Friday, 12 March 2021

Forkhill House


NATHANIEL ALEXANDER (1689-1761), of Gunsland, County Donegal, second son of JOHN ALEXANDER, of Ballyclose, County Londonderry, and of Gunsland, County Donegal, and grandson of ANDREW ALEXANDER, of Ballyclose, alderman of Derry, 1755, married Elizabeth, daughter of William McClintock, of Dunmore, County Donegal, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of London, Barrister;
ROBERT, of Boom Hall;
James, created EARL OF CALEDON;
Mary Jane; Rebecca.
The second son,

ROBERT ALEXANDER (1722-90), of Boomhall, County Londonderry, wedded, in 1759, Anne, daughter of Henry McCullogh, and had issue,
NATHANIEL, his heir;
Henry, of Glentogher;
William, Lieutenant-General;
James, of Somerhill, Kent;
Josias Du Pré, East India Company;
Elizabeth; Anne.
The eldest son,

THE RT REV AND RT HON NATHANIEL ALEXANDER  (1760-1840), of Portglenone House, married, in 1785, Anne, daughter of the Rt Hon Richard Jackson MP, of Coleraine, and had issue,
Robert (Rev), of Portglenone;
James (Rev);
HENRY, of whom presently;
William Stuart;
Anne; Mary; Eliza; Henrietta Frances.
The fourth son,

HENRY ALEXANDER (1803-77), of Forkhill House, County Armagh, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1856, a barrister, espoused, in 1839, Louisa Juliana, second daughter of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Ranfurly, and had issue,
Henry Nathaniel;
Claud Henry;
Ronald Henry;
Frederick Henry Thomas;
Dudley Henry, CMG;
Blanche Catherine; Alice Mary Juliana;
Constance Henrietta Georgina; Emily Louisa; Edith Ellen.
Mr Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son,

GRANVILLE HENRY JACKSON ALEXANDER JP DL (1852-1930), of Forkhill House, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1883, Captain, 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who married, in 1880, Daisy, daughter of M Mathews, of San Francisco, USA, though the marriage was without issue.

Captain Alexander sold most of his estate under the 'Wyndham' Land Act about 1905; and the remainder, including Forkhill House, in 1924.

FORKHILL HOUSE, Forkhill, County Armagh, sometimes spelled Forkill, is an 18th century house of three storeys and two bays.

The walls are rendered.

It was built for Richard Jackson (who endowed many schools in the area) ca 1780, along with the farmyard.

The house is said to have been occupied by John Foxall in 1836.

George Bassett, writing in 1888, remarked,
An extensive property owner here, has lately spent from £6,000 to £7,000 improving his fine residence, Forkhill House. The demesne is open to the public, and is much frequented by excursion and picnic parties. A trout lake, containing between eight and ten acres, romantically situated, affords good sport for angler.
The improvement was likely in a hip-roof annex built on to the left front of the original house.

This section which was burned during the troubles in the 1920s, and subsequently demolished. 

Though known as Forkhill House, the pre-1834 building has gone, with the exception of one wing. 

The part-walled demesne of 100 acres is in an outstanding position on the south-facing slopes of Tievecrom Mountain. 

At the present time it is practically treeless, but the grounds contain some very interesting ornamental features that are not operational, but could be.

The ponds are drained but artificial islands, with parts of rustic buildings and a boat-house in good condition remain.

A mountain top turret view point affords excellent views.

The walled garden is used for grazing.

The gate lodge has been enlarged and decorated many times during the 19th century. 

First published in August, 2010.


Liam Roberts said...

My name is Liam Roberts and Forkhill House was owned during the 1940`s to early 50`s by my grandad who died interstate and as a result of the legal battle between his seven sons and one daughter (being my mother) the estate and house were sold to pay court and solicitor fees etc. I have visited it once about 12 years ago when it was in a very run down and sorry state. Would absolutely love to obtain any old photographs if you could possibly point me in the right direction. If not I thank you anyway for a most interesting insight into the estate`s history. My e-mail address is if you are able to offer any advise.

Kind Regards
Liam Roberts

Linda D. said...

Hi Timothy and Liam,

Liam, I don't know if you have spoken to Stephen Begley on your visit but I have a copy of a photocopy he gave me. I have cleaned it up a little and it shows the old house from a side angle. I have also been researching the Forkhill/Jackson estate for a university project and I
think you might enjoy Kyla Madden's Forkhill protestants and Forkhill Catholics. I have also been doing some genealogical research on the Jackson and Alexander families if that interests you.

Timothy, I am currently also working on a Heraldry paper and I have been looking into Henry Alexanders arms. The arms in the G.O. manuscripts are a little different and I was wondering where you have sourced your copy as the slight differences would be interesting for me to explore.
My email is if you would like to contact me.

Thank you

Linda D. said...

Thanks very much Liam.
I will let you know if there is any significance in the differences. If you would like a copy of my version let me know.
Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Is the residence still available to the public?? I will be visiting Ireland in May 2019 and my Gr. Grandfather was a brother of John Foxall occupied the residence in the mid 1830's. Powell Foxall

Anonymous said...

Forkhill House is a private residence and not open to the public in any capacity.