Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Portstewart Strand Acquisition

SELECTIVE ACQUISITIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND


PROPERTY: Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry

DATE: 1981

EXTENT: 225.82 acres

DONOR: Philip McIntyre Esq

First published in ,January, 2015.


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Rahinston House

THE FOWLERS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MEATH, WITH 8,026 ACRES

STEPHEN FOWLER (younger son of Richard Fowler, by Margaret, daughter of Richard, 1st Baron Newport), wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Cock, of Skendleby Thorpe, Lincolnshire, and had issue.

His only surviving son,

GEORGE FOWLER, espoused Mary, daughter and co-heir of Robert Hurst, and had,
George, died unmarried;
Hurst, left a daughter;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
Mary.
His third son,  

THE MOST REV AND RT HON ROBERT FOWLER (1724-1801), Lord Archbishop of Dublin, who was educated at Westminster School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, was one of the Chaplains to GEORGE II, and Prebendary at Westminster.

In 1771, he was consecrated Lord Bishop of Killaloe and Kilfenora in Ireland, and, 1773, was translated to the archiepiscopal see of Dublin.

His Grace was subsequently sworn of the Privy Council and became, at the institution of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, 1783, its first Chancellor.

The Archbishop married Mildred, eldest daughter (and co-heir of her brother) of William Dealtry, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, and had a son, ROBERT; and two daughters:
Mildred, m 1793, Edmund, Earl of Kilkenny;
Frances m 1795, the Hon and Rt Rev Richard Bourke.


The Prelate of the Order was ex officio the Lord Archbishop of Armagh; the Chancellor was ex officio the Lord Archbishop of Dublin.

The Chancellor's Badge (above), part of the insignia of the Order, was a small, purse-shaped item, which was suspended by a broad ribbon from the neck.

The office of Chancellor became secular when the Church of Ireland was disestablished.

His Grace died in 1801, and was succeeded by his only son,

THE RT REV ROBERT FOWLER, educated at Westminster School, and Christ Church, Oxford, who was appointed Dean of St Patrick's, became Archdeacon of Dublin, and was afterwards consecrated Lord Bishop of Ossory and Ferns.

He married, in 1796, the Hon Louisa Gardiner, eldest daughter of Luke, Viscount Mountjoy, and sister of Charles John, Earl of Blessington, and had issue,
ROBERT, of Rahinston House;
Luke, of Wellbrook.
His lordship died in 1841, and was succeeded by his elder son,

ROBERT FOWLER JP DL (1797-1868), of Rahinston and Rathmolyon, County Meath, who wedded firstly, in 1820, Jane Anne, eldest daughter of the Hon John Crichton, and sister of John, 3rd Earl of Erne, and had issue,
ROBERT, of Rahinston;
John Richard;
Jane Margaret; Louisa Catherine.
Mr Fowler wedded secondly, in 1831, the Lady Harriet Eleanor Wandesforde-Butler, eldest daughter of James, 2nd Marquess of Ormonde, and had issue,
James Haddington;
Grace Louisa; Harriet Selina; Anne Mildred; Emily.
Mr Fowler was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT FOWLER JP DL (1824-97), of Rahinston, High Sheriff, 1871, called to the Irish Bar, 1850, who married, in 1856, Letitia Mabel, daughter of Henry Barry Coddington, of Oldbridge, and had issue,
ROBERT HENRY, his heir;
John Sharman, DSO;
George Hurst;
Francis FitzHerbert;
Louisa Marian; Florence Mary; Eleanor Katherine.
Mr Fowler was succeeded by his eldest son,

CAPTAIN ROBERT HENRY FOWLER JP DL (1857-1957), of Rahinston, and Rathmolyon, High Sheriff of County Meath, 1899, Captain, 85th King's Light Infantry, who espoused, in 1890, Mabel, daughter and co-heir of the Hon St Leger R Glyn, and had issue,
ROBERT ST LEGER, his heir;
George Glyn, b 1896.
Captain Fowler was succeeded by his elder son,

CAPTAIN ROBERT ST LEGER FOWLER MC (1891-1925), Captain, 17th Lancers, Military Cross, 1916, who died a bachelor, and the family estate devolved upon his cousin,

BRIGADIER BRYAN JOHN FOWLER DSO MC (1898-1987), of Rahinston (son of George Hurst Fowler and Mabel Blakiston-Houston), who married, in 1944, Mary Olivia, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Cecil Patteson Nickalls, in 1944; Military Cross, 1918; Distinguished Service Order and Bar, 1943.

Brigadier Fowler retired from the army in 1949.

His eldest son,

JOHN ROBERT HENRY FOWLER (1946-2008), of Rahinston, married, in 1971, the Lady Jennifer Chichester, daughter of the 7th Marquess of Donegall.

Since John Fowler's tragic death in 2008, Lady Jennifer took over the mantle.

Lady Jennifer Fowler died on 12th March, 2013.

The training establishment continues.

Her son Harry and his wife Lorna are committed to developing the stud farm at Rahinston.


RAHINSTON HOUSE, near Summerhill, County Meath, is an Italianate house of ca 1875, "attributed stylistically to Sir Charles Lanyon" [Bence-Jones].

It has a three-bay front, faced in Roman cement with sandstone dressings; pediments over the windows.


The roof is carried on a bracket cornice. There is a bow window at the side with curved glass.

First published in October, 2012.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Christie of Coleraine

CHRISTIE OF MAGHERABUOY HOUSE

DANIEL CHRISTIE (1784-1862), of Coleraine, County Londonderry, a merchant, married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Hurley, of Spring Gardens, in the same town.

His eldest son,

DANIEL CHRISTIE (1838-1900), of Coleraine, merchant, educated at Coleraine School, married and left issue, his eldest son,

DANIEL HALL CHRISTIE CBE DL (1881-), of Magherabuoy House, County Londonderry, High Sheriff, 1943, Mayor, 1944-46, MP, 1933-37, Managing Director, Christies Ltd, Coleraine.

His son,

DANIEL JACKSON (Jack) CHRISTIE CBE ERD JP (1906-), High Sheriff, 1953, Lieutenant-Colonel, TA, Mayor of Coleraine, 1946-49, married and had a son,

DANIEL (Dan) MONROE CHRISTIE DL (1938-2008), of Coleraine, who married, in 1979, and had issue, three children, Joanna, Harriett and Marcus.

Mr Christie had two daughters, Charlotte and Sarah, from a previous marriage.

