Saturday, 31 March 2018

Santry Court


Of the family of DOMVILLE were two branches in Cheshire; the elder seated at Oxton, from the period of the conquest to its termination in females, who carried the estate through the families of Troutbeck and Hulse, into that of the Earls of Shrewsbury.

The younger at Lymm Hall, Cheshire, of which 

GILBERT DOMVILLE (2nd son and heir of William Domville, of Lymm Hall), removed into Ireland in the beginning of the reign of JAMES I, and was clerk of the Crown and Hanaper there, having for his colleague the ancestor of the Wellesley family.

Mr Domville, MP for County Kildare, 1618, married Margaret, daughter of the Most Rev Thomas Jones, Lord Archbishop of Dublin, LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, father of the 1st Viscount Ranelagh.

He died in 1637, and was buried in the choir of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

His son,

THE RT HON SIR WILLIAM DOMVILLE (1609-89), Attorney-General for Ireland, 1660, MP for County Dublin, Privy Counsellor, Speaker of the General Convention of Ireland at the Restoration, wedded Miss Lake, daughter of Sir Thomas Lake, of Cannons, Middlesex, Secretary of State to JAMES I, and had issue,
William (Sir), MP for Co Dublin;
THOMAS, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

THOMAS DOMVILE (c1650-1721), of Templeogue, Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper, was created a baronet in 1686, denominated of Templeogue, County Dublin.

He wedded firstly, the daughter of his cousin, Sir Launcelot Lake, by whom he had a daughter (married to Barry, 3rd Lord Santry); and secondly, the Hon _____ Cole, daughter of Arthur, Lord Ranelagh, but had no issue.

Sir Thomas married thirdly, Anne, daughter of the Hon Sir Charles Compton (second son of Spencer, 2nd Earl of Northampton), and had issue,
COMPTON, his heir;
Elizabeth, mother of
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his son,

THE RT HON SIR COMPTON DOMVILE (1696-1768), 2nd Baronet, clerk of the Crown and Hanaper, privy counsellor, MP for Dublin for forty-four years.

At the decease of this gentleman, in 1768, the baronetcy expired, and his estates reverted to his nephew,

CHARLES POCKLINGTON (1740-1810), MP for County Dublin, 1768, who assumed, pursuant to the will of his uncle, the surname and arms of DOMVILE only.

He wedded Margaret, daughter of ______ Sheppard, and had issue,
COMPTON, his heir;
Henry Barry, in holy orders;
William, in holy orders;
Elizabeth; Margaret; Anna Maria; Caroline; Louisa; Mary; Bridget.
The eldest son,

COMPTON POCKLINGTON DOMVILE (1775-1857), was created a baronet in 1815, denominated of Templeogue and Santry House, both in County Dublin.

He married firstly, Elizabeth Frances, daughter of the Hon and Rt Rev Charles Lindsay, Lord Bishop of Kildare, and cousin of Lord Balcarres; by whom he had a son,

  • Sir Charles Compton William Domvile, 2nd Baronet (1822-84) son of 1st baronet; married Lady Margaret St. Lawrence; no issue;
  • Sir William Compton Domvile, 3rd Baronet (1825-84) son of 1st baronet; married Caroline Meade; one son and three daughters, including Mary Adelaide, later wife of Sir Hutcheson Poë, 1st Baronet
  • Sir Compton Meade Domvile, 4th Baronet (1857-1935) son of 3rd Baronet; never married.
The baronetcy expired on the death of the 4th Baronet.

SANTRY COURT, Santry, County Dublin, was a very important, early 18th century mansion of red brick with stone facings, built in 1703 by the 3rd Lord Barry of Santry, commonly called Lord Santry.

It was of two storeys over a singularly high basement, with a dormer attic behind the roof parapet.

It had a nine-bay entrance front with a pedimented breakfront.

There were Corinthian columns at the head of a great flight of steps.

Curved wings and sweeps were added later, ca 1740-50, by the 4th and last Lord Barry (Lord Santry).

The Court had a fine interior with a large hall; good plasterwork.

Following the death of Henry, 4th Baron Barry of Santry, the Domvile family inherited the Santry estate, including Ballymun.

Santry Court and nearly 5,000 acres of land remained in the Domvile family’s hands for almost 200 years (1751-1935).

Much of the historical records for the Santry Estate date from Sir (Thomas) Compton Domvile's inheritance of Santry Estate in 1751.

There is some evidence that the Santry estate was experiencing financial difficulties, partly due to the expenses incurred building Santry Court, but also because of the lavish habits of the 4th Baron.

When Sir Charles, 2nd Baronet, inherited Santry Court, demesne and estate from his father in 1857, he began the largest renovation and building programme (gardens and house) that the Santry estate had seen since its construction in the early 18th century.
A vast number of maps, diagrams and plans have survived from this period. Sir Charles was the last member  of the Domvile family to reside permanently at Santry. He married Lady Margaret Frances St Lawrence, a daughter of the 3rd and last Earl of Howth.
After the death of Sir Charles, Santry Court passed briefly to his brother, Sir William, 3rd Baronet, and then to the Pöe family who were relatives of the Domviles by marriage.

Shortly after 1935, Santry Court became a residential care home.

