Monday, 13 September 2021

Ampertaine House

This family, said to be scions of the Clarkes of Salford Hall, Salford Priors, Warwickshire,  settled in County Londonderry, 1690.

JOHN CLARK (1665-1707), of Maghera, County Londonderry, married, about 1695, Jane White, of Belfast, and had issue,
JACKSON, of whom presently;
John (1697-1721).
Mr Clark was succeeded by his elder son,

JACKSON CLARK (1695-1754), of Maghera, who wedded, in 1720, and had issue,
John, adopted by his uncle John;
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
Arthur, settled in America;
William, also in America;
Sarah, m Dr J Ferguson, of Belfast;
a daughter; Jane; Margaret.
The eldest surviving son,

ALEXANDER CLARK (1733-1806), espoused, in 1757, Elizabeth, daughter of William Stevenson, of Knockan, and had issue,
Alexander, his heir;
JACKSON, of whom presently;
The second son,

JACKSON CLARK (1760-88), married, in 1785, Jane, daughter of General Patterson, of Maghera, County Londonderry, and was father of

ALEXANDER CLARK (1785-1871), of Ampertaine House, Upperlands, County Londonderry, who wedded, in 1814, Sarah, third daughter of Sir Simon Newport, of Waterford, and had issue,
Jackson (Dr), died unmarried;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
John Alexander;
Henry Bolton;
Charles Francis;
Mr Clark was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM CLARK (1816-1904), of Ampertaine House, who married, in 1853, Marianne Elizabeth Paul, daughter of Captain Simon Newport JP DL, and had issue,
William Newport (1854-1915), emigrated to New Zealand;
ALEXANDER WALLIS, of whom we treat;
George Wallis Newport (Rev);
John Henry;
Simon Newport;
Henry Jackson;
Annie Penelope; Sarah Louise Jane; Jane Frances.
Mr Clark was succeeded by his second son,

ALEXANDER WALLIS CLARK JP DL (1857-1937), of Ampertaine House, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1922, Chairman, William Clark & Sons, 1913-37, who wedded, in 1893, Frances Lucinda Caroline, eldest daughter of William Maxwell Carpendale, of Falkland, Dungannon, County Tyrone, and had issue,
George Wallis Newport;
Ivan Henry;
Perceval Maxwell Carpendale;
Katherine Marianne Violet.
Mr Clark was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER WILLIAM MAXWELL CLARK JP (1898-1973), of Ampertaine House; High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1936, Director, William Clark & Sons, who married, in 1924, Dorothy Noelle, younger daughter of J R Lopdell JP, and had issue,
Robert Gordon, b 1927;
Denis Knox, b 1932.
Mr Clark was succeeded by his eldest son,

AUBREY ALEXANDER MAXWELL CLARK (1925-2002), of Ampertaine House and Bayhead, Portballintrae, who wedded, in 1948, Jillian Eleanor Mary, daughter of Colonel William Anderson Swales, and had issue,
Jane Dorothy Elizabeth; April Jillian; Sarah Primrose.

AMPERTAINE HOUSE, Upperlands, County Londonderry, is the most notable of a number of country houses in the vicinity built by various members of the Clark family.

The townland of Upperlands comprised 568 acres.

This family's linen mills gave rise to the nearby "linen village" of Upperlands, based in the courtyard of one of these houses.

Ampertaine, a plain, late-Georgian house, was built some time after 1821 by Alexander clark.

It comprises two storeys over a high basement; a five-bay front; shallow projecting porch, with a fanlighted doorway set in an arched recess.

The roof is eaved, on a a bracket cornice.

The front was prolonged by a two storey, three-bay wing, set back, added in 1915.

At the other end there was a Victorian conservatory on a high plinth.

Ampertaine has a modest parkland with mature shelter belts enclosing the house.

A "small thatched cottage" known as Upperlands formerly occupied the site of the present house, known variously as Ampertaine, Amptertain or Amportaine.

