Tuesday, 31 August 2021

The Crown Bar Acquisition


PROPERTY:  Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast

DATE: 1978

EXTENT: 0.09 acres

DONOR: Messrs Edward & James Hillan

First published in December, 2014.

Hamilton-Stubber of Aughentaine

HUGH HAMILTON settled at Lisbane, County Down, during the reign of JAMES I, and was made a denizen of Ireland in 1616.

He died in 1655 and was buried at Bangor, County Down, leaving issue,
John, of Ballymenoch;
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
The second son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Killyleagh, County Down, married Jean, daughter of John Hamilton, of Belfast, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
Jane, m William Sloane, of Chelsea.
Mr Hamilton died in 1676, and was succeeded by his son,

HUGH HAMILTON, of Ballybrenagh, who wedded Mary, sister of Robert Ross, of Rostrevor, and daughter of George Ross, of Portavo, by Ursula his wife, daughter of Captain Hans Hamilton, of Carnesure, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
George, of Tyrella;
Mr Hamilton died in 1728, and was succeeded by his elder son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Knock, County Dublin, and of Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, MP for Killyleagh, 1730-61, who espoused Isabella, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, County Down, by Jane, daughter of the Rev Simon Chichester, Vicar of Belfast (eldest son of Henry Chichester, of Marwood, by Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Maxwell, Lord Bishop of Kilmore).

He died in 1768, leaving four sons and three daughters,
HUGH (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Ossory;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
Isabella; Anne; Elizabeth.
His second son,

ROBERT HAMILTON, of Gloucester Street, Dublin, married Hester, daughter of Crewe Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
Mr Hamilton died in 1790, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV ALEXANDER CHETWOOD HAMILTON, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny (who assumed, in 1824, the surname of STUBBER in lieu of Hamilton, and the arms of Stubber only), married, in 1801, Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of THE REV SEWELL STUBBER, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Sewell (Rev);
William, of Roundwood, father of 
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh (Rev);
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anne Matilda.
The Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton died in 1830, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT HAMILTON STUBBER JP DL (1803-63), of Moyne, High Sheriff, 1831, who married, in 1840, Olivia, daughter of the Rev Edward Lucas, of the Castleshane family, and widow of Henry Smyth, of Mount Henry, Queen’s County, and had issue,
Olivia Harriet Florence Hamilton; Eleanor Frances Beatrice Hamilton.
Mr Hamilton-Stubber was succeeded by his son and heir,

ROBERT HAMILTON HAMILTON-STUBBER JP DL (1844-1916), of Moyne and Castle Fleming, Queen’s County, High Sheriff, Lieutenant, Royal Dragoons, who espoused firstly, in 1877, Adèle Grainger, daughter of Alexander Duncan, of Knossington Grange, Leicestershire, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
He wedded secondly, in 1885, Georgina Alice Mary, youngest daughter of George Power, sixth son of Sir John Power Bt, of Kilfane, County Kilkenny, and had issue, a daughter, Margery.

Mr Hamilton-Stubber, who sold the Moyne estate to his cousin, was succeeded by his son and heir,

MAJOR ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER DSO (1879-1963), who married, in 1920, the Lady Mabel Florence Mary Crichton, daughter of John Henry, 4th Earl of Erne, and had issue,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN HENRY HAMILTON-STUBBER (1921-), of Aughentaine, County Tyrone, Captain, Coldstream Guards, Major, Ulster Defence Regiment, who wedded, in 1953, Fiona Patricia, daughter of Geoffrey Wyndham Breitmeyer, and had issue,
James Robert, b 1954;
Richard John, b 1955;
Charles Geoffrey, b 1960;
David Hugh, b 1962.
Colonel Hamilton-Stubber's eldest son,

JAMES ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER DL, Lieutenant, the Life Guards, married Carola E A Savill, and had issue,
Henry James, b 1984.


Mr SEWELL, a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to CHARLES II, married Miss Ryves, daughter of the Very Rev Dr Bruno Ryves, Dean of Windsor, and had a son,

MAJOR SEWELL, who espoused Miss Stubber, an heiress, and assumed the name and arms of STUBBER.

He was father (with two daughters) of

SEWELL STUBBER, who wedded Miss Finn, daughter of Major William Finn, of Coolfin, Queen's County, by Eleanor Whitshed, and had issue,
SEWELL, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Eleanor; Sarah.
The third son,

THE REV SEWELL STUBBER (1755-1824), Rector of Ballinakill, married Miss Flood, of Middlemount, Queen's County, and had three daughters,
ELEANOR, of whom we treat;
the second daughter,

ELEANOR STUBBER, wedded, in 1801, the Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny, elder son of Robert Hamilton, of Dublin, by his wife, a daughter of the Chetwood family, and grandson of Alexander Hamilton, of Knock, County Dublin.

By this lady the Rev Alexander Hamilton (who assumed, 1824, the surname and arms of STUBBER on succeeding to his wife's property) had issue,
ROBERT, of Moyne;
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh;
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anna Matilda.
The eldest son,

ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER JP DL (1803-63), of Moyne, Queen's County, married, in 1840, Olivia Lucas, of the Castle Shane family, and had issue,
Olivia Harriet Florence Hamilton; Eleanor Fanny Beatrix Hamilton.

Monday, 30 August 2021

Ards House


ALEXANDER STEWART (1746-1831), second son of Alexander Stewart MP, of Mount Stewart, County Down, and younger brother of Robert, 1st Marquess of Londonderry, purchased the estate of Ards from the Wray family, and settled there in 1782.