The house fell into disrepair, initially at the turn of the 20th century as the estate proved not to be economically viable; but ultimately after the Domvile family left Ireland in 1921.

It came into the possession of the Irish state, which intended to repair it and use it as a mental asylum.

This plan was shelved by the start of the 2nd World War; the need to increase security around Dublin Airport meant it was used as an army depot, and part of the gardens as a firing range.

There are many theories locally about what happened next, but it appears that soldiers of the Irish army caused a fire and the house was severely damaged in 1947; followed by demolition shortly afterwards.

First published in November, 2011.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Ballyarr House


LORD GEORGE AUGUSTUS HILL (1801-79), fifth son of Arthur, 2nd Marquess of Downshire, married firstly, in 1834, Cassandra Jane, fifth daughter of Edward Austen Knight (the novelist Jane Austen's brother), of Godmersham Park, Kent, and had issue,
Augustus Charles Edward (1839-1908);
Norah Mary Elizabeth.
He wedded secondly, in 1847, Louisa, daughter of Edward Knight, and had issue,
Cassandra Jane Louisa;
George Marcus Wandsbeck (1849-1911).
Lord George was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR BLUNDELL GEORGE SANDYS HILL (1837-1923), of Gweedore, County Donegal, who espoused, in 1871, Helen Emily, daughter of the Most Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chenevix-Trench, Lord Archbishop of Dublin, and had issue.

BALLYARR HOUSE, near Ramelton, County Donegal, was built ca 1780.

It was acquired in 1842 by Lord George Hill.

Lord George had previously bought 23,000 acres in and around Gweedore.
Ballyarr’s most famous visitor during Lord George's time was the historian Thomas Carlyle, and it was he who later described the house as ‘a farm-like place’ with a ‘piazza’, an Italian style square that was then considered fashionable.
After Lord George's death, in 1879, the house passed through his family until it was sold in 1900, along with the adjacent mill, to William Russell.

It remained in the Russells’ hands until it was bought in 1974 by Ian Smith, a former hotelier and war hero, and his artist wife Peggy.

One wing of the house, which had been barely altered since Lord George’s time, had fallen into ruin and was demolished.

However, one large fanlight window was saved and later erected in a house in Castle Street, Ramelton, known as ‘ The House on the Brae’, owned by Ramelton Heritage Society.

Ballyarr House was bought in 1981 by Andy O’Loghlin, bank manager, and his wife Breda.

They sold it to Roy and Noreen Greenslade in 1989 and the following year they oversaw a substantial restoration in order to return the interior to something like its original Georgian appearance.

The drawing room and library were returned to their previous proportions, with the addition of new fireplaces.

Ceiling cornices in the main bedroom were restored.

The exterior front elevation was also stripped of its stucco to reveal the original stone-work. 


In 1838, Lord George Augustus Hill purchased land in Gweedore and over the next few years expanded his holdings to 23,000 acres, including a number of offshore islands, the largest of which was Gola island.

He estimated that his lands had about 3,000 inhabitants, of whom 700 were rent payers.

Unlike previous landlords who often left their holdings and people alone, Lord George came to stay, and set about to improve the roads and bridges.

He had an advantage in that he knew the Irish language, the main language of the people of the area.

The first road into Gweedore was constructed in 1834 when the Board of Works constructed a road from Dunlewey to the Gweedore River and Lord George further improved the roads on his estate.

At Bunbeg he constructed a harbour and corn store and a general merchandise store.

By purchasing grain at the prices prevailing in Letterkenny, Lord George hoped to curb the practice of illicit distillation, which he perceived was one of the prime causes of distress in the area.

The suppression of illicit distillation was one thing in which Lord George had to admit he wasn't as successful as he would have liked.

Quite conveniently, although not mentioned by him or his admirers, the purchasing of grain from the tenants would have given them money with which to pay their rent. Potatoes were grown for their own needs.

About four miles from Bunbeg, up the Clady River, Lord George constructed a hotel, which he surrounded by a model farm.

Early editions of Hill's book were subtitled With Hints For Donegal Tourists, and this was, apart from demonstrating his agricultural improvements, the other purpose for writing Facts from Gweedore; he wanted people to come and stay in his hotel.

Hill also set up a shop in Bunbeg and imported a Scot named Mason to open a bakery.

Lord George was not for the "free market,"  and made sure that no one else opened up in opposition to him.

Margaret Sweeney was evicted for trying to set up a bakery without permission.

Almost immediately on taking up his land in Gweedore, Hill set about to improve the agricultural practices of his estate.

His tenants naturally were not so inclined to share the landlord's view of what was good agriculture and this became a bone of contention for many years even though Lord George was quite successful in abolishing the Rundale system.

Even he admitted that the reorganization of the farms was
a difficult task, and much thwarted by the people, as they naturally did not like that their old ways should be disturbed or interfered with...the opposition on the part of the people to the new system was vexatious and harassing.
In 1888, there were 800 official tenancies on the Hill estate, which increased the next year to 920, due to sub-tenants being recognized as official tenants, after a settlement negotiated between the landlord and the parish priest.

Downshire arms courtesy of European Heraldry.  First published in November, 2011.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Mitchelstown Castle


The noble family of KING, which has been thrice advanced to the peerage, were anciently seated at Feathercock Hall, near Northallerton, Yorkshire, and there possessed large estates.