The house lawns merge into gardens, which had become neglected and overgrown until the 1990s, when clearance began to expose a late Victorian ornamental garden with ponds, rockeries and iron bowers to the east and south-east of the house.

The walled kitchen garden, east of the house, can be viewed through decorative iron railings on top of the west wall.
It is laid out in conventional manner with cross and perimeter paths and contains a summer house, sunken garden, rose garden, the site of a lean-to glasshouse range with stove and old apple trees.
On the north-east front of the house lie the foundations of a high plinth that once supported a circular Victorian conservatory.

The park has a gate lodge of ca 1870, which replaced two earlier lodges; it lies across the road from the main entrance.

First published in September, 2013.


Unknown said...

Spelled Ampertaine. Near Ampertaine County Primary School.
One of the Clark couses is Ardtara, which was converted into a small hotel about 20 years ago.

The interior has been restored to reflect the original decor. Worth a visit.

Anonymous said...

I stayed here in 1986. It was that year that the conservatory blew down. I explored the gardens for a whole day (they were a big jungle then, but curious). The ponds at the back were stocked with trout and fed the mill. I think it was sold out of the clark family around 1987.
Best PF

The Modern Aesthete said...

Currently on the market -

The interior wouldn't be to my own persona taste...

Anonymous said...

Just by way of historical accuracy. It was William Clark who built the current Ampertain House around 1853, rather than his father Alexander whom you cite as the builder. He built if for his bride Marianne Newport of Suirville Waterford and the new Ampertain house replaced the original thatched dwelling when hd been home to the Upperlands branch of the Clark family. It is a very important historical house and although the interior decor may not delight everyone nonetheless it is in remarkable condition. Hopefully it will be bought by someone who will honor its heritage. Finally the current owners are the first non Clark family to have owned Ampertain.

George Speer said...

Lord Belmont, Thank you for this post. Its fun to see the old homestead. I’ll honor its heritage, and would be glad to take it off their hands, if only I had the means. I descend from Margaret the dau. of Jackson Clark, who married James Douglas of the Rosebrook House.

George Speer of San Francisco, USA

Anonymous said...

Ampertaine House is now shown as sold or subject to contract (sale agreed), after offers closed on 27 October 2016, asking £650k with 10 acres, Grade B1 listing -

Anonymous said...

There were 2 other Clark Houses - Clark House (I believe) and Carnabane, both on Gorteade Road. Do you have any information about them?

Unknown said...

A clarification on the family history. The family originally descended from Sir Simon Clark of Salford Hall, Warwickshire, not Salford, Lancashire.

Timothy Belmont said...

Anon, many thanks for the information.

John Clark said...

The link between the Clark's of Maghera and Upperlands and the Clarks of Salford is rather tenuous and never proven.

John Clark said...

There were many other Clark family homes in and around Upperlands. The two main houses were Ampertain House and Adtara. In addition there was also Benbradagh, Gorteade,Carnabane,Clonmore, Rockwood, Gorteade Cottage, Upperlands House, Dunwillow and Glencarn.

John said...

There are actually three former Clark homes on the Gorteade Road. Artara, where Willie and Zelie Clark lived, Gorteade House, occupied last by Stephen and Johanna Clark, and Carnabane, which was built by George Clark, a brother of Alexander (Alec) Clark, who lived in Ampertain House. His wife, Ann (nee MacCausland) was the last Clark occupant.

John said...

For accuracy, please note that my mother, the wife of Aubrey Alexander Maxwell Clark, was Jillian Eleanor Mary and not Lillian Eleanor Mary.

Timothy Belmont said...

John, many thanks for letting me know about the mistake. I've amended it. Tim.

Mrs McSheffrey (Clark) said...

Wow thank you for the information I am related to the clarks and have been learning alot about where I came from. I have designed my family tree. Simon Newport Clark was born in 1876 in new Zealand he died in 1955 he is my great great grandfather jackson clark is my 8x great grandfather. I live in Auckland New Zealand. If you have any information to share with me about the Clark's I would love to hear it. I wish I could own this beautiful treasure we call that Toanga (in Maori)