Sunday, 19 April 2020

Narrow Water Castle


The first of this family in Ulster was Brigadier-General Hall, a soldier in Cromwell's army, who distinguished himself at Poyntzpass, County Armagh, and thereafter obtained grants of lands in counties Down and Armagh.

These lands were bequeathed to General Hall's elder son and are still in possession of the senior branch, the Halls of Narrow Water Castle. 

WILLIAM HALL settled in Ulster in the 17th century, and died at Red Bay, County Antrim, 1640, leaving a son,

FRANCIS HALL, of Mount Hall, County Down, who married Mary, daughter of Judge Lyndon, and had issue,
ROGER, of whom presently;
Edward, ancestor of HALL of Knockbrack;
Alexander Trevor;
The eldest son,

ROGER HALL, of Mount Hall, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1702, wedded, in 1686, Christian, daughter of Sir Toby Poyntz, of Acton, County Armagh, and had issue,
TOBY, his heir;
The eldest son,

TOBY HALL (1691-1734), of Mount Hall, High Sheriff of County Down, 1715, married, in 1712, Margaret, daughter of the Hon Robert FitzGerald, and sister of the 19th Earl of Kildare, and left at his decease, two daughters, Christian and Elizabeth, and a son,

ROGER HALL, of Mount Hall, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1739, County Down, 1740, who wedded, in 1740, Catherine, daughter of Rowland Savage, of Portaferry, and had issue,
SAVAGE, his heir;
Dorcas; Anne; Catherine; Elizabeth; Sophia.
The son and heir,

SAVAGE HALL (1763-), of Narrow Water, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1795, County Down, 1800, married, in 1787, Elizabeth, fourth daughter of John Madden, of Hilton, County Monaghan, and had issue,
ROGER, his heir;
Savage (Rev), father of
SAMUEL MADDEN FRANCIS, succeeded his brother;
Anne; Catharine; Elizabeth; Jane.
The eldest son,

ROGER HALL JP DL (1791-1864), of Narrow Water, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1815, County Down, 1816, wedded, in 1812, Barbara, fourth daughter of Patrick Savage, of Portaferry, County Down; though dsp 1864, and was succeeded by his brother,

SAMUEL MADDEN FRANCIS HALL JP DL (1800-73), of Narrow Water, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1869, who espoused, in 1845, Anne Margaret, youngest daughter of Andrew Savage Nugent, of Portaferry; though dsp 1873, and was succeeded by his nephew,

WILLIAM JAMES HALL JP DL (1835-96), of Narrow Water, Major, Royal Artillery, High Sheriff of County Down, 1878, County Armagh, 1880, who married firstly, in 1863, Elizabeth Theodosia Catherine, second daughter of the Rev William Brownlow Forde, of Seaforde, County Down, and had issue,
ROGER, his heir;
William Charles.
He married secondly, in 1875, Florence Selina, youngest daughter of George Brooke, of Ashbrooke, County Fermanagh, and had further issue,
Francis, born in 1876.
Major Hall was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROGER HALL MC JP DL (1864-1915), of Narrow Water, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1900, County Down, 1901, Captain, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, who married, in 1891, Elvira Adela, daughter of John Meade, of Earsham Hall, Norfolk, and had issue,
Elizabeth Adela.
Captain Hall was succeeded by his son,

ROGER HALL JP DL (1894-1939), of Narrow Water, who wedded, in 1919, Marie de Lourdes, daughter of Sir Joseph Armand Patron CMG OBE, and had issue,
ROGER, his heir;
William Joseph (Sir), KCVO, b 1934;
Noël, b 1936;
Moira; Christian; Margaret.
Mr Hall was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROGER HALL (1929-2007), of Narrow Water, who married, in 1953, Maeve Patricia, daughter of  Robert John Pryce, and had issue,
TOBY ROGER, b 1954;
Marcus Savage, b 1965;
Lassara Mary, b 1966.

An entry in the deaths column in the Belfast Newsletter in 2007 reads:
Roger Hall, who had lived in the Co Down mansion all his life, passed away peacefully at the Southern Area Hospice on Saturday following an illness. He was in his seventies. Tributes were paid yesterday to a “very charming, pleasant man” who treated everyone the same, whatever their political or religious beliefs.
Mr Hall was the son of a staunch unionist, Roger Hall, Senior, who fell in love with a Catholic girl from Spain. According to historian and close family friend Dr Liam Bradley, his new wife insisted their children be brought up as Catholics after they married. While Mr Hall’s father paid the price of losing many of his unionist associates as a consequence, he gained respect from people on both sides of the community.
The Hall family still live at their ancestral home.

Sir William Hall, KCVO, was HM Lord-Lieutenant for County Down, 1996-2009.

NARROW WATER CASTLE, near Warrenpoint, County Down, is a large, imposing Tudor-Revival mansion of about 1836, by Thomas Duff of Newry.

It replaced an earlier house, known as Mount Hall, of which a wing survives.

There are many oriels and gables with finials.

