Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Altidore Castle


JOHN DOPPING, of Frampton, Gloucestershire, and of Dopping Court, Dublin, married Joan, daughter of John Elliott, of Shropshire, and had an only son,

ANTHONY DOPPING, of Dopping Court, Dublin, Clerk of the Privy Council in Ireland, Feodary of the Province of Leinster, and Examiner of the Court of Wards, who wedded Margaret, daughter of Gilbert Domvile, MP for County Kildare, by Margaret his wife, daughter of the Most Rev Dr Thomas Jones, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, sister of the 1st Viscount Ranelagh.

Mr Dopping died in 1649, having had issue (with a daughter), a son,

THE MOST REV DR ANTHONY DOPPING (1643-97), Lord Bishop of Meath, of Dopping Court, Dublin, who espoused, in 1670, Jane, daughter of Samuel Molyneux, of Castle Dillon, County Armagh, and had issue,
Samuel, MP for Armagh;
ANTHONY, of whom hereafter;
Margaret; Lucy; Mary; Jane.
His lordship died in 1697, and was buried in St Andrew's Church, Dublin.

His second, and eventually eldest surviving son,

THE RT REV ANTHONY DOPPING (1675-1743), of Dopping Court, Lord Bishop of Ossory, who espoused Dorothea, daughter of Ralph Howard MP, of Shelton Abbey, County Wicklow, ancestor of the Earls of Wicklow, and had issue,
ANTHONY, his heir;
Jane Lucy; Alice; Margaret; Frances; Katherine.
His lordship died in 1743, and was buried in St Andrew's Church, Dublin.

He was succeeded by his only son,

ANTHONY DOPPING, of Lowtown, County Westmeath, who married, in 1756, Alice, daughter of James D'Arcy, of Hyde Park, County Westmeath, and of Derrycassan, County Longford, and had issue (with two daughters),
Samuel (1760-1822), dspm;
RALPH, who carried on the line.
Mr Dopping was succeeded by his elder son, who died as above, while the family was carried on by the younger son,

RALPH DOPPING (1766-1818), of Erne Head and Derrycassan, who wedded, in 1798, Catherine, daughter of Philip Smyth, of Grouse Hall, County Cavan, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Henry, of Erne Head;
Mary; Frances.
Mr Dopping was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN DOPPING JP (1800-55), of Derrycassan, High Sheriff of County Longford, 1823, who wedded, in 1822, Frances, daughter of James Henry Cottingham, of Somerville, County Cavan, and had issue,
RALPH ANTHONY, his heir;
John Francis;
James Henry;
Charlotte Henrietta; Sarah Rose.
Mr Dopping, who was drowned in 1855, was succeeded by his eldest son,

RALPH ANTHONY DOPPING-HEPENSTAL JP DL (1823-87), of Derrycassan, High Sheriff of County Longford, 1859, Honorary Colonel, Longford Rifles, who espoused firstly, in 1858, DIANA DALRYMPLE, daughter of the Rev Lambert Watson Hepenstal, of Altadore, County Wicklow, and had issue,
LAMBERT JOHN, his heir;
Susannah Elizabeth Louisa Mary Caroline; Haidee Emily Rose; Diana Charlotte.
He married secondly, in 1867, Anne, third daughter of Richard Maxwell Fox DL MP, of Foxhall, County Longford, and had further issue,
Ralph Francis Byron;
Maxwell Edward;
Juanita Rose.
Colonel Dopping assumed, in 1859, the additional surname and arms of HEPENSTAL, in compliance with the testamentary injunction of his father-in-law, the Rev Lambert Watson Hepenstal, of Altidore, County Wicklow.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

LAMBERT JOHN DOPPING-HEPENSTAL OBE JP DL (1859-1928), of Derrycassan, County Longford, and Altidore Castle, County Wicklow, High Sheriff of County Wicklow, 1909, County Longford, 1910, Major, Royal Engineers, who wedded, in 1920, Amy Maude, daughter of Major Charles Robert Worsley Tottenham, though the marriage was without issue.