The first of its members we find upon record in Ireland is

SIR JOHN KING, Knight, who obtained from ELIZABETH I, in requital of his military services, a lease of Boyle Abbey, County Roscommon; and, from JAMES I, numerous valuable territorial grants, and several of the highest and most lucrative political employments.

He married Catherine, daughter of Robert Drury, and grand-niece of the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir William Drury, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Mary; Margaret.
Sir John died in 1637, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBERT KING (c1599-1657), Knight, Muster-master-general of Ireland, who wedded firstly, Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Folliott, 1st Baron Folliott, of Ballyshannon, and had, with other issue,
JOHN, his heir;
The eldest son,

JOHN KING, who received the honour of knighthood and, although an active Cromwellian, was elevated to the peerage, 1660, by CHARLES II, for his zeal in inspiring the monarchy, in the dignity of Baron Kingston, of Kingston, County Dublin.

His lordship married Catherine, daughter of Sir William Fenton, of Mitchelstown, County Cork, and granddaughter of Sir Geoffrey Fenton, principal secretary of state.

By this lady Lord Kingston's family acquired the estate of Mitchelstown.

His lordship died in 1676, and was succeeded by his elder son,

2nd Baron Kingston. Photo Credit: Ulster Museum

ROBERT, 2nd Baron, who dsp 1693, having settled his estates to his uncle, Sir Robert King, in consequence of his brother, and the inheritor of his honours,

JOHN, 3rd Baron (c1664-1728), having conformed to the Church of Rome; but this nobleman appears afterwards to have enjoyed the estates.

He was appointed a gentleman of the privy chamber to JAMES II, and following the fortunes of his royal master into France, was outlawed; but after his father's death, returning into Ireland, he had a pardon from the crown.

His lordship was succeeded by his only surviving son,

JAMES, 4th Baron (1693-1761), who married twice; but dying without male issue, the BARONY EXPIRED, while an estate of £6,000 a year, and a large personal fortune, devolved upon his only surviving daughter, MARGARET.

Sir Robert King's youngest son,

THE RT HON SIR ROBERT KING (c1625-1707), of Rockingham, MP for County Roscommon, 1692-9, and for Boyle, 1703-7, Privy Counsellor, was created a baronet in 1682, denominated of Boyle Abbey, County Roscommon.

Sir Robert wedded Frances, daughter and co-heir of Colonel Henry Gore; and dying in 1707, was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN KING, 2nd Baronet, MP for Boyle, 1695-1714, MP for County Roscommon, 1715-20, who dsp 1720, when the title devolved upon his brother,

THE RT HON SIR HENRY KING, 3rd Baronet (c1681-1740), MP for Boyle, 1707-27, MP for County Roscommon, 1727-40, Privy Counsellor, who espoused, in 1722, Isabella, sister of Richard, Viscount Powerscourt, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBERT KING, 4th Baronet (1724-55), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1748, as Baron Kingsborough; but died unmarried, when that dignity expired, and the baronetcy devolved upon his lordship's brother,

SIR EDWARD KING, 5th Baronet (1726-97), who was created, in 1764, Baron Kingston, of Rockingham.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1768, as Viscount Kingsborough; and further advanced, in 1768, to EARL OF KINGSTON.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Charles Avery Edward King-Tenison, styled Viscount Kingsborough (b 2000).

The Mitchelstown estate once comprised 120,000 acres, and included large portions of the Galtee Mountains and the southward plain.

There were few thatched farm-houses; most were stone slated houses built in the English mode.

Mitchelstown demesne itself comprised not less than 1,300 acres, enclosed with a wall ten feet high, with offices, plantations, gardens, pleasure-grounds, and water scenery upon the river Funcheon.

The original mansion was a spacious, though comparatively plain edifice, situated on an eminence, commanding a far-spread prospect of plain and mountain.

It was erected about 1778, by Robert, 2nd Earl of Kingston.

MITCHELSTOWN CASTLE, ancestral seat of the Earls of Kingston, was once the largest Gothic-Revival house in Ireland.

It was a noble and sumptuous structure of hewn stone, in the castellated style, erected in 1823 after a design by Mr Paine, of Cork, at an expense of more than £100,000.

Mitchelstown is about thirty miles north of the city of Cork.

The buildings occupied three sides of a quadrangle, the fourth being occupied by a terrace, under which are various offices.

The principal entrance, on the eastern range, was flanked by two lofty square towers rising to the height of 106 feet, one of which was called the White Knight's tower, from its being built on the site of the tower of that name which formed part of the old mansion.

At the northern extremity of the same range were two octagonal towers of lofty elevation.

The entrance hall opened into a stately hall or gallery, eighty feet in length, with an elaborately groined roof, richly ornamented with fine tracery, and furnished with elegant stoves of bronze, and with figures of warriors armed cap-a-pie; at the further extremity was the grand staircase.


Parallel with the gallery, and forming the south front and principal range, were the dining and drawing-rooms, both noble apartments superbly fitted up and opening into the library, which was between them.

Entrance Hall

The whole pile had a character of stately baronial magnificence, and from its great extent and elevation formed a conspicuous feature in the surrounding scenery.

Near the Castle was a large fish-pond, and from a small tower on its margin, water was conveyed to the baths and to the upper apartments of the castle, and across the demesne to the gardens, by machinery of superior construction.

