Friday, 25 August 2017

QUEEN ANNE

By the Grace of God, Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.


First published in September, 2013.

Monday, 21 August 2017

GEORGE I

By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.


First published in August, 2013.

Friday, 18 August 2017

New DL

The Earl of Caledon KCVO, Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, has been pleased to appoint:
Mrs Georgina WALSH
Annasamry
Summer Island
Loughgall
County Armagh
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, her Commission bearing date the 25th July, 2017.

Lord-Lieutenant of the County

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

GEORGE II

By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire

First published in August, 2013.

Monday, 14 August 2017

GEORGE III

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith

First published in August, 2013.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

GEORGE IV

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith

First published in August, 2013.

Dixon Park

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park is located at Dunmurry, County Antrim, now on the outskirts of Belfast.

This fine civic park, originally Wilmont Estate, was conveyed as a gift to the City of Belfast in December, 1959, by Edith, Lady Dixon, DBE, in order to perpetuate the long association of her husband (the Rt Hon Sir Thomas Dixon Bt) and herself with the City.

It comprises 134 acres.


The mansion house of 1859 still stands, in reasonably good condition; though its future seems uncertain, since it lies disused and apparently unwanted by the city fathers.

The surrounding parkland is delightful, with mature trees and woodland, and the River Lagan.


A large section of the grounds is now used for the international rose trials, established in 1964.

The stable block now houses a ground-floor café.

The walled garden is a haven of peace and tranquillity, with a number of park benches donated by the families of deceased loved-ones, their details on metal plaques.

The fruit and vegetables which flourished here are long gone, though some original paths remain and the garden now thrives with fine flora.


On an outside wall of the walled garden, at one corner, there are three mural memorials to pet dogs.

The canine memorial above must have been erected by the Reade family, who sold Wilmont to the Dixons in 1919.

First published in August, 2015.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

VICTORIA

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India

First published in August, 2013.

Baronscourt Fête


Hard to believe it was two years ago (June, 2015) that I travelled down to Baronscourt, the Duke of Abercorn's stately home in county Tyrone.


A summer fête was taking place within the grounds in order to raise funds for the Woodland Trust's Centenary Woods project, one of four flagship woods being created throughout the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the 1st World War.



I began the day with a visit to Baronscourt House, where there were guided tours by Lord Anthony Hamilton, the Duke's brother.



I had earlier encountered the Duke and Duchess near the stately porte-cochère outside the house. 


Stable-yard entrance

Inside the mansion house, Lord Anthony conducted tours of the principal rooms, including the main hall, the Rotunda, the long gallery at the garden front (the present garden front used to be the entrance front).



There is a charming little children's play house (below) within the formal garden beside the House.



Baronscourt boasts an array of old masters, including portraits by van Dyke and Panini, to mention but a few.


Ducal arms

I reminisced with Lord Anthony about his period as custodian of Florence Court estate, County Fermanagh, during the late 1970s.



At lunch-time I made a beeline for the stable-yard tea-room, where ladies of Baroncourt parish were providing delicious cream teas, sandwiches, and pastries.



Later, I ambled towards a display of army trucks, including one mighty beast which had two bunk-beds behind the driver's seat.



At two o'clock, Peter Archdale conducted an informative woodland walk.



Deep in the woods, there is a replica of a Russian Dacha  (the Duchess is patron of the Pushkin Trust).


Dacha replica



Irish cobs
I left for home at about four-thirty.
First published in June, 2015

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Ardgillan Castle

THE TAYLORS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MEATH, WITH 9,000 ACRES
AND 805 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DUBLIN


THE HON AND REV HENRY EDWARD TAYLOUR (1768-1852), fourth son of Thomas, 1st Earl of Bective KP, married, in 1807, Marianne, eldest daughter of Colonel the Hon Richard St Leger, and had issue,
THOMAS EDWARD, his heir;
Richard Chambré Hayes (Sir), GCB, General in the army;
Marianne Jane; Louisa Catherine.
The eldest son,

THE RT HON THOMAS EDWARD TAYLOR JP DL MP (1811-83), of Ardgillan Castle, County Dublin, MP for County Dublin, 1841-83, Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Meath Militia, 1847-74, Honorary Colonel.


Colonel Taylor, who was a Lord of the Treasury 1858-59, and Joint Secretary of the Treasury 1866-68, was appointed in the last-named year Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and again in 1874-80.

