Thursday, 25 January 2018

Blunden Villa

THE BLUNDEN BARONETS OWNED 1,846 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY KILKENNY

This family springs from

OVERINGTON BLUNDEN, of Southwark, London, who, in 1667, was granted Glenmore, "to be for ever called Blunden's Castle", and other lands in County Kilkenny, Queen's County and County Waterford.

This gentleman's grandson,

JOHN BLUNDEN (c1718-83), only surviving son of John Blunden, of Castle Blunden, MP for the City of Kilkenny, by Martha, daughter of Agmondesham Cuffe, and sister of John, 1st Baron Desart, was created a baronet in 1766, denominated of Blunden Castle, County Kilkenny.

Sir John was a distinguished member of the Irish bar, and represented the City of Kilkenny in Parliament.

He married, in 1755, his cousin Susanna, daughter of John, 1st Baron Desart, and had issue (with seven daughters) three sons, of whom,
JOHN, his successor;
William Pitt, father of JOHN, 3rd Baronet;
Overington, Lieutenant-General; MP.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 2nd Baronet (1767-1818), High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1805 and 1813, who wedded firstly, Miss Hewitson (d 1808); and secondly, in 1812, Hester, daughter of John Helsham, of Leggetsrath, County Kilkenny, though the marriages were without issue, and the baronetcy reverted to his nephew,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 3rd Baronet (1814-90), DL, High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1843, 44 and 47, Barrister, who wedded, in 1839, Elizabeth, daughter of Major John Knox, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
John Overington;
Edward Herbert;
Maurice Robert;
Arthur Henry;
Abraham;
Kate; Harriette; Nicola Sophia.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM BLUNDEN, 4th Baronet (1840-1923), High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1904, who espoused, in 1879, Florence Caroline, daughter of Henry Shuttleworth, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Eric Overington;
Muriel.
Sir William was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 5th Baronet (1880-1923), who married, in 1918, Phyllis Dorothy, daughter of Philip Crampton Creaghe, and had issue,
WILLIAM, 6th Baronet;
PHILIP OVERINGTON, 7th Baronet.
Sir John was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WILLIAM BLUNDEN, 6th Baronet (1919-85), Lieutenant-Commander RN, who wedded, in 1945, Pamela Mary, daughter of John Purser, and had issue,
Sarah Vanessa; Griselda Jane; Caroline Susan;
Rowena Mary; Elizabeth Anne Gabrielle; Fiona Christine.
Sir William died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR PHILIP OVERINGTON BLUNDEN, 7th Baronet (1922-2007), who wedded, in 1945, Jeanette Francesca Alexandra, daughter of Captain D Macdonald, and had issue,
HUBERT CHISHOLM, his successor;
John Maurice Patrick;
Marguerite Eugenie.
Sir Philip was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HUBERT CHISHOLM BLUNDEN, 8th Baronet (1948-), who married, in 1975, Ellish O'Brien, and had issue,
Edmund, b 1982;
Amelia, b 1977.

BLUNDEN VILLA, Castle Blunden, County Kilkenny,

At the end of the 18th century Sir John Blunden built Blunden Villa near the gates of his family home, just outside the mediaeval city of Kilkenny.

By family tradition this elegant Georgian villa was built as a dower house for Sir John’s mother, the daughter of a neighbour, Lord Desart, to provide her with her own establishment when he married and brought home his heiress bride.

Blunden Villa is a delightful small Regency house with a high ground floor above a semi-basement.

The façade is of three bays, with the front door at the upper level approached by a wide flight of stone steps with contemporary iron railings.

The door is surmounted by a fanlight and has delicate Wyatt windows to either side.

The plan is very slightly over square, as the façade is marginally shorter than the width from front to back, while the interior has high ceilings and well-proportioned rooms.

For many years Blunden Villa was used as a gate lodge to the principal house, but in 2006 Jane and Caroline Blunden, twin daughters of the 6th baronet, decided to restore the building, which is now their Irish home.

Select bibliography ~ Irish Historic Houses Association

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