Mr Stewart, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1791, espoused, in 1791, the Lady Mary Moore, younger daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, by the Lady Anne Seymour his wife, daughter of Francis, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and had issue (with other children, who died young),
Charles Moore (Rev);
John Vandeleur, of Rock Hill;
Maria Frances; Gertrude Elizabeth.
Mr Stewart was succeeded by his eldest son, 

ALEXANDER ROBERT STEWART JP DL (1795-1850), of Ards and Lawrencetown House, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1830, who wedded, in 1825, the Lady Caroline Anne Pratt, third daughter of John, 1st Marquess Camden, and had issue,

ALEXANDER JOHN ROBERT STEWART JP DL (1827-1904), of Ards and Lawrencetown House, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1853, County Down, 1861, who married, in 1851, the Lady Isabella Rebecca Graham-Toler, seventh daughter of Hector, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
Charles Hector;
George Lawrence;
Henry Moore;
Cecil George Graham;
Caroline Helen Mary; Beatrice Charlotte Elizabeth; Ida Augusta Isabella.
Mr Stewart's eldest son,

ALEXANDER GEORGE JOHN STEWART (1852-97), a Barrister, wedded, in 1883, Julia Blanche, daughter of Charles Dingwall, of Knollys Croft, Surrey, and had issue, two daughters,
Muriel Neara.
The elder daughter,

ENA DINGWALL TASCA, LADY STEWART-BAM, of Ards, wedded, in 1910, Sir Pieter Canzius van Blommestein Stewart-Bam JP, of Sea Point, Capetown (son the Johannes Andrew Bam), who assumed with his wife the prefix surname and arms of STEWART on his marriage.

ARDS HOUSE, Creeslough, County donegal, was formerly the seat of the Wray family.

In the 18th century, the last William Wray of Ards was "a celebrated figure, eccentric and autocratic, though kind and generous".

This gentleman resided at Ards in feudal state, constructing roads through mountains at his own expense; lavish in his hospitality to guests.

As a consequence of this extravagance, the Ards estate itself was purchased by Alexander Stewart Junior in 1782 (for £13,250 - probably money left to him by his father).

However, the Stewart family had a long association with the Londonderry/east Donegal area, and originally hailed from Ballylawn, County Donegal.

In the 19th century, following the falling-in of the Mercers' lease, probably in 1830, the Stewarts of Ards concentrated on Donegal, acquiring property at Doe Castle and Letterkenny, both in that county.

The Stewart, later Stewart-Bam, family, owned land mainly at Ards, Doe Castle, Dunfanaghy and Letterkenny, in County Donegal.

Ards House was rebuilt about 1830 by Mr Stewart, towards the end of his life.

The main front is of two storeys; good plasterwork in the hall; friezes in the drawing-room and dining-room.

The estate was sold in 1925.

It was acquired by the Franciscans in 1937, who demolished it about 1965. 

Ards Forest Park used to form part of the Stewart estates.

The last member of the Stewart family to own the estate was Ena, Lady Stewart-Bam, who inherited from her grandfather about 1904.

LAWRENCETOWN HOUSE, near Gilford, County Down, was for sale in June, 2016.

Other former seat ~ Lawrencetown House, Gilford, County Down. Town residence ~ 5 Old Court Mansions, Kensington, London.

First published in May, 2012.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

The Crom Acquisition


PROPERTY: Crom Estate, County Fermanagh
DATE: 1987
EXTENT: 1674.79 acres
DONOR: 6th Earl of Erne

PROPERTY: The Old Schoolhouse
DATE: 2002
EXTENT: 2.58 acres
DONOR: Cormack

PROPERTY: Holy Trinity Church, Crom Estate
DATE: 1995
EXTENT: 0.45 acres
DONOR: 6th Earl of Erne & Others

PROPERTY: Erne Alms House, Crom Estate
DATE: 1997
EXTENT: 0.32 acres
DONOR: 6th Earl of Erne & Others 

First published in December, 2014.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

1st Baron Llangattock

JOHN ROLLS JP (1735-1801), of The Grange, Surrey, and Bryanston Square, London, High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1794, married, in 1767, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Coysh, of Camberwell, and had issue,
Henry Allan, died 1777;
JOHN, his heir;
Sarah Allen; Elizabeth; Mary.
Mr Rolls was succeeded by his only surviving son,

JOHN ROLLS JP (1776-1837), of The Grange and Bryanston Square, who wedded, in 1803, Martha, only daughter and heiress of Jacob Barnett, and had issue,
John Theophilus, died in infancy, 1806;
Martha Sarah; Jessy; Eliza.
Mr Rolls was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN ETHERINGTON WELCH ROLLS (1807-70), of The Hendre, Monmouthshire, High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1842, who espoused, in 1833, Elizabeth Mary, third daughter of Walter Long, of Preshaw House, Hampshire, and of Hazelly Court, Oxfordshire, by the Lady Mary his wife, eldest daughter of the 7th Earl of Northesk, and had issue,
JOHN ALLAN, hie heir;
Elizabeth Harcourt; Patty; Mary Octavia; Anne Catherine; Georgina Emily; Ellen.
Mr Rolls was succeeded by his only son,

JOHN ALLAN ROLLS DL (1837-1912), High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1875, MP for Monmouthshire, 1880-5, who married, in 1868, Georgiana Marcia, daughter of Sir Charles Fitzroy Maclean Bt, and had issue,
JOHN MACLEAN, his successor;
Henry Allan (1871-1916);
CHARLES STEWART (1877-1910), of whom presently;
Eleanor Georgiana.
Mr Rolls was elevated to the peerage, in 1892, in the dignity of BARON LLANGATTOCK, of The Hendre, Monmouthshire.

