Sunday, 7 February 2016

Beardiville House

THE FAMILY OF LECKY OWNED 1,492 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM


This family is of Scottish extraction, and settled, it is stated, in County Londonderry, towards the latter end of the 16th century. 

ALEXANDER LECKIE OF THAT ILK, a laird from Stirlingshire, owing to various troubles of that period, had to take refuge in Ulster where he spent the years 1633-40.

He wedded Grizel, daughter of Sir John Murray of Polmais; and dying in 1643, he was succeeded by his younger son, 

CAPTAIN ALEXANDER LECKY, who, like his father, removed to Ulster and settled at Londonderry.

This gentleman was High Sheriff of Londonderry, 1677; Mayor, 1691 and 1695.

Captain Lecky took a considerable part in the siege of Londonderry, being captain of one of the six companies raised for the protection of the city; but on his refusal to accept the Test Act of 1704, he had to relinquish his office of alderman of the city and all his other offices.

His younger son, 

HENRY LECKY (1689-1761), of Agivey, County Londonderry, married, in 1724, Mary, daughter of Randal McColIum, of Limnalary, Glenarm, County Antrim, and had a son,

HUGH LECKY, of Agivey, who married, in 1765, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev John Gage, of Rathlin, County Antrim.

He died in 1796, having had issue,
JOHN GAGE, his heir;
Hugh, father of HUGH;
Mary; Anne.
The elder son,

JOHN GAGE LECKY (1772-1819), of Agivey, and Bushmills, married, in 1818, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev Oliver McCausland.

He died without issue, when he was succeeded by his nephew, 

HUGH LECKY (1804-81), of Beardiville, County Antrim, High Sheriff, 1835, who wedded, in 1837, Matilda, daughter of George Hutchinson, of Ballymoney, County Antrim, and by her had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
George;
John Gage;
Harry;
Elizabeth.
Mr Lecky was succeeded by his eldest son, 

HUGH LECKY JP (1819-), of Beardiville, High Sheriff, 1835, who espoused, in 1876, Rebecca Mary, daughter of Robert Crookshank, of Glennmanus House, Portrush, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
Robert;
Randall and
James, twins;
Olivia.
Mr Lecky was succeeded by his eldest son,

CAPTAIN HUGH LECKY DL (1880-1962), who married, in 1905, Annie Margaret, daughter of Anthony Traill (divorced 1916).

His second wife, Frances, died in 1965.


BEARDIVILLE HOUSE is situated at Cloyfin, between Coleraine and Bushmills, County Antrim.

This is a mid-18th century house originally inhabited by the Macnaghtens of Dundarave.

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with five bays. The central bay breaks forward.

There is a porch with Tuscan-style columns, which were added afterwards.

The drawing-room was in the single-storey 19th century wing.

There is a simple pedimented archway at the demesne's entrance, flanked by single-storey lodges. Diocletian windows are partly blocked up.


Beardiville passed to the Lecky family in the 19th century.

The demesne was established in the 17th century and the present house dates from around 1710-12.

The property had been leased by Francis Macnaghten from the Earl of Antrim in 1709 and the house, with its steep, hipped roof (which once had dormers), has an armorial plaque over the main door with the date 1715, most likely the coat-of-arms of the 4th Earl.


An earlier survey by Thomas Roe of the demesne in 1712 shows ‘house, orchard, garding, stead and meadow or moss’.

There is part of a shelter belt of trees on the west side, which is most necessary in this area of the county, but a continuation along the road to the south has gone.

Two clumps of trees in parkland to the south of the house, and other trees near the house, remain from late 18th or early 19th century planting.

There is a walled garden, set out as an ornamental garden for a dwelling that is occupied. The building may have originally been an apple store.

The area south of the walled garden was formally an orchard.

There is a pond fed from a spring, mature shrubs, herbaceous border, lawns, a tennis court and wall plants in the walled garden.

It appears that improvements in landscaping took place in the early 19th century, as a winding avenue through parkland was emphasised through the addition of a new gate lodge on the south side.


This is maintained as a folly.

It was built ca 1810 in basalt rubble, with two rooms and a joining arch, possibly by Richard Elsam.

Another matching pair of lodges, ca 1790 at the north entrance, probably flanked the original entrance and are now derelict.

The property passed hands in 1845 to Hugh Lecky, whose son, also Hugh, went to live in the Apple House in the walled garden just before the start of the 2nd World War.

Beardiville House remained empty until sold in 1965.

It has subsequently been restored.

First published in August, 2011.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Some of my happiest childhood memories are of going to tea with Hugh and Mrs Lecky in the late 40s/early 50s. White cats in the garden. She always wore a hat. He had been a great amateur sportsman. I never saw inside the old house, sadly.

Anonymous said...

I also remember visiting Beardiville as a small child, and we have many slide photographs taken in the gardens, including ones showing the lovely pond. My late father had a great interest in antiques, and he and Mrs. Frances Lecky had many discussions on the subject. The house contained some wonderful pieces of ornate French furniture. Beardiville was purchased by the solicitor appointed to handle the sale...

Anonymous said...

I now live in the appartment pictured to the side of the big house, would love to hear some information about what it may have been in past years. Have heard that it may have been a mistresses house for The Lord at some point..does anyone know if there is any truth in that story?