The gardens were spacious and tastefully laid out, the conservatory 100 feet in length and ornamented with a range of beautiful Ionic pilasters.

The parkland, which comprised 1,300 acres, was embellished with luxuriant plantations, and included a farming establishment on an extensive scale, with buildings and offices of a superior description, on the erection of which more than £40,000 was expended.

It was estimated that the castle, with the conservatories, farm, and the general improvement of the demesne, cost its noble proprietor little less, if not more, than £200,000 (£8.3 million today).

"Big George", the 3rd Earl, was renowned for his extravagant hospitality.

The 4th Earl continued to entertain his visitors regally at Mitchelstown.

One of the under-cooks  was a young man called Claridge.

Lord Kingston suffered a financial downfall: His lordship - and house guests - locked the doors against the bailiffs and were besieged therein for a fortnight, until finally the Castle was possessed, creditors satisfied and much of the estate was sold.

What remained of the estate was inherited by the 5th Earl's widow. Thereafter, Economy reigned.

The house was looted and burnt in 1922 by the IRA, which had occupied it for the previous six weeks.

The order to burn the building, to prevent the newly established Irish Free State army from having use of it, was made by a local Republican commandant, Patrick Luddy, with the approval of General Liam Lynch.

It is clear that one of the motivations for the burning was to try to cover up the looting of the castle's contents, including large amounts of furniture, a grand piano, paintings by Conrad, Beechy and Gainsborough.

Many of these objects have come up for sale in recent years and some, such as the piano, are still kept locally.

The Castle was severely damaged by the fire.

However, it is clear from documents in the National Archives of Ireland that, for example, in places where the fire had not reached, 'mantelpieces had been forcibly wrenched from the walls and carted.'

As this episode took place at the height of the Irish Civil War, there was no appetite afterwards to prosecute anyone for their role in the looting and burning.

The ashlar limestone of the castle was later removed to build the new Cistercian abbey at Mount Melleray, County Water.

The site of the building is now occupied by a milk powder processing plant and the surrounding 1,214 acre demesne (private park) of the castle has been destroyed.

Lord Kingston's London residence between 1826-32 was 3 Whitehall Place, now part of the Department of Energy & Climate Change.

Kingston Arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in February, 2012.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

1st Marquess Conyngham


The family of CONYNGHAM was originally of Scottish descent, and of very great antiquity in that part of the United Kingdom.

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, Bishop of Argyll, a younger son of William, 4th Earl of Glencairn, in 1539, left a son,

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, of Cunninghamhead, Ayrshire, who had two sons,

WILLIAM, who succeeded at Cuninghamhead, and was created a baronet; and

THE REV ALEXANDER CUNNINGHAM or CONYNGHAM, who, entering into Holy Orders and removing into Ireland, was appointed, in 1611, the first protestant minister of Enver and Killymard, County Donegal.

He was appointed to the deanery of Raphoe, in 1630, on the consecration of Dean Adair as Lord Bishop of Killaloe.
Dean Conyngham settled at Mount Charles, County Donegal, which estate he held, by lease, from the Earl of Annandale, and wedded Marion, daughter of John Murray, of Broughton, by whom he had no less than 27 children, of which four sons and five daughters survived infancy.
The Dean died in 1660, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ALBERT CUNNINGHAM or CONYNGHAM, Knight,  Colonel, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, who was appointed, in 1660, Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance in Ireland.

Sir Albert fought on the side of WILLIAM III at the Boyne, Limerick etc, and fell in a rencounter with the Rapparees, near Colooney in County Sligo.

He espoused Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Leslie, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, and was succeeded, on his decease, 1691, by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY CONYNGHAM, of Slane Castle, MP for Killybegs, 1692-3, and for County Donegal, 1695-1706, who served during the reign of JAMES II as captain in Mountjoy's Regiment.

When JAMES II desired his army to shift for itself, Conyngham prevailed upon 500 of his regiment to remain united, and with them offered his services to WILLIAM III.

He became subsequently Major-General, and fell, 1706, at St Estevan's, in Spain.

General Conyngham wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John Williams Bt, of Minster Court, Kent, and widow of Charles, Lord Shelburne, by whom he got a very considerable property, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
He was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM CONYNGHAM, of Slane (an estate forfeited, in 1641, by Lord Slane), who was succeeded at his decease by his brother,

THE RT HON HENRY CONYNGHAM (1705-81), captain of horse on the Irish establishment, MP for Killybegs, 1727-53, when he was raised to the peerage, 1753, by the title of Baron Conyngham, of Mount Charles, County Donegal.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, 1756, as Viscount Conyngham, in 1756; and further advanced, in 1781, as Earl Conyngham, the barony to descend, in case of failure of issue, to Francis Pierpoint Burton, the eldest son of his sister Mary, by Francis Burton.

