Monday, 2 January 2017

Straffan House

STRAFFAN HOUSE IS NOW BETTER KNOWN AS THE K CLUB HOTEL AND LEISURE COMPLEX
 THE BARTONS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KILDARE, WITH 5,044 ACRES


This family was established in Ireland by

THOMAS BARTON (1553-1626), of Norwich, who is said to have accompanied the Earl of Essex's army, in 1599, to that kingdom.

He was one of the first burgesses of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

In 1610, he obtained a grant of land comprising a district called Druminshin and Necarne, County Fermanagh.

Some of these lands were exchanged by him for others in the neighbourhood still in the possession of the elder branch of the family.

He married Margaret Lloyd, and had a son,

ANTHONY BARTON, who left issue a son,

WILLIAM BARTON (c1630-93), of Boa Island and Curraghmore, County Fermanagh, who married Jane Hannah Forster, and had two sons,
Edward, of Boa Island;
WILLIAM, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

WILLIAM BARTON, of Boa Island and Curraghmore, wedded Elizabeth, daughter of John Dickson, of Ballyshannon, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
George;
James;
Elizabeth (Anna); Everina.
The eldest son,

THOMAS BARTON (1694-1780), established the house of business at Bordeaux, France, 1725, and acquired a considerable fortune.

He purchased the estate of Grove, County Tipperary, in 1752.

This gentleman established the famous vintners Barton & Guestier.

He and his wife, Margaret Delap, of Ballyshannon, and had issue, an only child,

WILLIAM BARTON (1723-92), of Grove, who married, in 1754, Grace, eldest daughter of the Very Rev Charles Massy, Dean of Limerick, and sister of Sir Hugh Dillon Massy, 1st Baronet, and had issue,
Thomas, his heir;
William, of Clonelly;
Charles, of Waterfoot;
HUGH, of whom hereafter;
Robert (Sir), KCH, Lieutenant-General;
Dunbar, of Rochestown;
Grace; Elizabeth; Margaret Everina.
The fourth son,

HUGH BARTON (1766-1854), who, by his own energy, industry, and activity, acquired at Bordeaux a very large fortune, which he invested in the purchase of the Straffan estate and other lands in Ireland in 1831, and also in the purchase of the Château Langoa, and a portion of the adjacent property of Leoville, both in the parish of St Julien Medoc, near Bordeaux.

During the reign of terror, in 1793-4, he was imprisoned as an alien, but by the connivance of his wife, daughter of a naturalised Frenchman of Scottish origin, he effected his escape to Ireland.

During his absence the business in Bordeaux was managed by Daniel Guestier, with whom he entered into partnership in 1802.

In 1840, he served as High Sheriff of Kildare.

Mr Barton married, in 1791, Anne, daughter of Nathaniel Weld Johnston, of Bordeaux, and had issue,
Hugh, died young;
NATHANIEL, his heir;
THOMAS JOHNSTON, of Glendalough;
Daniel;
Hugh;
Susan; Anna; Grace; Isabella; Susan Elizabeth; Charlotte.
His eldest surviving son,

NATHANIEL BARTON JP DL (1799-1867), of Straffan House, County Kildare, High Sheriff, 1850-51, married, in 1823, Mary Susanna, daughter of Harry Harmood Scott, consul at Bordeaux, and had issue,
HUGH LYNEDOCH, his heir;
Harry Fitzgerald (1826-48);
BERTRAM FRANCIS, succeeded his brother;
Charles Thomas Hugh;
Francis Savile;
Mary Esther Isabella; Anna Susan Frederica; Isabel Charlotte; Alice Catherine Harriet.
The eldest son,

HUGH LYNEDOCH BARTON JP DL (1824-99), of Straffan House, High Sheriff, 1861, Major, Kildare Rifles, former Lieutenant, 6th Inniskillings, wedded, in 1855, the Hon Anna Emily Massey, eldest daughter of Eyre, 3rd Lord Clarina.

He died without issue, when the estate devolved upon his brother,

BERTRAM FRANCIS BARTON (1830-1904), of Straffan House, High Sheriff, 1903, who married, in 1855, Fannie Annie, eldest daughter of Commander Frank Cutler RN, of Upton Lodge, Brixham, Devon, and had issue,
BERTRAM HUGH, his heir;
Harry Scott;
Mary Fannie; Isabel Eleanor.
Mr Barton was succeeded by his eldest son,

BERTRAM HUGH BARTON JP DL (1858-1927), of Straffan House, High Sheriff, 1908, who married, in 1899, Lilian Edith Laura, only daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Frederick Walter Carden Bt, and had issue,
FREDERICK BERTRAM, his heir;
Hugh Ronald, b 1902;
Storeen Lily, b 1906.
Mr Barton was succeeded by his eldest son,

FREDERICK BERTRAM (DERICK) BARTON (1900-93), of Straffan House, who espoused, in 1927, Joan Aileen, daughter of Major-General Robert St Clair Lecky, and had issue,
Christopher Bertram Ronald, b 1927;
Anthony Frederick, b 1930.
Captain Barton sold Straffan House in 1949.

Thereafter he lived at The Glebe, Straffan.

He was President, Royal Dublin Society, 1966-68.

In 1976, Captain Barton lived at 18 Waltham Terrace, Blackrock, County Dublin.
Derick Barton sold Straffan House to the motorcycle manufacturer, John Ellis, for £15,000. Other owners in the interim periods between the Barton family and the current owner included: Car importer Steven O’Flaherty (1960); the film producer responsible for the James Bond film Thunderball, Kevin McClory (1973); Iranian Air Force founder, Nader Jahanbani (1977) who was executed around the time of the downfall of the Shah Reza Pahlavi government; Patrick Gallagher (1979); and the property magnate Alan Ferguson (1981).

STRAFFAN HOUSE, near Straffan, County Kildare, is a stately 19th century mansion with the appearance of a French-Italianate château.

The main block is of two storeys with an attic of pedimented dormers in a mansard roof.

There is a seven-bay entrance front, the centre bay breaking forward, with a tripartite window above a single-storey, balustraded, Corinthian portico.

Straffan has tall chimney-stacks.

The main block is prolonged at one side by a lower, two-storey wing, from which rises a lofty, slender campanile tower, with two tiers of open belvederes.

The garden was formal, with an elaborate Victorian fountain.

The mansion house was reduced in size about 1937 by Captain Barton, the four bays of the main block furthest from the wing being demolished.


IN 2005, Sir Michael Smurfit KBE (with Gerry Gannon) purchased Straffan estate.

It was transformed into a luxury hotel and leisure complex, the Kildare Hotel & Golf Club, known simply as The K Club.

Sir Michael is now the sole owner.

Under Sir Michael's ownership, Straffan House has in effect been doubled in size, using a granite porch from Ballynegall in County Westmeath, to fuse the two sides together.


Not only has a de luxe hotel been created, but it has also been furnished with important works of art.

First published in December, 2012.

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