Monday, 6 June 2016

Redhall Estate

THE MACAULAY FAMILY OWNED 567 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

JAMES MACAULAY JP, of Ben Neagh, Crumlin, County Antrim, married, in 1785, Jane, daughter of Thomas Hyndman, of Ballyronan, County Londonderry.

He died in 1839, leaving a son,

ROBERT MACAULAY (1788-1864), of Glenoak, Crumlin, and of Larne, County Antrim, who wedded, in 1807, Helena, daughter of Jasper White, of Limerick, and had issue,
JASPER, of Leigh Hill House, Cobham, Surrey;
JOHN, of whom hereafter;
Helena; Robina; Emily.
Mr Macaulay's younger son,

JOHN MACAULAY JP DL (1823-1912), of Red Hall, Ballycarry, County Antrim, High Sheriff, 1891, espoused, in 1853, Jane Callwell, daughter of Patrick Agnew, of Kilwaughter and Larne, County Antrim, and had issue,
ROBERT HELENUS;
Agnew McNeil;
Elizabeth Agnew; Helen Elizabeth White; Edith May Agnew.
Mr Macaulay was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT HELENUS MACAULAY (1854-), who married, in 1883, Sarah, youngest daughter of William Richardson, of Brooklands, Belfast, and had issue,
ROBERT KEITH AGNEW, 1884-1963; lieutenant, Royal Engineers;
John Mortimer William, b 1885;
Irene Vera Muriel.

RED HALL, near Ballycarry, County Antrim, is essentially a 17th century tower-house, enlarged by the addition of two wings containing large reception rooms of ca 1790, and remodelled in the 19th century.

In the older part of the house there are ceilings of primitive though vigorous plasterwork.



John Dalway arrived at Carrickfergus in 1573 and, marrying Jane O’Neill, was given a large grant of land in this area.

It is presumed he built a house and that he coined the name Redhall.

In 1609, William Edmonstone, of Duntreath, Stirlingshire, secured a lease from John Dalway.
What form the house took at that time is not known, though it would appear that Edmonstone repaired and modernised an existing castle or tower house which had been owned by the O'Neills and dated from at least the mid-16th century, if not earlier.
Dating from the 17th century remodelling are the oak staircase of the Jacobean period; the roof timbers; and a panelled room in late 17th century style.

Panelled ceilings in the first floor have been ascribed to ca 1730.

In 1784, the estate was sold by Sir Archibald Edmonstone Bt to Richard Gervais Ker who, in 1793, added the wings to each side to create drawing and dining rooms, with a kitchen in the basement.

Mr Ker was also probably responsible for remodelling the main block, including building a parapet around it and adding a four-columned porch in front of a newly positioned central entrance.

Ker was succeeded by his nephew, David Stewart Ker, of Montalto, in 1822, who is recorded as having built the nearby threshing mill to the west of the house in 1835.

In 1830, the house was described as,
Very plain in its architecture, stone finished on the outside without anything ornamental in its structure or appearance ... the garden is small but the demesne ornamental and pleasure grounds are very extensive, and the plantings of firs, larch and beech very tastefully varied and laid out.
In 1869, the estate was bought by John Macauley, to whom may be attributed the present rendered finish to the exterior, incorporating quoins, rustications, string courses, and surrounds to windows; the small balcony on the east elevation; the canted bay added to the south wing, the square turret added at the north-east corner; the replacement of the small-paned windows by plate glass; and banks, terraces and stone steps around the house, all apparently between 1871-75.

The internal plasterwork ceilings in the entrance hall and morning room, and plasterwork details in the dining-room and drawing-room may also be attributed to Macauley.

The present porch was in position by 1871, when it had a small pediment over it.

An addition by Macauley, subsequently removed, was a large central chimney on the south parapet of the main block.

In 1902, the estate was bought by W J Porrit, who was responsible for the red-painted finish to the exterior, of which only traces now remain.

In 1918, George Reade became Redhall's new owner.

He inserted dormers into three of the attics; and was probably responsible for the removal of Macauley's south chimney.

In 1927, after lying empty for some years, it was bought by Vice-Admiral John William Leopold McClintock, son of Admiral Sir Francis L McClintock KCB, and grandfather of the present owner.

In 1939-45, it was requisitioned for military use.

John Dalway arrived at Carrickfergus in 1573 and married Jane O’Neill and was given a large grant of land in this area.

It is presumed he built a house and that he coined the name Redhall.

Sir William Edmonstone Bt, from Duntreath in Scotland, bought Redhall from Dalway in 1609 and this is the first documented record of Redhall.

The Edmonstones doubled the size of the house, replacing the spiral staircase with a wooden one and embellishing the ceilings.

In the 1870s the grounds comprised 567 acres.

The wooded demesne at Redhall is laid out on an axial plan typical of sites dating from the 17th century.

The majority of such sites were subsequently altered during passing generations but the grounds at Redhall remain little altered in plan.

The house, enlarged from its 1627 origins, stands at the apex of straight avenues leading from north to south and from east to west.

There is an oak avenue, a lime avenue leading to the church of 1848 and a late 19th century Wellingtonia avenue (the latter is in addition to the axial plan mentioned above).

There has been continuous tree planting in the demesne including less formal areas around a glen and waterfall.

Atkinson, in Ireland Exhibited to England (1823), remarks on the beauty of the lawn and forest.

The Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1839 state that,
About fifty acres are under ornamental plantings and shrubberies. Besides these are numerous judiciously disposed belts and clumps of plantings, which not only show to advantage beautifully diversified surfaces of the demesne, but exceedingly heighten the effect of the rich scenery of Larne Lough.
The demesne, on ground rising to the west from the lough, still enhances the area today.

Terraced lawns at the house are reminiscent of the Victorian era.

The walled garden is close to the house and is part cultivated with fruit trees.

There is a stone building, possibly built as a summer house.

The lodge on the Larne Road and a tower are both listed.

First published in December, 2010.

3 comments :

Iolanda said...

Hi,

I was very interested in the history of the Redhall Estate. You mention plasterwork therein. Any chance you could send me a photo of it, as I studied stuccoat UCD and Trinity and would be most interested in seeing it. Is the main house listed?

Iolanda

Timothy Belmont said...

Iolanda, I haven't seen the plasterwork myself - I read about it in Burke's guide. Sorry! I have no photos.

Anonymous said...

Iolanda if you are interested in seeing the house just phone and make an appointment Redhall has a web site for weddings etc. As long as your doing this for historical study then you should be able to see the ceilings. or wait until the house is open during the heritage open days .