Monday, 29 July 2019

Beltrim Castle

Arms of 1st Earl of Abercorn
THE COLE-HAMILTONS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TYRONE, WITH 16,811 ACRES


THE HON SIR CLAUD HAMILTON (c1545-1629), of Bodoney, County Tyrone, Gentleman of the King's Privy Chamber, second son of Claud, 1st Lord Paisley, and brother of James, 1st Earl of Abercorn, was appointed, 1618, Constable of the castle of Toome, County Antrim.

He married Janet, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Hamilton, Knight, of Leckprevick and Easter Greenlees, and had issue,
Claud, dsp;
James, dsp;
George, dsp;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Alexander;
Robert;
Margaret; Grizel; Janet.
The fourth son,

SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, Knight (c1604-64), of Manor Eliston, County Tyrone, married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Johnston, and had issue,
James;
William;
Sarah; Margaret.
He wedded secondly, Beatrix, daughter of Archibald Campbell, and had further issue,
CLAUD, his successor;
Archibald;
Elizabeth.
Sir William, who was buried in Bodoney parish church, Killeter, Castlederg, County Tyrone, was succeeded by his third son,

CLAUD HAMILTON (c1648-c1695), of Monterloney, County Tyrone, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1671 and 1683, who espoused Isabella Wingfield, and had issue (with five daughters, viz. Beatrix, Mary, Agnes, Margaret, and Rebecca), two sons,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Claud, of Strabane, ancestor of Hamilton Baronets of Woodbrook.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM HAMILTON (-1747), of Beltrim, County Tyrone, who left, by Mary his wife, two sons and three daughters.

His last surviving son,

CLAUD HAMILTON, of Beltrim, married his cousin Letitia, daughter of Claud Hamilton, of Strabane, and had issue,
LETITIA, of whom hereafter;
Isabella; Beatrix.
Mr Hamilton died in 1782, and was succeeded by his elder daughter,

LETITIA HAMILTON, of Beltrim, who espoused, in 1780, the Hon Arthur Cole MP, afterwards COLE-HAMILTON, of Skea, County Fermanagh.

Mr Cole-Hamilton was the second son of John, 1st Baron Mountflorence, and brother of William, 1st Earl of Enniskillen.

Mr Cole-Hamilton left issue,
CLAUD WILLIAM, his heir;
Letitia; Elizabeth Ann; Isabella.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLAUD WILLIAM COLE-HAMILTON (1781-1822), who married, in 1805, Nichola Sophia, daughter of Richard Chaloner, of Kingsfort, County Meath, by whom he left at his decease, two sons,
ARTHUR WILLOUGHBY, his heir;
Richard Chaloner.
Mr Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his elder son,

ARTHUR WILLOUGHBY COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1806-91), of Beltrim Castle, Major, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers, who married, in 1831, Emilia Katherine, daughter of Rev Charles Cobbe Beresford, and granddaughter of the Hon John Beresford, second son of Marcus, 1st Earl of Tyrone, and brother of George, 1st Marquess of Waterford, and had issue,
WILLIAM CLAUD, his heir;
Claud Chaloner;
Charles Richard, Commander RN;
Arthur Henry (Rev);
John Isaac (father of Air Vice-Marshal John Cole-Hamilton);
Letitia Grace; Emily Harriet; Selina.
Major Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM CLAUD COLE-HAMILTON (1833-82), of Ballitore House, County Kildare, Captain, 88th Regiment, Connaught Rangers, who wedded, in 1858, Caroline Elizabeth Josephine, daughter of Hon Andrew Godfrey Stewart, and granddaughter of Andrew Thomas, 1st Earl Castle Stewart; and dvp in 1882, having had, with other issue,
ARTHUR RICHARD, his heir;
William Andrew Thomas;
Claud George;
Isabel Mary.
Captain Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1859-1915), of Beltrim Castle.
Captain,7th Hussars; fought in the Egyptian Campaign, 1882; Captain, Royal Scots Fusiliers; Sudan Campaign, 1885-86; Lieutenant-Colonel, 6th Service Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment; lived at Caddagh, Wilkinstown, County Meath, and Beltrim, Gortin, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone; Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; 1st World War service, where he was mentioned in despatches; fought in the Gallipoli Campaign.
Colonel Cole-Hamilton married firstly, in 1882, Jeannette, eldest daughter of Samuel Moore, of Moorlands, Lancashire, and had issue, an only child,
WILLIAM MOORE, his heir.
He wedded secondly, in 1884, Florence Alice, daughter of James Duke Hughes, of Brentwood, Surrey.

