Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Evans of Portrane

THE EVANS FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY OFFALY, WITH 6,035 ACRES

THEY OWNED A FURTHER 1,456 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DUBLIN

The family of EVANS is originally from Wales, and claims descent from the renowned Elystan Glodrydd.

In the 16th century, two of the family settled in Ireland: JOHN EVANS, ancestor of the Barons Carbery; and ROBERT EVANS, from whom derived the family of Evans of Baymount, County Dublin, and Robinstown, County Westmeath.

The former, JOHN EVANS, settled in the city of Limerick, where he was living in 1628.

Mr Evans left at his decease two sons and three daughters, viz.
GEORGE, his heir;
John;
Deborah; Catherine; Eleanor.
The elder son,

COLONEL GEORGE EVANS MP, of Ballygrennan Castle, served in the army raised to supress the rebellion of 1641, and at the restoration of tranquillity, settled at Ballygrennan Castle, County Limerick, where, and in the adjacent county of Cork, he acquired large estates by grants from the Crown, and by purchase.

He wedded Anne, daughter of Thomas Bowerman, of County Cork, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
John, of Milltown Castle;
Anne.
Colonel Evans, who represented County Limerick for many years in parliament, died in 1707, at a very advanced age, having passed a most eventful life, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE RT HON GEORGE EVANS MP (1658-1720), of Caherass and Bulgaden Hall, County Limerick.

This gentleman was bred to the Bar, but following the example of his father and brother, became an active partisan of the revolution, and after the establishment of the new government in Ireland, was sworn of the Privy Council and returned to Parliament by the borough of Charleville

He wedded, in 1679,  Mary, daughter of John Eyre MP, of Eyre Court Castle, County Galway, and sister of the 1st Lord Eyre, and had issue,
GEORGE, 1st Baron Carbery;
EYRE, of Portrane, of whom we treat;
Thomas, of Milltown Castle, County Cork;
Jane, m Chidley Coote, ancestor of the Barons Castle Coote;
Elizabeth, m Hugh Massy, father of 1st Baron Massy and Clarina;
Dorothy; Emilia; Catherine.
The Right Hon George Evans, who was a distinguished public character, refused a peerage on the accession of GEORGE I, when the honour was conferred upon his eldest son.

His  embalmed body lay in state in the parliament house until the next month, when it was removed for interment at Ballygrennan.

His second son,

EYRE EVANS, of Portrane, County Dublin, MP for County Limerick, 1717, espoused Sarah, second daughter and co-heir (with her sister, Mrs Waller, of Castletown)  of Thomas Dixon, of Ballylackin, County Cork, and had six sons, all who dsp except the fourth; and three daughters, of whom the youngest, Elizabeth, the wife of William Evans, of Ardreigh, County Kildare, left issue.

The fourth son,

HAMPDEN EVANS, of Portrane, an officer in the army, succeeded his eldest brother, George Evans, MP for Queen's County, who married, in 1769, Margaret, daughter of Joshua Davis, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
JOSHUA;
Eyre Dixon, of Liverpool;
Mary; Anne Dorothea; Sydney Elizabeth.
Mr Evans died in 1820 and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON GEORGE HAMPDEN EVANS, of Portrane, MP for County Dublin, who wedded, in 1805, Sophia, only daughter of the Rt Hon Sir John Parnell Bt, of Rathleague, Queen's County, but had no issue.

He died in 1842 and was succeeded by his brother,

JOSHUA EVANS, one of the commissioners of the Court of Bankruptcy, who wedded Eleanor, only child of Robert Harrison.

His next brother,

EYRE DIXON EVANS, a merchant in Liverpool, inherited his brother's estate.

Dying in 1862, he was succeeded by his only son,

GEORGE EVANS (1831-73), of Portrane, who married though died without issue and was succeeded by his only sister,

MARGARET EVANS, who inherited the Portrane property on the death of her brother, George, without issue in 1873.

She married, in 1852, John Donald MacNeale.

Dying in 1874, she left three daughters, joint heiresses of her property, of whom the eldest,

MARGARET MacNEALE, married, in 1889, Captain S G Rathborne or Rathbourne, Royal Engineers, and had issue,

St George Ronald MacNeale Rathborne, born in 1893.


DESPITE owning a substantial amount of land in County Offaly, it would seem that the family of Evans never any notable residence in the county.

The family seat was Portrane House, or Mount Evans, Donabate, County Dublin.

When George Hampden Evans died in 1842, his widow erected an Irish round tower in his memory, at Portrane.

The Rev Patrick Comerford has written an article about Portrane Castle.

First published in June, 2013.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Brackenber: 1956

Here is the Class of 1956 at Brackenber House School.