His lordship, Mayor of Monmouth, 1896-9, was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MACLEAN, 2nd Baron (1870-1916), High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1900, Mayor of Monmouth, 1906, Barrister, Major, Royal Field Artillery, who was killed in action at Boulogne, France.

The 2nd Baron never married; his younger brother, the Hon Henry Allan Rolls, who was heir presumptive, had died four months previously, and his youngest brother, the Hon Charles Rolls, had died six years earlier; thus the title expired.

The 1st Baron's third son,

THE HON CHARLES STEWART ROLLS (1877-1910), a motoring and aviation pioneer, co-founded Rolls-Royce Motor Cars with Henry Royce.

Rolls-Royce Phantom with Extended Wheelbase

Mr Rolls was the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft, when the tail of his aeroplane broke off during a flying display in Bournemouth.

He was aged 32, unmarried.

First published in August, 2019.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Ballymena Castle


The family of ADAIR was settled in Scotland, and later in Ulster, for many generations, and, according to tradition, derived its descent from a junior branch of the noble house of FitzGerald, Earls of Desmond.

NINIAN ADAIR, of Kinhilt, in Wigtownshire, lived in the early part of the 16th century, and was father of

WILLIAM ADAIR, of the same place, whose son,

NINIAN ADAIR, was father of

WILLIAM ADAIR, who acquired the estate of Ballymena, County Antrim. His son,

SIR ROBERT ADAIR, who received the honour of knighthood from CHARLES I, died in 1665.

He married Jean, daughter of Archibald Edmonstone, of Duntreath, in Stirlingshire, by whom he had a son,

WILLIAM ADAIR, who, by Anna Helena Scott, his wife (to whom he was married ca 1658), was father of

SIR ROBERT ADAIR, of Kinhilt and Ballymena, who raised a regiment of foot and a troop of horse for the service of WILLIAM III, and received the honour of knighthood from that monarch on the field after the battle of the Boyne.

Sir Robert died in 1745, having married four wives; by the first of whom, Penelope, daughter of Sir Robert Colville, Knight, he left a son,

WILLIAM ADAIR, captain of dragoons, who died in 1762, leaving by Catherine Smallman, his wife, a son and successor,

ROBERT ADAIR, who died in 1798, leaving by Anne his wife, daughter of Alexander McAuley, of the city of Dublin, barrister-at-law, a son,

WILLIAM ADAIR (1754-1844), of Flixton Hall, Suffolk, and Colehayes Park, Devon, who wedded Camilla, daughter and heir Robert Shafto, of Benwell, Northumberland, and had issue,
ROBERT SHAFTO, his heir;
William Robert, died at Harrow School;
Alexander, of Hetherton Park;
Mr Adair was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT SHAFTO ADAIR (1786-1869), of Flixton Hall, Suffolk, and Ballymena, County Antrim, who wedded, in 1810, Elizabeth Maria, daughter of the Rev James Strode, of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
Hugh Edward.
Mr Adair was created a baronet in 1838, designated of Flixton Hall, Suffolk.

He was succeeded by his elder son, 

SIR ROBERT ALEXANDER SHAFTO ADAIR (1811-86), 2nd Baronet, of Ballymena Castle, who married Theodosia, daughter of General the Hon Robert Meade, second son of John, Earl of Clanwilliam.

Sir Robert was elevated to the peerage, in 1873, in the dignity of BARON WAVENEY, of South Elmham, Suffolk.
In 1865, Adair began the construction in the demesne of Ballymena Castle, a substantial family residence in the Scottish baronial style. The castle was not completed until 1887, and was demolished in 1957 after having lain empty for some years and being vandalised; the site is now a car park. In 1870, Adair donated a People's Park to Ballymena, engaging fifty labourers to work for six months landscaping it.
The barony became extinct on his death in 1886, while he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother,

SIR HUGH EDWARD ADAIR JP DL (1815-1902), 3rd Baronet, of Ballymena Castle, who wedded, in 1856, Harriet Camilla, daughter of Alexander Adair, and had issue,
Hugh Alexander (1858-68);
ROBERT SHAFTO, succeeded his brother;
Camilla Beatrix Mary.
Sir Hugh was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR FREDERICK EDWARD SHAFTO ADAIR JP (1860-1915), 4th Baronet, of Ballymena Castle, who died a bachelor, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

SIR ROBERT SHAFTO ADAIR JP DL (1862-1949), 5th Baronet, who married, in 1890, Mary, daughter of Henry Anstey Bosanquet, and had issue,
Robert Desmond Shafto, died in infancy;
ALLAN HENRY SHAFTO, of whom hereafter;
Camilla Mary Shafto.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL SIR ALLAN HENRY SHAFTO ADAIR GCVO CB DSO MC JP DL (1897-1988), 6th and last Baronet, who espoused, in 1919, Enid Violet Ida, daughter of William Humble Dudley Ward, and had issue,
DESMOND ALLAN SHAFTO, predeceased his father;
Robert Dudley Shafto (1923-25);
Bridget Mary; Juliet Enid; Annabel Violet.
Sir Allan's only son,

Captain Desmond Allan Shafto Adair, born in 1920, died in 1943 at Italy, killed in action.

When the 6th Baronet died in 1988 the title became extinct.

THE CASTLE, Ballymena, County Antrim, was a Scottish-Baronial mansion built in the 1869 for Sir Robert Adair, later 1st Baron Waveney.

It had a massive seven-storey tower at one end.

The building was built by Lanyon & Lynn of Belfast.

This Victorian house was so-named after the original castle, built by the Adairs, was burnt in 1720.