Mrs Joan Christie OBE is presently HM Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim.
Mr Christie was a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. During his working life he held a number of positions including that of Chairman of the NI Builders Merchants Association. He was also a keen member of the NI Construction Industry Advisory Council, the Confederation of British Industry and Coleraine Borough Economic Development Committee.
His commitment to and fondness for the local community in and around Coleraine is best illustrated by his huge contribution to local business and regional activity.

As well as being President of the Coleraine Chamber of Commerce and Industry for several years, Dan was also the Chairman of the EU Fund for Peace and Reconciliation as part of the Coleraine Borough Partnership; Chairman of the Coleraine Safer Towns initiative; Chairman of the Coleraine Branch of the Citizens Advise Bureau; President of the Coleraine Royal British Legion and a Coleraine Harbour Commissioner.

Undoubtedly, his significant contribution to the continuing development of the town of Coleraine and its business life remains apparent today.

Dan joined the Ulster Defence Regiment in 1976 and served as Company Commander in Ballymoney until 1979.

His influence extended into the County of Londonderry, serving as High Sheriff for the County in 1977 and as an active and committed Deputy Lieutenant for the county from the 70s.

A commitment to his children and their education led Dan to become Chairman of the Board of Governors at the DH Christie Memorial Primary School and to sit on the Board of Governors at Dalriada Grammar School in Ballymoney.

Dan had a long and distinguished career in the Territorial Army: ADC to the Governor, Lord Erskine, in the early 1960s, he went on to become a squadron leader in the North Irish Horse.

His natural ability to lead and inspire resulted in his appointment as the Honorary Colonel of the regiment from 1998 - 2003.

During his tenure, Dan and his colleagues were instrumental in ensuring that the two squadrons within the North Irish Horse remained in existence following the government's Strategic Defence Review.

Outside of work and duty, Dan was just as dedicated to his interests and loves.

A keen sailor, he competed successfully in sailing events both nationally and internationally.

More recently he was so proud of Marcus when he followed in his footsteps and sailed across the Atlantic in the Challenge Transat.

His role as Joint Master and later Master of the Route Hunt for over twenty years ensued from his love of horses and hunting, a role previously held by his father and grandfather.

He took particular pleasure in the training and working of the hounds.

Some of his happiest memories from his hunting days involved trotting behind Joanna on her pony.

Magherabuoy House: Photo credit ~ Magherabuoy House Hotel

The Rt Hon Sir Dawson Bates Bt OBE lived at Magherabuoy House from 1934-47.

First published in April, 2013.

Loughry Manor

THE LINDESAYS OWNED 2,821 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE 


The first of the family of LINDESAY who settled in Ulster, upon the confiscation of the O'Neills in that province, were two brothers, BERNARD LINDESAY, of Lough Hill, Haddington, Gentleman of the Bedchamber to JAMES VI of Scotland, and ROBERT LINDESAY, Chief Harbinger to that monarch, sons of THOMAS LINDESAY, of Kingswark, in Leith, which Thomas held several offices of high honour and trust, as well as emolument, under MARY, Queen of Scotland, and her son, JAMES VI, such as Searcher-General of Leith, in 1562, which he resigned in favour of his son, Bernard, in 1594.

The King provided, not only for him, but his family, by pensions, to his daughters, Agnes and Elizabeth, out of the rents and tithes of the abbey of North Berwick; also to his sons, Bernard, Thomas, and Robert, from other lands belonging to the Friars of Linlithgow.

Thomas Lindesay, the Snawdoun Herald, and Searcher-General of Leith, was living in 1594.

His son, 

ROBERT LINDESAY, of Leith, Chief Harbinger and Comptroller of the Artillery to JAMES I in Scotland, obtained from that monarch a grant of the manor and lands of Tullyhogue, Loughry, etc, County Tyrone, by patent dated 1611.

He married Janet Acheson, and by her (who survived him, and was living in 1619) he had a son and successor,

ROBERT LINDESAY, of Loughry and Tullyhogue, who obtained a second patent of the said manor and lands of Loughry and Tullyhogue, described therein as Manor Lindesay, in the 14th year of the reign of CHARLES I, and who built the mansion house of Loughry in 1632, which was burnt by the rebels in 1641, and rebuilt by him in 1671.

He was an officer in the royal army at the battle of Worcester.

This gentleman married Margaret, daughter of James Richardson, of Castle Hill, County Tyrone, and died in 1674, aged 70, having had issue (with three daughters) three sons,
ROBERT, of whom presently;
Alexander, of Cahoo;
William.
The elder son, 

ROBERT LINDESAY, of Loughry and Tullyhogue, a refugee and defender in Londonderry during the celebrated siege, wedded Anne, daughter of John Morris, of Bellville, County Tyrone.

He died in 1691, leaving issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
JOHN, of whose line we treat.
JUDGE (ROBERT) LINDESAY (1679-1742), of Loughry and Tullyhogue, MP for County Tyrone, 1726, Judge of the Common Pleas, 1733, married, in 1707, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Singleton, of Drogheda (and sister of Henry Singleton, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland, and afterwards Master of the Rolls, in that kingdom), and had issue one son and one daughter: Robert, died an infant; Anne, died unmarried.

Judge Lindesay, an intimate friend of Dean Swift, having dsp 1742, was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN LINDESAY (1686-1761), of Loughry and Tullyhogue, who married, in 1744, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev Bellingham Mauleverer, Rector of Maghera, County Londonderry, and granddaughter of the Most Rev William Nicolson, Lord Archbishop of Cashel.

He died in 1761, leaving a son and successor,

ROBERT LINDESAY (1747-1832), of Loughry and Tullyhogue, MP for Dundalk, 1781, a Deputy Governor of Tyrone, Assistant Barrister, County Tyrone, who married, in 1775, his second cousin, Jane, eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas Mauleverer, of Arncliffe Hall, Yorkshire, and had issue,
John, father of JOHN LINDESAY;
Robert, died in infancy;
FREDERICK, of whom hereafter.
Mr Lindesay was succeeded by his eldest son,  

JOHN LINDESAY (1780-1826), Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Tyrone Militia, Mayor of Cashel, who wedded Mary Anne, daughter of Richard Pennefather, of New Park, County Tipperary; MP for Cashel, and had an only son,

JOHN LINDESAY DL (1808-48), Lieutenant, 7th Royal Fusiliers, High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1840, who succeeded to the family estate on the death of his grandfather, 1832.

