Monday, 11 October 2021

Coolamber Manor


ROBERT BLACKALL (c1765-c1855), Major, East India Company, married, in 1793, Catherine Lewis, and had issue,

SAMUEL WENSLEY BLACKALL (1809-71),  High Sheriff of County Longford, 1833, Colonel, Royal Longford Militia, MP for Longford, 1847-5, Governor of Queensland, 1868-71, who married firstly, in 1833, Catherine Bowles; and secondly, in 1848, Catherine Bond, by whom he had issue,
Adelaide, m, in 1864, the Hon E G Cochrane.
The only son,

ROBERT BLACKALL (1834-1906), married, in 1867, Mary Emily Gifford, and had issue, a son,

CHARLES WALTER BLACKALL (1876-1918), Lieutenant-Colonel, East Kent Regiment (The Buffs); killed in action.

COOLAMBER MANOR, near Lisryan, County Longford, is said to be the finest country house of its era and type in County Longford.

It is built in a late-Georgian/Regency classical idiom, and retains its early form, character and the majority of its early fabric despite the construction of a number of modern extensions to the rear.

The giant order pilasters between the bays of the two main façades, along with the very prominent eaves cornice and blocking course, lend this building a distinctive appearance that is reminiscent of a contemporary seaside villa.

The giant pilasters add interest to the main façade, creating a stepped profile that gives this façade a robust but surprising delicate architectural character.

The full-height three-bay bow to the east elevation is another interesting architectural element that helps to add further visual impact when approaching the building along the main avenue, and creates an imposing and handsome silhouette in the landscape.

The plan of the house is quite unusual, with the stair hall to one side of the building (west), which is lit by an enormous round-headed window opening with tripartite timber sash windows.

The house also retains many notable features and materials that enhance the building, including timber sash windows and cut limestone steps with ornate cast-iron railings to the entrance.

Coolamber Manor was built to designs by the eminent architect John Hargrave, who worked extensively in County Longford during the 1820s.

The house was built for Colonel Samuel Wesley Blackall (1809-71), though may have replaced an earlier house associated with the Blackalls (Major Robert Blackall, father of the above, lived in Longford in the late-18th century).

Cooamber subsequently became the home of the Stanley family (Burroughs Stanley in 1894); and thereafter the Wingfields.

It was sold ca 1960 and was in use as a rehabilitation centre until recently.

Extending to 15,255 square feet, the manor house is a three-bay, two-storey over basement residence, built in the late Georgian/Regency period.

Adding to its distinctive appearance, the house retains many of its original features that include timber sash windows, cut limestone steps, and ornate cast-iron railings.

Accommodation comprises four reception rooms, a large commercial kitchen and bakery, two gyms, billiards-room, two shower rooms and fourteen bedrooms.

Accessed through an arch, the two cut stone courtyards have been well maintained over the years and are in excellent condition.

These have been fully converted to include four training rooms, a number of two-bedroom apartments, laundry room, stables, tack room, and some lofted stores.

Adjoining these is the farmyard which features a number of slatted and loose-bedded sheds, silage slabs, a disused dairy, and hay sheds.

There are also two other bungalow residences on the property, both of which have their own access.

The present estate includes good stables and 157 acres.

It stands on its original splendour, to the front of Coolamber Wood, adorned by landscaped lawns and gardens, and a well kept farmyard.

First published in October, 2012.


Anonymous said...

hello just read ur piece on coolamber manor.its nice to see someone with an interest in the heritage and history of such places. My family are now the new owners of the manor. We have been busy for the last year bringing it back to life. Thank you Mr Dullea

Anonymous said...

Hello, I live up the road in Lisryan ,Its great to see such a house being done up and not being left to rot like others in the are, best of luck with the undertaking.

Anonymous said...

Think our lowly Coolamber in Kent also has a link to the original. We purchased our home from a elderly cultured southern irish widow in 1993. I suspect she was one the children of the house. The only part of the story I know is that she had an architect brother (responsible for the 1955 plans of our ancestral pile) and at least one other sister. Would love to know whether she was a Wingfield or a Burroughs

Unknown said...

I am William Blackall. The first record of my family is dated 1641 when my ancestor, Richard Blackall/Blackhall was evicted from his land granted by King Charles 1 during the Rebellion and recovered it under King Charles 11. One of his sons, Samuel moved to Dublin and became Lord Mayor of the city in 1694, his grandson held the same position in 1769 and second governor of The Blue Coat School. Was Sir Samuel Blackall, Governor of Queensland, Australia related?
I am the last member, as far as I know, of the Blackall family.

Anonymous said...

I believe my great great grandfather, William Coleston and his family lived and worked on Coolamber Manor. They left Ireland in 1851 and settled in Brooklyn, NY, USA. The last of the Coleston's ( also spelled Colston and Colson) children born there, William Harris Colson was an infant who grew up to be an alderman on the City of Brooklyn council, 1892-94. He was also Commisioner of Railroads and was instrumental in laying out the current city subway system. Hope to get to see the manor. ThX!

Unknown said...

Yes beautiful architecture. My mother worked there as a cook before she came here in the 1950s. Maybe for the Wingfields I am not sure. I would like to know who owned it then. I seen it as I was there my Aunt lived down the road.

Anonymous said...

Samuel Wensley Blackall's first wife was Georgeina (baptised Georgiana) ROWLES, not Catherine anyone. His second wife was Kate aka Catherine Bond (married 1858). Tow children are known for Samuel and Georgeina - Adelaide Georgina, and Robert (who inherited Coolamber after his father died).
If you need a source for the correct name of Samuel's first wife, just look for it in the Westminster, London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1935. It is entry #779, 2nd on the page. (A transcription is available through brightsolid online publishing.)

Brendan Mooney said...

Good Day,

I understand David Blackall was grandson to Samuel and also high sheriff circa 1900 at young age of 22 or so. Could you verify that please ? Thank You

runninggirl said...

Hi does your family still own the manor today?