Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Dean's Hill

THE FAMILY OF WRIGHT-ARMSTRONG OWNED 2,279 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ARMAGH 


EDWARD ARMSTRONG, son of William Armstrong, by Jane Garvey his wife, married, in 1760, Grace Jones, and had two sons,
WILLIAM JONES;
Edward.
The elder son,

THE REV WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG, rector of Termonfeckin, County Louth, wedded, in 1786, Margaret, third daughter of Alderman John Tew, Lord Mayor of Dublin (and Margaret Maxwell his wife, grandniece of John, 1st Lord Farnham), and granddaughter of Alderman David Tew, Lord Mayor of the same city in 1752, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM JONEShis heir;
John Tew;
Thomas Knox, JP, of Fellow's Hall;
Helen; Anne; Diana Jane.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG JP DL (1794-1872), of Killylea, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1840, espoused, in 1842, Frances Elizabeth, Lady McCreagh, widow of Colonel Sir Michael McCreagh CB KCH, and only daughter of Captain Christopher Wilson, of the 22nd Foot, and by her had issue,
WILLIAM FORTESCUE, 7th Hussars (1843-71);
HENRY BRUCEof whom hereafter.
Mr Armstrong assumed, in 1868, the name and arms of WRIGHT under the will of Lady (Frances Elizabeth) Wright-Wilson.

His younger son,

THE RT HON HENRY BRUCE WRIGHT-ARMSTRONG JP DL (1844-1943), of Killylea, and Dean's Hill, both in County Armagh, High Sheriff, 1875, and High Sheriff of County Longford, 1894, married, in 1883, Margaret, daughter of William Leader, of Rossnalee, County Cork, and had issue,
WILLIAM FORTESCUE, lieutenant, RA;
Michael Richard Leader;
Henry Maxwell;
James Robert Bargrave;
Christopher Wyborne;
Frances Margaret Alice; Dorothea Gertrude; Margaret Helen Elizabeth.
Mr Wright-Armstrong was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM FORTESCUE ARMSTRONG DSO MC (1885-1928), who married, in 1920, Madeleine Marthe Emilie Marie, daughter of Marie Joseph Georges Ferdinand Toucas, by whom he had issue,

MICHAEL HENRY ARMSTRONG MBE DL (1924-82),
Born in France, 1924; Royal Irish Fusiliers; Chairman, Ulster Young Unionist Council, 1950; DL, 1952; County Councillor and Vice-Chairman, 1955-73; Ulster Special Constabulary, 1957-70; Trustee, Ulster Folk Museum, 1958-73; Irish Guards, Regular Army Reserve of Officers; District Commandant for Armagh, 1961-70; Trustee of the Ulster Museum, 1962; High Sheriff, 1965; Vice-Chairman, Craigavon Development Commission, 1965-73; MBE, 1970; honorary Secretary, Ulster Unionist Council, 1970-74; Ulster Defence Regiment, 2nd County Armagh Battalion.
Major Armstrong wedded, in 1954, Kathleen Mary Perceval, daughter of James Bargrave Robert Armstrong by his wife, the Hon Kathleen Marion Napier, and had issue,
EDWARD JAMES MAXWELL, b 1958;
Robert William Fortescue, b 1960;
Anne Helen Madeleine; Florence Kathleen Margaret; Jane Elizabeth Alice.
His elder son,

EDWARD JAMES ARMSTRONG, wedded, in 1991, Jill J O'Dowd, and has issue,
WILLIAM EDWARD, b 1993;
Henry Cornelius, b 1998;
Madeleine Margaret, b 1995.

DEAN'S HILL, College Hill, is a Georgian house in the city of Armagh of ca 1772-4.

It was originally built for the Very Rev Hugh Hamilton, Dean of Armagh, ca 1772-74; and altered in 1887.

A wing was added in 1896. 

The Armstrong family have lived at Dean's Hill since they bought it from the Representative Church Body of the Church of Ireland in 1888.

A stone gatehouse on the road draws visitors up the long, gently curving driveway leading through green, daffodil-strewn fields, with mature trees and a large Cedar of Lebanon in the rambling garden.

Dean's Hill sits on an elevated site.

There are views for a great distance, as far as the Sperrins, from the north front entrance.

This house and the Observatory are both associated with the palace in inception and, as such, are smaller examples of Georgian landscaping.  

The austere classical buildings are on high ground set in lawns, with sweeping approaches and well disposed trees that give shelter and allow for vistas. 

The Dean’s Hill avenue is flanked by fine limes.

A row of yew trees, a wisteria, glasshouse and a box- edged border have been introduced near the house during the 19th century. 

The partially walled garden has an orchard, kitchen garden and vinery. 

There was a large elm tree that succumbed to disease, but a notable laburnum is thought to be very old. 

The gate lodge is ca 1845 and the original 18th century gates have gone due to road re-alignment in recent years.


Fellows Hall

Fellows Hall, near Killylea, is "a Victorian Italianate re-building of a house of 1762, itself a re-building of a 17th century house."

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with a five-bay front, round-headed windows with keystones on the upper storey. 

There is a tripartite doorway with a triple window above it; and a bracket cornice. 

Fellows Hall demesne was established in the 17th century and parts of the present house date from 1664 (including the farm).

Nothing typical of a 17th century layout is in existence.

The curving avenue is lined with mature oak and beech and there is a belt of woodland on a ridge to the north of the house. 

There is a maintained ornamental garden, with a very attractive circle of box-edged rose beds and a herbaceous border.

A hedged cultivated productive garden takes the place of a walled garden. A derelict gate lodge survives.


Fellows Hall passed through marriage from the Maxwell family (Lords Farnham) to the Armstrong and Stronge families; thereafter to the McClintock family. 

Killylea, and Dean's Hill are both in County Armagh.

First published in February, 2012.

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