Sunday, 19 May 2019

The Bangor Bell

McCance of Knocknagoney

THE BELL of Bangor Abbey, County Down, dating from 825AD, was reputedly found at the Abbey ca 1780, and it is speculated that it had been hidden at the time of the Viking attacks on Irish monasteries.

It was in private hands for some 150 years, and then housed in the Ulster Museum before coming to Bangor Borough Council in the 1950s.

The cast-iron bronze bell would have been used to call the monks to prayer.


THIS Bell was in the possession of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCance (1843-1922), of Knocknagoney House, near Holywood, County Down, whose great-grandfather found it in the ruins of the Abbey.

Knocknagoney House

In the historic Ulster Journal of Archæology it was recorded that
"this bell was found in the ruins of the abbey about sixty years ago" (last decade of the 18th century) and was in 1853 in possession of Dr Stephenson, of Belfast." 
The Bell has been at North Down Museum, Bangor, since 1984.

It shows the flowering of Irish Christian civilisation which was set back by the pagan Viking attacks.

The bell would have been used to call the monks to prayer.

First published in June, 2015. 

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Skipper Street, Belfast

Merchant Hotel

Skipper Street, Belfast, runs from Waring Street to High Street.

This is one of the the oldest streets in Belfast, where the River Farset used to flow openly along High Street itself (it still does, though it's culverted).

High Street ca 1830

The street was thus named because skippers of sailing vessels lodged here.

This street is mentioned as far back as 1685; it was, however, significantly affected by the 1941 blitz.

In 1974, The Albert Inn stood at 3 Skipper Street; then it changed its name to the Blackthorn Bar.

High Street

The buildings are now all relatively recent since many, if not most, were destroyed by bombing during the 2nd World War.

The most notable premises today are The Merchant Hotel - formerly the Ulster Bank head office - which now runs along the entire left-hand side of the street (the even numbers).

The Spaniard Bar  is at number three and Jackson Sports is located at the corner of Skipper Street and High Street.

First published in July, 2009.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Ashfield Park

GEORGE CHARLES BRACKENRIDGE OWNED 2,649 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE

JOSEPH TRIMBLE, of Ashfield Park, County Tyrone (whose mother, Margaret, was daughter of George Brackenridge, of Ballymacan (Ballagh), County Tyrone), died in 1841, leaving issue, by Catherine his wife, daughter of Thomas Smith, of Lisnaskea,
GEORGE CHARLES, his heir;
Jane, m;
Margaret, m.
He was succeeded by his only son,

GEORGE CHARLES BRACKENRIDGE JP DL (1814-79), of Ashfield Park, Barrister, who assumed, in 1846, the metronymic of BRACKENRIDGE in lieu of Trimble, and the arms of Brackenridge quarterly with those of Trimble.

Mr Brackenridge married, in 1870, Matilda Anne (d 1919), daughter of the Rev Sir John Richardson-Bunbury Bt, and had an only child,

UPTON PERCIVAL BRACKENRIDGE (1872-1927.

Photo credit: http://www.stonedatabase.com

ASHFIELD PARK, near Clogher, County Tyrone, stands close to the Fardross estate.

It was built in 1840 in the Italianate style.

It comprises two storeys and four bays, with a hipped slate roof.

A concealed glass dome is in the centre of the roof.

The doorway has a flight of steps; and above the door there is a rounded arch with fanlight.

There are paired, recessed windows with Corinthian columns forming mullions.

Canted, two-storey bays are on the eastern side.

Photo credit: http://www.stonedatabase.com

George Charles Brackenridge built a monumental tower for himself on a hilltop, where he was interred.

This triple-tiered mausoleum of 1847 comprises a three-storey tower topped with an iron railing, above a vault.

The base is square and at ground-floor level there are arched door and window openings.

The entrance is accessible by means of a narrow stairway a mere 18" in width.

The top floor is reached by a ladder through a trapdoor.

Mr Brackenridge's memorial tower was plundered during the 2nd World War by troops garrisoned in the vicinity.

First published in April, 2015.

House of Caulfeild

The settlement of this noble family in Ireland took place in the reign of ELIZABETH I, when 

THE RT HON SIR TOBY CAULFEILD (1565-1627), a distinguished and gallant soldier, was employed in that part of Her Majesty's dominions against the formidable Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.

He was the son of Alexander Caulfeild, Recorder of Oxford, who was descended from ancestors of great antiquity and worth, settled in that county, and at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.

In 1615, Sir Toby was appointed one of the council for the province of Munster.

The next year, 1616, he joined in commission with the Lord Deputy of Ireland (Oliver St John, 1st Viscount Grandison), and others, for parcelling out the escheated lands in Ulster to such British undertakers as were named in the several tables of assignation.

In these employments, the King (JAMES I) found him so faithful, diligent, and prudent, that His Majesty deemed him highly deserving the peerage, and accordingly created him, in 1620, Lord Caulfeild, Baron Charlemont, with limitation of the honour to his nephew, Sir William Caulfeild, Knight.

His lordship died unmarried, in 1627, and was succeeded by the said 

SIR WILLIAM CAULFEILD, 2nd Baron Charlemont (1587-1640), who took his seat in parliament, in 1634, after the Lord Chancellor of Ireland had moved to know the pleasure of the House, whether he should be admitted to this place, having brought neither writ of summons nor patent; whereupon it was resolved that his lordship should be admitted, inasmuch as they were all satisfied that he was a Lord of Parliament.

His lordship wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John King, Knight (ancestor of the Earls of Kingston), by whom he had seven sons and three daughters; from the youngest son, Thomas, descended the Caulfeilds of Donamon, County Roscommon.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

TOBY, 3rd Baron (1621-42), who also succeeded his late father as Governor of Charlemont Fort, and there resided, with his company of the 97th Regiment of Foot, in garrison.

Charlemont Fort

This fort was a place of considerable strength and importance during the rebellion of 1641; but his lordship suffered himself to be surprised, in that year; and being made prisoner, with his whole family, was subsequently murdered, by the orders, it is said, of Sir Phelim O'Neill.

This unfortunate nobleman died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother, 

ROBERT, 4th Baron (1622-42), who died a few months afterwards from an overdose of a prescription of opium, and was succeeded by his next brother, 

WILLIAM, 5th Baron (1624-71), who apprehended Sir Phelim O'Neill, and had him executed for the murder of his brother, the 3rd Baron.

