Thursday, 4 March 2021

Glenganagh House

WILLIAM KINGAN, of Silverstream, Greenisland, County Antrim, son of John Kingan, of Drumadoney and Ballymacarn, County Down, had issue, a son,

SAMUEL KINGAN JP DL (1824-1911), of Glenganagh, County Down, who married, in 1875, Jane, daughter of John Sinclair, of The Grove, Belfast, and had issue,
Thomas Davison;
Elizabeth Janie Sinclair; Mary Ethel.
Mr Sinclair was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM SINCLAIR KINGAN JP DL (1876-1946), of Glenganagh, High Sheriff of County Down, 1924, Senator, NI Parliament, 1940-46, who wedded, in 1921, Catherine Elizabeth Margaret, daughter of Alfred Edward Brett, and had issue,
Catherine Janet.
Senator Kingan was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS JOHN ANTHONY KINGAN DL, of Glenganagh, High Sheriff of County Down, 1958, who wedded, in 1954, Daphne Marian, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir (Charles) Norman Lockhart Stronge Bt, of Tynan Abbey, County Armagh, and had issue,



Tynan Abbey demesne, comprising several thousand acres, remains in the possession of the family of Sir Norman Stronge's daughter, Daphne Kingan: James and Kate Kingan and their three children, Charlotte, Esme and Edward.

James Kingan was an Ulster Unionist Party candidate in the elections of 1993 and 1997.

Tynan Abbey was demolished in 1998, due to the unstable structure of the ruin (all that remains is the arch of the front door surround).

It is hoped, however, that a new dwelling may be built on the site.

Glenganagh  (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2013)

GLENGANAGH HOUSE is located at Ballyholme Bay, between Bangor and Groomsport, County Down.

This Regency mansion is of two storeys, L-shaped and roughcast.

The front facing the shore has three large triple windows, according to Charles Brett; Georgian-glazed; plain and handsome.

The entrance front, in contrast, has a Tudor-style stone door-case.

There are splendid cast-iron conservatories at each end of the facade, which are joined by a kind of glass-roofed colonnade; all painted green.

Glenganagh appears on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1834 but the historian Sir Charles Brett felt that the house was "probably at least fifteen years earlier, perhaps more".

The house is listed in 1828-40 as the residence of Lady Dufferin.

Dimensions are given for a house, porch, three returns, two passages, three outbuildings and a porter's lodge.

Anna Dorothea, Lady Dufferin, was the daughter of John Foster, 1st Baron Oriel, and the widow of Sir James Blackwood, who inherited the estates of Dufferin and Clandeboye in 1808.

She is thought to have moved into Glenganagh shortly after his death in 1836, and lived there until her death in 1865 at the age of 93.

She was a noted gardener.

In 1858, the house was considerably extended so that a courtyard has been formed to the rear.

In 1871, Glenganagh became the property of Andrew Cowan JP, a barrister and a director of the Belfast Royal Botanic and Horticultural Company.

He had previously lived at Ballylintogh House, near Hillsborough.

In 1880, the house passed to Samuel Kingan.

A gate lodge, by James Hanna, was added in 1882.

Mr Kingan "expended vast sums in ornamenting and beautifying the place, since he became the proprietor of the townlands of Ballyholme and Ballycormick. The vineries, fernery & c are constructed and heated on the most improved principles."

The OS map of 1900-02 shows considerable expansion in the outbuildings to the rear of the property.

Samuel Kingan was a successful businessman who, along with his brothers Thomas and John, had opened a meat-packing plant in Belfast in 1845.

The firm prospered, selling pork products to the Royal Navy and, in 1851 and 1853, they opened plants in Brooklyn, New York and Cincinnati, Ohio respectively.

After both plants burned down, they opened a third in Indianapolis in 1862.

In 1875 the firm merged with another Belfast firm, J & T Sinclair.

The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis carries an 1893 advertisement for Kingan & Co, Pork Packers, showing their factory in that town.

On Mr Kingan's death in 1911 the house passed to his sons William and Thomas.

Sir Charles Brett (a relative of the Kingan family) commented that, 
family history relates that the major alterations carried out at this time were instigated by their energetic sister Elsie ... the inner and outer hall and dining-room were panelled in the Edwardian manner, a canted stone bay window in Jacobean style was added to the dining-room, and a large new panelled and top-lit square stairwell and staircase inserted at the centre of the house, with a gallery round the upper level serving the bedrooms. 
These alterations were carried out under the supervision of James Hanna, architect, who had put up the gate lodge a few years before. It is unclear whether the massive cut-stone archway dividing the inner from the outer hall was also his work, or earlier. He seems to have made no material changes to the exterior.
The grounds extended to fourteen acres.

Glenganagh Gate Lodge (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2013)

Glenganagh's gate lodge dates from 1900.

First published in March, 2013.


Anonymous said...

Samuel Kingan's younger sister Jane Kingan Reid lived at Netherleigh House (covered elsewhere in this blog - now a government building). Jane was married to James Stafford Reid. Her 2 oldest sons Samuel and William James went to America in 1875 to work for their uncle Sam's meatpacking firm. They settled in the plant HQ town of Indianapolis - but not before trying their own firm in Kansas City called Reid Bros. The merger of the Sinclair & Kingan meat packers seems to have coincided with the marriage of Samuel Kingan (about age 50) to Jane Sinclair. William James Reid was my great-grandfather. His youngest sister Fannie married John Byers - Professor of Midwifery at Queen’s University (knighted in 1906). John Byers had a keen interest in the Ulster dialect and folklore. His son Stafford was an early recruit to the WWII OSS (Casablanca Operation Torch & Yugoslavia with Tito).

NixiPoll said...

Interesting to read this history. My great great grandfather was land steward at Glenganagh and this was noted on his daughter's marriage certificate in 1904. His name was William Russell.

Andrew said...

Absolutely appalling what happened to the Stronges. They are heroes as far as I'm concerned. God bless their memory.