At one corner of the entrance front there is a gatehouse tower with four cupolas, inspired by various English originals, such as the gatehouse at Tixall in Staffordshire.

At the other side of the house is a tall, polygonal, battlemented tower with a round turret.

The granite stone for the new Victorian mansion came from the family estate at Mullaghglass in County Armagh.

Many of the interior features, like the library fireplace, were carved by Curran and Sons of Lisburn.


WILLIAM HALL is believed to have arrived in Ulster in 1640, settling in Red Bay, County Antrim.

His son, Francis Hall, is said to have purchased the original Narrow Water Castle estate, including the town of Warrenpoint, in the 17th century for £1,500 and constructed Mount Hall, the family residence prior to Narrow Water Castle, in 1707.

The house subsequently passed down the family line from father to son, Francis Hall, Roger Hall, Toby Hall to Savage Hall.

By 1820, it was the property of Roger Hall.

In the early 1830s he employed Thomas Duff of Newry to enlarge Mount Hall, and also to erect gate lodges and screens.

The new house (Narrow Water Castle) was completed in 1837, with Mount Hall remodelled as servants’ accommodation.

Roger Hall was married to Barbara Savage, whose family crest and monogram appear with his own throughout the house and on some of its purpose made furniture which was manufactured by Curren & Sons of Lisburn.

Joseph Paxton and Thomas Smith were employed to landscape the demesne with serpentine walks and formal gardens.

Byrne states that,
a mound on the North-West of the castle is crowned with seven gigantic oaks in a circle, inside of which are rustic seats … A little northward of the house is a tastefully constructed rustic bower, inlaid with seats all round, with a circular rustic table in the centre. 
The floor is paved with variegated pebbles. The bower is surmounted with a carved golden eagle with outspread wings.
Roger Hall was also responsible for the erection of Warrenpoint Shambles in 1834; and the gallery in Warrenpoint Parish Church.

When he died, the property passed to his son Samuel Madden Hall; on whose death it passed to his nephew, William James Hall, who erected the farmyard to North-West of the walled garden.

He died in 1896 (a memorial tablet and the chancel window of Warrenpoint Parish Church were installed in his memory).

The estate passed to his son, Roger Hall (one of the nave windows in Warrenpoint Parish Church was installed in his memory).

In 1939, the estate became controlled by trustees but remained occupied by the Hall family.

During the 2nd World War the upper floors and basement of the house were used by British and American Troops, as was the demesne.

The house was vacated as a family residence in October, 1999.

It is presently used as a function and conference centre.


Today there are still over 300 acres of parkland and farmland; and another 400 acres of forest, lakes and woods.

Inside, all of the rooms overlook beautiful scenery.

A map of 1800 shows this house with garden, grove and shrubbery, orchard, pasture, woods, and parkland trees.

It is thought that Sir Joseph Paxton made plans for the Italian Garden, notable for its impressive grass terraces, balustrading, cut-stone steps and urns.

Horizontal ground was once filled with flower beds, remembered in photographs but now grassed.

Early 20th century photographs also show the wild garden in the Pleasure Grounds to the north-west of the house, said to have been created by Thomas Smith of Newry.

This is no longer maintained.

Articles in garden journals at the end of the 19th century mention the garden; and remarkable trees are noted in Trees of Great Britain and Ireland of 1909 and 1910.

A folly summer-house survives on high ground in woodland.

There are extensive plantations of trees.

The parkland trees, though, are few and far between.

The walled garden is not cultivated and the glasshouses have gone.

The Head Gardener’s House (or Steward’s House) is impressively large; and 18th century outbuildings are listed.

Two gate lodges survive: Castle Gate and Tudor Lodge by Duff, contemporary with the house.

However, Duff’s Newry Gate has gone, as has the earlier rear gate.

The south-east corner of the demesne is a golf course.

First published in August, 2010.


Anonymous said...

Sir William Hall lives on the estate but not in the castle its inhabited by Marcus Hall son of Roger Hall and his family after Rogers death. The castle was empty for a long time when Roger was about as he lived in the cottage in the courtyard with his wife.


Anonymous said...


The townlands in question were all in Upper Iveagh, Co. Down, and constituted most of the North Shore of Carlingford Lough between Newry and Rostrevor. The Hall family has deposited most of its papers with PRONI. A search of the PRONI eCatalogue use a search string of "burren hall") returns a number of records, including three describing the 1670 purchase from Joseph Deane of Crumlin, County Dublin (Deane's father - also Joseph Deane) was an associate of Cromwells and received grants of land in five Irish counties). The same search results show subsequent leases of and mortgages on the same townlands (presumably as actual title of the land changed) with different individuals, including Richard Magennis of Dublin (probably a member of the native Irish Magennis family who as Lords of Iveagh originally held the land.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know, did Roger Hall teach at Inchmarlo in the 1960s?

Anonymous said...

Which county or part of England did the Hall family originate before they came to Ireland?

Unknown said...

Is there a book about the history of the castle to present day

Dessie said...

The Dower House of Narrow Water was quite beautiful and alas now is almost forgotten. Unfortunately it was demolished sometime in the 1960s.