His lordship having filled, after the Restoration, several high and confidential situations, was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1655, as VISCOUNT CHARLEMONT.

He wedded Sarah, second daughter of Charles, Viscount Drogheda, by whom he had four sons and three daughters, of whom,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Toby.
His lordship was succeeded by his son, 

WILLIAM, 2nd Viscount (c1655-1726), who zealously opposed the cause of JAMES II, by whose parliament he was attainted; but WILLIAM III, after the rebellion was quelled, gave him a regiment of foot and made him Governor of counties Tyrone and Armagh etc.

He espoused Anne, only daughter of the Most Rev Dr James Margetson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh, by whom he had, with five daughters, five sons to survive infancy, viz.
JAMES, his heir;
Thomas, Governor of Annapolis;
Charles, in holy orders;
John, MP;
Henry Charles.

His lordship died after enjoying the peerage for more than half a century, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,  

JAMES, 3rd Viscount (1682-1734), MP for Charlemont, 1703-5, 1713-26, who married Elizabeth, only daughter of the Rt Hon Francis Bernard, of Castle Mahon, County Cork, one of the judges of the court of common pleas in Ireland, by whom he had two sons; the younger, Francis, who wedded Mary, only daughter of John, Lord Eyre, was lost, with his lady, infant child, and servant, in a hurricane, during his passage to Ireland from London, in 1775, to fulfil his parliamentary duties as Member for the borough of Charlemont.

His lordship left issue, Colonel James Eyre Caulfeild, born in 1765, and Eleanor, who espoused William, 3rd Earl of Wicklow.

The 3rd Viscount was succeeded by his only surviving son, 

JAMES, 4th Viscount (1728-99), KP, who was created, in 1763, EARL OF CHARLEMONT.


He married, in 1768, Mary, daughter of Thomas Hickman, of County Clare, and had issue,
FRANCIS WILLIAM, his successor;
Henry, MP;
Elizabeth.
His lordship, a distinguished patriot, had the honour of commanding-in-chief the celebrated Irish Volunteers in 1779.

His son and heir,

FRANCIS WILLIAM, 2nd Earl (1775-1863), KP, wedded, in 1802, Anne, youngest daughter and co-heir of William Bermingham, of Ross Hill, County Galway, but had no surviving issue, when the family honours devolved upon his nephew,

JAMES MOLYNEUX, 3rd Earl (1820-92), KP (son of the Hon Henry, 2nd son of 1st Earl), Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, MP for Armagh, 1847-67.

His lordship died in 1892, when the earldom and barony became extinct, and the remaining peerages devolved upon his cousin,

JAMES ALFRED, 7th Viscount (1830-1913), CB JP DL, of Loy House, Cookstown and Drumcairne, County Tyrone,
Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, 1868, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1868; Comptroller of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1868-95; Honorary Colonel, 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; Usher of the Black Rod of the Order of St Patrick, 1879-1913.
The 8th Viscount (1880-1949), PC DL, was elected to the Northern Ireland Parliament as a senator, where he sat from 1925-37, and was Minister for Education.
James Alfred Caulfeild, 7th Viscount (1830–1913);
James Edward Caulfeild, 8th Viscount (1880–1949);
Charles Edward St George Caulfeild, 9th Viscount (1887–1962);
Robert Toby St George Caulfeild, 10th Viscount (1881–1967);
Charles St George Caulfeild, 11th Viscount (1884–1971);
Richard St George Caulfeild, 12th Viscount (1887–1979);
Charles Wilberforce Caulfeild, 13th Viscount (1899–1985);
John Day Caulfeild, 14th Viscount (1934–2001);
John Dodd Caulfeild, 15th Viscount (b 1966).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Shane Andrew Caulfeild (b 1996).

The Viscounts Charlemont were a Patrick family, three members of whom were Knights of St Patrick.

© "CastleCaulfeild 2008" by Skremer at English Wikipedia

Sir Toby Caulfeild built Castle Caulfield [sic] in County Tyrone. 


ROXBOROUGH CASTLE (above), Lord Charlemont's main country seat, was near the village of Moy, County Tyrone, the exquisite gates being all that are left as a reminder.


The Castle and the nearby Charlemont Fort, on the County Armagh side of the river, were both burnt by the IRA in 1922.


Subsequently Lord Charlemont resided at another residence, Drumcairne, near Stewartstown in County Tyrone.

It is thought that he eventually moved to Newcastle, County Down.

He inherited the titles from his uncle in 1913.

Having no children, the titles passed, on his death, to a cousin.

The 14th Viscount lived in Ontario, Canada and the viscountcy is still extant with the present 15th Viscount Charlemont.

First published in May, 2013.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Derryquin Castle

THE BLANDS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KERRY, WITH 25,576 ACRES

SIR CHRISTOPHER BLAND WAS CHAIRMAN OF THE BBC BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 1996-2001


This family was originally seated in Yorkshire.

The first who settled in Ireland was

THE VERY REV JAMES BLAND, Archdeacon of Limerick and Dean of Ardfert.

In a deed of sale registered in Wakefield, 1717, he is described as "of Killarney, County Kerry", and as disposing of his estates in Sedbergh, Yorkshire, to Richard Willen.

Dr Bland was the son of John Bland, of Sedbergh, as proved by the records of St John's College, Cambridge, where he was admitted in 1684.

He went to Ireland as Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Henry Sydney, Earl of Romney, in 1692.

Dr Bland wedded Lucy, eldest daughter of Sir Francis Brewster, Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1674-5, by whom he had issue, and was father of the Rev Francis Bland (whose great-grandson, THE VEN NATHANIEL BLAND, Archdeacon of Aghadoe, was the head of the family); and of

NATHANIEL BLAND LL.D, Judge of the Prerogative Court of Dublin, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, who married firstly, Diana, only daughter and heiress of Nicholas Kemeys, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
John.
He wedded secondly, Lucy, daughter of Francis Heaton, and had further issue,
Francis;
Nathaniel;
George;
Lucy; Hester; Dorothea.
Dr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE REV JAMES BLAND, of Derryquin Castle, who espoused firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Julian, and had issue,
FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER, his heir;
Nathaniel;
James;
Letitia; Diana; Maria; Elizabeth.
He married secondly, Barbara, daughter of _____ Nash.

