This is a junior branch (which settled in Ulster during the reign of JAMES VI) of the ancient Scottish house of MacAUSLANE, of Buchanan, which sprang from
JOHN MacAUSLANE, who acquired the lands of Buchanan, on the Lennox, and from whom they descended in direct male succession to Sir Walter MacAuslane, 11th Laird, who lived at the time of ROBERT II.
The heir male is said to have settled in Ulster during the reign of JAMES VI.
He had two sons, of whom the elder,
ANDREW MacAUSLANE, was grandfather of
COLONEL ROBERT McCAUSLAND, of Fruit Hill, near Limavady, styled his "cousin" in the will of Captain Oliver McCausland, of Strabane, of which he was left executor and also a legatee.
He had estates in the parish of Cappagh, County Tyrone, and succeeded under the will of the Rt Hon William Conolly to considerable property in County Londonderry.
He married, in 1709, Hannah, daughter of William Moore, of Garvey, and widow of James Hamilton, junior, of Strabane, and by her left surviving issue, at his death ca 1734,
CONOLLY, his heir;The eldest son,
Marcus, of Daisy Hill;
Frederick, of Streeve Hill;
Sarah; Rebecca; Hannah.
CONOLLY McCAUSLAND (1713-94), of Fruit Hill, wedded, in 1742, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Gage, of Magilligan, and eventually sole heir to her brother, Hodson Gage, of Bellarena, and left issue,
CONOLLY, his heir;
Hannah; Elizabeth; Sarah; Sydney.
CONOLLY McCAUSLAND (1754-1827), of Fruit Hill, espoused, in 1778, Theodosia, sister to Maurice, Lord Hartland, and daughter of Thomas Mahon, of Strokestown House, by Jane, daughter of Maurice, Lord Brandon, and by her had issue,
MARCUS, his heir;Mr McCausland, who had assumed the name of GAGE in 1816, was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,
Jane; Elizabeth; Eleanor; Theodosia.
MARCUS McCAUSLAND DL (1787-1862), of Fruit Hill, who married, in 1815, Marianne, daughter of Thomas Tyndall, of The Fort, near Bristol, and by her had issue,
CONOLLY THOMAS, his heir;Mr McCausland was succeeded by his only son,
Marianne; Theodosia Sydney; Henrietta Caroline; Katherine Geraldine;
Eleanor Georgiana; Julia; Georgiana; Adelaide.
CONOLLY THOMAS McCAUSLAND JP DL (1828-1902), of Drenagh, High Sheriff, 1866, Captain, Derry Militia, who wedded, in 1867, the Hon Laura St John, second daughter of St Andrew, 15th Baron St John of Bletso, and had issue,
MAURICE MARCUS, his heir;Captain McCausland was succeeded by his eldest son,
Edmund Thomas William;
Eleanor Marianna Katharine; Lucia; Geraldine; Julia Sydney;
Lettice Theodosia; Emily Octavia.
THE RT HON MAURICE MARCUS McCAUSLAND (1872-1938), of Drenagh, High Sheriff, 1908, Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry, 1926-38 who wedded, in 1902, Eileen Leslie, second daughter of Robert Alexander Ogilby, of Pellipar, County Londonderry, and had issue,
CONOLLY ROBERT, his heir;Mr McCausland was succeeded by his son,
Helen Laura, b 1903;
Eileen Mary, b 1910.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL CONOLLY ROBERT McCAUSLAND MC JP DL (1906-68), of Drenagh, who espoused, in 1932, the Lady Margaret Edgcumbe, daughter of 6th Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, and had issue,
MARCUS EDGCUMBE, his heir;Colonel McCausland was succeeded by his eldest son,
Antony Richard, b 1941;
Piers Conolly, b 1949;
Mary Fania; Caroline Ann.
MARCUS EDGCUMBE McCAUSLAND (1933-72), of Drenagh, who married, in 1962, June Patricia MacAdam, and had issue,
CONOLLY PATRICK, b 1964;
Shane Francis Marcus, b 1964;
Marianne Laura, b 1970.