He married, in 1862, Louisa Harrington, second daughter of the Rev and Hon Hugh Francis Tollemache, Rector of Harrington, Northamptonshire, and had issue,
EDWARD RICHARD, his heir;
Basil Reginald Hamilton, Lieutenant RN;
Cecil Cornelia Marianne St Leger; Beatrix Virginia Louisa Tollemache (twins).
Colonel Taylor died at his sister's house, 15 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, and was buried in the family vault at Balbriggan, County Dublin.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD RICHARD TAYLOR JP DL (1863-1938), of Ardgillan Castle, Captain, Grenadier Guards, who espoused, in 1935, Ada, daughter of William Howe Bodley, though the marriage was without issue.


ARDGILLAN CASTLE, near Balbriggan, County Dublin, is set in the 200-acre Ardgillan demesne.

Featuring castellated embellishments, the building overlooks Barnageera Beach, the Irish Sea and Dublin (Balbriggan).

The castle consists of two storeys over a basement, which extends under the south lawns.

When occupied, the ground and first floors were the living accommodation; while the west and east wings were servants quarters and estate offices.

The basement was the service floor, the kitchen and stores.

The castle has now been restored and the ground floor rooms and kitchens are open to visitors for guided tours.

Tea-rooms are located off the main reception area and serving light snacks are open in conjunction with the Castle opening times.

Upstairs, the former bedrooms are used for classes and exhibitions including a permanent and unique exhibition of the "Down Survey" colour maps and text.

Ardgillan demesne is a popular local park, with a mix of woodlands and large grass open spaces.

The park contains a walled herb garden, rose garden, Victorian conservatory, tea rooms and an ice house.

A children's playground was added in 2006.

Ardgillan Castle provides guided tours and hosts exhibitions throughout the years.

A new Holistic Centre is set in the former Gardener's House in the corner of the Rose Garden.

The previous owner of the land was Robert Usher, a wine merchant from Tallaght.
When the Very Rev Robert Taylor bought the land it was quite a wooded area, so he employed some out of service soldiers from Bangor, County Down, and paid them one penny and a meal per day, as well as bed every night. They also received a tot of Bushmills whiskey, which was brought in for 2/2 a gallon.
The Castle was built by the Very Rev Robert Taylor in 1738.

The Very Rev Robert Taylor, Dean of Clonfert, was born in 1689 in Cheshire.

In 1714, having studied Holy Orders at Trinity College Dublin, he was appointed Archdeacon of Kilmacduagh in the Province of Tuam.

In 1722, he was appointed Precentor of Clonfert, where his brother-in-law Dr Fitzgerald was Dean.

By 1726 he was appointed Dean of Clonfert, only to resign within months.

Robert Taylor died unmarried in 1744 and Ardgillan, together with its estate, became the property of his eldest brother Sir Thomas Taylor, 2nd Baronet.

Ardgillan remained in the Taylor family until 1962, when the estate was sold to Heinrich Potts, of Westphalia, Germany.

In 1982, the estate was sold to Fingal County Council, which renovated the house.

It was officially opened to the public in 1992.

First published in April, 2013.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Prince Henry

A photograph of my late father, Major Thomas Ferres TD, being presented to Field Marshal His late Royal Highness The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, KG KT KP GCB GCMG GCVO (1900-74).

Prince Henry was appointed Field Marshal in 1955, so this picture would have been taken at some time in the 50s or early 60s, I think. My father was a captain at the time.

Prince Henry was the third son of King George V and Queen Mary, and thus uncle to Elizabeth II.

He was appointed potential regent for his niece, when his brother (George VI) came to the throne in 1936, and was required to stay in the United Kingdom until she came of age in case her father died and she ascended the throne under age.

HRH served as the 11th Governor-General of Australia, from 1945-47.

At his death, Prince Henry was the last surviving Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick.

Friday, 4 August 2017

The Visiting Card

A gentleman's or lady's visiting card used to be de rigueur in the past; whereas even today, in the Internet Age, they survive in the form of a business card.

Traditionally, visiting cards have been in differing sizes for men and women and I gather that the classic man's size was 3" x 1½".

They were very simply laid out, with merely the name in the centre, often the address at the bottom left, and one's club to the bottom right.

I happen to think that they still serve a useful purpose.


Cognisant of this I searched the Internet for printers who specialize in such cards; and I discovered Blush Publishing, based in Flintshire.

Nobody in Northern Ireland seems to specialize in the kind of products that Blush sells.

I contacted two in County Down and might I suggest that they have a look at the Blush web pages.

They use heavy cotton paper and the cards are printed using the letterpress method with vintage Heidelberg presses.

I can apprise you that I am delighted with my new visiting cards, which is why I'm expressing my appreciation in this article.