His lordship married, in 1774, Ellen, only daughter and heir of Solomon Merret; but dying without an heir, in 1781, all his honours became extinct, except the barony of Conyngham, which devolved, according to the limitation, upon the above-mentioned

FRANCIS PIERPOINT BURTON (c1725-87), as 2nd Baron, who wedded, in 1750, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Nathaniel Clements, and sister of Robert, Earl of Leitrim, and had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Francis Nathaniel (Sir), GCH;
Catherine; Ellena; Henrietta.
His lordship, on inheriting the title and estates of his uncle, assumed the surname and arms of CONYNGHAM.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 3rd Baron (1766-1832), who, in 1787, was created Viscount Conyngham, of Slane, County Meath; Viscount Mount Charles, of Mount Charles, County Donegal; and, in 1797, Earl Conyngham.
In 1801, Lord Conyngham was appointed a Knight of St Patrick. In 1803, he was appointed Governor of County Donegal, a post he held until 1831, and Custos Rotulorum of County Clare in 1808, which he remained until his death.
His lordship was created, in 1816, Viscount SlaneEarl of Mount Charles, and MARQUESS CONYNGHAM.

In 1821, he was created Baron Minster, of Minster Abbey, Kent, sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Lord Steward, a post he retained until 1830.

From 1829 until his death, in 1832, he served as Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Alexander Burton Conyngham, styled Earl of Mount Charles.

The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Rory Nicholas Burton Conyngham, styled Viscount Slane.

The Marquesses Conyngham were seated at The Hall, Mount Charles, County Donegal, now thought to be unoccupied.

The Hall is an early to mid-18th century double, gable-ended house of three storeys and five bays.

It has a pedimented door-case, bold quoins and a solid parapet concealing the roof and end gables.

At one end of the house there is a conservatory porch with astrigals and round-headed windows.

A salt works (also in the grounds of the former Conyngham estate) provided employment to local people during the 18th century.

8th Marquess Conyngham

The present Lord and Lady Conyngham continue to live at the ancestral seat, Slane Castle, County Meath.

Buncraggy House

BUNCRAGGY HOUSE, one of several notable houses on the Conyngham Estate, was home of the Burton family for most of the 18th century.

The house remained in the possession of the O'Gorman family until the end of the 19th century, when it became the property of the Caher family.

The house is still occupied and the yard buildings are the centre of a farming enterprise.

Other properties included Islandmagrath, Burtonhill House,Summerhill and Meelick House.

First published in November, 2011.  Conyngham arms courtesy of European Heraldry. 

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Walk in the Woods

I spent a restful few hours again at Mount Stewart estate today.

I often have soup in the tea-room and today was no exception.

The chicken and tarragon soup, served with very fresh wheaten bread and butter, was nutritious and tasty.

Thence I strode into the woods and after about fifteen minutes, came upon a charming little Gothic lodge.

Could this have been the gamekeeper's cottage, I wonder.

Whilst I was there I fancied taking a "selfie", which I'm going to use for the blog and other social media.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Mount Panther Album

Mount Panther, near Clough, County Down, was one of County Down's finest and grandest country houses.

Front elevation

It is said that the roof was removed in the early 1960s in order to avoid paying rates.

Courtyard: prospect from the house

The images of the old mansion were taken prior to this, most likely in the early 1960s.


Princess Margaret and her husband, Lord Snowdon, paid a visit to view the ballroom before the roof was removed.

The ballroom

The plasterwork in the ballroom was reputedly most exquisite.

First published in March, 2016.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Londonderry DL


Dr Angela Garvey, Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Londonderry, has been pleased to appoint:-
Mr Gavin Joseph KILLEEN
County Londonderry
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough his Commission bearing date the 31st day of March 2018.

Signed: Angela Garvey, Lord Lieutenant of the County Borough

Prince Harry in NI

His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and his fiancée, Meghan Markle, have arrived in Belfast for their first official joint visit to Northern Ireland.

Throughout the day, Prince Harry and Miss Markle will have the opportunity to meet members of the public, to learn how young people are shaping the future of Northern Ireland, and to visit some of the city's most loved sites.

HRH and Miss Markle's first engagement was at the Eikon Centre, Sprucefield, County Down, where they attended an event to mark the second year of youth-led peace-building initiative Amazing the Space.

Thence Prince Harry and Miss Markle travelled to one of Belfast's most historic buildings, the Crown Liquor Saloon, a property of the National Trust.

They were accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Belfast, Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE.

In the afternoon, the royal party will leave the Crown bar after luncheon and meet members of the public gathered on Great Victoria Street.

Prince Harry and Miss Markle will afterwards travel to the Belfast campus of Northern Ireland’s next generation science park, Catalyst Inc, to meet some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs and innovators.

Finally, HRH and Miss Markle will visit the iconic Titanic Belfast, Titanic Quarter, Belfast.

Ballintemple House


The family of BUTLER is one of the most ancient and illustrious in the British Isles; and for the services which, at different periods, it rendered to the Crown, it obtained titles of honour in each of the kingdoms of the realm.

THOMAS BUTLER, supposed to be lineally descended from Sir Edmund Butler, Knight, second son of James, 9th Earl of Ormond, was created a baronet in 1628, denominated of Cloughgrenan, County Carlow.

Sir Thomas, High Sheriff of County Carlow, 1612-22, married Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Colclough, Knight, of Tintern Abbey, County Wexford, and widow of Nicholas Bagenal, by whom he had four sons and three daughters.