The Adair estate at Ballymena was sold to the tenants in 1904 and the castle fell into disuse.

The castle was still standing in 1953, but badly damaged by arson in 1955 and condemned as unsafe the following year.

When the local council demolished it in 1957, Sir Allan Adair bought Holy Hill House, near Strabane, County Tyrone, and installed ten stained glass windows from the castle there, where they remain today.

First published in October, 2010.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

The Castle Ward Acquisition


PROPERTY: Castle Ward, Strangford, County Down

DATE: 1953

EXTENT: 605.62 acres

DONOR: Ministry of Finance for Northern Ireland


PROPERTY: Mallard Plantation; Mountain Wood; Keeper's Cottage; Terenichol etc

DATE: 1967

EXTENT: 200.92 acres

DONOR: Peter Weatherby


PROPERTY: Mallard Pond, Castle Ward Estate

DATE: 1980

EXTENT: 1.36 acres

DONOR: Edward Crangle

First published in December, 2014.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Warren's Court


This family was anciently settled in Cornwall.

ROBERT WARREN, of Kinneigh, in the barony of East Carbery, County Cork, an officer in WILLIAM III's army during the Revolution, was father of

WALLIS WARREN, of Kilbarry (Warren's Court by purchase), who married, in 1684, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Knowlles, and had issue (with two daughters), two sons, of whom the elder,

ROBERT WARREN, of Warrenscourt House,, County Cork, wedded Anne, sister of William Crooke, of Muskerry, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Elizabeth; Alice.
Mr Warren died in 1743, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT WARREN JP (1723-1811), of Warrensourt and Crookstown, County Cork, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1752, who espoused firstly, in 1748, Mary, daughter of Augustus Carey (or Carré), and had issue,
Thomas (Rev), great-grandfather the of 8th Baronet;
Edward Webber;
He married secondly, in 1780, Elizabeth, daughter of John Lawton, and had further issue,
Richard Benson;
Alice Augusta.
Mr Warren was created a baronet in 1784, designated of Warren's Court, County Cork.

Sir Robert was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR AUGUSTUS LOUIS CARRÉ WARREN, 2nd Baronet (1754-1821), High Sheriff of County Cork, 1796, MP for Cork City, 1783-90, who wedded, in 1778, Mary, third daughter of James Bernard, of Castle Bernard, County Cork, and sister of Francis, Earl of Bandon, and had issue,
AUGUSTUS, his successor;
JOHN BORLASE, 4th Baronet;
Esther; Charlotte.
Sir Augustus was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR AUGUSTUS WARREN, 3rd Baronet (1791-1863), High Sheriff of County Cork, 1819, Colonel, Cork Militia, who died unmarried, when the title passed to his next brother,

SIR JOHN BORLASE WARREN, 4th Baronet (1800-63), who espoused, in 1823, Mary, daughter of Robert Warren, and had issue,
John Borlase, Vice-Admiral;
Elizabeth; Margaret; Charlotte; Esther; Rose Catherine; Frances Augusta; Mary.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR AUGUSTUS RIVERSDALE WARREN, 5th Baronet (1833-1914), JP DL, of Warren's Court, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1867, who married, in 1864, Georgina Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev John Blennerhassett, and had issue, an only child,

SIR AUGUSTUS RIVERSDALE JOHN BLENNERHASSETT WARREN, 6th Baronet (1865-1914), JP, Lieutenant, 3rd Royal Munster Fusiliers, who wedded, in 1898, Agnes Georgina Ievers, and had issue, an only child,

SIR AUGUSTUS GEORGE DIGBY WARREN, 7th Baronet (1898-1958), MBE, Major, 17th/21st Lancers, who died unmarried, when the title passed to his distant cousin,

SIR THOMAS RICHARD PENNEFATHER WARREN, 8th Baronet (1885-1961), CBE DL, Chief Constable of Buckinghamshire, 1928-53.
Sir (Brian) Charles Pennefather Warren, 9th Baronet (1923–2006).
Sir Philip Digby Somerville-Warren, presumed 10th baronet (b 1948).
The presumed heir of the presumed 10th baronet is his cousin, Robert Augustus Michael Mary Warren (b 1948).

The heir apparent of the presumed heir is his eldest son, Dominic Charles Augustus Warren (b 1979).

WARREN'S COURT, near Lissarda, County Cork, was a two-storey Georgian house, with a six-bay pedimented front and single-storey Ionic portico.

It had urns at each corner of the roof-line and an eagle stood at the top of the pediment.

The side elevations extended to four bays.

The mansion was surrounded by a fine demesne with lakes.

There were said to be forty rooms, thirty outhouses, and buildings which encompassed seven stables, six cow houses and numerous other animal houses.

Warrnen's Court was requisitioned by the (British) army during the Irish war of independence.

Lady Warren and Sam Hunter the estate steward opposed it on the grounds that the local battalion would destroy the house.

This was proven to be correct when, after a column of soldiers were spotted on the estate, Warren's Court was burnt to the ground on the 17th June, 1921.

Sir Augustus Digby, 7th Baronet, who by this time was living in India, never returned to Ireland.

He sold the estate to its present owners’ descendants about 1922, thereby ending an association of two centuries between the Warren family and Cork.

Ellison-Macartney of Mountjoy Grange


Towards the end of the reign of JAMES I,

THOMAS ELLISON, a younger son of an eminent merchant of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, went over to Ireland, and settled in the north-west part of that country.

