Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The McFarland Baronets

JOHN McFARLAND JP (1848-1926), Mayor of Londonderry, High Sheriff of Londonderry City, 1904, married, in 1893, Annie, daughter of John Talbot.

Mr McFarland was created a baronet in 1914, designated of Aberfoyle, County Londonderry.

His only son,

SIR BASIL ALEXANDER TALBOT McFARLAND, 2nd Baronet, CBE ERD (1898-1986), of Aberfoyle,
High Sheriff of the City of Londonderry, 1930-38 and 1952; High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1952; Mayor of  Londonderry, 1939 and 1945-50; HM Lord-Lieutenant of the City of Londonderry, 1939-75. He served in 1918 with the Artists Rifles, and in the 2nd World War served overseas, mainly in North Africa, with the 9th Londonderry HAA Regiment and was mentioned in despatches.

Commanding Officer of the Londonderry City Battalion of the Home Guard; Chairman of the Territorial Army and Auxiliary Force Association (Co. Londonderry), 1947-62; member of its national council; Hon Colonel, 9th Londonderry HAA Regiment of the Royal Artillery (TA), and President of the NI TA and Volunteer Reserve Association, 1968-71; a Commissioner of Irish Lights; a member of the NI Air Advisory Council, 1946-65; Chairman of the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners, 1952-67; a member of the London Midland Area Board of the British Transport Commission, 1955-61; and a trustee of Magee University College, Londonderry, 1962-65.

His directorships and business interests included: directorships of the Belfast Banking Co. Ltd, 1930-70; the Belfast Bank Executors Trustee Co., and the Donegal Railways Co., a local directorship of the Commercial Union Assurance Co., and the chairmanship of Sir Alfred McAlpine & Son (Northern Ireland) Ltd; the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway Co;Lanes (Derry) Ltd; Lanes (Fuel Oils) Ltd; Lanes (Business Equipment) Ltd; John W. Corbett & Sons; R.C. Malseed & Co. Ltd; Alexander Thompson & Co. Ltd; and the Londonderry Gaslight Co.

Sir Basil's only son,

SIR JOHN TALBOT McFARLAND, 3rd Baronet (1927-2020), TD, formerly of Aberfoyle, married, in 1957, Mary, daughter of Dr William Scott-Watson, and had issue,
Stephen Andrew John, b 1968;
Shauna Jane; Fiona Kathleen.
Sir John was a former member, Management Ctee NW Group; Former director, Londonderry Gaslight, 1958–89; Donegal Holdings, 1970–86; G Kinnaird & Son, 1981–97; Windy Hills Ltd, 1994–95; Erinwind Ltd, 1994–; Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway, (1978–81); R C Malseed & County Hospitals, 1958.

He was was educated at Marlborough and Trinity College Oxford; Territorial Army (Captain, Royal Artillery and RASC), 1955; High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1958; and City of Londonderry, 1965-66; Commissioner of Londonderry Port and Harbour Board, 1969; in 1977, Chairman: Lanes (Business Equipment); McFarland Farms, 1980–; J T McFarland Holdings, 1984-2001.

Sir John's eldest son,

SIR ANTHONY BASIL SCOTT McFARLAND, 4th Baronet (1959-), married, in 1988, Anne Margaret, daughter of Thomas Kennedy Laidlaw, and has issue,
Max Anthony, b 1993;
Rory John, b 1996;
Amelia Elizabeth, b 1990.
Photo Credit: Martin Melaugh; © Cain

ABERFOYLE HOUSE, Northland Road, Londonderry, is a three-bay, two-storey, stucco-fronted mansion built ca 1845 for David Watt, a local distiller.

The stucco-fronted house is Italianate in style.

Aberfoyle was originally known as Richmond House.

It is situated on a steeply sloping site, now enclosed within the grounds of University of Ulster.

The mansion is used as offices and seminar rooms.

Aberfoyle was extensively remodelled ca 1876, giving it an Italianate appearance, for BARTHOLOMEW McCORKELL.

The exterior displays an orderly symmetry and simple detailing, enhanced by the elaborate cast-iron verandah and dwarf walls to the front.

Conversely the interior exhibits a wealth of decorative plaster and joinery detailing more commonly reserved for civic buildings of the time; particularly the unusual fretwork balustrade to the staircase.

Gate lodges mark the two original entrances, one south-east at Strand Road that has been substantially modernised and extended; and another at Northland Road.

A gate screen stands to the north-east, at Strand Road, with impressive square ashlar sandstone pillars having pyramidal caps flanked by rubble stone walling on S-plan with sandstone coping.

Aberfoyle House forms part of a many 19th-century structures dispersed throughout the university campus.

Sir Basil McFarland, 2nd Baronet, continued to live at Aberfoyle until his death in 1986.

It was sold to the city council in 1990, and was listed in the same year.

The building was acquired by the University of Ulster in 1998 and converted into modern classroom and seminar facilities for Magee’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

The former gate lodge on the Strand Road had fallen into a state of disrepair by 2000, when it was restored.

The renovation of the lodge in 2000-01, resulted in the loss of most of its original features; contemporary two and single-storey extensions were added to the west and east sides of the building.

Since September, 2001, the former gate lodge has been used as a holistic health centre.

Aberfoyle House and its former gate lodge were included in the Magee Conservation Area in 2006.

A good portion of the grounds for the house of 1873 remain planted up.

The site slopes towards the River Foyle.

The west end is mostly walled in with brick and is cultivated by the Centre for Environmental and Horticultural Studies.

There is a rose garden south of the house and shrubbery on either side of the twisting avenue to the eastern gate.

There is a rose garden south of the house and shrubbery on either side of the twisting avenue to the eastern gate.

The McFarland Papers are deposited at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

First published in July, 2010.


Northern Scrivener said...

Aberfoyle House was I think originally called, "Richmond."

Anonymous said...

And Sir John's daughter is married to Andrew Gailey.


Anonymous said...

To whom was Sir Basil McFarland married to?

Timothy Belmont said...

Sir Basil was married to Annie Kathleen Henderson (d. 1952), daughter of Andrew Henderson, JP, of Parkville, Whiteabbey, Belfast. Sir Basil had two children, including Sir John McFarland, 3rd Baronet – who lives at Dunmore House in Carrigans in the east of County Donegal. His second marriage took place in 1955 to Mary Eleanor Dougan. He lived at Aberfoyle House, a small mansion that overlooks the Strand Road in the City of Derry (this is now part of the 'Magee Campus' of the University of Ulster).

Anonymous said...

Hello anonymous - Sir Basil was my uncle - my father John Dougan was his brother-in-law - we lived in Helen's Bay

Anonymous said...

Northern Scrivener is correct, Aberfoyle House used to be called "Richmond" and it was owned by Bartholomew McCorkell JP, of shipping fame. He was also Mayor of Derry 1859-62 and High Sheriff in 1878.

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