Mr Lindesay married Harriott Hester, daughter of the Rt Hon Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn MP, of Llangedwin, brother to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn Bt, MP, of Wynnstay, Denbighshire, but died without an heir, and was succeeded by his uncle, 

FREDERICK LINDESAY JP DL (1792-), of Loughry, Barrister, High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1859, who married firstly, in 1823, Agnes Cornish Bayntun, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Edwin Bayntun Sandys Bt, of Miserden Park, Gloucestershire, and Hadlington Hall, Oxfordshire (who died in 1842), and had issue,
Robert Sandys, Capt. Royal Tyrone Fusilier Militia; d 1870;
Frederick John Sandys (1830-77), of Loughry, military officer;
Thomas Edward, 27th Bengal Native Infantry, killed in 1857;
JOSHUA EDWARD CHARLES COOPER, of whom we treat;
Jane; Philippa Allen; Agnes Sarah.
The fourth son, 

JOSHUA EDWARD CHARLES COOPER LINDESAY JP DL (1843-93), of Loughry, Lieutenant-Colonel, 3rd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment; late 50th Regiment, died a bachelor and was succeeded by his cousin,

HENRY RICHARD PONSONBY LINDESAY (1843-1903), of Loughry, and Donore, Ivybridge, Devon, Lieutenant-Colonel, Reserve of Officers, late 60th Rifles and 20th Regiment, who wedded, in 1898, Frances Mary, daughter of the Rev J Irwin, Rector of Hurworth-on-Tees.

He dsp 1903.


LOUGHRY DEMESNE, near Cookstown, County Tyrone, dates from the early 17th century.

The origins of the demesne can be traced to 1611, when land in the area was granted by JAMES I to his Chief Harbinger, Robert Lindesay, who is thought to have built himself a timber residence on the southern side of the river Killymoon, close to the village of Tullahogue, "surrounded by a ditch with a high bank of Clay and a quick-thorn hedge".

Robert died ca 1629 and his lands passed to his son Robert, who built a new residence on the present site in 1632.

This house was destroyed in the 1641 rebellion and the site was abandoned until 1671, when a new dwelling was commenced.

This second house was finished in 1674, shortly after Robert's death, and survived until about 1750, when it, too, was destroyed by fire, although it is thought to have been accidental.

Although there appears to be no extant documentary evidence to prove it, the relatively steeply-pitched roof and simple symmetrical lines of the present building suggest that it is that built ca 1754 to replace the 17th century residence.

On this, the main two-storey, five openings-wide, gabled block to the south is shown, along with a rear return and the long wing to the north, an arrangement which is by and large repeated on the revised map of 1857, but with somewhat more extensive rear returns.

It is said that Frederick Lindesay added a "saw mill, steward's house offices and lodge" to the demesne in 1863, and that in the house itself was "improved" by his son, Frederick Lindesay, upon his coming into the estate in 1871-72.

Part of the latter improvements probably involved the addition of the section to the north end of the north wing, which is believed to have originally contained "a banqueting hall and musicians' gallery", as well as the porch, and the decorative mouldings around the window openings.

Frederick Lindesay led an extravagant lifestyle, and by the time of his death in 1877, he had amassed debts said to have been in excess of £42,000.

His younger brother and successor, Joshua Lindesay, attempted to rectify this by leading a frugal existence.

Consequently he appears to have vacated Loughry during the 1880s, living within the much more modest Rock Lodge, to the south of the estate.

Joshua died in 1893, leaving the family's financial problems unresolved, and shortly afterwards the house and estate were sold to Cookstown businessman, John Wilson Fleming.

According to a family historian, Ernest Godfrey, either before or just after the sale, a fire "destroyed the top storey of the mansion".

The extent of the damage caused by the fire, and the amount of rebuilding - if any- is uncertain.

In 1908, Mr Fleming sold the house and its demesne to the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Ireland, which, in 1908, opened the Ulster Dairy School on the site.
Shortly afterwards, the school built a new front wing and, within the original building, converted the library to an office; the dining-room to a sewing-room; the small drawing room to a superintendent's room; the large drawing room to a school room; the blue bedroom to a staff sitting room; another bedroom to a small dormitory; the yellow room to a superintendent's room; Bachelor's Walk to a teachers' wing; and the banqueting hall and musicians' gallery to another dormitory.
In 1922, following the establishment of Northern Ireland, the school was handed over to the Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture.

In 1949, it became Loughry Agricultural College.

*****

Dean Swift is thought to have written part of Gulliver’s Travels whilst staying at Loughry.

There is a room perched precariously on rocks above the Killymoon River, which is known as Dean Swift’s Summer House.


Both the summer house and Loughry Manor are listed.

The house has "1632" inscribed on a wall.

Modern planting and landscaping enhances the college buildings and the prospect to the planted top of Rockhead Hill has not been obscured.

There are mature trees in the parkland, in clumps and individual trees.

The river bank is heavily wooded throughout the demesne and old walk-ways survive.

Offices and stables for the manor house have been adapted for college use.

The walled garden contains a small collection of fruit trees, but is not otherwise cultivated.

First published in April, 2013.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Laganview House

Bank of Ireland Chambers

93-95, ANN STREET, BELFAST, occupies a corner site which returns to 1, Oxford Street.

It comprises a three-storey, L-shaped, red-brick block with an attic floor.

The southern elevation is abutted by a three-storey building; whereas the western side comprises four storeys.

The ground floor has a door to the west with a sandstone pediment on brackets above the moulded granite architrave.

Dormer copings (below) boast octagonal finials, panels with relief carvings of urns and foliate decoration over dentilled cornices.


The building is situated on a prominent corner of Ann Street and Oxford Street, facing the river Lagan and Queen's Bridge.

Riddel's Warehouse, at 87-91 Ann Street, stands directly beside Laganview House.

Ann Street elevation

The building was constructed in 1899 and designed by the architects Millar & Symes.

Construction of the Bank of Ireland (Queen's Bridge branch) began in the same year.

Aside from operating as a bank branch, the upper floors of Bank of Ireland Chambers were utilised as office space for a variety of local firms and organisations.

In 1907, for instance, the offices were occupied by insurance firms, grain merchants, and the headquarters of the Belfast Boys' Brigade, among others.
By 1918, the upper offices were occupied by the same Insurance agencies and merchants; however, the Boys' Brigade had vacated the site, whilst new occupants included an engineering firm and a boiler-making company.
During the 2nd World War the upper floors were occupied by the Northern Ireland Port Area Grain & Flour Committee, the Royal Liver Friendly Society, and Government offices.

By the 1950s, many of the upper offices were occupied by the Belfast Mersey & Manchester Steamship Company, a shipping and ferry firm that navigated the route between the two cities.