The Rev John Hepenstal, of Newcastle, County Wicklow, born in 1699, married, in 1726, Miss Adair, of Hollybrook, County Wicklow, and had issue,
William, who had two daughters;
EDWARD, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

EDWARD HEPENSTAL, of Newcastle, wedded, in 1759, Jane, daughter of John Lambert, of Kilcrony, and sister of Colonel Oliver Richard Lambert, and had issue,
John, dsp;
GEORGE, of whom presently;
The second son,

GEORGE HEPENSTAL, of Sandymount, espoused, in 1787, Hester Watson, and had (with other issue), a son,

THE REV LAMBERT WATSON HEPENSTAL (1788-1859), of Altadore, County Wicklow, who married firstly, in 1809, Elizabeth, daughter of William Ball, and had issue,
Jane Anne; Esther Charlotte; Louisa Diana; Elizabeth Martha; Susanna Rebecca;
Selina Dalrymple; Emily Mary; DIANA DALRYMPLE (as above); Hester Maria.
Mr Hepenstal wedded secondly, in 1858, Cecilia, daughter of John Berkeley Deane, of Berkeley, County Wexford, without further issue.

ALTIDORE CASTLE, County Wicklow, described as a “Georgian toy fort“, was built near the ruins of a medieval castle of the O’Toole family in the eastern slopes of the Wicklow Mountains, west of Newtownmountkennedy.

From its elevated position it looks out over woods to the coastal plain and the Irish Sea beyond.

Altidore was built as a residence for General Thomas Pearce, uncle of the eminent architect, Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, ca 1730.

Sir Edward designed some of Ireland’s finest early Palladian buildings and architectural historians speculate that he may well have been responsible for the plans of Altidore.

It is clearly in the same vein as the early 18th century ‘sham’ forts and castles designed by Pearce and his cousin, the playright-turned-architect Sir John Vanbrugh.

Altidore was enlarged and modified for a subsequent owner, Major Henry Brownrigg, and by 1773 was owned by Rev William Blachford, Librarian of Marsh’s Library and father of the early Romantic poetess Mary Tighe, authoress of “Psyche, or the Legend of Love”, who lived at Altadore as a child.

Subsequently her brother, the noted agriculturalist John Blanchford, lived here with his wife Mary Anne, the daughter of Henry Grattan, the famous parliamentarian from nearby Tinnehinch.

Altidore comprises two stories over a basement, with crenellated towers at each corner and two formal fronts of five bays.

The fa├žade, which faces the mountains, has a three-bay breakfront with a central Venetian window above a heavily blocked door case and a later pillared porch.

The basement appears as the ground floor at the rear, on account of the steeply sloping ground.

The interior has good early 18th century joinery and a panelled dining-room with plaster plaques.

From 1834 till 1918 the Dopping-Hepenstal family, of Derrycassan House (demolished in the 1930s) extensive landowners in County Wicklow, owned the estate.

They rarely lived in the castle and leased it out for long periods, on one occasion for use as a tuberculosis sanatorium. 

In the early 20th century Altidore changed hands more frequently and was owned by two different banks on separate occasions.

Finally, in 1945, James Albert Garland Emmet purchased the house and 300 acres of land from Percy Burton, an eccentric bachelor who had allowed it to become very dilapidated.

The Emmets carried out an extensive restoration and created a large new garden, centred on a pair of canals from the early 18th century garden layout.

The present owners, their grandson Philip and his wife, have farmed the estate organically for nearly 20 years.

The Emmets are descended from Thomas Addis Emmet, a leader of the United Irishmen and brother of the Irish nationalist and republican leader, Robert Emmet.

Altadore contains a small Robert Emmet museum, with a number of interesting original items.

Select bibliography ~ Irish Historic Houses Association.

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