Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Hill Baronets

THE HILL BARONETCY, OF BROOK HALL, LONDONDERRY, WAS CREATED IN 1779 FOR HUGH HILL MP

The family of HILL descends from Samuel Hill, Cromwell's treasurer in Ireland ca 1648, burgess of Londonderry, who was granted land in counties Armagh, Tyrone, Antrim and Londonderry.

This family came from Buckinghamshire and, latterly, Coleraine, County Londonderry.

ROWLEY HILL MP, of Ballykelly, County Londonderry, married Sophia Beresford, second daughter of Gorges Lowther MP of Kilrue, County Meath, and by her he had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
Gorges, drowned at sea;
Jane; Catharine; Mary.
Mr Hill died in 1739, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH HILL (1728-95), MP for Londonderry and collector of that port, who was created a baronet in 1779.

 Sir Hugh married Hannah, daughter of John McClintock, of Dunmore, County Donegal, and had issue,
GEORGE, of whom presently;
Marcus, m, 1795, Miss Bernard, daughter of Rev Dr Bernard.
Sir Hugh was succeeded by his elder son,

THE RT HON SIR GEORGE FITZGERALD HILL, 2nd Baronet (1763-1839); a privy counsellor in Ireland, a trustee of the linen manufacturecolonel, Colonel of the Londonderry Militia, MP for Londonderry, 1795-1830; and successively clerk of the Irish House of Commons, Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, Governor of the Island of St Vincent, and Governor of Trinidad.

Sir George espoused, in 1788, Jane, third daughter of the Rt Hon Lord John Beresford, brother of George, 1st Marquess of Waterford, which lady dsp 1836.
  • Sir George Hill, 3rd Baronet (1804-45);
  • Sir John Hill, 4th Baronet (1833-72);
  • Sir George Hill, 5th Baronet (1866-78);
  • Sir Henry Blyth Hill, 6th Baronet (1867–1929);
  • Sir George Rowley Hill, 7th Baronet (1864–1954);
  • Sir George Cyril Rowley Hill, 8th Baronet (1890–1980);
  • Sir George Alfred Rowley Hill, 9th Baronet (1899–1985);
  • Sir Richard George Rowley Hill, 10th Baronet (1925-92);
  • Sir John Alfred Rowley Hill, 11th Baronet (b 1940).
*****

The 4th Baronet, Major Sir John Hill, served throughout the Indian Mutiny with the Bengal Light Cavalry.

Sir George Alfred Rowley Hill, 9th Baronet (1899-1995), was educated at Melville College Edinburgh, a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve; formerly a lieutenant, Indian Army.

Sir Richard George Rowley Hill MBE, 10th Baronet, was a major in the King's Own Scottish Borderers; a Lieutenant, Royal Fusiliers and Sikh Regiment Indian Army; educated at Clayesmore and Glasgow University.

Sir John Alfred Rowley Hill, 11th and present Baronet (b 1940), lives in Leicestershire.

The Hill Papers are held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. 


During the Siege of Derry in 1689 Brook Hall (above), at Culmore, was the headquarters for JAMES I's army and the house was occupied by the Duke of Berwick, who commanded His Majesty's army.

The original house was replaced ca 1780 by an elegant villa to the north of its site, where extensive landscaping took place.

This house was altered ca 1816, when the balcony was added and it took on its Regency-style appearance.

The estate was purchased in 1852 by Samuel Gilliland, who planted the demesne with its rare ornamental trees and shrubs.

David Gilliland is head of a family of quite remarkable achievement and social conscience.
Married to the novelist Jennifer Johnston, David, a Londonderry solicitor, inherited Brook Hall and has continued the family passion for gardening by restoring, maintaining and improving the estate's gardens of azaleas, rhododendrons and flowering shrubs, as well as an arboretum harbouring over 900 specimens of conifers and deciduous trees.
Brook Hall is listed on the UK’s Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest. Here is its website.

When the house was built ca 1780, surrounding land was acquired to create a landscape park, which slopes down to the River Foyle.

The house, lodge and gates are listed. Much original planting remains including parkland oaks, beeches and chestnuts.

In Notes of a Journey in the North of Ireland in the summer of 1827, Mitchell wrote that,
Upon the grounds, evidently neither expanse nor skill has been spared in furnishing and maturing one of the most luxuriant collections of shrubs I ever beheld.
There is also more recent planting of considerable interest in the arboretum, begun in 1932 by Commander Frank Gilliland, RNVR.

This important collection, which occupies about 35 acres west and south west of the house, has been continuously enlarged over the years.

The present owner, who succeeded to the property in 1957, has catalogued the collection.

The walled gardens are partly cultivated. Nearby lies the National Collection of Escallonia.

The gate lodge, one remaining of two, was built ca 1820 and is listed with the house and gates.

First published in January, 2011.

2 comments :

Garvagh said...

Very interesting. Mary Barnard's brother was Maj. Gen. Sir Andrew Barnard, GCB.

Georgina Hill said...

I am a daughter of the 10th baronet.