DRENAGH, near Limavady, is the finest demesne in County Londonderry and one of the noblest country houses in Ulster.
Drenagh House, formerly known as Fruithill, was inherited by Colonel Robert McCausland, agent of the Rt Hon William "Speaker" Conolly, who had purchased the estate from the Phillips family.
Colonel McCausland erected the first house a few hundred yards south-east of the present mansion, overlooking the Glen Plantation.
The original house was extended in 1796, and was said to have had a fine demesne with well laid out walks and plantations.
The walled garden of that period is still retained along with one barn and a gardener’s house.
The house had a different avenue approach from the old Coleraine Road and this can still be discerned from early maps.
Before the old house was abandoned, a new avenue approach was made to the house from the new Coleraine Road (now Broad Road).
During this period (ca 1830) W Hargrave was commissioned to consider designs for a new house which was three storeys with canted bays.
However, before these plans could materialise into buildings, both McCausland and Hargrave died and the present gate lodge, known as Logan’s Lodge, or the east lodge of ca 1830, is all that was built of Hargrave’s design.
Charles Lanyon, who arrived in County Antrim as surveyor in 1836, was commissioned to prepare designs for house, offices and outhouses; and these appear to have reached fruition about 1840.
At the same time, the west avenue approach was changed and the west lodge was built to Lanyon’s specifications.
Pleasant gardens were extended in the Glen, with a viewing platform having impressive niche and fountain below and beyond a pool and parterre.
Nothing remains of the former house.
Today Drenagh is set in 1,000 acres of parkland.
It comprises two storeys, using an agreeable pinkish sandstone ashlar.
There is a five-bay entrance front, with a recessed central bay and a single-storey Ionic portico whose outer columns are coupled.
The adjoining front is of six bays, with a pedimented breakfront which is emphasized by three massive pilasters supporting the pediment.
There is a lower service wing at the side; a balustraded parapet round the roof and on the portico.
There is a magnificent single-storey, top-lit central hall with screens of fluted Corinthian columns.
An elegant double staircase, with exquisite cast-iron balusters, rises from behind one of the screens.
There are also rich plasterwork ceilings in the hall, over the staircase and in the drawing-room.
The morning-room and dining-room have more modest ceilings.
The outbuildings are extensive.
A vista through the gap in the trees beyond the entrance front boasts an idyllic landscape far below.
Most notable is the Chinese Garden, with its circular "moon gate", developed by the Lady Margaret McCausland in the 1960s.
The demesne itself is part-walled and dates from the early 18th century.
There are fine woodland, parkland and shelter belt trees.
The ground within the demesne is undulating, descending to the Castle River running to the south of the house and to the Curly River to the north and east.
Neither river is used as an ornamental feature.
An unusual Italianate high balustraded terrace, with a commanding view point, formerly looked over an extensive 19th century Italian Garden, which is now overgrown.
The vista at the present time overlooks what has become dense woodland, including exotics and rhododendrons.
A water garden in the foreground includes a handsome stone pond built in the 1960s to the designs of Frances Rhodes.
The '‘Moon Garden'’ was also designed by Frances Rhodes in 1968.
It is an enclosed area influenced by both Chinese and Arts and Crafts garden design, which remains fully planted up.
It incorporates pre-1830s office buildings.
Outside is the ‘Orbit Garden’, also by Rhodes, planted with shrubs, trees and herbaceous material.
An area south east of and adjacent to the house had a late 20th century ornamental garden, which is now grassed.
The walled garden is used for nursery planting.
It was enlarged after the present house was built. Logan’s Lodge, 1830 by Hargrave, pre-dates the present house.
The main entrance gate lodge, gates and screen are ca 1840 by Lanyon.
Streeve, the dower house, is within the demesne and has its own garden.
Images courtesy of Conolly McCausland. First published in February, 2010.