The Rev James Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER BLAND, of Derryquin Castle, who wedded, in 1798, Lucinda, daughter of Arthur Bastable Herbert, of Brewstersfield, near Killarney, by his wife Barbara, daughter of Maurice FitzGerald, Knight of Kerry, and had issue,
JAMES FRANKLIN, his heir;
Arthur;
John;
Edward;
Nathaniel;
George;
Francis Christopher;
Elizabeth; Lucy; Frances Diana; Mary Matilda;
Christina Frances; Laetitia; Barbara; Laetitia; Clara Delinda.
Mr Bland died in 1838, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES FRANKLIN BLAND JP (1799-1863), of Derryquin Castle, High Sheriff, 1835, who espoused, in 1825, Emma, daughter of Major Joseph Taylor, of Dunkerron Castle, County Kerry, and had issue,
FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER, his heir;
James Franklin;
Nathaniel Franklin;
Alice Phillis.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER BLAND JP (1826-99), of Derryquin Castle, High Sheriff, 1859, who married, in 1849, Jane, daughter of the Rev Archibald Robert Hamilton, and had issue,
JAMES FRANKLIN, his heir;
Archibald Robert Hamilton;
Francis Christpher Earle;
Richard Townsend Herbert;
Emma Alice; Jane Hamilton; Catherine Cotter;
Alice Phillis; Mary Evelyn.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES FRANKLIN BLAND (1850-1927),  late of Derryquin Castle, and of Drimina House, Sneem, County Kerry, who wedded, in 1873, Agnes Margaret, eldest daughter of Samuel Wilson Block, of 15, Talbot Square, Hyde Park, London, and had issue,
FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER CECIL, his heir;
Archibald Franklin Wilson;
Godfrey Hamilton;
Agnes Emma; Evaleen Wilson; Ethel Hamilton.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER CECIL BLAND (1875-1953), of Drimina House, who married, in 1904, Mary Green, daughter of Henry Albert Uprichard, and had issue,
JAMES FRANKLIN McMAHON;
Henry Archibald Forster.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his elder son,

JAMES FRANKLIN McMAHON BLAND (1905-84), of 14, Tullybrannigan Road, Newcastle, County Down, who married, in 1936, Jess Buchan, daughter of Major Harry Campbell Brodie, and had issue,
FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER BUCHAN;
Godfrey Hamilton.
The elder son,

SIR (FRANCIS) CHRISTOPHER BUCHAN BLAND (1938-).


DERRYQUIN CASTLE, Sneem, County Kerry, was a Victorian pile of rough-hewn stone by James Franklin Fuller, built for the Bland family.

The main block was of three storeys, with a four-storey octagonal tower running through its centre.


The entrance door was at one end, flanked by a two-storey, part-curved wing.

There were rectangular, pointed and camber-headed windows; battlements, and machiolations.


The castle was eventually sold by the Blands to the Warden family.

In 1906, it was owned by Colonel Charles W Warden and valued at £70.

The Wardens resided there until it was burnt in 1922.

It was located in the grounds of what is now the Parknasilla Hotel, but the ruins were demolished in 1969.

In 1732, the Rev Dr Nathaniel Bland obtained his grant of the Parknasilla area, the grantors being described as 'Rt Hon Clotworthy, Lord Viscount Massareene, and Philip Doyne, with the consent of James Stopford.'

The link with these three gentlemen is Elizabeth Smyth.

Her father, the Rt Rev Edward Smyth, Lord Bishop of Down and Connor, married secondly, the Hon Mary Skeffington.

She was the daughter of Clothworthy, 3rd Viscount Massareene. Elizabeth married James Stopford in 1726.

In 1762, he was created Viscount Stopford and Earl of Courtown.

His sister, also Elizabeth Stopford, was the third wife of Philip Doyne.

The Rt Rev Richard Pococke, Lord Bishop of Ossory, visited the area in 1758.

He was an avid traveller who published accounts of his visits to the Middle East, Scotland and England.

The Bishop went in search of Dr Bland's house, which was a summer residence located between the Sneem River and the Owreagh River.

He found the house, known as 'The White House', abandoned by its owner, in favour of Parknasilla, a fine Georgian residence a little further east.

Nathaniel Bland's first wife Diana, was the daughter of Nicholas Kerneys or Kemis of County Wexford. They had two sons, John and Rev James.

It was to Rev James that Nathaniel left the bulk of his estate and we shall return to him presently.

John served in the army at Dettingen, Fontenoy and Clifton Moor.

Nathaniel's son Francis, by his second marriage, was a captain in the army and gave it up to become and actor in Thomas Sheridan's company in Dublin.

He fell in love with Grace Phillips, a Welsh actress, and married her in 1758.

They had several children. Grace was the daughter of the Rev Phillips of St. Thomas's Haverfordwest.

Nathaniel  died in 1760 just before the birth of Francis and Grace's child, a daughter, in 1761.

She was christened Dorothea and known as Dorothy, although she referred to herself as Dora and acquired a surfeit of names.

In 1774, Francis decided to leave Grace and his family and marry an heiress.

This time he chose the well-to-do Catherine Mahony from Kerry.

Dora became an actress and was also known by her stage name, Mrs Jordan. She was seduced by her actor manager in Dublin.

Shortly afterwards she became pregnant and fled to England and fell in love with Richard Ford , a handsome lawyer, who was knighted some years later.

She lived with Ford and had three children by him.

When he failed to do the decent thing and marry her, she left him.

She became mistress to William Henry, Duke of Clarence, 3rd son of George III in 1790. He became William IV upon the death of his brother George IV.

They lived together in Busy House in Teddington, near Hampton Court from 1797 until 1811, when he took a new mistress.

Their children, ten in total and all illegitimate, were known as the FitzClarences. The boys were ennobled, the eldest was created Earl of Munster.

The girls married well, viz. two earls, a viscount, the younger son of a duke and a general in the army.

The Duke pensioned Dora off. She was swindled out of money by a son-in-law.

When Nathaniel Bland died in 1760, his son, the Rev James Bland, inherited the estate. Derryquin Castle was probably built during his era.

His son, Francis Christopher Bland, married Lucinda Herbert in 1798.

His son, James Franklin Bland, was born in 1799. Under him the Derryquin estate witnessed its golden years and was self-supporting.

