County Londonderry, is the most notable of a number of country houses in the vicinity built by various members of the Clark family.

This family's linen mills gave rise to the nearby "linen village" of Upperlands, based in the courtyard of one of these houses.

Ampertaine, a plain, late-Georgian house, was built ca 1853, by William Clark.


It comprises two storeys over a high basement; a five-bay front; shallow projecting porch, with a fanlighted doorway set in an arched recess.

The roof is eaved, on a a bracket cornice.

The front was prolonged by a two storey, three-bay wing, set back, added in 1915.

At the other end there was a Victorian conservatory on a high plinth.

Ampertaine has a modest parkland with mature shelter belts enclosing the house.

A "small thatched cottage" known as Upperlands formerly occupied the site of the present house, subsequently known variously as Ampertaine, Amptertain or Amportaine.

The house lawns merge into gardens, which had become neglected and overgrown until the 1990s, when clearance began to expose a late Victorian ornamental garden with ponds, rockeries and iron bowers to the east and south-east of the house.

The walled kitchen garden, east of the house, can be viewed through decorative iron railings on top of the west wall.
It is laid out in conventional manner with cross and perimeter paths and contains a summer house, sunken garden, rose garden, the site of a lean-to glasshouse range with stove and old apple trees.
On the north-east front of the house lie the foundations of a high plinth that once supported a circular Victorian conservatory.

The park has a gate lodge of ca 1870, which replaced two earlier lodges; it lies across the road from the main entrance.

First published in September, 2013.

6 comments :

Martin McKay said...

Spelled Ampertaine. Near Ampertaine County Primary School.
One of the Clark couses is Ardtara, which was converted into a small hotel about 20 years ago. http://www.ardtara.com/

The interior has been restored to reflect the original decor. Worth a visit.

Anonymous said...

I stayed here in 1986. It was that year that the conservatory blew down. I explored the gardens for a whole day (they were a big jungle then, but curious). The ponds at the back were stocked with trout and fed the mill. I think it was sold out of the clark family around 1987.
Best PF

The Modern Aesthete said...

Currently on the market - https://www.propertypal.com/ampertaine-house-76-kilrea-road-upperlands/419686/photo-39

The interior wouldn't be to my own persona taste...

Anonymous said...

Just by way of historical accuracy. It was William Clark who built the current Ampertain House around 1853, rather than his father Alexander whom you cite as the builder. He built if for his bride Marianne Newport of Suirville Waterford and the new Ampertain house replaced the original thatched dwelling when hd been home to the Upperlands branch of the Clark family. It is a very important historical house and although the interior decor may not delight everyone nonetheless it is in remarkable condition. Hopefully it will be bought by someone who will honor its heritage. Finally the current owners are the first non Clark family to have owned Ampertain.

George Speer said...

Lord Belmont, Thank you for this post. Its fun to see the old homestead. I’ll honor its heritage, and would be glad to take it off their hands, if only I had the means. I descend from Margaret the dau. of Jackson Clark, who married James Douglas of the Rosebrook House.
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=malise&id=I5545

George Speer of San Francisco, USA

statelyhomes said...

Ampertaine House is now shown as sold or subject to contract (sale agreed), after offers closed on 27 October 2016, asking £650k with 10 acres, Grade B1 listing -

http://www.burnshomes.co.uk/buy/76-kilrea-road