Sir Thomas died ca 1640, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDMUND BUTLER, 2nd Baronet, who wedded Juliana, daughter of Bernard Hyde, of Shinfield, Berkshire, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Sir Edmund died ca 1650, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS BUTLER, 3rd Baronet, who espoused firstly, Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Dr Richard Boyle, Lord Bishop of Leighlin and Ferns; and secondly, in 1700, Jane, daughter of Edward Pottinger.

By his first wife he had two sons, of whom the elder,

SIR PIERCE BUTLER (1670-1732), 4th Baronet, MP for County Carlow, 1703-14, wedded, in 1697, Anne, daughter of Joshua Galliard, of Enfield, Middlesex.

Sir Pierce died without male issue, and the title reverted to his nephew,

SIR RICHARD BUTLER (1699-1771), 5th Baronet, MP for Carlow, 1730-60, who espoused, in 1728, Henrietta, daughter and co-heiress of Henry Percy, by whom he had four sons and six daughters.

Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS BUTLER (1735-72), 6th Baronet, MP for Carlow, 1761-8, MP for Portarlington, 1771-2, who married Dorothea, only daughter of  the Ven Dr Edward Bayley, of Ardfert, Archdeacon of Dublin, and niece of Sir Nicholas Bayley Bt, by whom he had four sons and as many daughters.

Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD BUTLER (1761-1817), 7th Baronet, MP for Carlow, 1783-1800, who espoused, in 1782, Sarah Maria, daughter of Thomas Newenham, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Charles George;
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS BUTLER, 8th Baronet (1783-1861), High Sheriff of County Carlow, 1818, who wedded, in 1812, Frances, daughter of John Graham-Clarke, and had issue,
RICHARD PIERCE, his successor;
Henry William Paget;
Arabella Sarah; Louisa Charlotte; Laura Mary; Antoine Sloet.
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD PIERCE BUTLER, 9th Baronet (1813-62), High Sheriff of County Carlow, 1836, who married, in 1835, Matilda, daughter of Thomas Cookson, and had issue,
THOMAS PIERCE, his successor;
Richard Pierce;
Walter Selby;
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS PIERCE BUTLER, 10th Baronet (1836-1909), Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Carlow, High Sheriff of County Carlow, 1866, who wedded, in 1864, Hester Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Alan Edward Bellingham Bt, of Castle Bellingham, and had issue,
RICHARD PIERCE, his successor;
Thomas Edmond;
Walter Alan;
Edith Alice; Maude Isobel; Dorothea Hester; Eleanor Frances.
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD PIERCE BUTLER, 11th Baronet (1872-1955), OBE DL, High Sheriff of County Carlow, 1905, who wedded, in 1906, Alice Dudley, daughter of the Very Rev and Hon James Wentworth Leigh, and had issue,
THOMAS PIERCE, his successor;
Joan; Doreen Frances. 
Sir Richard, Honorary Colonel, the Remount Service, was succeeded by his son,

SIR THOMAS PIERCE BUTLER, 12th Baronet (1910-94), CVO DSO OBE JP, Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, 1969-71, who espoused, in 1937, Rosemary Liége Woodgate, daughter of Major James Hamilton Davidson-Houston, and had issue,
RICHARD PIERCE, his successor;
Caroline Rosemary;
Virginia Pamela Liége.
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his son,

SIR RICHARD PIERCE BUTLER, 13th Baronet (1940-), of London, a company director, who married, in 1965, Diana, daughter of Colonel Stephen John Borg, and had issue,
Stephen Patrick;
Rupert Dudley;
Anne Virginia.

BALLIN TEMPLE, near Tullow, County Carlow, was a fine three-storey Georgian mansion with a five-bay entrance front.

The centre bay was distinguished by a Venetian window and a pedimented Grecian-Doric porte-cochere.

The centre of the garden front had a colonnaded semi-circular bow. 

The mansion was burned to the ground accidentally in 1917.

It existed as a shell for a number of years, and has subsequently been demolished apart from its elegant portico.

The following is a section of Turtle Bunbury's article about BallintempleAncient World, Ancient Fish:
Sir Richard Butler’s successful restoration of his family’s ancestral riverside estate at Ballintemple, County Carlow, has earned his small stretch of the River Slaney a well deserved alphabetical placement between Ashford and Ballynahinch Castles in the highly elite Great Fishing Houses of Ireland.

The project, commenced four years ago in conjunction with Robin Eustace Harvey, involved restoring both river banks, rebuilding the weirs and creating twenty four salmon pools.

Ballintemple started life as a sanctuary for members of the Knights Templar on leave from the Crusades. The estate formed part of William Marshall's vast inheritance through his marriage with Strongbow’s daughter in the late 12th century. 500 years later, the land was granted to Sir Thomas Butler of Cloghrennan, a first cousin of the “Great Duke” of Ormonde.

Sir Richard is the thirteenth generation in descent from Sir Thomas. His forbears generally played a modest role in the affairs of state. Perhaps the most notable family member was Piers Butler, sometime Senator of South Carolina and co-signatory of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

One hundred years ago the Ballintemple estate amounted to some 7,000 acres, upon which Sir Richard’s grandfather developed his passion for breeding Aberdeen Angus and Clydesdale shire-horses. He married Alice Mease, a granddaughter of the American actress Fanny Kemble.

On moving to the ancestral manor house at Ballintemple, the well-travelled Lady Alice described the estate as "one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen … in the spring the woods are literally carpeted with bluebells, the bluest and largest I have ever seen, often having fifteen bells on one stalk".