He had issue a son,

THOMAS ELLISON, of Castletown, County Mayo, who had issue, a son,

THE REV THOMAS ELLISON, who married, in 1731, Mildred, daughter of Nathaniel Cooper, of Cappagh, and Old Grange, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
William, dsp;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Thomas (Rev), Rector of Castlebar;
The second son,

THE REV DR JOHN ELLISON, Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, Rector of Cleenish, diocese of Clogher, and afterwards Rector of Conwall, diocese of Raphoe, wedded, in 1776, Anne, daughter of John Olphert, of Ballyconnell, County Donegal, and had issue,
John (Rev);
The eldest son,

THE REV THOMAS ELLISON, Prebendary of Killamery, Diocese of Ossory, espoused firstly, in 1803, Mrs Elizabeth Cox, widow, by whom he had a daughter, Martha; and secondly, in 1815, Catherine, second daughter of Arthur Chichester Macartney KC (1744-1827), and had issue,
JOHN WILLIAM, who assumed the additional name and arms of MACARTNEY;
Annette Anna Maria; Eleanor.
The elder son,

JOHN WILLIAM ELLISON-MACARTNEY JP DL (1818-1904), of Mountjoy Grange, MP for County Tyrone, 1874-85, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1870, married, in 1851, Elizbeth Phœbe, eldest surviving daughter of the Rev John Grey Porter, of Kilskeery, County Tyrone, Belle Isle, County Fermanagh, and Clogher Park, County Tyrone (eldest son of the Rt Rev John Porter, Lord Bishop of Clogher), by his wife, Margaret Lavinia, daughter of Thomas Lindsey, of Hollymount House, County Mayo, and of Lady Margaret Eleanor Lindsey, daughter of Charles, 1st Earl of Lucan, and had issue,
WILLIAM GREY, his heir;
Thomas Stewart Porter, of Clogher Park;
Arthur Hubert, of Kenwood, California, USA;
Henry John.
Mr Ellison assumed, by royal licence, 1859, the additional surname and arms of MACARTNEY, on the death of his maternal uncle, the Rev W G Macartney.

His eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR WILLIAM GREY ELLISON-MACARTNEY KCMG (1852-1924), of Ballydownfine, County Antrim, and Mountjoy Grange, County Tyrone, MP for South Antrim, 1885-1903, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1908, wedded, in 1897, Ettie Myers, eldest daughter of John Edward Scott, of Outlands and Devonport, and had issue,
John Arthur Mowbray, Lt-Col (1903-85);
Phœbe Katherine; Mildred Esther.

MOUNTJOY GRANGE, otherwise called Old Mountjoy, County Tyrone, is a long, low, irregular, battlemented house of ca 1780.

It has hood mouldings over the windows and a small square tower at one end.

The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment register describes it thus:
An asymmetrical two- and three-storey multi-bay castellated country house, built ca 1780, remodelled ca 1820. Built in Mountjoy Forest by the first Lord Mountjoy or his father, the MP for Taghmon in County Wexford, this was originally a modest five-bay two-storey dwelling. 
This complicated house was further developed by the Earl of Blessington and displays a multitude of accretions embellished with decorative features dating from the early nineteenth century. 
It is this rather complicated composition that remains to the present and retains most of its early nineteenth century features including, crenellated parapets, decorative chimneystacks, arched and mullioned sash windows and its irregular staggered layout. 
While some windows have been replaced with uPVC, the overall impression remains intact within its picturesque landscaped setting. 
It is a significant example of a large property that has developed according to fashion and was associated with a family of important landowners and public figures.
In 1876, the house became the seat of Sir William Ellison-Macartney, formerly Governor of Tasmania and Western Australia, and MP for Tyrone.

Mr Dickie acquired the property from the Macartney family in 1918.

First published in August, 2015.

Finnebrogue Soirée

Having just returned from glorious Rathlin Island, I donned the glad rags last night for a charity soirée at FINNEBROGUE HOUSE, a mere hop, skip, and jump from Downpatrick, county town of County Down.

Actually I killed two birds with one stone, as it were.

When I visited Ballydugan and HOLLYMOUNT a few months ago, Margaret Ferguson of the Lakeside Inn had left a note on my windscreen to apprise me that she had information for me pertaining to Hollymount House and its history.

Whereas Finnebrogue is a few miles north-west of Downpatrick, Ballydugan is a couple of miles to the south-west.

Close Enough with Guests (Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

My visit to Finnebrogue House was for a charity concert in aid of Hope For Youth Northern Ireland.

Close Enough barbershop quartet entertained us all in the entrance hall of the house.

(Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

When I sat down I could hardly believe who was seated beside me - Philip Shirley, of LOUGH FEA, County Monaghan, whom I'd met during a visit to his stately home in County Monaghan.

He told me that they were driving back to Lough Fea that evening.

(Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

During the interval I met quite a few interesting guests including, of course, our terrific host, Noel Lamb; Danny Kinahan, LORD & LADY ERNE, JOHNNY ANDREWS; the Armstrongs (of DEAN'S HILL, Armagh); the Montgomerys (of GREY ABBEY). I also saw the HON SHANE O'NEILL, General Sir Mike Jackson; the FITZGERALDS (Randox); and ninety others!

General Sir Michael Jackson GCB CBE DSO (Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

We were served tasty little canapés comprising smoked salmon, and cocktail sausages on sticks.

Noel Lamb DL presenting a cheque (Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

The show concluded about eight-thirty, so I thanked Noel for his kind hospitality, bade him farewell, and slipped off in the car, in a south-westerly direction for Ballydugan.

The car-park of the Lakeside Inn is beside an utterly delightful, picturesque lake - Ballydugan Lake.

Inside the inn a cheery fire greeted me, radiating heat.