His sister Frances "Fanny" Diana married Thomas Harnett Fuller of Glasnacree and their son James Franklin Fuller was to become the architect of the new Parknasilla hotel in 1897.

James Franklin Bland was succeeded in turn by his son Francis Christopher.

This Francis Christopher joined the Plymouth Brethren.

He neglected his estate and devoted his energy to preaching.

Land agitation was rife in Ireland at this juncture and it was unfortunate that Bland decided to absent himself.

The estate inevitably went into rapid decline.

First published in September, 2012.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

South Island


Immediately to the south-west of Greyabbey, County Down, on the Ards Peninsula, there is a cluster of three islands.

Chapel Island is to the west; Mid Island directly to the south of Skillin's Point; and South Island (20 acres) lies immediately to the south of Mid Island.

The National Trust owns the land at Skillin's Point, Chapel Island and South Island.

Prospect of Mid Island from South Island

I think Mid Island belongs to the Montgomerys of Grey Abbey House.

Today there were about ten of us - National Trust volunteers.

We assembled at the old schoolhouse on Portaferry Road and went in a convoy to South Island, via Mid Island.


There is a causeway linking Mid Island to the mainland, and another causeway links Mid Island to South Island.

South Island does not have any particular features - no trees, for instance.

There is, however, an overgrown pond which could be revived.

The main task today was to erect fencing in a section of the twenty-acre island.


After lunch we ambled round the island picking up litter.

Fortunately we were blessed with good weather, especially in the morning.

Belleisle Castle

THE PORTERS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY FERMANAGH, WITH 11,880 ACRES

THE RT REV DR JOHN PORTER, Lord Bishop of Clogher, formerly Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge, came to Ireland in 1795 as viceregal chaplain to the 2nd Earl Camden, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1795-98.
There was a convention that viceregal chaplains became bishops. Dr Porter, however, fared exceptionally well because, after only a two-year purgatory in the remote and undesirable bishopric of Killala in County Mayo, he was translated to the singularly valuable bishopric of Clogher, where he remained from 1797 until his death in 1819.
He married, in 1786, Mary Smith, of Norfolk, and had issue,
JOHN GREY, his heir;
Thomas, captain RN;
Charles (Rev);
Henry Edward, General in the Army;
William;
Elizabeth; Margaret.
The Bishop died in 1819, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE REV JOHN GREY PORTER (1789-1873), Rector of Kilskeery, County Tyrone, who wedded, in 1816, Margaret Lavinia, eldest daughter of Thomas Lindsey, of Hollymount, by his wife, the Lady Margaret Bingham, daughter of 1st Earl of Lucan, and had issue,
JOHN GREY, his heir;
Lavinia; Louisa; Elizabeth Phœbe; Emmy; Frances;
Adelaide Mary, m Nicholas Montgomery Archdale, of Crocknacrieve, County Fermanagh, who died in 1877, leaving issue. Their second son, JOHN PORTER, of Belle Isle, assumed, in 1876, the surname and arms of PORTER. 
The eldest son,

JOHN GREY VESEY PORTER JP DL (1818-1903), of Belle Isle, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1844, married, in 1863, Elizabeth Jane, daughter of Richard Hall, of Innismore Hall, County Fermanagh.

Mr Porter dsp 1903, when the estate devolved upon his nephew,

JOHN PORTER PORTER JP DL (1853-1939), High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1883, who married, in 1884, Josephine Henrietta, daughter of Colonel Jesse Lloyd, of Ballyleek, County Monaghan, and had issue,
JOHN GREY ARCHDALE, DSO (1886-1917), killed in action;
NICHOLAS HENRY ARCHDALE, successor to his brother;
William Wauchope Montgomery;
Coralie Adelaide Mervyn.
Mr Porter was the second son Nicholas Montgomery Archdale, of Crocknacrieve, and Adelaide Mary his wife, fourth daughter of the Rev John Grey Porter, of Kilskeery and Belle Isle, and granddaughter of the Rt Rev John Porter, Lord Bishop of Clogher.

His brother,

NICHOLAS HENRY ARCHDALE PORTER MC JP DL (1890-1973), of Belle Isle, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1941, married, in 1919, Amy, daughter of Charles B Gunther, though the marriage was without issue.

The heiress to Belle Isle was his niece, Miss Lavinia Baird, only daughter of his sister, Audley Josephine, and William James Baird of Elie, Fife.

Miss Baird sold the Belle Isle in 1991 to the 5th Duke of Abercorn KG.

BELLEISLE, one of the largest of the islands of Upper Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, is siutauted near the east shore of the foot of the lake; and is accessible by means of a causeway and a one-arched bridge.

Its area is 112 acres.

The Earl of Ross's former residence has been almost wholly destroyed.

When the original castle and the groves still stood, the demesne was described thus:-
Adjacent to it is another island, nearly of the same extent; and both exhibit a most agreeable prospect, being covered with thriving woods of ash, oak, beech, and firs. 
The house fronts the south, and has before it a neat lawn, ornamented with gravel walks and plantations. Immediately before it, at the distance of about three miles, stands a green hill called Knockninny, which was formerly a deer park, but is now let as a farm. 
Behind this hill the scenery consists of a greenish mountain, which appears to be cultivated to a certain height; and connected to the right with a ridge of much higher mountains, the termination of which becomes lost in the horizon. 
Immediately to the westward, within about a quarter mile of West Island, is a range of eleven other islands, all covered to the water's edge with timber, which stretches directly across the lake.


BELLEISLE CASTLE, near Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh, is situated on an island in Upper Lough Erne.

The Castle seems to incorporate a two-storey, 18th century range with a three-sided bow at one end, to which a range of 1820-30 was added at right angles, including a staircase hall, lit atop by an octagonal lantern.

The Castle was re-fashioned after 1880 in the plain, English-Tudor manor-house style, incorporating a gabled entrance front with mullioned windows, projecting porch and a lofty, church-like battlemented tower at the corner of the 1820-30 range.

The latter range, at the garden front facing the lough, is unaltered with the exception of Victorian, plate-glass windows; and Georgian astragals at one end.

Inside the Castle, an oak staircase with barley-sugar balusters replaced the original stairs; and the walls were panelled with oak, too.

The octagonal ceiling lantern was left undisturbed.

In 1907, the entrance front was prolonged by a wing in the Tudor style containing a long, tall gallery with a timbered roof, an elaborate fireplace and a minstrels' gallery.

