Friday, 1 May 2020

Rathgael Album: I

A reader from Belleville, Ontario, Canada, John Lowry, has kindly sent me some old family photographs from Rathgael House and estate, near Bangor, County Down.

I've found a newspaper cutting, dated the 5th January, 1907, that tells us,
...The Tynan and Armagh Harriers also possess a lady MH in Miss Ida McClintock, while Miss Kate Rose-Cleland and two sisters hunt the Rathgael Harriers.

The sketch below was drawn by John about forty years ago (c1980) with the advice of his father's first cousin, Eveline Ritchie.

Diagram of the Ground and First Floors.  Click to Enlarge

They were both great-grandchildren of Elizabeth Helen Louise Rose-Cleland (she married Benoni Lytton-White).

Both John's father (who died in 2016) and Eveline (who is still alive, in her mid-90s and living in Scotland) had first-hand memories of visiting Rathgael.


In the picture with the caravan, the little girl with the pen-marked X over her head is Maude Emilie Lytton-White, John's grandmother.

John selected photos that show aspects of the house, including the lake, the towers etc.

The Lake, frozen over, with Rathgael House 

The lake is, as far as I'm aware, the only remaining feature of the estate.

It now forms part of the new Helen's Wood housing development.

Click to Enlarge

The Rose-Clelands were clearly passionate about hunting, and they ran the Rathgael Harriers.


Many local farmers and landowners are mentioned in the newspaper cuttings.

Elizabeth Helen Louise Rose-Cleland

John's grandmother is shown in the image above.

Kate Rose-Cleland.  Click to Enlarge

The photograph above shows 'Miss Kate Rose-Cleland, Owner and Master of the Rathgael Harriers, Bangor, County Down; the only pack in Ireland not depending on subscriptions.'

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