Malcolm Lennox kindly provided the photograph.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Dr Kevin Vaughan, a fellow pupil at Brackenber from 1953-59, has sent me the following information:
I recognise all the teachers except the lady at the end. Next to Mr Craig is Miss Rankin, then Miss McKeown, then Miss Gilbert. I think Miss Rankin's first name was Zena, not Zoe!
To the other side of Mr Craig is Norman Henry (I am two rows directly behind him, rather skinny!), then Ronnie Hunter, then Mr T P Sheehan, then Dennis Fergusson, then Mr Walmsley (spelling?) then Mr Williams who was an old boy who came to teach temporarily.
On the front row at one end is A W P Coutts, and at the other Smith, Anthony Malcomson, J A M Grant. I also recognise several of my contemporaries. After my parents moved to England, I spent my last year at Brackenber as a weekly boarder and spent the weekends with friends.
There was a small two bed dormitory where boys would occasionally stay. John Craig and Ronnie Hunter were the two masters who also lived on the premises and I got to know them both quite well.
One of my amusing memores of the school routine is that when they had finished eating lunch but before the boys where allowed to leave their seats, John Craig and Norman Henry would always get up, walk to one end of the dining hall and smoke a cigarette - it was always Mr Henry who offered Mr Craig a cigarette, never the other way round!
First published in January, 2010.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

1st Earl Cairns

THE EARLDOM OF CAIRNS WAS CREATED IN 1878 FOR HUGH McCALMONT, 1ST BARON CAIRNS, STATESMAN AND LORD CHANCELLOR

THE RT HON SIR HUGH McCALMONT CAIRNS (1819-85), second son of William Cairns, of Cultra, County Down,
MP for Belfast, 1852-66; Solicitor-General, 1858-9; Attorney-General, 1866; a Lord Justice of Appeal, 1866-68; Lord High Chancellor, 1868 and 1874-80.
Sir Hugh was elevated to peerage, in 1867, as  Baron Cairns, of Garmoyle, County Antrim.

His lordship was advanced, in 1878, to the dignities of Viscount Garmoyle and EARL CAIRNS.

He married, in 1856, Mary Harriet, eldest daughter of John McNeill, of Parkmount, Belfast, and his wife, Charlotte Lavinia (daughter of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Dallas GCB), and by her had issue,
Hugh, died in infancy;
ARTHUR WILLIAM, 2nd Earl;
HERBERT JOHN, 3rd Earl;
WILFRED DALLAS, 4th Earl;
Douglas Halyburton;
Lilias Charlotte; Kathleen Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his second son,

ARTHUR WILLIAM, 2nd Earl (1861-90), who wedded, in 1887, Olivia Elizabeth, OBE, daughter of Alexander Augustus Berens, by whom he had issue, a daughter, LADY LOUISE ROSEMARY KATHLEEN VIRGINIA CAIRNS.

His lordship died without male issue and was succeeded by his next brother,

HERBERT JOHN, 3rd Earl (1863-1905), who died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother,

WILFRED DALLAS, 4th Earl, CMG, DL (1865-1946), who espoused, in 1894, Olive, daughter of John Patteson Cobbold MP, and by her had issue,
HUGH WILFRED JOHN, DSO; killed in action;
DAVID CHARLES, 5th Earl;
Hester Margaret; Ursula Helen; Sheila Mary; Catherine Olive.
His lordship was succeeded by his younger son,

DAVID CHARLES, 5th Earl, GCVO, DL (1909-89), who married, in 1936, Barbara Jeanne Harrisson, daughter of Sydney Harrisson Burgess, of Cheshire, and by her had issue,
SIMON DALLAS, his heir;
Andrew David;
Elizabeth Olive.
The 5th Earl was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIMON DALLAS, 6th Earl, CVO, CBE, born in 1939, who wedded, in 1964, Amanda Mary, daughter of Major Edgar FitzGerald Heathcoat-Amory, of Yorkshire, and by her had issue,
SEBASTIAN FREDERICK, styled Viscount Garmoyle;
(David) Patrick;
Alistair Benedict.
*****

MY STORY of the noble family of Cairns commences at the ancestral seat of the Marquesses of Downshire, Hillsborough Castle, in County Down.

During the first years of the 18th century, Ulster became a harbour of refuge for a number of Scottish refugees who arrived in the years immediately following "The Fifteen".

The major Jacobite Risings were called the Jacobite Rebellions by the ruling governments. The "First Jacobite Rebellion" and "Second Jacobite Rebellion" were known respectively as "The Fifteen" and "The Forty-Five", after the years in which they occurred (1715 and 1745).

It is likely that the Cairns family arrived in Ulster about this period.

Among the records at Lord Downshire's seat, Hillsborough Castle, County Down - most likely now held at PRONI - were the registers of leases and the rent rolls of the Kilwarlin estate.