In 1993, the bank was described by Marcus Patton OBE, in his excellent historical gazetteer of central Belfast, as a
three-storey building in red brick on red sandstone ground floor and grey granite plinth, with attic gable and full height canted bay at chamfered corner entrance; ground floor pilasters with small rosettes at capitals.
In more recent years an attempt to demolish the former bank with the sole retention of the listed facade was rejected by the Planning Appeals Commission.

The former Bank of Ireland Chambers was occupied by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive until 2013.

OX Restaurant

1 Oxford Street is now the premises of the acclaimed restaurant OX.

I passed the premises on a Sunday morning; traffic was light, which made it easy to snap away to my heart's content.

Housing Executive signage remains at the main corner entrance to the block.


The outline of Bank of Ireland signage can still be discerned.

OX restaurant has a simple, unpretentious, almost austere aspect.


A simple sign hangs from the wall.



Its prospect is of the Beacon of Hope sculpture at the Queen's Bridge, at what was known as Canal Quay.

In July, 2013, there was a proposal for a six-storey building comprising restaurant and bar at ground and mezzanine level and 24 apartments on the five floors above, including retention of the existing facade and demolition of the building behind.

Laganview House, as it became known, was sold in January, 2017.

First published in April, 2015.

The Murlough Acquisition

SELECTIVE ACQUISITIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

PROPERTY: Murlough Nature Reserve, near Dundrum, County Down

DATE: 1967

EXTENT: 430.27 acres

DONOR: 8th Marquess of Downshire

*****

PROPERTY: Murlough House and lands

DATE: 1975

EXTENT: 265.79 acres

DONOR: Messrs RBS and John Hawkins

First published in January, 2015.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Fellows Hall

THE ARMSTRONGS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ARMAGH, WITH 2,279 ACRES

EDWARD ARMSTRONG, of Dublin, son of William Armstrong, by Jane Garver his wife, married, in 1760, Grace Jones, and had issue,
WILLIAM JONES;
Edward;
Hugh.
The eldest son,

THE REV WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG (1764-1825), Rector of Termonfeckin, County Louth, wedded, in 1786, Margaret, third daughter of Alderman John Tew, Lord Mayor of Dublin (by Margaret Maxwell his wife, grandniece of John, 1st Lord Farnham), and granddaughter of Alderman David Tew, Lord Mayor of the same city, 1752, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM JONES, his heir;
John Tew;
Thomas Knox, of Fellow's Hall, JP;
Helen; Anne; Diana Jane.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG JP DL (1794-1872), of Killylea, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1840, espoused, in 1842, Frances Elizabeth, widow of Colonel Sir Michael McCreagh CB KCH, and only daughter of Captain Christopher Wilson, of the 22nd Foot, and had issue,
WILLIAM FORTESCUE, 7th Hussars (1843-71);
HENRY BRUCE, of whom hereafter.
His younger son,

THE RT HON HENRY BRUCE ARMSTRONG JP DL (1844-1943), of Killylea, and Dean's Hill, both in County Armagh, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1875, and High Sheriff of County Longford, 1894, married, in 1883, Margaret, daughter of William Leader, of Rossnalee, County Cork, and had issue,
William Fortescue, lieutenant RA;
Michael Richard Leader;
Henry Maxwell;
JAMES ROBERT BARGRAVE, of whom hereafter;
Christopher Wyborne;
Frances Margaret Alice; Dorothea Gertrude; Margaret Helen Elizabeth.
The fourth son,

JAMES ROBERT BARGRAVE ARMSTRONG (1893-1980), of Fellows Hall, Killylea, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1960, Barrister, North Irish Horse, 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, wedded, in 1930, the Hon Kathleen Marion Napier, daughter of Edward, 4th Baron Napier of Magdala, and had issue,
Henry Napier;
John Fortescue;
Frances Evelyn; Kathleen Mary Perceval; Florence Margaret.
Mr Armstrong was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY NAPIER ARMSTRONG DL (1936-2014), of Fellows Hall, Barrister, Lieutenant, Royal Engineers (TA), who married, in 1967, Rosmarie Alice, daughter of Harold Ducket White, and had issue,
Bruce William, b 1970;
Mark Harold Napier, b 1978;
Antonia Kathleen, b 1974.
Photo credit: http://www.stonedatabase.com


FELLOWS HALL, Killylea, County Armagh, is a Victorian-Italianate reconstruction of a house of 1762 (which itself was rebuilt in 1752).

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with a five-bay front.

Round-headed windows conatin keystones in the upper storey.

The doorway is tripartite, with a triple window above.

The Hall passed through marriage from the Maxwells to the Armstrong and Stronge families; thence to the McClintocks.

The Armstrong Papers are held at PRONI.

First published in April, 2015.

Boyd of Ballycastle

THE BOYDS OWNED 5,304 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

THE REV WILLIAM BOYD, Vicar of Ramoan, 1679-81, married Rose, great-granddaughter of Hugh McNeil.

Hugh McNeil, who was appointed 1st constable of Dunynie by Randal MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim, was granted lands which formed the basis of the Ballycastle Estate.

The Vicar's second son,

COLONEL HUGH BOYD (1690-1765), born at Drumawillan House, Glentaise, inherited his father's estate in 1711, aged 21.

Colonel Boyd became manager of Ballycastle Colliery Salt Works and Company, and quickly began expanding the business. In 1737, he was granted £10,000 by the Irish Parliament for the establishment of a harbour at Ballycastle. 

Colonel Boyd also built Holy Trinity Church in the town, in 1756, at a cost of £2,769.

HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle, County Antrim, MP for County Antrim, 1794-96, married and had issue, an only son and daughters.

This Hugh's second daughter, Harriet, wedded Sir John Boyd Bt in 1818. 
His second son,

ALEXANDER BOYD (1791-1886), Lord of the Manor of Ballycastle, espoused, in 1821, Ann, daughter of Henry Huey.

His eldest son,

HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle (1826-91), married Marianne, elder daughter of James McKinley, of Carneatly.

The eldest son,

ALEXANDER BOYD JP (1865-1952), of Ballycastle, married, in 1903, Letitia, fifth daughter of John Nicholl, of The Orchard, Ballycastle.

His eldest son,

HUGH ALEXANDER BOYD, of Islandview, Ballycastle, married and had issue, his eldest son,

ALEXANDER JOHN BOYD, born in 1940.



THE MANSION, Ballycastle, County Antrim, is a mid-18th century building.

