Sunday, 24 May 2020

Dundarave House

The sept of Macnaghten, in Argyllshire, is acknowledged by the highlanders, according to Alexander Nisbet, to be one of the oldest in the west of Scotland, and its members were for centuries involved in the political transactions of that kingdom.

SHANE DHU, third son of JOHN MACNAUGHTANE, of that Ilk, and grandson of SIR ALEXANDER MACNAUGHTANE, who fell at Flodden, went over to Ulster as secretary to his kinsman, the 1st Earl of Antrim, and settled there.

His son and heir,

DANIEL MACNAUGHTEN, espoused Catherine, niece of the celebrated Lord Primate and Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev George Dowdall, and had, with two daughters, who married into the families of Willoughby and MacManus, of County Antrim, a son and successor,

JOHN MACNAUGHTEN, of Benvarden, County Antrim, who wedded Helen, sister of the Rt Hon Edmund Francis Stafford MP, and had issue; of which a younger son,

EDMUND MACNAGHTEN (1679-1781), of Beardiville, County Antrim, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1747, who married firstly, Leonora, daughter of the Most Rev Dr John Vesey, Lord Archbishop of Tuam, by whom he had no issue; and secondly, in 1761, Hannah, daughter of John Johnstone, of Belfast, by whom he had two sons,
Mr Macnaghten died at the very advanced age of 102, and was succeeded by his son,

EDMUND ALEXANDER MACNAGHTEN (1762-1832), of Beardiville, and Duke Street, St James's, London, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1793, MP for County Antrim, 1801-12, Orford, 1812-26, County Antrim, 1826-30, and a Lord of the Treasury.

The Macnaghtens of Scotland elected this gentleman and his heirs to the chieftainship of their clan, which, at his decease, in 1832, descended with the family estates to his brother,

SIR FRANCIS WORKMAN-MACNAGHTEN (1762-1843), a High Court Judge in India, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1807, who was created a baronet in 1836, designated of Bushmills House, County Antrim.
Sir Francis (the Hon Mr Justice Macnaghten) had made a fortune in India c1800. He purchased ‘for a small price’ his brother-in-law's property; and at some stage proceeded to build a new, castellated house on the site (Bushmills House); though, after he returned from India in 1825, he seems to have lived mainly at Roe Park and Beardiville.
He espoused, in 1787, Letitia, eldest daughter of Sir William Dunkin, Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Calcutta, and had issue,
EDMUND CHARLES, his successor;
William Hay, cr baronet, 1840; Bengal civil service;
Francis, b 1798, at Calcutta; Bengal civil service;
Elliot, b 1807; Supreme Court, Calcutta;
John Duncan, b 1810; cavalry officer, East India Company;
Steuart, b 1815;
Anne; Eliza Serena; Marianne; Letitia; Matilda; Jane Russell;
Maria; Caroline; Alicia; Ellen, Hannah.
Sir Francis was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDMUND CHARLES WORKMAN-MACNAGHTEN, 2nd Baronet (1790-1876), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1837, who succeeded to the property.
Like his father, he, too, made a fortune in India; and, having retired at the very young age of 24, decided to replace Bushmills House with a much grander mansion. He commissioned Charles Lanyon to construct the present, very fine Italianate mansion, DUNDARAVE, in 1846, based on Barry’s Reform Club.
The Rt Hon Sir Francis Edmund Workman-Macnaghten, 3rd Baronet (1828-1913), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1877, was a Privy Counsellor.

The Right Honourable Sir Edward Macnaghten, 4th Baronet (1830–1913), GCB GCMG:
Became a Law Lord as the Baron Macnaghten in 1887. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1857 entitled to practice as a barrister; appointed QC in 1880; was MP for County Antrim, 1880-85; MP for North Antrim, 1885-87; a Privy Counsellor, 1887. He was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, 1887.
Sir Edward was elevated to the peerage, in 1887, as BARON MACNAGHTEN, of Runkerry, County Antrim.

He was a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn in 1907.

Sir Edward Charles Macnaghten was 5th Baronet (1859–1914).

Sir Edward Harry Macnaghten, 6th Baronet (1896–1916), died in 1916 aged 20, reported missing in action, believed killed. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch), attached to the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; fought in the 1st World War.

Sir Arthur Douglas Macnaghten, 7th Baronet (1897–1916), died in 1916 aged 19, killed in action. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade.

Sir Francis Alexander Macnaghten became the 8th Baronet (1863–1951); succeeded by Sir Frederic Fergus Macnaghten, 9th Baronet (1867–1955) and Sir Antony Macnaghten, 10th Baronet (1899–1972).

Sir Patrick Alexander Macnaghten DL, 11th Baronet (1927-2007) was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; worked as an engineer and manager with Cadbury's Chocolate.

He succeeded to the baronetcy and as chief of the Name and Arms of the Clan Macnaghten in 1972.

On his retirement he lived at the estate of his ancestral home Dundarave until 2005.

He was a Deputy Lieutenant and Vice-President of the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association; and a member of the Fisheries Conservancy Board.

Sir Malcolm Macnaghten is the present 12th Baronet (b 1956).

DUNDARAVE HOUSE, near Bushmills, County Antrim, is described by the Sir Charles Brett as ‘by far the grandest 19th century house in north Antrim’.

Not surprisingly, the parkland created as a setting for this house is of some importance in its own right.

In fact, the park pre-dates the present house, for its bones were laid down for an 18th century house on the site known as Bushmills House.

Described as "a very fine Italianate palazzo", both inside and out, Dundarave has all the dignity and splendour of a London club.

It consists of two storeys in plan, with a lower service wing at one side. 

The three fronts are all different and ornamented in a pinkish sandstone.

Some fenestration is surrounded by Corinthian aedicules and surmounted by latticed balustrades.

