Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Ballymoyer House


TOBIAS SYNNOT, of County Londonderry, was brought up a Protestant, and was in Derry during its celebrated siege.
The family is said to have come originally from Flanders, where the name "Sigenod" meant "Victory-bold". Translations and modifications over time saw the name become "Synad". Various explanations of when and how the family travelled to Ireland have been documented, however all revolve around the Norman Invasion of Ireland.
It is believed that a Richard de Synad was one of the Flemish that crossed to Ireland with Strongbow in the invasion force. After various campaigns from Waterford to Wexford and on to Dublin, he returned to the Wexford region to settle down. He later built a castle at Ballybrennan, close to the present village of Killinick, on the main Wexford-Rosslare road.
This was the family's chief castle, which remained until dispossessed in the Cromwellian confiscations. The castle is long gone, but part of its walls is incorporated into the present large dwelling house at the site.
His eldest son,

THOMAS SYNNOT, Town-Major of the City of Dublin, Captain, Lucas's Regiment of Foot, 1711, was father of

RICHARD SYNNOT, of Drumcondra, Registrar of the diocese of Armagh, who married, in 1694, Jane, daughter of Edward Bloxham, of Dublin, and had (with a daughter) a son,

MARK SYNNOT (1696-1754), of Drumcondra, who wedded firstly, Euphemia, daughter of Mr Rivers; and secondly, in 1769, Anne, daughter of Walter Nugent, of Carpenterstown, County Westmeath, by whom he had issue,
Mark, of Drumcondra;
WALTER (Sir), of whom presently;
Mary, m W Smyth, of Drumcree.
His younger son, 

SIR WALTER SYNNOT (1742-1821), of Ballymoyer, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1783, built Ballymoyer House in County Armagh.
By the time of his death, he and his son Marcus had made considerable improvements to the estate and many of the beautiful trees, buildings and structural improvements date from this time. The demesne was noted as being very ornate. He was knighted by Lord Buckingham, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
Sir Walter married, in 1770, Jane, daughter of John Seton, of New York, and had issue, 
MARCUS, his heir;
He espoused secondly, in 1804, Ann Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev Robert Martin, and had a daughter, Elizabeth, wife of the Rev Fitzgibbon Stewart, and a son,
Richard Walter.
The son and heir,

MARCUS SYNNOT JP (1771-1855), of Ballymoyer, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1830, married, in 1814, Jane, daughter of Thomas Gilson, of Wood Lodge, Lincolnshire, and had issue,
MARCUS, his heir;
MARK SETON, of Ballymoyer, succeeded his brother;
Parker George;
William Forbes;
Mary Marcia; Maria Eliza; Agnes Jane; Barbara Cecilia; Juliana Hewitt.
Mr Synnot was succeeded by his eldest son, 

MARCUS SYNNOT JP DL (1813-74), of Ballymoyer House, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1853, who wedded, in 1844, Ann, eldest daughter of William Parker, of Hanthorpe House, Lincolnshire.

Mr Synnot died without issue, when the estates devolved upon his brother,

MARK SETON SYNNOT JP DL, of Ballymoyer, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1876, whose heir,

MARK SETON SYNNOT JP (1820-90), of Ballymoyer, Captain, Armagh Light Infantry, married, in 1843, Anne Jane, second daughter and co-heir of Mark Synnot, of Monasterboice House, King's County, and Grove House, Clapham, Surrey, and had issue,
MARK SETON, late of Ballymoyer;
MARY SUSANNA, of Ballymoyer;
Rosalie Jane; Eva Charlotte; Charlotte Augusta; Ada Maria; Annette Beatrice.
Mr Synnot was succeeded by his only son, 

MARK SETON SYNNOT JP (1847-1901), of Ballymoyer, Captain, Armagh Light Infantry, who died
unmarried, when the estate devolved upon his eldest sister,

MARY SUSANNA SYNNOT (1844-1913), of Ballymoyer, who married, in 1868, Major-General Arthur FitzRoy Hart CB CMG, who subsequently assumed the name and arms of SYNNOT, and had issue,
RONALD VICTOR OKES, of whom hereafter;
Beatrice May; Horatia Annette Blanche.
The elder son,

BRIGADIER ARTHUR HENRY SETON HART-SYNNOT CMG DSO, married his nurse, Violet Drower, while convalescing from his wounds, though died without issue in 1942.