It had an archway above which was set a statue of an Indian river god, presumably supplied by Major-General Hugh Boyd, of the Bengal Army, at the time of the mutiny,

"Boyd - Major-General Hugh - Bengal Army - died 24th December 1876. Ensign Hugh Boyd, 62nd Native Infantry) served at Bhurtpore 1826 (medal and bar).

Memorial at Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland - "In memory of Major General Hugh Boyd. Who died 24th December 1876 aged 76 years. General Boyd (of the Late Bengal Army) served with his regiment and on the General Staff throughout India for a uninterrupted term of 32 years from January 1824, a period of India's history as eventful in military successes and glory as any preceding it, returning to India after a short furlough in 1856.

He closed his military career commanding a brigade throughout the memorable Sepoy Mutiny of 1857-58."

There is a stable block with cut-stone window surrounds.


The Manor House became a Barnardo boys' home.

Little remains of the original house.

First published in April, 2013.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Athavallie House

THE LYNCH-BLOSSE BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MAYO, WITH 22,658 ACRES

The family of LYNCH was of great antiquity in the province of Connaught, being amongst the very early settlers, denominated the Tribes of Galway.

In an old manuscript in Ulster King-of-Arms' office, William le Petit is stated to be the common progenitor of all the Lynches of Ireland.

The founder of the honours of the family, however, was

HENRY LYNCH, Mayor of, and MP for Galway (eldest of twelve sons of Nicholas Lynch, also Mayor of Galway).

Mr Lynch was created a baronet in 1622.
This gentleman was the son of Nicholas Lynch fitz Stephen (Mayor 1584–1585) and great-grandson of Mayor Arthur Lynch (died 1539); land agent for Richard, 4th Earl of Clanricarde; mentor to Patrick D'Arcy and Richard Martyn, later senior political figures of Confederate Ireland.
He was stepfather to D'Arcy and married to an aunt of Martyn. He was among the first of his family to become a lawyer, and several of his younger sons followed him into this profession, as did, under his influence, D'Arcy, Martyn, Geoffrey Browne and subsequent generations of The Tribes of Galway.
Sir Henry married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Martin, and widow of James D'Arcy, by whom he had three sons and three daughters.

He died in 1635, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBUCK LYNCH, 2nd Baronet, who represented Galway in parliament in 1639 and 1641, and was resident counsel for Connaught during the rebellion.

He wedded Ellis, daughter of Sir Peter French, Knight, by whom he had two sons, and was succeeded on his decease, 1667, by the elder, 

SIR HENRY LYNCH, 3rd Baronet, a lawyer of eminence, and one of the barons of the exchequer, in 1689.

Sir Henry wedded firstly, Margaret, daughter of Sir Theobald Bourke, 3rd Viscount Mayo, but by that lady had no issue; and secondly, and had (with a younger son) his successor,

SIR ROBERT LYNCH (-c1720), 4th Baronet, who espoused Catherine, daughter of Henry Blake, of County Mayo, by whom he had, with two daughters, a son and heir,

SIR HENRY LYNCH (-1762), 5th Baronet, of Carracastle, who married Mary, daughter of John Moore, of Brees [sic], County Galway, and had one daughter and an only son, his successor,

SIR ROBERT LYNCH-BLOSSE, 6th Baronet, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Francis Barker, heir of Tobias Blosse, of Little Belstead, Suffolk.

He assumed the surname of BLOSSE, in addition to, and after, that of LYNCH.

It was a condition of the marriage that Robert would assume the additional surname of BLOSSE and conform to Protestantism.

The issue of this marriage were, HENRY, who succeeded to the title; and Francis, who wedded Hatton, daughter of John Smith, and had issue, Robert, who, succeeding his uncle, became the 8th Baronet.

Sir Robert died in 1775, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HENRY LYNCH-BLOSSE, 7th Baronet (1749-88), upon whose demise, without issue, the title reverted to his nephew, 

SIR ROBERT LYNCH-BLOSSE (1774-1818), 8th Baronet, who wedded firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of William Gorman, of Carlow, by whom he had FRANCIS, the next baronet, with several other children.

He married secondly, Charlotte, daughter of John Richards, of Cardiff.

Sir Robert  was succeeded by his son,

THE REV SIR FRANCIS LYNCH-BLOSSE (1801-40), 9th Baronet, who wedded, in 1824, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Lord Plunket, and had issue,
ROBERT, 10th Baronet;
William Conyngham, b 1826.
*****

Sir Richard Hely Lynch-Blosse (b 1953), 17th and present Baronet, lives in Oxfordshire.


ATHAVALLIE HOUSE, near Castlebar, County Mayo, is a long, low, plain, two-storey residence, its main block of five bays, with an entrance door set in a broad stone arch.

The front is extended by a four-bay range of the same height, though set back.

In 1894, Athavallie House was recorded as the seat of Sir Henry Lynch-Blosse, 11th Baronet (1857-1918), and most likely the last of the family to reside there.

In 1920, the Sisters of St Louis founded a school which catered for girls only.

It was a boarding school-cum-day school until the St Louis Sisters left in 1978 and the school became co-educational under the control of the local community.

Balla Secondary School is based here now.

Athavallie House still stands but is no longer used for educational purposes.

It was used as a military hospital during the 1st World War.

Other former seat ~ Castle Carra, County Mayo.

First published in April, 2013.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Crom: Walled Garden

Although it's one of the most remote parts of the Province and almost as far from Belfast as you can get, I've been to Crom Estate in County Fermanagh many times.

I first visited it in about 1977, when the estate manager took us on a guided tour of the Castle - I'd written to Lord Erne in advance, requesting a visit.

The Walled Garden lies deep within the grounds of Crom.

You cross the White Bridge and walk several hundred yards until it appears, the former head gardener's lodge being opposite it.

Its old, red-brick walls are in good condition, the National Trust having re-built at least one side some years ago.

It extends to roughly three acres in size; and it has been utterly overgrown since its demise after the second world war.

I've no doubt that the Trust intends to revive this magical place as and when funds become available.

Many fruits and vegetables were grown here for the big house.

Exotic fruits, which are nowadays taken for granted, were a rarity then and only the wealthiest families could afford to cultivate them.

In fact many people may never have seen a pineapple or a peach or known they existed.

On one side of the Walled Garden there were raspberries; and strawberries on another.

Heated glasshouses contained peaches, nectarines, pineapples, grapes and tomatoes; not to omit lettuce, marrows, cucumbers and orchards with apples, plums, pears and greengages.

