HENRY, created, in 1839, BARON STUART DE DECIES.HENRY WINDSOR VILLIERS-STUART JP DL (1827-95), of Dromana-within-the-Decies, County Waterford,
MP for County Waterford, 1873-74 and 1880-85; Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Waterford 1871-73; High Sheriff, 1889.He married, in 1865, Mary, second daughter of the Ven Ambrose Power, Archdeacon of Lismore, fourth son of Sir John Power Bt, and had issue,
HENRY CHARLES WINDSOR, his heir;Mr Villiers-Stuart succeeded to the extensive estates of Henry, Lord Stuart de Decies, at that nobleman’s decease in 1874.
Mary Therese; Gertrude Gwendoline;
May; Winifred Frances.
He was the author of Nile Gleanings, Egypt After the War, and other works; and was commissioned by the Government in 1882 to visit Egypt, and report upon the condition of the populace after the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir.His eldest son,
ION HENRY FITZGERALD, his heir;Mr Villiers-Stuart was succeeded by his son,
Geraldine Mary; Nesta Mona.
JAMES HENRY VILLIERS-STUART (1928-), of Dromana, who married, in 1952, Emily Constance Lanfear, daughter of Major Charles Plenderleath Graham, and had issue,
Caroline Elspeth, b 1955;
Barbara Emily, b 1955.
THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE of Dromana occupied a spectacular site, high above the River Blackwater.From the 13th century onwards this was the seat of the FitzGeralds, Lords of the Decies, a junior branch of the Earls of Desmond.
In the 1670s the FitzGerald heiress, Katherine, the ‘Lady of the Decies’, ward to CHARLES II, married Colonel Villiers, son of Lord Grandison.
Their descendants succeeded as the Earls Grandison until 1800, when the only child of the 2nd Earl (of the second creation) married Lord Henry Stuart, younger son of Lord Bute.
Their son was subsequently created Lord Stuart de Decies, a title that recalled his long family connection with the region.
The castle of Dromana was attacked and damaged in the wars of the 1640s and 50s, though its base can still be identified from the river, and indeed is still inhabited.
About 1700, instead of rebuilding the castle, two new ranges were built at right angles to one another along the courtyard walls.
Both were simple gable-ended two storey structures, possibly just intended for occasional occupation, their only decoration being a robust, pedimented block-and-start door case in the manner of James Gibbs.
Work on a larger new house commenced in about 1780, directly in front of the longer 1700s range.
The steeply sloping riverbanks are covered with oak woods and the important mid-eighteenth century garden layout, with its follies, the Rock House and the Bastion, is currently being restored.
First published in October, 2011. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY: THE DROMANA HOUSE WEBSITE.