Friday, 20 April 2018

Oriel Temple


JOHN FOSTER (c1655-1747), of Dunleer, County Louth, son of Colonel Anthony Foster, married Elizabeth, youngest daughter of William Fortescue, of Newrath, County Louth, and aunt of William Henry, 1st Earl of Clermont, and had issue,
ANTHONY, his heir;
Thomas (Rev);
John William, MP for Dunleer;
Margaret; Charlotte; Alice.
Mr Foster was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANTHONY FOSTER (1705-79), of Collon, County Louth, MP for Dunleer, 1738-60, County Louth, 1761-66, who wedded firstly, in 1736, Elizabeth, daughter of William Burgh, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
William (Rt Rev);
He espoused secondly, in 1749, Dorothea, daughter of Thomas de Burgh.

Mr Foster was succeeded by his elder son,

THE RT HON JOHN FOSTER (1740-1828), of Dunleer, County Louth, MP for Dunleer, 1761-8, County Louth, 1761-1800, who married Margaretta Amelia Foster, VISCOUNTESS FERRARD in her own right.

Mr Foster was elevated to the peerage, in 1821, in the dignity of BARON ORIEL, of Ferrard, County Louth.

His wife, Margaretta Amelia (daughter of Thomas Burgh MP, of Bert, County Kildare) was created Baroness Oriel in her own right, 1790; and advanced to a viscountcy, 1797, as VISCOUNTESS FERRARD.

They had issue,
Anna Dorothea, m to Lord Dufferin.
The only son and successor,

THOMAS HENRY, 2nd Viscount Ferrard (1772-1843), wedded, in 1810, Harriet, Viscountess Massereene and Baroness Loughneagh in her own right.

In consequence of this union, Lord Ferrard assumed the Viscountess's surname of SKEFFINGTON, and the arms of her ladyship's family.

COLLON HOUSE, or Oriel Temple, Collon, County Louth, the former lodge of Lord Ferrard, though small mansion, possesses associations of remarkable interest.

It stands in the midst of a demesne and an estate replete with the results of skilful and energetic improvement.

Anthony Foster found its entire extent, about 5,000 acres at that time, a waste, heath-clad sheep-walk, declared by many observers to be irreclaimable; and he began a course of elaborate, judicious, far-sighted and multitudinous procedures for enclosing, tilling and manuring it; and for causing the barren wilderness to smile with cultivation.

Mr Foster's son John, 1st Baron Oriel, carried forward the agricultural improvements, completed the plantations which had been commenced on the demesne, and lived to see the district equal in beauty and lusciousness of cultivation to many an estate improved in similar circumstances.

The plantations on the demesne covered almost 600 acres, and contained trees of every description.

Collon House is, according to Bence-Jones, a house which seems to have started literally as a temple or garden pavilion, built in the 1780s by John Foster, later 1st Baron Oriel.

The earlier house was known simply as Collon.

The Temple had a pedimented portico and a room painted by Peter de Gree.

About 1812, Mr Speaker Foster added to the Temple and it became a somewhat amorphous two-storey house with the entrance doorway in a bow, under a pedimented porch with two, fluted, Doric columns.

It is now greatly altered.

One of the main features of this period around Collon was the return of the Cistercian Order to the district in 1938.

The Order purchased Oriel Temple and surrounding lands and established a new monastery there.

It is located about three miles from the ruins of their first foundation in Ireland.

Mother Mary Martin, the founder of the medical and nursing order of nuns, The Medical Missionaries of Mary, established her first house of the Order, in Collon, in 1938.

The order moved to Drogheda shortly afterwards where they built the Lourdes Hospital.

First published in September, 2011.

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