At this end of the entrance front there is a pedimented and gabled office wing, possibly 18th century.


BELLE ISLE is almost surrounded by the waters of Upper Lough Erne and at one time was an island.

It is reached via a bridge and the approach to the Castle is a straight avenue.

The original castle dates from 1629 and the present house was created round the core during the mid-19th century.

It is sited in a glorious position of great natural beauty, which has long been acknowledged. Loudon in his Encyclopedia of 1825 remarks that there were 200 acres:
‘… charmingly diversified by hills, dales and gentle declivities, which are richly clothed with old timber through which gravel walks are constructed, and a temple erected, from which a panoramic view is obtained, not only of this but all the other wooded islands of the lough. One of them is exclusively used as a deer park …’. 
Parkland still sweeps down to the lough shore, though the temple has gone.

As well as good stands of parkland trees, there are mature shelter belts and wooded areas.

Early 20th century ornamental gardens at the house have been grassed over.

There is a walled garden.

Two substantial gate lodges were built at the same time as the house was restored and extended.

The original Belle Isle estate came on the market in 1830.

Since the Plantation, it had belonged to the Gore Baronets of Manor Gore, County Donegal.

The last of this branch of the Gore family was Sir Ralph Gore, 6th Baronet, later Earl of Ross and Viscount Belleisle (1725-1802).

He had greatly ornamented the pleasure grounds, particularly with follies and garden buildings designed by the well-known Thomas Wright, but the main house was still the modest lodge built by his father in ca 1720.

Lord Ross had died without legitimate issue, leaving Belle Isle to his natural daughter, Mary, wife of Sir Richard Hardinge, 1st Baronet.

Lady Hardinge died in 1824; Sir Richard in 1826.

His nephew and successor, the Rev Sir Charles Hardinge, 2nd Baronet, of Tunbridge, Kent, had no connection with Ireland and presumably no interest in Belle Isle.

Accordingly, in 1830, Sir Charles and his trustees sold the entire Belle Isle estate, consisting of the manors of Belle Isle and Carrick, together with a small leasehold addendum acquired by Sir Ralph Gore, 4th Baronet, in 1724, to the Rev John Grey Porter of Kilskeery for £68,000.

In the 1830s, the Rev John made further extensive purchases of land, in both counties Fermanagh and Longford, this time from the 2nd Earl of Belmore.

The Fermanagh lands alone had a rental of £1,869 a year and cost him £75,000.
The combined rental of all these estates (Belle Isle included) was about £6,750 a year - a staggering scale of acquisition (even for one whose father had been in possession of the income of the bishopric of Clogher for 22 years), the more so as the Bishop and the Rev John Grey Porter had each in their time to make provision for six younger children.
Belle Isle remained in the ownership of the Porter family until 1991, when Lavinia Baird sold the estate to the 5th Duke of Abercorn KG.

Belle Isle Estate has published a fuller history here.

The Duke bought Belle Isle for his younger son, Lord Nicholas Hamilton.

The Abercorns have admirably transformed Belle Isle into a truly wonderful 470 acre estate with holiday apartments, cottages, a cookery school and the Castle itself.
One interesting feature on the estate is the new wood pellet burner: Belle Isle Castle currently consumes approximately 25,900 litres of oil per annum which should be reduced by approximately 85% with this new system.

A certain amount of oil is still  required to fuel the Aga cookers. The 22,000 litres of oil will be replaced by approximately 53 tonnes of wood pellets (based on approximately 2.4kg of wood pellets replacing 1 litre of oil).
 First published in January, 2011.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Ashford Castle

THE BARON ARDILAUN WAS A MAJOR LANDOWNER IN COUNTY GALWAY, WITH 27,111 ACRES 

The family of GUINNESS claims descent from the ancient and eminent house of MAGENNIS, in which formerly vested the viscountcy of Magennis of Iveagh. Several members of this family are interred in the churchyard of St Catherine's, Dublin, and, in the parish register, the translation of the name from Magennis to McGuinness, or Guinness, is clearly traceable. 
ART ROE or ARTHUR MacGUINNESS, of Rathfriland, County Down, received the honour of knighthood, and assumed the surname of MAGENNIS.

In 1623 Sir Arthur was created Viscount Magennis of  Iveagh, though that peerage expired in 1693.

He died in 1629, and was buried at Drumballyroney, near Rathfriland, County Down.

His younger son,

CON MAGENNIS, married and was father of

HUGH MAGENNIS, who wedded and had a son,

EVER MAGENNIS, who removed to, and settled in Dublin.

He married and had issue, 

RICHARD GUINNESS (c1690-1766), of Celbridge, County Kildare, said to be an innkeeper at Celbridge, who was the first of the family to assume the surname.

In 1746, Mr Guinness was described in a Bill in Equity Exchequer as "Richard Guinis, agent or receiver to the Most Rev Arthur Price, Archbishop of Cashel".

He married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of William Read, of Huttonread, County Kildare, and had issue,
Richard;
ARTHUR, of whom we treat;
Samuel;
Benjamin;
Frances; Elizabeth.
Mr Guinness wedded secondly, ca 1752, Elizabeth Clare.

His second son,

ARTHUR GUINNESS (1725-1803), of Beaumont, County Dublin, the first of the family that established the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, espoused, in 1761, Olivia, daughter and co-heir of William Whitmore, of Dublin, and had issue,
Hosea (Rev);
ARTHUR, of whom we treat;
Edward;
Benjamin;
William Lunell;
John Grattan;
Elizabeth; Olivia; Louisa; Mary Anne.
The second son,

ARTHUR GUINNESS JP DL (1768-1855)of Beaumont, County Dublin, Governor of the Bank of Ireland, held for many years the foremost place amongst the merchants of his native city of Dublin.

He married firstly, in 1793, Anne, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Benjamin Lee, of Merrion, County Dublin, and had issue,
William Smythe Lee (Rev);
Arthur Lee;
BENJAMIN LEE, of whom we treat;
Susanna; Mary Anne; Louisa; Anne; Elizabeth; Rebecca.
Mr Guinness's eldest surviving son,

BENJAMIN LEE GUINNESS JP DL (1798-1868), Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1851, MP for Dublin City, 1865-68, married, in 1837, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Guinness, and had issue,
ARTHUR EDWARD, his successor;
Benjamin Lee, father of the 3rd Baronet;
Edward Cecil, created EARL OF IVEAGH;
Anne Lee.
At his own cost of £150,000 (£15,445,000 in 2014) Mr Guinness restored the venerable cathedral of St Patrick, which was almost in ruins.