This inn is no ordinary pub: it's homely and cosy, delightfully and unashamedly old-fashioned. I love it.

Margaret Ferguson, the proprietor, welcomed me cordially and introduced me to a pal of hers seated near the fire.

She had a copy of the history of Hollymount, an old and historic estate beside Ballydugan, long associated with the Price family (now Perceval-Price of SAINTFIELD HOUSE).

We all discussed the subject, the families in the district, including the TORRENS-SPENCES who used to live at Drumcullen House, Hollymount.

When I got up to leave I remarked that I wished Margaret's lovely inn were only a bit closer to me!

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

2 Royal Avenue, Belfast

2, ROYAL AVENUE, BELFAST, was built between 1864 and 1869 to designs by William Joseph Barre.

Barre, a Newry and Belfast-based architect, rose to prominence after winning the competition to design the Ulster Hall in 1859, and was one of the most prominent engineers of the mid-Victorian period, often coming into competition with his immediate contemporaries Charles Lanyon and William Lynn.

Barre’s other Belfast works include the Albert Memorial Clock.

The Irish Builder records that the Provincial Bank of Ireland remained uncompleted by the time of Barre’s death by illness in 1867.

The bank premises were consequently completed under the supervision of the architects Turner & Williamson.

When finally completed in 1869, Barre’s design was described and, indeed, praised as being a peculiar adaptation of Venetian-Gothic.

The Irish Builder remarked that the Provincial Bank was built by Henry Fulton, a local builder; whilst the interior and exterior stone carving was by a Mr Barnes.

In 1901-2, the bank was depicted as a rectangular-shaped building situated along the recently laid-out Royal Avenue.

When originally constructed, it did not possess its current rear return, which is a modern extension added ca 2005.

The present building replaced an earlier bank building that had originally stood on the same site, but was demolished about 1864.

The bank manager resided at the site, in a small house to the rear of the building.

The bank contained two sets of rooms: four rooms for the manager's house, and two rooms for the porter's house, both located at the rear of the building.

It was described by Brett as an ‘extraordinarily exuberant building’, and is significant as the only building to survive the Royal Avenue redevelopment of the 1880s.

Hercules Street, predecessor of Royal Avenue

Prior to this date, Donegall Place and Hercules Street (the precursor to Royal Avenue) were divided by a line of buildings that formerly stood along the eastern side of the current street.

These buildings were demolished by Belfast municipal council in 1880-81 by the town surveyor, J C Bretland (who in the process re-housed over 4,000 people).

The demolition and clearance of Hercules Place and Hercules Street created the long open boulevard which now extends from Donegall Square to York Street.

However, it caused the destruction of almost all the buildings on the street pre-dating the 1880s.

2, Royal Avenue, continues to occupy the original line of Hercules Place (a narrow square that linked Donegall Place to Hercules Street), and, as a result, is set further back than the adjoining buildings.

Barre’s design for the Provincial Bank clearly displays the influence that the architectural critic John Ruskin had on the Belfast architects of the Victorian period.

Throughout his career, Ruskin remarked on the eclectic quality of northern Italian architecture; how it mixed materials to produce a polychromatic effect; and how it also mixed Gothic tradition with the classicism of Ancient Rome.

Hugh Dixon notes that Barre
was principal among those who put Ruskin’s theory into practise … [his Provincial Bank] an outstanding illustration of what could be achieved. The basic classicism of the building readily identified by the symmetry and the central triangular pediment. 
Yet the decoration is medieval. The faces of hairy Lombard warriors look out from foliage beneath deep, rounded, Romanesque arches. Colonnades flank the openings, and even the balustrade along the roof line is adapted from an interlacing Saxon arcade.
Larmour states that the completed building is notably less ornate that Barre’s original design, which employed greater use of sculpted figures; however, due to rising expenses, Barre was forced to amend his intended design prior to his death and so the pediment has remained bare of statues.

The exterior façade is also much more polychromatic than Barre envisaged as, due to the decay of the white Cookstown sandstone employed, since the 1880s the façade has required painting repeatedly.

The interior of the building was fully realised from Barre’s original design.

Larmour notes that the stucco figures in the groin angles of the circular dome each represent Mechanism, Engineering, Art, War, Law, Navigation, Architecture and Industry.

Throughout its history the Provincial Bank of Ireland has been a prominent landmark in Belfast city centre.

Prior to the completion of the City Hall in 1906 the bank, with its large open area in front, was utilised as a public venue and witnessed a number of important processions; for example, in 1901, large crowds gathered outside the Provincial Bank to welcome home Boer War veterans.

The Provincial Bank continued to occupy the building for over a century until the late 1980s, when the Allied Irish Bank took over possession of the site.

It remained a financial institution till the 1990s.

The premises were occupied by Tesco, which sympathetically renovated the building and constructed the large extension to the rear, undertaken by Chapman Architects ca 2005.

Tesco undertook a major restoration of the building in 2008.

The supermarket chain ceased trading in the premises in 2021, and it remains vacant.

The fine, Cookstown sandstone has now been revealed for all to see, having been covered in paint for a very long time - perhaps even since its original construction.

It particularly interests me because I worked there for a brief period in the early 1990s.

Anderson & McAuley's department store was still trading then, too.

First published in 2008.

Monday, 23 August 2021

Rathlin Island Walks

Prospect of Rathlin's Harbour from the Manor House (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

I last stayed on Rathlin Island four years ago, in August, 2017; its allure is quite irresistible to me.

The island's population has doubled in my lifetime, and now totals about 170.

Not so long ago the little primary school had eight pupils; whereas today that figure has increased to almost twenty.