The burning of Ballintemple House in 1917, attributed to a plumber's blow-lamp and dry-rot filled rafters, was a great loss to Carlow’s architectural legacy. The shell was later demolished and only the 19th century classical portico now remains.

The Butler family then relocated to England where Sir Richard’s father, Sir Tom Butler, served as Resident Governor of the Tower of London. Subsequent confiscation’s and compulsory purchases by the Irish Land Commission whittled the Butler estate down to a few acres when Sir Richard inherited the property.

Sir Richard Butler, a former director with Chase Manhattan and founder of the Pestalozzi Children's Trust, could never shake off his desire to return to his Irish homeland. His family likewise continue to view Ballintemple as an intrinsic part of their heritage. Over the past decade, Sir Richard and his neighbour Robin Eustace Harvey have been steadily resurrecting the estate.

An ancient wood of some 20 hectares running along the riverbanks has been designated a Special Area of Conservation by Duchas. Sir Richard’s eldest son Tom has created an exceedingly nutritious 10-hectare organic farm while Tom’s Canadian wife Pam (aka Kamala Devi) runs a popular yoga retreat at Ballintemple during the summer.

The reopening of the Ballintemple fishing beat in 2003 met with widespread approval by fishermen and conservationists alike. The Slaney is one of Ireland’s longest rivers, wending its way 120 kilometres from the Glen of Imaal in the Wicklow Mountains south through Carlow and Wexford and into the sea at Wexford Harbour. It offers salmon in spring and sea trout in summer.
 First published in February, 2012.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

On Ploughman's Hill

I enjoyed an organized walk through the new Ploughman's Hill walk at Mount Stewart estate yesterday.

For the benefit of those readers who have not been following the narrative, Mount Stewart, on the Ards Peninsula, County Down, was the magnificent County Down seat of the Marquesses of Londonderry.

It is now a property of the National Trust.

Ranger Toby met about fifteen of us at the courtyard behind the mansion.

We all ambled past the lake, and just beyond it there is the beginning of the new trail.

Ploughman's Hill Walk has not officially opened yet, though it is expected to open imminently.

En route a new red squirrel hide is being erected in the midst of wonderful silvan scenery.

Toby estimates that we have about 35 to 40 red squirrels on the estate presently, and numbers are expected to grow significantly in the next few years.

The gravel path leads to open woodland, which swerves round towards the sea and close to the Twin Lodges on the Portaferry Road.

Toby really knows his stuff and provided us with abundant facts and figures relating to the estate.

When our walk finished I didn't linger because it was a bit chilly.

I'm very glad to see that a brand new shepherd's hut, the Mark Two, is in situ and is currently being fitted out.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Gussie's Veggie Diet

JEEVES:  'I regret to inform you, sir, that Miss Bassett has insisted on Mr Fink-Nottle adopting a vegetarian diet. His mood is understandably disgruntled and rebellious.'

   I tottered. In my darkest hour I had never anticipated anything as bad as this. You wouldn't think it to look at him, because he's small and shrimplike and never puts on weight, but Gussie loves food.

   Watching him tucking into his rations at the Drones [club], a tapeworm would raise its hat respectfully, knowing that it was in the presence of a master.

   Cut him off, therefore, from the roasts and boileds and particularly from cold steak and kidney pie, a dish of which he is inordinately fond, and you turned him into something fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils, as the fellow said - the sort of chap who would break any engagement as soon as look at you.

   At the moment of my entry I had been about to light a cigarette, and now the lighter fell from my nerveless hand.

 BERTIE:  'She's made him become a vegetarian?'

   'So Mr Fink-Nottle informed me, sir.'

   'No chops?'

   'No, sir.'

   'No steaks?'

   'No, sir.'

   'Just spinach and similar garbage?'

   'So I gather, sir.'

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Maggie's Hut

Maggie's Hut

At the beginning of the Blue and Red trails at the National Trust's Mount Stewart estate on the Ards Peninsula, County Down, there was a blue shepherd's hut where a member of staff greeted visitors and provided information.

Unfortunately that quaint little hut was crushed by a large tree during a storm in December, 2017.

I have just been informed, however, that a replacement arrives in the estate today, the 20th March, 2018.

It seems, however, that shepherd's huts or keepers' watch huts do have a history.

The one at Mount Stewart (above) was built by a company in County Fermanagh.

My cousin Shirley and her family purchased one, and it's installed in the grounds of their home at Fittleworth in West Sussex.

In fact, if you like the look of it and its location at the village of Fittleworth, you can stay in it.

It is close to the Duke of Richmond's magnificent seat, Goodwood.

Maggie's Hut has a double bed and wood-burning stove.

The Swan Inn, a family-run 15th century pub, is a short stroll away, too, convenient for the South Downs National Park, Chichester, Petworth and Arundel.

Maggie's hut during winter, 2018.

Maggie's Hut has a separate outdoor 'Eco' composting loo, and showering facilities are presently available in the main house.

I wish them every success with their imaginative endeavour; and may many guests enjoy Maggie's Hut.

I know who "Maggie" is, by the way (!).

First published in September, 2016.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Shelton Abbey


The noble house of WICKLOW derives from the Fersfield branch of the ducal family of Howard.

