Monday, 11 June 2018

Stephenstown House


This is a cadet branch of FORTESCUE of Dromiskin (from whom descended the EARLS OF CLERMONT, and the BARONS CLERMONT and CARLINGFORD).

WILLIAM FORTESCUE, of Newrath, County Louth, younger son of SIR THOMAS FORTESCUE, of Dromiskin, married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Nicholas Gernon, of Milltown, County Louth, and died in 1734, leaving, with other issue, a third son,

CAPTAIN MATTHEW FORTESCUE, Royal Navy, who wedded, in 1757, Catherine Doogh, and had (with a daughter, Catherine) a son,

MATHEW FORTESCUE, of Stephenstown, who espoused Mary Anne, eldest daughter of John McClintock MP, of Drumcar, and had issue,
MATHEW, his heir;
Anna Maria; Harriet; Emily.
The only son,

MATHEW FORTESCUE DL (1791-1845), of Stephenstown, married, in 1811, Catherine Eglantine, eldest daughter of Colonel Blair MP, of Blair, and had issue,
Mathew Charles, died in infancy;
Frederick Richard Norman, father of
William Hamilton;
Clermont Mathew Augustus.
Mr Mathew Fortescue was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN CHARLES WILLIAM FORTESCUE JP DL (1822-91), of Stephenstown, and Corderry, Lieutenant-Colonel, RA; High Sheriff of County Louth, 1861, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Louth, 1868-79, who wedded, in 1857, Geraldine Olivia Mary Anne, daughter of the Rev Frederick Pare, by the Hon Geraldine de Ros his wife.

He dsp in 1891, and was succeeded by his nephew,

MATTHEW CHARLES EDWARD FORTESCUE JP DL (1861-1914), of Stephenstown, High Sheriff of County Louth, 1903, Major, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, who wedded, in 1894, Edith Magdalen, eldest daughter of Sir Charles Arthur Fairlie-Cunninghame Bt, though the marriage was without issue.


After the death of Mrs Pike-Fortescue in 1966, Stephenstown was inherited  by her nephew, Major Digby Hamilton, who sold it about 1974.

STEPHENSTOWN HOUSE, near Dundalk, County Louth, was a square Georgian house of two storeys over a basement, five bays long and five bays deep.

The house was extended in 1820 by the addition of two wings of one storey over the basement.

One of these wings was demolished later in the 19th century.

At some time in the earlier part of the 19th Century the windows were given Tudor-Revival hood mouldings, but later the house was refaced with cement and the hood mouldings replaced by classical pediments and entablatures.

Alas, the once-great mansion is now ruinous.

Although neglected in recent years, Stephenstown House continues to play a vital role in its surroundings.

It is located on the highest point in the locality dominating the skyline and providing a point of drama in the landscape.

The outlying buildings are in fair condition and their survival contributes further to Stephenstown's significance.

The house became ruinous by the 1980s.

Abandoned Ireland has an interesting article about it here.

Other former seat ~ Wymondham Cottage, Oakham, Rutland.

First published in March, 2012.


Ian Gregory said...

Dear Timothy,My name is Janice Gregory and i live in Sydney Australia,I saw your story on Stephenstown House in Louth and the history of the Fortescues. Major F.R.N.Fortescue was my G.G.Grandfather, he had two children out oif wedlock to a Elizabeth Albertina Quinn in India .One being my G.Grandfather Henry Norman Anstruther Ebrington Fortescue who was born in Meerut in 1851 and a daughter Florence Eglantine Fortescue born in Agra in 1854,after her birth FRN and Elizabeth parted and he married Maria Jane Garstin and had Matthew and Kathleen.We do not know what happened to Florence she could have died,but Elizabeth married a soldier called Turner. My husband and I have been to Meerut and found FRN Fortescue's grave, and we have also visited Matthews grave in Knockbridge. Henry is buried in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney he died in 1896 at age 46 Hope you find this interesting,but that line of Fortescues is alive and well in Sydney Australia Regards Janice Gregory

Sandra Fee said...

Hi Janice. I'm hoping to do a mini-thesis on Stephenstown House for my Fine and Decorative Arts course, Diploma, in Dublin. I am from Dundalk, and have always wondered about Stephenstown house! Its so sad to see it looking so neglected these days! Would you mind if i were to use your information above as part of my thesis? Kind regards. Sandra Fee M.Sc

Ian Gregory said...

Good Morning
My name is Janice Gregory and I wrote to you on 23rd June 2017 about Stephenstown House and the Fortescue family of which I am a member, I belong to a Historical Society and when I told them that I could go back to the 1016 they said that it is impossible to be correct,is there any way I can prove them wrong, is there baptism, wedding and death certificates to be found in whatever system there may be. I have my great,grandfathers baptism certificate his name was Henry Norman Anstruther Ebrington Fortescue[he was born in Meerut India out of wedlock] his father was Major Frederick Richard Norman Fortescue , deemed the son of Matthew Fortescue and his wife Catherine was baptised on the 1st August 1823. I live in Sydney Australia.
Hoping you can give me some advice
Janice gregory

Sylvia said...

It's so sad to see Stephenstown all ruined. I remember visiting it in the late 1960's, when I was about 14 or 15, when the Hamilton's were desperately trying to keep it going. I remember going into the hall where the eldest daughter was up a stepladder painting the walls blue as far as I remember.

We were taken down into the basement kitchen and there was a long corridor which the boys of the house were using as an impromptu cricket pitch!