My journey began at Ballycastle, County Antrim, where I embarked upon the ten o'clock vehicle ferry for the 45-minute sailing to Church Bay, Rathlin's nucleus.

I should explain that there are two ferries: a fast one, which takes merely 15 or 20 minutes; and a slower one, which can take vehicles.

I stayed at the manor house guest-house, ancestral home of the GAGES, landlords and proprietors of Rathlin Island since the mid-18th century.

I think they purchased the island from the Earl of Antrim for the princely sum of £1,750, the equivalent of about £400,000 today. Quite a bargain!

During my stay on the island I encountered quite a few interesting people.

Since I've already wrote a bit about the MANOR HOUSE GUEST-HOUSE in 2017, I propose to recount one or two of my walks.

On Tuesday, August 17th, I walked eleven and a half miles, from the manor house in a westerly direction to the Kinramer North and Kebble South trails.

I began my walks from the manor house, which is directly opposite the main harbour.

The weather was inclement during most of my stay, so I wore my 1990s pair of Raichle hiking boots, with waterproof over-trousers and anorak; and a little backpack with binoculars, something to drink, directions, etc.

By the way, the old hiking boots gave me trouble: one of my ankles was sore, and the boots were leaking (subsequently I purchased a new pair of Salomon Quest Four hiking-boots). 

On Wednesday, August 18th, I decided to ramble from my accommodation at the manor house towards the East Lighthouse and Ballyconaghan.

Former Pigeon-House beside the Manor House
(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

As I passed the former coach-yard, attached to the manor house, I peered in and under the arch, to the left, the former pigeon-house could be seen.

What is now the island's health centre, at the other side of the arch, was once a livestock barn.

Just past the health centre there's a former coal-yard, which also has an arch and matching doors; and a distinctive carved stone erected by the Rev Robert Gage in 1816.

I walked further along Church Bay and turned left at McCuaig's Bar, up a short, steep road to a junction, where I turned right.

This used to be a busy thoroughfare on the island, with a grocer's shop, the rectory, the police station, a public house, and the smithy.

The former police station, I suspect, is on private land, so I didn't venture towards it; though I believe that it was originally called Ballynoe House, and was the residence of the MacDonnells, Earls of Antrim, who sold Rathlin to the Gages.

The Glebe House, Rathlin Island (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

The Glebe House, as it's now known, was once the rectory.

The last rector to reside there, I think, was the Rev George James Boucher, Rector of St Thomas's from 1950-56.

The Gages have been using it as their island residence since about 1975.

The former Smithy, Rathlin Island (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

A bit further along the road I passed the smithy or forge, where the resident blacksmith made and repaired cartwheels, nails, and shod horses.

After ten or fifteen minutes I came to a clachan or cluster of three houses up a short lane.

These dwellings belonged to the McQuilkins and the Cecils. 

The McQuilkin and Cecil Clachan (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

They're all derelict and quite dilapidated, though not beyond restoration; the first house on the left probably being the most recent building. 

HAVING had a brief look through the closed gates of the East Lighthouse, I turned back along the track, and made my way to the National Trust trail.

Eventually I reached another clachan of four cottages at Crocknanagh, where more McQuilkins and Currys lived.

The Crocknanagh Clachan (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

I'm told that the McQuilkins had a pretty little walled garden under the tree, where colourful shrubs thrived.

I've already written about the coastguard hut at the top of Cantruan hill and, on this occasion, I decided to omit it from my walk; so I walked back to the tarmac road, down a gently sloping incline, and walked past the Catholic church of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1864 to replace an older church.

Part of the interior wall of the previous church remains behind the present one; and a series of steps lead up to the relatively modern 1980s parochial house.

No parish priests have lived here permanently since 1999.

The former Pound, Rathlin Island (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

Directly opposite the church is the children's playground, originally a small field where stray animals were impounded by the landlords, the Gages.

Anybody who owned one of these stray animals was compelled to pay a fee for its release; a considerable deterrent I imagine!

The Parochial Hall, Rathlin Island (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

Beside the playground is the parochial hall, built about a century ago; and further along is the primary school, which had a mere eight pupils five or six years ago.

Today numbers are increasing, and I'm told that there are up to twenty children.

When they reach the age of eleven, they need to attend classes on the mainland. 

Former Shop opposite the School (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

On the other side of the road is a tiny one-storey building with two large windows and a door.

It was closed when I saw it, though I peered inside and it seems to be an artist's studio of some sort.

It was originally a little general merchant's shop.

Islanders were generally self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables, eggs, and dairy produce.

Certainly there's a lot to explore on Rathlin.

The Cooraghy Bay pier could be developed as an industrial tourist attraction, for instance.

This pier was constructed in order to convey building materials for the new West Lighthouse about 1910.

Abandoned Pier at Cooraghy Bay (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

From the top of the cliff, a series of steep concrete steps, with a single hand-rail, lead down towards the pier, though they terminate suddenly not far down the cliff, making it hazardous to attempt the descent today.

An ingenious method of hauling the building materials up was conceived with, quite literally, horse-power, winches, a derrick, and rail lines.

I purchased a very good guide called Eight Walks On Rathlin Island, written by Nicky Sebastian in 2018.

I bought it in the manor house, and heartily recommend it.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Lady Alice's Temple

LADY ALICE'S TEMPLE, Hillsborough Castle, County Down, stands most elegantly in the castle grounds.

This exquisite and delightful neo-classical temple was built about 1880.

It was said to be inspired by Sir John Vanbrugh’s creation of a temple garden at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, in the early 18th century.