In commemoration of this patriotic act, Queen Victoria created Mr Guinness a baronet in 1867, denominated of Ashford Castle, County Galway.

Sir Benjamin was succeeded by his eldest son, 

SIR ARTHUR EDWARD GUINNESS2nd Baronet (1840-1915), JP DL, MP for Dublin City, 1868, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1880, in the dignity of BARON ARDILAUN, of Ashford, County Galway.

He married, in 1871, the Lady Olivia Charlotte White, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bantry, though the marriage was without issue.

The barony consequently expired following his lordship's death in 1915; the baronetcy, however, devolved upon his nephew, Algernon Arthur St Lawrence Lee Guinness, as 3rd Baronet.


ASHFORD CASTLE, County Galway, is a medieval castle turned luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo/Galway border, on the shore of Lough Corrib.

The original castle built in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman House of Burke following their defeat of the O'Connors, the Royal House of Connaught, who are still extant in the person of the O'Conor Don.

The principal legacy of the native O'Connors is to be seen at the gates of the estate in the form of the Romanesque Augustinian Abbey of Cong.


After more than three and a half centuries under the de Burgos, whose surname became Burke or Bourke, Ashford passed into the hands of a new master, following a fierce battle between the forces of the de Burgo's and those of the English official Sir Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught, when a truce was agreed.

In 1589, the castle fell to Bingham, who added a fortified enclave within its precincts.

In 1715, the estate of Ashford was established by the Browne Family (Barons Oranmore), and a lodge in the style of a 17th-century French chateau was added to the medieval splendour of the castle.

The Ashford estate was purchased in 1852 by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, 1st Baronet, who extended the estate to 26,000 acres, built new roads, planted thousands of trees and added two large Victorian style extensions.

On his death in 1868, the estate passed to his son Lord Ardilaun, an avid gardener who oversaw the development of massive woodlands and rebuilt the entire west wing of the castle.

He also subsidised the operation of several steamboats, the most notable of which was the Lady Eglinton, which plied between the villages of the Upper Lough Corrib region and Galway City, thus opening the area to increased commerce.

In a time of agitation by tenant farmers in the Land Wars of the late 19th century, epitomised by the action of tenants at nearby Lough Mask House (home of Captain Charles Boycott), he was considered by many to be an 'improving' landlord.

Some of his efforts were unsuccessful, particularly the Cong Canal, also known as 'the Dry Canal', which was built to link Lough Mask and Lough Corrib but was a failure, due to its inability to hold water.

Despite such setbacks, the love borne by him and his wife Olive, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bantry, for the castle and the estate was deep and best epitomised by that fact that when he was ennobled in 1880 he derived his title from the island of Ardilaun, which formed part of the estate on Lough Corrib.

Ashford passed to Lord Ardilaun's nephew, Ernest Guinness, who sold it to Noel Huggard in 1939.

He opened the estate as a hotel, which became renowned for the provision of its country pursuits, such as angling and shooting.

Noel Huggard's parents had been in the hotel business in Waterville, County Kerry, since 1910 and his granddaughters, Louise and Paula, run the Butler Arms Hotel there to this day.

In 1951, the film director John Ford came to the west of Ireland to film what would become a movie classic The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

The grounds of Ashford Castle as well as nearby Cong formed the backdrop for much of the action in the film.

In 1970, Ashford Castle was bought by John Mulcahy, who oversaw its complete restoration and expansion, doubling its size with the addition of a new wing in the early 1970s, building a golf course and developing the grounds and gardens.


In 1985, a group of Irish American investors, which included Chuck Feeney, purchased Ashford.

The Castle was sold by these investors in 2007 for €50 million to Galway-based property investor Gerry Barrett and his family.

Ashford was financed by Bank Of Scotland (Ireland), who placed the property in receivership in November 2011, though the hotel continues as a going concern.

In its time the castle has played host to many notable guests, including: John Lennon, George Harrison, King George V, his consort Queen Mary, Oscar Wilde (whose father, Sir William Wilde, had an estate adjacent to Ashford, where the writer spent much of his childhood), HRH The Earl of Wessex, John Wayne, HSH The Prince Rainier III of Monaco and his consort, HSH The Princess Grace.

Former seats ~ Ashford Castle, near Cong, County Galway; Macroom Castle, County Cork; St Anne's, near Clontarf, County Dublin; Muckross, Killarney, County Kerry. 

10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London

Former town house ~ 11 Carlton House Terrace, London: Gladstone took up occupation in 1856, and was there during the early years of his first great ministry, 1868-74; and finally the Guinness family took over, staying on until the 1920s (with an interruption when the house became an annexe to the Horse Guards' high command).

First published in June, 2012.

Belmont Tower

BELMONT TOWER, as it is now known, is a two-storey five-bay former schoolhouse situated at the corner of Belmont Road and Belmont Church Road, Belfast.

The building was constructed between 1889 and 1892.

Before 1889, Belmont Primary School had been located in the grounds of Belmont Presbyterian Church, in a schoolhouse first opened in 1863.

The school continued to meet at the church site for over 25 years until the erection of the present building.

The architect of the new school was Vincent Craig (1869-1925), a local architect who was articled to W H Lynn between 1885-89, and who was the younger brother of the Rt Hon Sir James Craig Bt (the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland).

Belmont Primary School was built in the Gothic-Revival style, and locally quarried Scrabo sandstone was used in the masonry of the building with Locharbriggs sandstone as a secondary material.

The construction of the school was undertaken by the local building firm of Dixon & Campbell.

Belmont Primary School is said to have been erected in memory of Mrs Mary Ferguson, of Sydenham House.

Following her death in 1888, Mrs Ferguson's widower, Robert Ferguson, donated £1,000 to the Belmont Presbyterian Church Committee in order to ‘build and furnish a school and enclose the ground as a memorial to my dear wife and to be named as such.’

Robert Ferguson, of Sydenham House, Strandtown, was a prosperous merchant and businessman who co-owned Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson and Company.

The school was originally known as The Ferguson Memorial School and was administered under the state-managed National School System until after the partition of Ireland in 1922.

