Saturday, 23 April 2011

Clandeboye Booklet

I'd forgotten how truly fascinating the small booklet entitled Clandeboye actually is. I pulled it out of the bookcase late last night for a perusal and, although it could be read well within an hour, it is a little gem of a publication.

Published by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS) in 1985, it provides a much greater insight of the Blackwood family - Barons Clandeboye, Viscounts Clandeboye, Earls of Dufferin, Earls of Ava; and, ultimately, Marquesses of Dufferin and Ava till the marquessate became extinct following the death of Sheridan, 5th and last Marquess, in 1988.

The UAHS has written a piece about Clandeboye on their website.

Sheridan Dufferin writes personally about his upbringing at Clandeboye House; of the innumerable nannies - one or two kinder than the others; his early education at Garth House, a day school in Bangor, County Down; his sisters being sent to Rockport Boys' School; and his sister Lady Perdita's prowess in all matters equestrian.

The present Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava - Lindy Guinness - intimates what an enchanting place Clandeboye really is, more so given the influence of the 1st Marquess, erstwhile Governor-General of Canada, Viceroy of India and various other ambassadorial roles.

We see an old photograph of a family group at the 5th Marquess's Christening - or little Sheridan, Earl of Ava, as he was in 1938: Lord Kilmorey, Lady Broughshaw, Somey Somerset, Lady Novar ... Maureen Lady Dufferin, Lady Caroline, Lady Perdita, and the 4th Marquess.

There is also a chapter about Helen's Tower, which nestles in the grounds of the beautiful Clandeboye estate.

Thoroughly recommended reading.

First published in November, 2009.


Crawfordsburn Squire said...

Lord B, the Irish Georgian Society held a visit to Clandeboye House last saturday, which was hosted by Lady Dufferin. Absolutely fascinating !

Timothy Belmont said...

20 years ago they had a staff of four in the House: cook, butler and 2 house-keepers I think; apart from the estate staff.

Did you see much evidence of any when you were there?


Anonymous said...

His sisters when to Rockport Boys' School! ha, I think Rockport only started to take girls in the '60s, but it may have been slightly earlier. Perhaps they were given special dispensation...

Timothy Belmont said...

His other sister, Lady Caroline, wrote a book which I've read; and she went into some detail about their education.


crawfordsburn Squire said...

Pretty much the same staffing level, though a bit of doubling up, the butler also has another job on the estate !.

For anyone interested in the family and life at Clandeboye you should read Helen's Tower by Harold Nicholson. Also Dangerous Muse, a life of Caroline Blackwood by Nancy Schoenberger.

Timothy Belmont said...

Wood-cutter Extraordinaire!

Crawfordsburn Squire said...

Tim, BBC2 are broadcasting a series in may ' The Country House Revealed' presented by Dan Cruickshank which has an entire programme on Clandeboye.

A fascinating book accompanies the series with a full chapter on Clandeboye and the life of the 1st Marquess of Dufferin & Ava.

Its excellent !

Timothy Belmont said...

I shan't miss it! Many thanks.