One lease of three lives, dated 1716, was granted to William Cairns.

It is probable that William Cairns was a younger son of William Cairns of Kipp, who died in 1711.

The lease to William Cairns of 1716 was of the lands of Magheraconluce, near Annahilt, County Down. He died prior to 1735, when his widow appears as the tenant, and he left several sons, who became tenants of farms in the neighbourhood.

His successor was his son William, probably the eldest, who had issue,

1.  JOHN (1732-94), who died unmarried at Parkmount, Belfast;

2.  HUGH (1735-1808, who died at Parkmount; By his will he left several legacies to his "kinsmen at Annahilt", and £600 to each of his six sisters. He left Parkmount, which he acquired shortly after the death of William Gregg in 1782, to his half-brother Nathan, whose mother had been a daughter of Mr Gregg.

He states in his will that "most of my property consists of money lent out at interest on security", from which it appears that he was one of Belfast's early private bankers, some of whom eventually amalgamated, thus founding what became known as the Northern and Ulster banks.

3.  WILLIAM, born in 1737. The name William Cairns continues to appear as holder of the Magheraconluce property subsequent to his father's removal to Belfast after his second marriage.

4.  Margaret, Sarah, Colville, Ellen, Jean and Mary, who all died without issue.

William Cairns, of Magheraconluce, married, secondly, about 1758, Agnes, daughter and heiress of William Gregg of Parkmount, Belfast.

This estate seems to have passed to Mr Gregg from the representatives of Thomas Lutford, who had a lease for three lives, renewable for ever, from the Marquesses of Donegall in 1769.

Some time after his marriage with Agnes Gregg, William Cairns appears to have moved with his family to Parkmount, or to a house at Carnmoney.

His father died in 1775 and the widow, Agnes Gregg, surviving him and dying in 1785. Both are interred at Carnmoney churchyard.

By his second marriage William Cairns had issue,

NATHAN CAIRNS (1759-1819), who became a merchant at Dublin, and died at Parkmount, leaving issue,

WILLIAM CAIRNS, of Parkmount, born 1789, who entered the army and became a captain in the 47th Regiment. He married, when only 17, Rosanna, daughter of Hugh Johnston, a merchant of Belfast.

During his father's lifetime he lived at Rushpark, near Carrickfergus, and also had a house in Belfast, which stood in the grounds now occupied by the Robinson & Cleaver Building, Donegall Square North. 
After his father's death, he moved to Parkmount, which he shortly afterwards sold to John McNeill, a banker in Belfast. Parkmount, on the Shore Road, was in 1666 a lodge or occasional residence of Lord Donegall, and it afterwards passed into possession of Ludfords, Cairns, and McNeills. John McNeill's son notably sold Parkmount to Sir Robert Anderson Bt. 
When William Cairns sold Parkmount, he eventually lived at Cultra in County Down, possibly to Dalchoolin House. He married secondly, Matilda, and died at Cultra in 1844.

William Cairns (through two marriages) raised three exceptionally talented sons:-
The Rt Hon Hugh McCalmont [Cairns], Earl Cairns, of Garmoyle County Antrim, was born at Cultra, educated at Belfast Academy and Trinity College, Dublin.

Lord Cairns married, in 1856, Mary Harriet, eldest daughter of John McNeill, of Parkmount, Belfast,by whom he had five sons and two daughters.

His father at first intended that he should take holy orders, but his own inclination, backed by the advice of his tutor, the Rev George Wheeler, decided to permit his son to enter the legal profession.

Lord Cairns and his family left Ulster.

The Cairnes family, since the Reformation, were all originally Presbyterian.

The 1st Earl's great-grandfather, or some of his family at least, seem to have conformed to the Established Church shortly after their removal to Parkmount.

Certainly John and his father William subscribed to the Vicar of Carnmoney as early as 1775.

First published in February, 2011.  Cairns arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Xth Anniversary

Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland is ten years old.

Here is my very first entry on the 2nd December, 2007.

Cumulative visitor numbers stand at 2,418,457.

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Heygate Baronets

THE HEYGATE BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1831 FOR WILLIAM HEYGATE, LORD MAYOR OF LONDON, 1822-23

This is a branch of the ancient family of HEYGATE, seated in the counties of Essex and Suffolk.

THOMAS HEYGATE, of Hayes, in Middlesex, was provost-marshal-general of the army in 1557 which, in alliance with the Spaniards, besieged St Quentin (held by the French), and was subsequently provost-marshal in Scotland.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Stonor, of Stonor; and dying in 1576, was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS HEYGATE, of Hayes, a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex, and Provost-Marshal-General under the Earl of Essex, at the capture of Cadiz, in 1596.