There were also beehives, sweet-pea, daffodils, dahlias and magnolias.

In the middle of the garden there was a large palm-house, now sadly gone, about thirty feet high, where the weather-reading was taken every morning.

The whole garden swarmed with butterflies, bees and other wild insects; birds flitted in and out to help themselves to Nature's goodness.

It must have been heavenly.

Of course the main purpose of the walled garden was to maintain an abundant supply of produce, including flowers, for the Castle: a barrow was wheeled manually up to the Castle with fruit, vegetables and flowers twice daily.

When the family were staying at their London home, the freshly-picked produce was loaded on to the train at Newtownbutler station and taken to Belfast or Dublin; then put on a ferry for its long journey to the metropolis, where it would have been delivered to the Ernes' house the next day; and that was in Victorian times!

I have been in the Walled Garden and my imagination always escapes to those halcyon days, dreaming of what it must have been like.

My fervent hope is that the enchanting walled garden of Crom is resurrected back to life again some day.

This piece was first published in August, 2008. It is thought that the intention is to utilize part of the Walled Garden as community allotments.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Corick House

 THE STORY FAMILY OWNED 2,065 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE


JOHN STORY (1648-1725), of Bingfield Hall, Hexham, Northumberland, settled in Ulster about 1697.
Mr Story was established on church land at Corick, County Tyrone, by the Rt Rev St George Ashe (1658-1718), Lord Bishop of Clogher.  He was the elder brother of the Rt Rev Joseph Story, Lord Bishop of Kilmore, sold his estate at Bingfield Hall and removed to Ulster  under the auspices of Bishop Ashe.
This John Story and his son Thomas acquired an estate within the See of Clogher, where they built their first residence.

He died at Corick in 1725, leaving issue,
THOMAS, of whom presently;
Joseph, ancestor of STORY of Bingfield;
John, b 1681;
Samuel, b 1683.
The eldest son,

THOMAS STORY (1678-1768), of Corick, wedded, in 1707, Rebecca ______, and had five sons and two daughters, of whom,
JOHN, of whom presently;
Joseph (Rev), rector of Monaghan (1711-84);
Thomas, 1715-44;
Benjamin, father of JOHN BENJAMIN, s his uncle.
The eldest son,

JOHN STORY (1708-80), died a bachelor and was succeeded by his nephew,

THE REV JOHN BENJAMIN STORY (1764-1844), of Corick, Canon Chancellor of Clogher, who married, in 1790, Jane, daughter of Alexander Young, of Coolkeiragh, County Londonderry, by Catherine his wife, daughter of Richard Hassard, of Gardenhill, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
JOHN BENJAMIN, his heir;
Alexander, died unmarried;
Anne; Kate; Elizabeth; Jane;
Letitia; Frances Thomasina; Maria.
The eldest son,

JOHN BENJAMIN STORY, of Corick, wedded, in 1840, Catherine, daughter of Captain Valentine Munbee, of Horringer, Suffolk; though  dsp in 1862, and was succeeded by his only surviving brother,

THE REV WILLIAM STORY, of Corick, Rector of Aghabog, who espoused Sarah, daughter of John Black, and had issue,
JOHN BENJAMIN, his heir;
William George Theaker, b 1863;
Marion Letitia; Alice Gertrude;
Emma Mary Geraldine.
He died in 1888, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN BENJAMIN STORY, MB, M.Ch, FRCSI, (1850-1931), of Corick, who married, in 1892, Blanche Christabel, daughter of the Rev J W Hallowell, and had issue,
Eleanor Constance;
Joan Blanche. 

 ***********

DR JOHN BENJAMIN STORY, of Corick, and of 6 Merrion Square North, Dublin,

was educated at Winchester; and Trinity College Dublin; Surgeon Oculist to GEORGE V in Ireland; High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1911; President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; and of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, 1918-19.
"The King has appointed Mr John Benjamin Story, MB, FRCSI, to be Honorary Surgeon Oculist to His Majesty in Ireland, in room of Mr Charles Edward Fitzgerald, MD, deceased." 

CORICK HOUSE, near Clogher, County Tyrone, was originally built at the end of the 17th century, as a double gable-ended block of two storeys over a basement, with five bays.

In 1863, on the instructions of William Story, the house was enlarged and altered to the design of the Belfast firm of Sir Charles Lanyon.

A new garden front with a large canted bay in its centre and a three-storey tower with Italianate hipped slate roof were added. The original dining room remained unaltered.


The house sits on an elevated site above the River Blackwater, and is approached from the north by a straight avenue, laid down in the 1690s, lined with mature beech trees.

The enclosing parkland, some of whose trees were considered very fine as early as 1835, belongs to the later 18th century.

It is bordered to the south by the river Blackwater, and contains mature trees in set, undulating ground, including a planted rath.

The area around the house is enhanced by a maintained, ornamental garden.

The walled garden is partly cultivated, with a glasshouse.

There are three gate lodges, all of which pre-date the 1850s.

The last member of the Story family, a granddaughter of Dr John Benjamin Story, sold Corick to Mrs Jean Beacom; and the surrounding farmland to local farmers.

Corick House is now a country house hotel.

First published in January, 2013.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Avenida Salmon


I revisited another old haunt last night, the Avenida Restaurant.

It's situated on a back street in Corralejo by the name of Calle General Prim.

Heard of this cove, Prim? I thought not.

Avenida is one of the most popular restaurants in town, particularly with inhabitants.

I was greeted cordially and sat at my usual table, a sturdy, simple, heavy, square, wooden affair.

The chairs are equally robust.

This is an unpretentious place.

Patrons return for good, authentic grub; and it's terrific value, too.


The waiter brought me a little basket of fresh bread and some of their delicious, strong alioli.

Real alioli is almost pungently strong, in my book.

I ordered a soft drink and the grilled salmon.

A word of advice: unless you're the build of Bertie Wooster's acquaintance, the Right Honourable A B Filmer, order a half-portion.

Heaven knows what size the full portion would be.

My salmon duly arrived, with those small Canarian potatoes and salad.

The fish seemed to be cut like a steak, and was served with a considerable number of bones and skin.

However, I have to say that it was a good flavour and succulent.

At the conclusion of my dinner they offered me a local liqueur called Ron Miel, served in a tiny "shot" glass, topped with whipped cream.

The entire bill came to €8.