Colonel Cole-Hamilton was killed in action, in 1915, at The Dardenelles, Turkey.

His only son,

WILLIAM MOORE COLE-HAMILTON (1883-1948), of Beltrim Castle, Major, Royal Army Service Corps, married, in 1903, Ada Beatrice, daughter of William Peter Huddle, and had an only son,

WILLIAM ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON (1906-36), who married, in 1932, Barbara, daughter of Edward J Deane, and had two daughters,

A memorial screen at Kilwinning Old Parish Church, Ayrshire, was erected from a generous gift made by John Cole-Hamilton and was dedicated on 10th June, 1990.
It was erected in memory of Mr Cole-Hamilton’s father, Colonel Arthur Richard Cole-Hamilton, who died at Gallipoli in 1915; his mother Sarah who died on 18th September, 1942; and his wife Gladys who died on 4th October, 1989. Mr Cole-Hamilton died on 10th November, 1991. The Screen incorporates the Cole-Hamilton shield and the seal of the Abbot of Kilwinning.

BELTRIM CASTLE, Gortin, County Tyrone, was erected by Sir William Hamilton.

In 1622 the Castle consisted of a bawn (fortified enclosure) of lime and stone, 42 feet square and 7 feet high, with the foundations of a castle, the walls of which had reached 5 feet in height.

Portions of this structure are still standing beside the present building, a five-bay, two-storey rendered house of ca 1780-1820.
It is L-shaped, facing west, with a multi-bay, two-storey return.

The formal appearance of the west front to Beltrim Castle owes its existence to early 19th century improvements, which also saw the remains of the 17th century bawn incorporated into a long rear return.

The 19th century house retains most of the original features.

In is said to be not only of local importance, but also of national significance.

Beltrim's associated outbuildings, former bawn, and gardens contribute significantly to the architectural and historic interest of the property.

The only part of the original castle which remains standing is a gable wall which is no part of the present building.


Beltrim is now part of the Blakiston-Houston Estate.

Richard Patrick Blakiston-Houston OBE JP DL was born in 1948; educated at Eton; registered as a Professional Associate, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 1972; High Sheriff of County Down, 1989. His wife,

Dr Lucinda Mary Lavinia Blakiston-Houston DL (b 1956), daughter of Lt.-Cdr. Theodore Bernard Peregrine Hubbard and Lady Miriam Fitzalan-Howard; graduated from Leeds University with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.); Liverpool University, Master of Science (M.Sc.); Queen's University, Belfast, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Other residence: The Roddens, Ballywalter, County Down.

Interestingly, the Blakiston-Houston family appear to be related to General Sam Houston, after which Houston, Texas, USA, was named. 
Orangefield Park in east Belfast was the family home of the Houston family in the 18th century. The head of the family, John Holmes Houston, was a partner in the Belfast Banking Company and lived at Orangefield House with his family. 

Orangefield was situated at the end of what is now Houston Park and the estate itself extended to almost 300 acres. John and Eliza's daughter, Mary Isabella, was born in 1793 and later married Richard Bayly Blakiston.

The two families joined names, leaving J Blakiston-Houston in charge of the Orangefield estate from 1857.


In 1934, the Blakiston-Houston family offered Belfast Corporation (now the council) part of the Orangefield estate to develop as a public park. The corporation, although keen to buy the land, felt that the price was too high. 

After lengthy negotiations, they bought part of the site in 1938 for £20,000 (£1.1 million in today's values). Development work was put on hold due to World War II and plans for the park were only drawn up in 1947. 
First published in December, 2009.

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