The Belmont Tower website states that the old school was originally divided between its two storeys: the boy’s school occupied the ground floor; whilst the girls school utilised the upper floor of the building.

The southern extension of the school was added in 1910 by a local architect, Thomas Houston (1873-1938).

The Ferguson Memorial School continued to be administered by the National School System until partition.

In 1926, the school came under the auspices of Belfast Corporation’s Education Committee, and consequently the school was renamed Belmont Public Elementary School.

Belmont Public Elementary School was sold to the Belfast Education and Library Board in 1975 and was listed in the following year.

By 1994, the condition of the building had deteriorated to a point where Belfast City Council did not consider refurbishment to be economically viable, and the building was declared redundant in May, 1999.

Staff and pupils moved to a brand new school that was built in the grounds.

Nevertheless, local residents, many of whom were also parents of children at the school, were concerned for the future of the school building and established the Old Belmont School Preservation Trust in May, 2001.

The National Trust subsequently acquired the building.

Work began to restore the fabric and introduce 21st century facilities, for various community uses such as a pre-school play group, coffee shop, function and meeting rooms.


Belmont Tower was officially opened by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in September, 2004.


BELMONT TOWER, Belmont Road, Belfast, is today used for small conferences, seminars, "away days", staff assessment centres, training, exhibitions, product launches, breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings, business networking, board and committee meetings, and receptions.

This was my primary school in the 1960s: Miss McMinnis was the headmistress, and Miss Cartright -  Cartyballs -  zealously banged children's heads together when she felt so inclined.


Miniature bottles of milk (1⁄3 of a pint, I think) were delivered in a metal crate for us every day.

First published in April, 2013.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Blacker of Carrickblacker

THE BLACKERS OWNED 1,466 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ARMAGH

This family, according to Burke's, derives its name and descent from BLACAR, king or chief of the Norsemen, or Danes, who settled at Dublin in the beginning of the 10th century.

He was the son of Godfred, and the grandson of Imar.

Succeeding his brother Amlave in 938, he led back the Danes to Dublin, from whence they had been driven.

In 940, he plundered Clonmacnoise and Kildare, and the next year he slew with his own axe, in a pitched battle on the banks of the River Bann, Muirchertach, King of Ailech, called the Hector or bravest of his time.
A battle-axe features in the Blacker coat-of-arms and crest.
The day after, he marched against and sacked the city of Armagh.

It is a singular fact that his descendants have for many generations possessed the site of this victory; the traditions of the country; the remains of an ancient encampment; and the discovery of both Danish and Irish weapons (some of which are in the possession of the Blacker family).

These facts strongly corroborate the testimony of historians, in this particular.

In 943, Blacar was driven from Dublin by a successful attack of the Irish, and he fell in 946 near that city, with 1,600 of his people, vanquished by Congalach, King of Ireland, and was succeeded by his son, SITRIC MacBLACAR.

By some authors he is called Blaccard, and it is worthy of observation, that the name is still frequently pronounced, in some circles, Blackard.

*****

THE FIRST of the family who settled in Armagh,

CAPTAIN VALENTINE BLACKER, of Carrick, in the parish of Seagoe, County Armagh, as he is described in old records, was born in 1597.

This soldier, a commandant of Horse and Foot, went from Poppleton, in Yorkshire, to Ulster.

Captain Blacker purchased the manor of Carrowbrack from Anthony Cope, of Loughgall, in 1660.

This manor was subsequently called Carrickblacker.

During Captain Blacker's lifetime, and principally by his means, the old church of Seagoe, now in ruins, was built.

He married Judith, daughter of Michael Harrison, of Ballydargan, County Down, and had issue,
Ferdinando "Capitaine-Leifftenante" in Savile's troop of horse;
GEORGE, of whom we treat;
Violetta; Dora; Maud.
Captain Blacker died in 1677, and was succeeded by his younger son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GEORGE BLACKER, of Carrickblacker, a firm adherent of the royal house of STUART, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1684, who wedded Rose, daughter and heiress of William Latham, of Ballytroan, County Tyrone.

Colonel Blacker was one of the gentlemen obliged by JAMES II to proceed to Londonderry for the purpose of demanding the surrender of that city; but remaining firm to the cause of WILLIAM III, his name, together with that of his son, William Blacker, appeared in the Act of Attainder of that day.

Mrs Rose Blacker died in 1689.

The precise time of Colonel Blacker's demise is uncertain, but it must have been shortly after: Both were buried in Seagoe Church.

Colonel Blacker was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM BLACKER, of Carrick and Ballytroan, who built (as appears from a date cut on a stone in the wall) the manor house of Carrickblacker in 1692.

A staunch supporter of WILLIAM III, he fought at the battle of the Boyne.

This gentleman wedded firstly, in 1666, Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel the Hon Robert Stewart, of Irry, County Tyrone, third son of 1st Baron Castle Stuart, descended from the Dukes of Albany, and by her he had issue,
STEWART, his heir;
Robert, ancestor of BLACKER of Drogheda and Meath.
Mr Blacker espoused secondly Hannah Lawrence; and thirdly, Theodosia, daughter of Oliver St John, of Tandragee Castle, County Armagh, and had further issue,
Samuel, ancestor of BLACKER of Elm Park and Tullahinel.
Mr Blacker died in 1732, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

STEWART BLACKER, of Carrickblacker, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1706, who married, in 1704, Barbara, daughter of the Rev Henry Young, and niece and heiress of William Latham, of Brookend, County Tyrone, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Latham;
Henry (Rev);
George, of Hallsmill, Co Down;
Barbara.
Mr Blacker died in 1751, aged 80, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

WILLIAM BLACKER (1709-83), of Carrickblacker and Brookend, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1734, County Tyrone, 1749, who espoused, in 1738, Letitia, daughter of Henry Cary, of Dungiven Castle, MP for County Londonderry, and had issue,
STEWART, his heir;
William;
Henry;
George (Rev), Rector of Seagoe;
Eliza; Barbara; Martha; Alicia; Letitia; Lucinda.
Mr Blacker died in 1783, and was interred beside his wife in the abbey church of Bath, in which city he had resided the latter years of his life.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE VERY REV STEWART BLACKER (1740-1826), of Carrickblacker, Dean of Leighlin, Archdeacon of Dromore, Rector of Drumcree, Vicar of Seagoe, who married Eliza, daughter of Sir Hugh Hill Bt, MP for Londonderry, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
George, Captain, East India Company;
Stewart, Captain RN;
James Stewart (Rev);
Letitia; Sophia; Eliza; Louisa; Caroline.
Dean Blacker was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM BLACKER JP DL (1777-1855), of Carrickblacker, Lieutenant-Colonel, Armagh Militia, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1811, who wedded, in 1810, Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Andrew Ferguson Bt, MP for Londonderry.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL VALENTINE BLACKER CB (1778-1826), Surveyor-General of India, was a relative.
Colonel and Mrs Blacker and Lady Ferguson

Colonel Blacker was Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, 1810-17.