Friday, 21 April 2017

John Ballance, 1839-93

Rt Hon John Ballance, XIVth Prime Minister of New Zealand
THE ULSTER NEW ZEALAND TRUST WAS FOUNDED IN 1989 TO RESTORE THE BALLANCE HOUSE AND TO CREATE A NEW ZEALAND CENTRE IN NORTHERN IRELAND


John Ballance was born at Ballypitmave, near Glenavy, County Antrim (in a cottage near the Ballance house), into a comfortably off, though not prosperous, Ulster family.

His date of birth is said to have been 27th March, 1839.

His father, Samuel Ballance, was a Protestant tenant farmer on Lord Hertford's estate 'with evangelical tendencies'.

His mother, Mary McNiece, was a Quaker from a prominent local family.

The eldest of eleven children, John was educated at Glenavy National School and at Wilson's Academy, Belfast.

Early impressions of him are of a sturdy but rather lazy boy with a propensity to do nothing all day but read.

Ballamce House

John's father, Samuel, was active in politics, at times nominating conservative candidates for Belfast, and his son took a precocious interest in these activities.

At 16 years of age he was helping to write his father's speeches.

But if it was his father who brought John Ballance into early contact with political life, it was his more liberal mother who influenced the direction of his own political philosophy.

A series of major sectarian riots in Belfast also made a lasting impression.

Ballance left Wilson's Academy before completing his education and took a job with a Belfast ironmongery firm.

In 1857, when he was 18, he left Belfast for Birmingham, where he worked as a travelling salesman.

The original house before restoration

Caught up in the Victorian ethic of self-help and self-education, he enrolled in evening classes at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, studying politics, biography and history.

Birmingham was at the centre of important political and philosophical movements and Ballance took a lively interest in current affairs.

He heard speeches by major figures of the day such as John Bright, Michael Faraday and Joseph Chamberlain.

In Birmingham, Ballance also met Fanny Taylor, the daughter of a licensed victualler; they were married at St Peter and St Paul's Church, Aston, on 17 June 1863.

Not long afterwards, due in part to Fanny's ill health, they decided to emigrate to New Zealand where she had a brother living in Wanganui.

In April 1866 they left London on the Ruahine bound for Melbourne, Australia, and after a short stay continued to New Zealand on the Albion.

They arrived at Wellington on 11 August, and a few days later travelled on to Wanganui.

In Wanganui John Ballance opened a shop on Taupo Quay, selling jewellery he had purchased in Australia.

The business was neither successful nor something Ballance contemplated pursuing for long.

Instead, his chosen career was journalism: He established the Evening Herald in 1867, in partnership with local printer A D Willis.
An able and innovative journalist, Ballance managed and edited the Evening Herald (from 1876 the Wanganui Herald ) and its weekly edition, the Weekly Herald (later the Yeoman ) with considerable success, particularly in the years before the economic downturn of the 1880s.
During the war against Titokowaru of Ngati Ruanui in 1868–69, when the township of Wanganui felt itself under immediate threat, the Herald was outspoken in its criticism of the poor performance of the British forces and vehement in its attitude to Titokowaru's forces.
Regarded by authorities as a maverick troublemaker, Ballance spent a night in jail after refusing to respond to an order to turn out as part of the local militia, the compulsory nature of which offended his liberal beliefs.

The public perception gained of Ballance at this time through his bellicose editorials in the Herald was of a man who 'called a spade a spade'.

The later testimony of friends, however, spoke of his soft-hearted and kindly personality.

Ballance became increasingly involved in Wanganui affairs, helping to found the Wanganui and Rangitikei Land and Building Society and the local Oddfellows lodge. 

In March 1868 Fanny Ballance died after a short illness, at the age of 24.

Two years later, at Wellington, on 19 May 1870, John Ballance married Ellen Anderson, the daughter of Wellington merchant David Anderson and his wife, Ann Thompson.

There were no children from either marriage, but in 1886 Ellen and John adopted Ellen's four-year-old niece, Florence Anderson, whom they re-christened Kathleen.

In 1872 Ballance put his name forward at a parliamentary by-election for the seat of Egmont, but withdrew before the vote.

Three years later he narrowly won in Rangitikei, on a platform stressing abolition of the provincial system and arguing in favour of state education.

He increased his majority at the general election of 1876.

Ballance made an early impact in Wellington.

Following the abolition of the provinces in 1876 he focused on the promotion of closer land settlement, which he considered to be the major political issue of the day.

Ballance won the Wanganui seat in 1879 but two years later suffered what was to be his only electoral defeat.

Out of Parliament he continued to advocate legislative and other measures to promote closer land settlement; encouraging, for example, the establishment of small farm associations.

He reorganised his newspaper business.

He also became involved in the "freethought" movement.

A convinced secularist, he formed the Wanganui Freethought Association with Willis in 1883 and brought out the monthly Freethought Review (1883–85).

At the 1884 general election Ballance was returned for Wanganui by a sizeable majority.

He subsequently joined the Stout–Vogel ministry, holding the lands and immigration, native affairs and defence portfolios.

With his Land Act 1885, a major piece of legislation, he sought to place as many people as possible on the land by encouraging leasehold tenure and establishing government-assisted special settlement schemes.

In a victory that contrasted sharply with the poor performance of other leading government candidates, Ballance took the Wanganui seat at the 1887 election with more than twice the number of votes gained by his opponent.

Ill health and financial difficulties prevented his full commitment to politics during the next two years, but in July 1889 he was able to accept the leadership of the opposition.

A radical land policy was the dominant theme of Ballance's campaign at the 1890 election, which took place against a background of strikes and economic depression.

He won Wanganui by just 27 votes.

Elsewhere, Liberals and their trade unionist allies in the cities fared well.

When the sitting premier, H A Atkinson, resigned after being defeated in the House in January 1891, Ballance was ready to form the country's first Liberal government.

Surrounding himself with a cabinet of considerable talent, Ballance steered his government through two difficult years before his death from cancer in 1893.

In his last months in office Ballance supported moves to enfranchise women, a reform of which he had long been an advocate.

In his support for women's suffrage Ballance was strongly influenced by the views of his wife.

Ellen Ballance was prominent in the growing feminist movement in New Zealand and was vice president of the Women's Progressive Society, an international organisation.

A thoughtful, intelligent and politically astute woman, Ellen shared fully her husband's political interests.

She regularly attended Parliament to listen to the debates from the gallery, and she was highly regarded in Wellington's political circles.

The personal qualities John Ballance possessed fitted him well for the task he faced as premier.

He was kindly, courteous and considerate and displayed great patience.

He was a man of honesty and integrity.

As a result he attracted extraordinary loyalty among his cabinet and party.

Robert Stout wrote of his 'magnetic power of attaching people to him'.