The roof sits on a deep, bracket cornice.

The entrance porch is an Italianate loggia with Corinthian pilasters and columns; whilst the adjoining front boasts a a central feature of a single-storey, curved bow, also with columns.

The porch leads to a narrow entrance hall with barrel ceiling and Classical reliefs on the walls.

However, the central hall is magnificent and vast, very tall, surrounded by a broad gallery at first floor level, with Corinthian columns carrying a lantern storey.

The grandest reception room is the ballroom, with its elaborate plasterwork ceiling.
The Dundarave estate is centred on the house and its surrounding designed landscape. Extending to about 550 acres, there are six estate dwellings; three entrances; five principal rooms located on the ground floor, mostly off the Great Hall, which was designed from the hall of the Reform Club in London, and rises to the full height of the building with a galleried landing at first floor level and lit by a finely plastered cupola.
At ground floor level the Great Hall features carved timber pillars with a painted marble design which are flanked by green painted marble arches. There is a central open fireplace with decorative mantelpiece sitting on Corinthian pillars. This is overlooked by the first floor picture gallery with carved timber bannisters which support twenty Doric columns, which in turn support the elaborate cupola.
The cupola features twelve semi-circular windows and ornate ceiling with eight recessed square panels arranged around an octagon panel, all with decorative plaster work. There are nineteen bedrooms.
In the 1780s this property belonged to Sir William Dunkin of Clogher, sometime judge in Calcutta, whose daughter in 1787 married Francis Workman Macnaghten (1762-1843), a younger son of Edmund of Beardiville.

Francis, who was knighted in 1836, had made a fortune in India and was the acknowledged chief of the ancient clan of Macnaghten.

About 1800, he purchased ‘for a small price’ the property from his brother-in-law; and at some stage proceeded to build a new, castellated house on the site (Bushmills House); though, after he returned from India in 1825, he seems to have lived mainly at Roe Park and Beardiville.

This house and its surrounding parkland were protected on the north and west sides by shelter belts of trees, while a lozenge-shaped walled garden lay to the south east of the house.

In 1843, his son Sir Edward Charles Workman Macnaghten, 2nd Baronet, MP (1790-1876) succeeded to the property.

Like his father he, too, made a fortune in India; and, having retired at the very young age of 24, decided to replace Bushmills House with a much grander mansion.

He commissioned Charles Lanyon (later Sir Charles) to build the present, very fine Italianate mansion-house, built in 1846, based on Barry’s Reform Club.

The site is on exposed high ground, with good views out over lawns and a sweeping drive.

The old shelter belts were extended for the new house; and a second walled garden was added in the mid-19th century to the north of the house; and remains of glasshouses can be seen.

Neither walled garden is cultivated.

There were formal gardens at the south east of the house, which are now grassed and merge into Terrace Wood.

The woodland remains extensive and walks are maintained.

The main entrance gate is in a mini-palazzo style of ca 1848, with cruciform plan of a type favoured elsewhere by Lanyon.

The rear entrance lodge is much simpler in style, though also roughly ca 1850.

There were two plain gate lodges related to the demolished Bushmills House.

DUNDARAVE ESTATE was sold in 2014 by Sir Malcolm, 12th Baronet, to Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE DL.

RUNKERRY HOUSE, at the coast near Bushmills, was once part of the Macnaghten estates. 

It was built in the early 1860s by Sir Edward Macnaghten, 4th Baronet, who became Lord of Appeal for the United Kingdom in 1887 with a life peerage as BARON MACNAGHTEN, of Runkerry, County Antrim.

In 1951, Runkerry House was donated by the Macnaghtens to the Northern Ireland Government for public use.

It was used for many years as a retirement home; later as a residential activity centre; and finally a rehabilitation unit.

It was eventually closed down and, in 1996, placed on the open market and sold at Public Auction to Seaport Investments for conversion to apartments.

First published in March, 2010.


Anonymous said...

I knew Patrick fairly well, I don't think he was of the opinion that the family had 'donated' Runkerry - ie. surrendered all rights. I think it's fair to say he was miffed when it was subsequently sold on to Mr. Sweeny. My father remembered Runkerry when Lord M's daughters lived there.


the Fitzgerald - Charles of that ilk said...

Tim: Marian (and Patrick) were good friends of mine -I stayed at Dundarave frequently. The memorial to their time there is the huge amount of work they put into the (extremely expensive) business of restoration. Dundarave's good condition when I was last there(I've not been there for some years) is a testimonial to Patrick and Marian's good stewardship.
Apart from the good company; and the ambience of one of the most gracious homes I know, I miss the salmon (Summer)and Game( winter) both of which were ever plentiful on the table.And of course Patrick and Marion..I watch the ongoimng restoration or several years. On another front Marion contributed much to the Theatre here in Northern Ireland ..she was of course steeped in it:she was a theatre producer for many years in london before her husband inherited Dundarave -the last project I worked with her was to revive the one-woman play "Eugenie" as a vehicle for that wonderful actress, Agnes Bernelle.

Anonymous said...

Lord Belmont can you provide an update as to the sale? I have heard the house and land are to be sold separately, which is a shame. Could the National Trust perhaps buy it to preserve it for the nation?

Anonymous said...

Dundarave House has been sold to Peter Fitzgerald, the business tycoon of Randox Laboratories. I think the plan is for it to be used as 'corporate hospitality' for the business, in much the same way as the Mackies used Lissanoure in years gone by - ie take them shooting & fishing in the morning, sign multi-million pound contracts after a good lunch! Fitzgerald has also bought the golf course site, which will hopefully not now be developed. He's pals with Prince Charles through the Prince's Trust and polo, and one hopes he would share the same views towards conservation and the environment. VC