Garden temples had become fashionable during this era.

The temple was built using masonry and cast-iron.

The copper-cladding is likely a replacement; the structure, however, seems to retain mainly original materials.

It affords a picturesque focal point at the end of the Yew Walk to the east, and the Lime Walk to the north.

Lady Alice's Temple replaced a summer-house which occupied the same site.

The Lady Alice Maria Hill (Countess of Bective) was the sister of the 5th Marquess of Downshire and Lord Arthur Hill, who lived at Hillsborough Castle in the last quarter of the 19th century during the 6th Marquess's minority.

Many garden temples were designed as seats to provide shade, shelter and a fine prospect of the grounds.

Moreover, Lady Alice’s Temple provides a focal point at the end of the striking Yew Walk, which approaches it.

First published in August, 2017.

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Rathlin Revisited


Rathlin Manor House in 2017

IT MUST be about four years since I last visited Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland's only inhabited off-shore island.

I'm fond of Rathlin.

I have always stayed at the Manor House, former home of Rathlin's landlords, the Gages.

Two ferries - one fast and one slower - sail regularly from the nearest town, Ballycastle in County Antrim.

The fast (passenger-only) ferry takes no more than twenty-five minutes to sail to the island.

My return ticket cost £12.

I arrived at about 10am on Tuesday, checked in early, unpacked and had a brief stroll round Church Bay before a good lunch comprising potato and leek soup in the Manor House, where I stayed for three nights.

Room Nine

I actually stayed in Room Nine, a small single room directly above what used to be the snug bar (The Auld Kitchen).

The Manor House closed down a couple of years ago for major renovation work so, subsequently, The Auld Kitchen was not replaced.

The new interior is hard to recognize if you recall the original one: partition walls have been rearranged and fresh, new, contemporary decor - all "mod-cons".

The general colour scheme seems to be painted in a kind of subtle pastel green.

My room had a oculus window and, in fact, there's another oculus window at the opposite end, too.

That evening I enjoyed a good dinner in the main restaurant comprising a lythe (pollack) with whole potatoes and kale; followed by pavlova.

Lawn in front of the Manor House

On Wednesday at 8am I had a fine cooked breakfast: two pork sausages, two lean rashers, potato-bread, soda-bread, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, tea and toast.

After breakfast I walked to Soerneog View hostel, where I hired a cycle for the day (£10) and rode westwards to the RSPB Seabird Centre and the West Lighthouse.

The distance from Church Bay to the West Lighthouse is about five miles.

I was rather glad to reach my destination for, although cycling is a good means of seeing the island, the terrain is uneven to the extent that it was easier for me to dismount occasionally and walk up several steep sections.

The benefit, however, is that one can freewheel down!

The RSPB centre looks brand-new and they have a seating area with refreshments for sale.

The West Lighthouse now has an interesting exhibition and most of the keepers' rooms are open.

It cost £400,000 to build in 1912: that is an astounding £42 million in today's money!

Of course it's been fully automatic since the 1980s, I think.

Reinvigorated and fortified with a chilled drink, I mounted the bike and rode back to Church Bay and on towards the southern Rue Lighthouse and lovely Ushet Port.

Ushet was used almost 200 years ago by smugglers; their ruinous building still stands, as does the adjacent coastguard house.

It sounds a bit incongruous, doesn't it? Apparently the smugglers' house used to be a kelp store.

There were over a dozen seals at Ushet warily watching me.

Thence I cycled northwards, towards the East Lighthouse which is closed to the general public.

I left my bike back later in the afternoon.

I was certainly fortunate with the weather, managing to avoid the rain.


The Manor House has a little bar at Reception and this is where I installed myself during the evening before and after dinner.

Manor House breakfast menu in 2017

It's a convivial place where I encountered and struck up conversations with residents and guests.

There's a fine marble fireplace and the fire was lit in the evenings.

On Thursday morning, I opted for the veggie fry (below); thence walked to the National Trust's Ballyconaghan townland.

This walk terminates at a disused 1941 coastguard look-out on the north coast of the island.

En route, one passes a little cluster of cottages, or a clachan, called Crocknanagh.

This consists of four or five old, ruinous cottages forming what would have been a tight-knit community - probably all related in some way or other.

Ruined cottage at Roonvoolin

There are many ruined clachans and cottages on Rathlin: its population numbered 1,200 two hundred years ago; whereas today it's closer to 150.

Incidentally, Rathlin's resident population appears to be increasing: today it's closer to 150 and as I write the schoolhouse is being extended.

I was informed that there are now 9 pupils attending the school.

Rathlin still has many traditional, vernacular stone gate-posts.

By the way, I discovered a great little café called The Watershed.

It's located between the Manor House and St Thomas's Church, adjacent to the large vehicle ferry slipway.

They have a small menu and everything is home-made and delicious.

Margherita pizza & salad at the Watershed Café

I dined at the Manor House again on Thursday evening: crab cocktail and risotto.

Crab Cocktail at the Manor House

Remember to bring plenty of cash to Rathlin. I was down to my last few banknotes!

Of course most establishments accept credit and debit cards.

There is an ATM machine at McCuaig's Bar which, I think, charges a small fee for the service.

How, on earth, did the islanders cope in the past?

Stuffed it under the mattress, I imagine; or bartered a sheep for a supply of milk!

Dinner menu in 2017

I think I'll bring along my Swiss hiking boots next time, for although the terrain was mainly dry, some of it was waterlogged.

I had an absolutely terrific time on Rathlin and felt at home in the Manor House, where the crack is good, the company convivial; the staff very hospitable and friendly; and standards high.

First published in August, 2017.