Friday, 7 May 2021

Castle Saunderson


ALEXANDER SANDERSON, of Scotland, was made a Denizen of Ireland, 1613, and was High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1622, and twice subsequently.

He was granted Tullylagan, County Tyrone, and other lands to the extent of 1,000 acres, the whole being erected into the manor of Sanderson in 1630.

Mr Sanderson died in 1633, leaving three sons,
Archibald, of Tullylagan;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
George, dsp.
The second son,

ROBERT SANDERSON (c1602-c1676), settled at Portagh, County Cavan, and there built a castle.

Colonel Sanderson, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1657, Colonel in the army of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, married Katherine, eldest daughter of John Cunningham, both of Ballyachen, County Donegal, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Alexander, father of ALEXANDER;
William, of Moycashel.
He died was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT SANDERSON, of Castle Sanderson, MP for Cavan County, 1692 and 1713, Colonel of a regiment in WILLIAM III's army, wedded Jane, daughter of the Right Rev John Leslie, Lord Bishop of Clogher.

He dsp 1723, and was succeeded by his nephew,

ALEXANDER SANDERSON, of Castle Sanderson, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1714, who wedded Mabella, daughter of William Saunderson, of Moycashel, County Westmeath, and was buried at St Mary's, Dublin, in 1726.

His son,

FRANCIS SANDERSON, of Castle Sanderson, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1740, espoused Anne, eldest daughter of Anthony Atkinson, of Cangort, King's County, and died in 1746, leaving two sons and two daughters.

His son and heir,

ALEXANDER SAUNDERSON, of Castle Saunderson, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1758, changed the spelling of his name to SAUNDERSON.

He married Rose, daughter of Trevor Lloyd, of Gloster, King's County, and had issue,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Robert, in holy orders;
Mr Saunderson died in 1768, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS SAUNDERSON (1754-1827), of Castle Saunderson, MP for Cavan County, 1788-1801, County Cavan, 1801-6, who married, in 1779, Anne Bassett, daughter of Stephen White, of Miskin, Glamorgan, and heir of the Bassett estates in that county, and had issue,

ALEXANDER, his successor;
Francis, in holy orders;
Hardress Robert;
James, Lieutenant RN;
William Bassett;
Lydia Waller; Cecilia.
Mr Saunderson's eldest son,

ALEXANDER SAUNDERSON JP DL (1783-1857), of Castle Saunderson, Colonel of the Militia, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1818, MP for County Cavan, wedded, in 1828, Sarah Juliana Maxwell, eldest daughter of Henry, 6th Baron Farnham, and had issue,
Alexander de Bedick (1832-60);
Somerset Bassett (1834-92);
EDWARD JAMES, of whom we treat;
Llewellyn Traherne;
Juliana Harriet; Rose Ann.
Colonel Saunderson was succeeded by his third son, 

THE RT HON EDWARD JAMES SAUNDERSON JP DL (1837-1906), of Castle Saunderson, Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who married, in 1865, Helena Emily de Moleyns, youngest daughter of Thomas, 3rd Baron Ventry, and had issue,
SOMERSET FRANCIS, his successor;
John Vernon;
Colonel Saunderson was succeeded by his eldest son,

CAPTAIN SOMERSET FRANCIS SAUNDERSON JP DL (1867-1927), of Castle Saunderson, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1907, who married, in 1914, Mary Satterfield, former wife of Count Larisch von Moennich, and had issue,
The only son,

ALEXANDER SAUNDERSON (1917-2004), married Louise Aster Van Alen, of New York, USA.

CASTLE SAUNDERSON, near Belturbet, County Cavan, is a large castellated mansion combining both baronial and Tudor-Revival elements. It was built ca 1840.

The mansion bears remarkable similarities to Crom Castle in County Fermanagh, a mere five miles away.

The entrance front is symmetrical, with a battlemented parapet, square and turrets.

There is a tall central gatehouse tower with its entrance door to the side, which is unusual.

The adjoining garden front is more irregular.

The house boasts several Gothic features, including the conservatory. 

The original Castle was built in 1573.

Alexander Saunderson, the last of the family to live there, sold the property to a London-based businessman in 1977.

The Castle was in a state of disrepair and plans to have it completely renovated as a private dwelling at this time never materialized.

The estate was sold again in 1990 to be developed as a hotel.

These plans were also abandoned after a fire gutted and destroyed most of the Castle interior.

This was the third fire to take place in the history of the castle.

In 1997, the castle and estate were offered to Scouting Ireland for €420,000 (estimated to be half its market value at that time).

Now consisting of 103 acres, Castle Saunderson has once again the potential to be restored to its former glory, and to be put to new use as a scout and youth training canter.

Of the 103 acres on the estate, some 70 acres are grass, 25 acres are wooded and the 8 remaining acres are lake and waterway.

Captain Alexander Saunderson, the last remaining member of the Saunderson family to have lived in the Castle, now resides in Santa Barbara, California, USA.

From the outset, Captain Saunderson has wholly endorsed the plans by Scouting Ireland to restore the Castle, family church and grounds to its former glory.

The development plans for the Castle and Church include a cultural and heritage canter highlighting the history of the Saunderson Family, together with local history to include the plantation of Ulster (1603) and other notable historic events.

It is intended to restore the church as a multi-denominational place of worship..

The graveyard around the church and the crypt beneath the church building contains the remains of the Saunderson family, and it is planned to maintain the church and graveyard as part of the cultural and heritage aspect of the overall project.

First published in November, 2011.


Irishlad said...

Now that really clears something up for me.One of the first times i stayed at Crom i was out driving around Cavan close to Crom and i came across which i thought was Crom Castle and thought my goodness how did that get here? Not being as familiar with the area as i now am i thought no more about it,however on hindsight it was the other Castle i saw. They are almost identical.

Garvagh said...

Very interesting. Restoration of Castle Saunderson would be a fine thing for the region.

Unknown said...

I would really love to visit this castle, for my surname is also Saunderson

Unknown said...

Through AncestryDNA I discovered I'm a direct descendant of the Saundersons. Hoping to visit the castle and the graveyard some day.

Anonymous said...

Was there not a castle already on this site when given to Saunderson, it was the seat of the clan Reillys of Breffini.