Many viewed his mild temperament as a sign of weakness as a leader.

In fact he possessed much political toughness, although it was often hidden and seldom acknowledged.

WP Reeves described him as 'absolutely the most unassuming and unpretentious' of all the successful and able men he had known.

But, he added, 'as a Premier – and I say it emphatically – he knew how to be master in his own house.'

John Ballance died in Wellington, New Zealand, on 27 April 1893.

After a state funeral he was buried at Wanganui three days later.

Ellen Ballance survived her husband by 42 years.

She remained active in community organisations in Wanganui, including the Anglican church, the Wanganui Orphanage and the Plunket Society.

She died at Wanganui on 14 June, 1935.

First published in May, 2011.

The Queen's Birthday

HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY Elizabeth The Second, OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, AND OF HER OTHER REALMS AND TERRITORIES QUEEN, HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH.

THE QUEEN is 91 today.

Her Majesty was born at 17 Bruton Street, London, on the 21st April, 1926, and ascended the throne, upon the demise of her father, GEORGE VI, 6th February, 1952.

The Queen usually spends her birthday privately, at Windsor Castle.

The occasion is marked publicly by a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, London, and 21 gun salutes in the other nations of the United Kingdom.

Three cheers for Her Majesty The Queen today.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Wodehouse Gems: III

BERTIE AND THE RT HON A B FILMER

Aunt Agatha to Bertie: "I want to have a word with you before you meet Mr Filmer."

"Who?"

"Mr Filmer, the Cabinet Minister. He is staying in the house. Surely even you must have heard of Mr Filmer?"

"Oh, rather," I said, though as a matter of fact the bird was completely unknown to me.

This man Filmer, you must understand, was not one of those men who are lightly kept from the tea-table. 

A hearty trencherman, and particularly fond of his five o'clock couple of cups and bite of muffin, he had until this afternoon always been well up among the leaders in the race for the food-trough. 

If one thing was certain, it was that only the machinations of some enemy could be keeping him from being in the drawing-room now, complete with nose-bag.

First published in March, 2012.

Edgcumbe House


Edgcumbe House, Strandtown, Belfast, was originally built in 1837 for John Wallace, a solicitor.

This early Victorian, two-storey residence comprised five bays, the central bay projecting by one bay, with a pediment and pillared Ionic porch.

There was a dentil cornice and quoining.

Ground-floor windows on the entrance front had crossettes and were pedimented.


One three-bay side elevation was widely bowed and extended to posibly another six bays further back, with a three-bay pediment.

In 1854, Edgecumbe was acquired by John Workman, proprietor of John Workman & Son, Manufacturers, of 5 Bedford Street, Belfast.

Mr Workman enlarged and refaced the house in neoclassical style, possibly to designs by Young & Mackenzie.

 

The grounds extended to 26 acres

It is believed that the Lemons and Workmans were connected through marriage.

Edgcumbe later became the home of Archibald Dunlap Lemon JP (d 1922), a director of James Lemon & Sons and the Ulster Steamship Company.

One of his sons was killed in action:-

Lt Archibald Lemon, RIR

NAME; Lemon, Archibald D
RANK; Lieutenant
UNIT/SERVICE; Royal Irish Rifles
REGIMENT; 12th Battalion
BORN; Castlereagh 2nd April 1875
LIVED; 38 Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus
ENLISTED; Carrickfergus 1915
FATE; Killed in action at the Somme 1st July 1916 aged 41
CEMETERY; Body never recovered
MEMORIAL; Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15A and 15B
REMARKS: _______

Archie Lemon was the son of Archibald Dunlap Lemon and Ellen Workman of Edgcumbe House, Strandtown, Belfast. He had two sisters, Ellen and Marie and one brother Edward.

He was educated at Methody College Belfast and was an active member of the County Antrim Yacht Club. Before joining up with the 12th Royal Irish Rifles he lived in 38 Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus and worked as a flax spinning manager at Barn Mills.

The details of his death are well documented in the 12th Battalion war diary and with eye witness accounts.  The following extract comes from eye witness accounts:

No.6 Platoon, 12th R.I.R ~ This Platoon was under Lieut. Lemon and was made responsible for the RAILWAY SAP.

The Platoon left our own trenches before Zero at the same tine and on the right of the 9th Royal Ir. Fus. but before reaching the RAVINE the whole Platoon with the exception of Lieut. Lemon and twelve men were all casualties.

On reaching the RAVINE Lt. Lemon looked for some supports, but as none were available he advanced with his twelve men to enter the Sap. When he reached. the Sap he had only nine men left, but he entered the Sap at the Railway bank.

L.Sergt. Millar and three men moved to the right to bomb down the Sap, but, these were soon all casualties. Lieut. Lemon and the remainder of the men advanced up the main Sap. The thick wires running into the first large tunnel was cut by Rfmn. Gamble who was the first bayonet man.

There was a Machine-gun firing across the sap from the small tunnel. Lieut. Lemon, however, climbed above the small tunnel with some bombs in order to catch any Germans who might come out and sent the men on.

Lieut. Lemon was then shot by two German Officers who fired their rifles at him from the top of a dug out which apparently led into the tunnel. The two German officers were afterwards killed by a bomb which exploded right at their feet.

The remaining men got cut off between the 1st and 2nd German line and only two of them escaped.
Edward Lemon, the last member of the family to live at Edgcumbe, continued to reside there until about 1940, when it was requisitioned by HM Government during the 2nd World War.

Thereafter, the Lemons never returned to live at Edgcumbe.

About 1950, it was purchased by the Northern Ireland Government.

Edgcumbe had two gate-lodges, one being at Holywood Road, close to St Mark's Church.

Prior the the "Edgcumbe" housing development, the main entrance was at 249 Holywood Road, Belfast.

In the early 1950s, Edgcumbe House was acquired by Belfast Corporation (City Council) for use as a nursing and residential home for older people.

The Corporation paid £6,000 for the house and grounds, about £150,000 in today's money.

They spent a further £15,500 on alterations and furnishings.

Edgcumbe was officially opened by the Rt Hon Dame Dehra Parker GBE, NI Health Minister, 1949-57.

In 1957, a new wing was officially opened by the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Sir Robert Harcourt JP.


Edgcumbe House was finally demolished ca 1993.


A new purpose-built building was constructed and officially opened in 1996 by Lady Mayhew, wife of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Edgcumbe now serves the community as an assessment & therapy unit.

First published in April, 2013.  I wish to thank Gary Kinkade for his help in compiling this article.