Dying without an heir, the family estates devolved upon his nephew,

STEWART BLACKER JP DL, of Carrickblacker, Barrister, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1859, Member, Royal Irish Academy, who died unmarried in 1881, when the Carrickblacker estate devolved upon his sister,

HESTER ANNE,  BARONESS VON STIEGLITZ, for her life, and the representation of the family reverted to his kinsman, 

THE REV ROBERT SHAPLAND CAREW BLACKER JP MA (1826-1913), of Woodbrook House, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, and Carrickblacker, County Armagh, son of William Blacker and Elizabeth Anne Carew, who wedded, in 1858, Theodosia Charlotte Sophia, daughter of George Meara, of May Park, County Waterford, by Sarah Catherine his wife, sister of Edward Southwell, 3rd Viscount Bangor, and had issue,
William Robert George (1860-80);
EDWARD CAREW, of whom hereafter;
STEWART WARD WILLIAM, succeeded his brother.
The eldest surviving son,

EDWARD CAREW BLACKER JP DL (1863-1932), of Carrickblacker and Woodbrook House, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1908, died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL STEWART WARD WILLIAM BLACKER DSO JP DL (1865-1935), of Carrickblacker and Woodbrook House, who married, in 1903, Eva Mary Lucy St John, daughter of Colonel Edward Albert FitzRoy, and had issue,
WILLIAM DESMOND, his heir;
Robert Stewart, Commander RN;
Terence Fitzroy;
Betty Mary.
Colonel Blacker was succeeded by his eldest son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILLIAM DESMOND BLACKER DSO (1903-44), of Carrickblacker, who was killed in action at Normandy, France.

Colonel Blacker died unmarried.


CARRICKBLACKER HOUSE, near Portadown, County Armagh, was a house dated 1692, though much embellished during the 19th century.

It had a three-storey, five-bay front, a curvilinear "Dutch" gable in the centre, a ballustraded parapet to the roof, and urns at the sky-line.

There was a balustrade above the entrance door.

The estate was purchased in 1937 by Portadown Golf Club, which demolished Carrickblacker House in 1958 to make way for a new clubhouse.

First published in May, 2013.

Fardross House

THE GLEDSTANES' OWNED 2,982 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE

This family, of Scottish extraction, was long settled at Fardross.

In 1688, CAPTAIN JAMES GLEDSTANES equipped at his own expense a body of yeomen, and led them to the relief of Londonderry, for which he received a certificate, and the thanks of Governor Walker.

His eldest son,

JAMES GLEDSTANES, of Fardross, married Miss Graham, of Hockley, near Armagh, and left issue,
Thomas;
Anne;
Mary, m A Johnston MP, of Rademon;
MARGARET, of whom presently;
Katherine, m C King MP, of St Angelo, Co Fermanagh.
The third daughter and eventually co-heir, 

MARGARET GLEDSTANES, wedded, in 1767, MAJOR AMBROSE UPTON, 13th Dragoons, of Hermitage, County Dublin.

They both died in 1804, leaving a son and daughter,
WHITNEY UPTON, his heir;
MARY ANNE CATHERINE, succeeded her brother.
The only surviving son,

WHITNEY UPTON, who took the name of GLEDSTANES, married firstly, in 1795, Isabella, daughter of the Rev Ancketell Moutray, of Favour Royal, County Tyrone.

She dsp.

Mr Gledstanes wedded secondly, in 1799, Emily, daughter of Michael Aylmer, of Courtown, County Kildare, and by her, had, besides a daughter, Frances, who died 1818, an only surviving son,
AMBROSE, of whom presently.
MARY ANNE CATHERINE UPTON GLEDSTANES espoused, in 1793, John Corry Moutray DL, of Favour Royal, County Tyrone, and had issue,
MOUTRAY, of whom hereafter;
Robert;
Cecilia; Marion.
The only surviving son of Mr Whitney Upton Gledstanes,

AMBROSE UPTON GLEDSTANES JP DL (1802-71), High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1829, wedded, in 1828, Cecilia, daughter of Richard Hornidge DL, of Tulfarris, County Wicklow, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of Hugh Henry, of Lodge Park, County Kildare, but had no issue.

He was succeeded by his cousin,

MOUTRAY GLEDSTANES JP (1845-1917), of Fardross, County Tyrone, Captain, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers, who married, in 1874, Helen Catherine, daughter of John James Verschoyle, of Tassagart, County Dublin, by Catherine Helen his wife, daughter of the Rev W H Foster, and granddaughter of the Rt Rev William Foster, Lord Bishop of Clogher, and had issue,
AMBROSE UPTON, his heir;
Helen Margaret Catherine; Sophia Cecilia Marion.
His only son, 

AMBROSE UPTON GLEDSTANES (1876-1957), Lieutenant-Colonel, 30th Lancers, married, in 1909, Adelaide Isabella, daughter of Major Robert Tankerville Webber (Welsh Fusiliers), by Isabella his wife, daughter of the Hon and Rev W Wingfield, Rector of Abbeyleix, Queen's County.


FARDROSS HOUSE, near Clogher, County Tyrone, was built pre-1835 for Ambrose Upton Gledstanes.

It was considerably more modest originally.

Mr Gledstane's father-in-law, Richard Hornidge, acquired Fardross, which was in a dilapidated state, not long afterwards, renovating and refurbishing the house, and adding a gate lodge.


The present house, with six bedrooms, sits in 300 acres. There is a courtyard.

This is a rural demesne, dating from the 17th century on the River Blackwater, set in parkland, with fine mature trees, including some exotics.

There is no evidence of an ornamental garden and the walled garden is not planted.

The area is intensively farmed and private.

Fardross Forest is adjacent with public access.

First published in April, 2013.