THE REV WILLIAM HART, of the parish of Netherbury, Dorset, born in 1668-9, possessed land in Dorset, namely Corfe, in the parish of West Milton, Pomice, Hurlands, Colmer's Estate, Camesworth, Greening's Orchard, and Furzelease House, in Netherbury.

He was buried in 1746 at Netherbury, leaving by Ann, his wife, with other issue who died young, a son,

WILLIAM HART (1707-71), of Netherbury, who wedded, in 1731, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Henville, of Hincknowle, Netherbury, and had issue (with two daughters, Betty and Ann, who both died unmarried), an only surviving son,

GEORGE HART (1744-1824), of Netherbury, who possessed lands in Dorset, viz. Corfe, Cape Leazne [sic], and Pomice.

He wedded Elizabeth Hood, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
His elder son,

WILLIAM HART (1764-1818), of Netherbury, entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman; and was later appointed Ensign in the Dorsetshire Militia, 1792; Lieutenant, 1793; Lieutenant-Colonel, 1812.

Colonel Hart espoused, in 1801, Jane, daughter of Charles Matson, of Wingham, Kent, and had issue,
HENRY GEORGE, of whom hereafter;
Samuel Hood;
Eliza; Mary Anne; Emily.
His third son,

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL HENRY GEORGE HART (1808-78), married, in 1833, Frances Alicia, daughter of the Rev Dr Holt Okes, and had issue,
Henry Travers Holt;
Holt William;
George Okes;
Reginald Clare (Sir), VC GCB KCVO;
Horatio Holt;
Jane Margaret; Frances Alicia; Isabel Clara.
The fourth son,

MAJOR-GENERAL ARTHUR FITZROY HART-SYNNOT CB CMG JP (1844-1910), of Ballymoyer, County Armagh, wedded, in 1868, MARY SUSANNA, eldest daughter of Mark Seton Synnot DL, of Ballymoyer, and sister and co-heir of Mark Seton Synnot JP, and had issue,
ARTHUR HENRY SETON, Major, DSO (1870-1942);
Ronald Victor Okes, DSO OBE (1879-1976);
Beatrice May; Horatia Annette Blanche.

The tenanted land of BALLYMOYER estate was transferred to the occupiers under the Irish land acts of 1902 and 1909.

Subsequently Brigadier Hart-Synnot and his brother, Ronald Victor Okes Hart-Synnot, sold the farm land of the demesne and, in 1938, gave the avenue and glen to the National Trust, and had the house pulled down owing to damage suffered from requisitioning.

The estate is now open to the public.

BALLYMOYER HOUSE, County Armagh, was a three-storey 18th century mansion.

It had a pedimented doorway and a shallow curved bow, to which a considerably taller three-storey extension was added at some time in the early 19th century.

The taller block had a projection with a curved bow and the lower storey was adorned with engaged Ionic columns and a balustraded roof parapet.

Sadly the House suffered severe damage caused by requisitioning.

The family were involved not only in the linen industry but also had lead mines in their possession.

By 1838 the family had bought the eight townlands and continued to improve the estate.

In 1901 the demesne passed through marriage to the Hart-Synnot family, who presented it to the National Trust in 1937.

Major-General Arthur FitzRoy Hart adopted the name Hart-Synnot when he married Mary Synnot.

Their son, Brigadier-General Arthur H.S. Hart-Synnot, sold parts of the estate to its occupying tenants prior to 1919, under the Land Acts.

This document relates to the sale of small portions of land in the townlands of Knockavannon and Ballintate. The Conditions of Sale include rights of way for Brigadier General Hart-Synnot and the purchasers through the property to be sold.

Ballymoyer House was later demolished and Brigadier-General Hart-Synnot gave the demesne to the National Trust in 1938.

