Sunday, 18 March 2018

Cecil Manor

THE GERVAISES OWNED 7,727 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE 


JEAN GERVAIS, of Tournon, Guyenne, France, married Anne Fabre, and had two sons,
PIERRE, of whom we treat;
DANIEL.
After their parents' death, and while still children, they fled with an uncle at the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and settled in England.

In 1710, DANIEL, the younger, was naturalized, and subsequently became a captain in the British army and gentleman usher to Queen Anne.

He wedded Pauline Belagnier, daughter of the minister of the French protestant church, Dublin, but dsp.

His brother, elder son of Jean Gervais, 

PIERRE GERVAIS, espoused, in 1717, Marie Françoise Girard, and died in 1730, having had three sons, the eldest of whom,

PETER GERVAIS (1722-1800), Collector of Revenue, Armagh, wedded, in 1763, Elizabeth, fourth daughter of the Rev Samuel Close, of Elm Park, County Armagh.

They both died in 1800, leaving issue,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Mary Anne, m Rev D Kelly;
Elizabeth, m Captain John Winder.
The only son,

THE REV FRANCIS GERVAIS JP (1764-1849), of Cecil, Rector of Tartaraghan, Carlingford, married, in 1807, Katherine Jane, daughter of Michael Tisdall, of Charlesfort, County Meath, and had issue,
FRANCIS JOHN, his heir;
Elizabeth; Catherine; Juliana Henrietta.
The only son,

FRANCIS JOHN GERVAIS JP DL (1819-82)), of Cecil Manor, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1846, wedded, in 1852, Annie Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rev John Richardson Young, of Kilmarron Rectory, County Monaghan, and had issue,
FRANCIS PETER, his heir;
Katherine Mary; Frances Elizabeth Haton.
The only son,

FRANCIS PETER GERVAIS JP DL (1858-1918), of Cecil Manor, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1902, Barrister, married, in 1884, Georgina Francis Dalrymple, daughter of James Gilmour, of Warren Hill, County Londonderry, and had issue,
DOROTHY, born ca 1886.

CECIL MANOR, near Augher, County Tyrone, was a rather austere three-storey, early 19th century block, probably attributed to William Farrell.

It was built ca 1830 for the Rev Francis Gervais who, formerly the property of the Cairnes family, was bought by the clergyman in 1811.

The windows were set wide apart in the solid expanses of wall.

Its entrance front had a Classical porch, prolonged by a wing of the same height.

There was a slightly overhanging roof with a bracket cornice; and chimney-stacks grouped together in a long line.

The mansion, originally called Saville Lodge, is now demolished.


The demesne had four gate lodges, of which two seem to have survived, albeit in a parlous state.

This was formerly a fine demesne on the lower slopes of Knockmany.

There is still an avenue of Douglas Fir and forest planting, and a lake.

A garden house is at the site of a formerly productive garden.

There was a male and female school, on Erasmus Smith's foundation, endowed with two acres of land by the Rev Francis and Mrs Gervais, who, in conjunction with the trustees of that charity, built the schoolhouse.

Much of the estate is now part of the Northern Ireland Forest Service's Knockmany Forest.

Former London residence  ~ 2 Strathmore Gardens.

First published in September, 2010.

8 comments :

Anonymous said...

Have been fasinated with Cecil for sometime, as my mother was a Gervis/Gervais, however dispite coming from within 5 or 6 miles of the estate for almost the last 200 yrs I cannot find any connection. Which isn't surpising as the Cecil family went from one son to one son, dying out with a daughter... unless someone can tell me otherwise! It may be pure coincidence but such an unusal name so close together makes you wonder.

sally t said...

My ancestors came from Cecil. I know that they were there in the 1830's. The father Abel Bullock was listed variously as a farmer and gentleman. On 2 records he is listed as a gardener. Do you know if there are any records of who the gardeners were at Cecil Manor? I live in Australia and am having trouble finding anything much on the Bullocks.

Aaron Henderson said...

My family, The Hendersons, were from Aughnaseda, Monaghan. They lived in the same townland for 200 years. My late Great Uncle lived there until his death this year. My father, who is named Gervais, discovered a map in an old bookcase around 10 years ago with a title 'Land given to the Henderson Family from the Gervais Estate' unfortunetly he placed it back in the book and it has not been found again. We also discovered other ancestors have been called Gervais since 1827. Would this be the same family estate?

Georgina Pelham said...

My maiden name is Georgina Gilmour and Georgina Francis Dalrymple Gervais (nee Gilmour) is my great great aunt. I think I may have been named after her. Her daughter Dorothy whose picture you mentioned married Rupert Rhodes and died without issue in Sept 1974.

If you like I can email you a photo of a miniature of Georgina Gervais which you're welcome to post on your blog. My husband and I are interested to know more of Cecil Manor. Do you know why it was abandoned and demolished? We're also trying to trace where Georgina was buried after she died in Omagh in 1913. We wonder if it is in the Huguenot St Stephen's cemetery in Dublin as I believe some members of the Gervais family were buried there.

Many thanks for an interesting post.

Georgina Pelham (from Somerset)

Anonymous said...

My great grandfather, his brother(s), and their father were all tenant farmers at the manor. They lived in augher, and my great grandfather left for America in 1893, with his father, and the rest of their family, leaving in 1909. I wonder why they left when they did, particularly my great grandfather. Can anyone give me a good picture of Augher and the manor in 1893? The family name is Brattin(Bratton).

Anonymous said...

My great grandfather bought the property when it was in a dilapidated state and had the house demolished, selling any materials which could be salvaged. He passed the property on to his son Robert Welsh (formerly of Annagarvey on Glenhoy Rd). Robert Welsh ultimately sold the land to the NI Forest Service having retired & with all his children having moved to Australia. Robert Mulligan (his nephew) still resides in Augher and has a keen recollection of the history of the property over the past 100 years.

Timothy Belmont said...

Anon, many thanks for fascinating information. I hadn't been aware that the house was demolished before it was sold. I wonder if Robert Mulligan has retained any photos? Could I contact him. Tim.

Gael Haslett said...

According to my father (Robert Mulligan) his uncle, Robert Welsh sold most of Cecil Estate to Freddie Bingham in the late 1930s. Mr Bingham lived in the farmhouse adjacent to the manor . He stripped and demolished the manor house and sold off the stone,lead, timber etc. The property was sold again to a Mr Johnston from Brookeborough who later sold it to the Forestry Service. Robert Welsh had retained aproximately 7 acres where he built his retirement bungalow. That bungalow currently belongs to Robert Mulligan. A small piece of land still belongs to James Welsh and his niece and nephew in Australia.