JOHN HOWARD (1616-43) married, in 1636, Dorothea Hassells.

Following his decease, his widow removed to Ireland, where she wedded her cousin, Robert Hassells, of Shelton, County Wicklow.

The son of John and Dorothea Howard,

RALPH HOWARD (1638-1710), of Shelton, who was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, took a degree in Medicine in 1667, and succeeded Dr Margetson as Regius Professor of Physics at that university.

Being afterwards attainted with many others in JAMES II's parliament, on account of his having returned to England on the breaking out of war in Ireland, with his numerous family of young children, in 1688, his estate containing 600 acres in the barony of Bargy, and County Wexford, and his leasehold interest of the north share of Arklow, and Shelton estates, County Wicklow, held from the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Ormonde, containing 4,000 acres, plantation measure, were seized upon and put in the possession of Mr Hackett, who being appointed sequestrator, resided in Shelton House, and received the rents until the war ended.

After the defeat at the Boyne in 1690, JAMES II stayed at Shelton to refresh himself, en route to Waterford; and says, in his memoirs, that he rested some time at Mr Hackett's.

On the re-establishment of tranquillity under WILLIAM III, Dr Howard recovered his estates.

He married, in 1668, Catherine, eldest daughter of Roger Sotheby, MP for Wicklow, and had issue (with three daughters), three sons, viz.
HUGH, his heir;
ROBERT, of whom hereafter;
William, MP for Dublin City, 1727.
The eldest son,

HUGH HOWARD (1675-1737), of Shelton, was appointed Keeper of the State Papers at Whitehall, 1714, and Paymaster of the Board of Works, 1726.

He died in London, leaving a fine collection of books, drawings, prints, and medals, as well as his estates at Shelton and Seskin, County Wicklow, to his only surviving brother,

THE RT REV ROBERT HOWARD (1670-1740), Lord Bishop of Elphin, who inherited, in 1728, the estates of his family at the decease of his elder brother Hugh, of Shelton, County Wicklow.

His lordship married, in 1724, Patience, daughter and sole heiress of Godfrey Boleyne, of Fenner, by Mary his wife, sister of the Rt Hon Henry Singleton, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and had issue,
RALPH, his heir;
Catherine, m to John, 1st Earl of Erne.
Bishop Howard was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON RALPH HOWARD, (1726-89), MP for County Wicklow, 1761-76, Privy Counsellor, who was elevated to the peerage, 1778, by the title of Baron Clonmore, of Clonmore Castle, County Carlow; and advanced to a viscountcy, in 1785, as Viscount Wicklow.

His lordship wedded, in 1755, Alice (who was raised to the peerage, 1793, as COUNTESS OF WICKLOW), only daughter and heiress of William Forward MP, of Castle Forward, County Donegal, and had issue,
WILLIAM, successive peers;
Stuarta; Isabella; Katherine; Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT (1757-1815), 2nd Viscount; who, in 1807, became EARL OF WICKLOW at the demise of his mother; but died unmarried, when the honours devolved upon his brother,

WILLIAM (1761-1818), 3rd Earl; who had assumed the surname and arms of FORWARD upon inheriting the estate of his maternal relatives; but resumed his family name of HOWARD on succeeding to the peerage.

His lordship espoused, in 1787, Eleanor, only daughter of the Hon Francis Caulfeild, and granddaughter of James, 3rd Viscount Charlemont, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Francis (Rev); father of
Isabella Mary; Eleanor; Mary; Alicia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM (1788-1869), 4th Earl, KP, who wedded, in 1816, the Lady Cecil Frances Hamilton, daughter of John James, 1st Marquess of Abercorn; though his lordship had no male issue, and was succeeded by his nephew,
On the death of the 8th Earl, the titles became extinct.

SHELTON ABBEY, near Arklow, County Wicklow, was the splendid demesne of the Earls of Wicklow.

The mansion, built in 1770, comprises two storeys and eleven bays.

It was remodelled in the Gothic style, in 1819, to the designs of Sir Richard Morrison.

The intention was to represent an ecclesiastical structure of the 14th century, transmuted into a baronial residence.

The building is finished with lined render and granite dressings.

The decorative panelled front door has a blind fanlight and is set within a pointed-arched opening.

This is recessed within a projecting triple arched flat-roofed porch.

The front is lavishly embellished with reducing buttresses with tall pinnacles.

To the north and rear large two-storey wings were later added.

The mainly pitched roof is finished with natural slate and has cast-iron rainwater goods.

The building is set within a large wooded demesne. Internally the elaborate plasterwork is still intact.

This remains an important early 19th century country house which has been very well preserved.

During the Victorian era, the 'Abbey style' was considered appropriate to secluded settings such as this.

It has been converted to institutional use with no loss of character.

The town residence of Lord Wicklow used to be 56 Upper Brook Street, London (now part of the US Embassy).

In 1947, the 8th Earl opened Shelton as an hotel in a vain attempt to meet the cost of upkeep; but he was obliged to sell it in 1951, owing to taxation.

Shelton Abbey operated as a school for a period.

The mansion has, since the early 1970s, been used as an open prison for males aged 19 years and over who are regarded as requiring lower levels of security.

Wicklow arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in January, 2012.