Comprising 7,000 acres of low hills, moorland and small tenant farms, Ballymoyer was one of the largest demesnes in the county of Armagh.

The Synnots had made their money in the linen trade and mining and had always been resident landlords.

When General Hart added his wife's surname to his own, to become General Hart-Synnot, he thus affirmed his place among the Anglo-Irish gentry.

The general was eager to show Arthur the improvements he had begun to make on the estate, the home farm that was not rented out to tenants, knowing his son shared the same love for the place he would one day inherit.


The original stone manor had been built in the 18th century in a gentle valley at a point where three brooks, after racing down from their own glens, reached flatter land and joined together to continue as one fast-running trout stream.
In the early 19th century a more imposing house in the classical style, with a stucco facade of three stories and a colonnaded porch, had been added onto the earlier, rougher building, and the two were linked with creaking corridors and staircases.
The library, the smaller bedrooms, and the servants' hall were in the old section at the back, but the principal bedrooms, drawing room, and dining room were in the grander addition, looking across the lawns and parkland to stands of beech on the hillside.
Over the years the gardens had been landscaped and replanted, and the streams channelled and directed over weirs, but the sound of rushing water could still be heard all round the house, and gave a calming, almost drowsy background noise.
For Arthur's return, both parts of the house were full, with relatives who had come to greet him and would stay until the following day. The celebrations did not end till after dinner, when the general directed a fireworks display on the lawn.
That night Arthur must have wondered how he was going to tell his family what had happened to his personal and emotional life on the other side of the world, and how he wanted nothing more than to put Ireland behind him as fast as possible and get back to Tokyo.
 First published in August, 2010.


Anonymous said...

Hello there. Do you have any more pictures/photos of the Ballymoyer Estate? My mothers family was from there and I find it so fascinating about the Synnot family. It is such a shame the National Trust had to demolish what is explained as a beautiful romantic House : (

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon!

My mother`s family was from Ballymoyer too - wonder if it`s the same? I am from the Martin family - Walter Synnot married Anne Martin and one of her brothers is my ancestor

Anonymous said...

My husband's great grandmother Rose Mason nee Synnot was an illegitemate daughter of Parker George Synnot. Born about 1856 and sent to New Zealand about 1861-64 and was fostered by William Bartley Montgomery and family. Several of us are trying to find her birth mother, ship she was on and with whom and the year she arrived in NZ. We have quite a bit on her NZ life after marriage etc.
Her mother could have been the daughter of a cobbler or miller.
Hope someone can help.

Anonymous said...

Re Rose Synnot - I have just come across this blog. It appears that Parker George had a son Charles (b. 1858) by Sarah Kelly, and it seems possible that Rose is also a child of Sarah. Parker had married Georgiana Thorpe Verrall on 15 Oct 1856, they had a son Marcus on 22 Jan 1858. All very confusing. This is all from public member trees on I can be contacted privately on if you wish to discuss.

Ella O'Callaghan said...

My Great Grandfather James Aitken married Jane Synnot, daughter of Marcus Synnot, granddaughter of Sir Walter Synnot.

Anonymous said...

I have in my possession a book. The book is titled, Original and Select Pieces of Prose,

and Poetry, by Mary Synnot.

This is not a published book. The poems, some are her own, and some are copied. Also there are small sketches, one in particular of her sister Juliana. The writings, and sketches are dated, 1834- 1835. The book is written in her hand, it was her book. Question from myself, is

who was her mother/father, who did she marry, and are there any children/great,great grand

alive today

chrisopher mcgimpsey said...

Some years ago I bought a dinner plate which had been uncovered at a sale in Philadelphia. It relates to Ballymoyer Loyal Orange Lodge 670. Only wealthy lodges had dinners with their own crockery. I suspect this was 1820s or 1830. Does this lodge still exist and has anyone any information.

chris McGimpsey

Timothy Belmont said...

Chris, how are you doing? I think we last encountered each other at Aldergrove, Rankin's bar café or whatever it's called these days. Tim.