This gentleman wedded Margery, daughter of Ralph Skipwith, of Parkbury, Hertfordshire, and had surviving issue,
Thomas, of Hayes, barrister-at-law;
RALPH, of whom presently;
Anne;
Katherine, m R Tyrwhitt, master of buck-hounds to CHARLES I;
Letitia, m Dr P Heylin, prebendary of Westminster.
The second son,

RALPH HEYGATE, settled in London, and married twice; but had issue by his second wife only.

His elder son,

NICHOLAS HEYGATE, who was one of the court of Assistants of Merchant Taylors' Company, and a collector of curious books and writings, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Cotton, of Loughton, by whom he had an only surviving child,

ROBERT HEYGATE, of Husband's Bosworth, Leicestershire, who wedded Anne, daughter of John Freeman, and left at his decease, in 1736, an only surviving son,

NICHOLAS HEYGATE (1705-44), of West Haddon, Northamptonshire, espoused Mary Anne, daughter of John Cooke, of Hill Morton, Warwickshire, and had issue,
Robert;
John;
Thomas, father of
THOMAS HEYGATE;
Robert, of West Haddon;
Charles;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
Anne; Elizabeth Catherine Frances; Mary; Elizabeth.
Mr Heygate's youngest son,

JAMES HEYGATE (1747-1833), of Aldermanbury, in the city of London, banker, and of Hackney, Middlesex, and Southend, Essex, married, in 1781, Sarah, second daughter of Samuel Unwin, of Sutton, Nottinghamshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
James, of Hampstead Heath;
Elizabeth Anne.
Mr Heygate was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM HEYGATE (1782-1844), of Chatham Place, Blackfriars, London, and Holwood, Kent, who wedded, in 1821, Isabella, fourth daughter of Edward Longdon Mackmurdo, of Upper Clapton, Middlesex, and had issue,
FREDERICK WILLIAM, his heir;
William Unwin;
Edward Nicholas;
Robert Henry John.
This gentleman, an alderman of the City of London, having served the office of Lord Mayor in 1822, was created a baronet in 1831.

Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR FREDERICK WILLIAM HEYGATE DL (1822-94), 2nd Baronet, baptized at the Mansion House during the mayoralty of his father and in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of York, who stood sponsor, and at whose wish the baronetcy was conferred. 

Sir Frederick married Marianne Gage in 1851, thus acquiring an estate at Bellarena in County Londonderry. He was MP for County Londonderry from 1859-74.

His eldest son,

SIR FREDERICK GAGE HEYGATE JP DL (1854-1940), 3rd Baronet, of Bellarena, married Flora, daughter of John Walter, in 1888;
major, the Mid-Ulster Artillery; barrister-at-law; DL, County Londonderry; Justice of the Peace; lived at Bellarena in County Londonderry and was Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Londonderry, 1887-88.
His cousin,

SIR JOHN EDWARD NOURSE HEYGATE, 4th Baronet (1903-76), of Bellarena,
married firstly, the Hon Evelyn Florence Margaret Winifred Gardner, daughter of Herbert, 1st and last Baron Burghclere of Walden, in 1930; secondly, Gwyneth Eliot, daughter of John Eliot Howard Lloyd, in 1936; thirdly, Dora Luz, daughter of John Harvey, in 1951.
He is chiefly remembered for his liaison in 1929 with Evelyn Gardner while she was married to Evelyn Waugh. Heygate and Gardner subsequently married, then divorced. He is portrayed as "John Beaver" in Waugh's A Handful of Dust.
Photo credit: BRIAN McELHERRON

By the 1970s, the 4th Baronet was living alone in Bellarena (above) when, in 1976, he took his own life by shooting himself.

Sir George Lloyd Heygate was the 5th Baronet (1936-91).

Sir Richard John Gage Heygate (b 1940) is the 6th and present Baronet.

It is thought that the Heygate family lives in London today.

First published in October, 2010.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Ballybay House

THE LESLIES OWNED 5,463 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY MONAGHAN

GEORGE, 4TH EARL OF ROTHES, married thirdly, Agnes, daughter of Sir John Somerville, of Cambusnethan, and had issue,
Andrew, 5th Earl;
Peter;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
Janet; Helen.
His lordship's third son by his marriage to Agnes Somerville,

THE HON JAMES LESLIE, born in 1530, married Jane, daughter of Sir James Hamilton, of Evandale, and had issue,
George;
HENRY, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

THE MOST REV DR HENRY LESLIE (1580-1661), Lord Bishop of Meath, settled in Ireland, 1614, where he was ordained in 1617.

He was chaplain to CHARLES I, with whom he shared his great adversities.

This prelate espoused Jane Swinton, and had issue,
Robert (Rt Rev Dr);
JAMES, of whose line we treat;
William, of Prospect, Co Antrim;
Mary; Margaret.
The second son,

JAMES LESLIE (1624-1704), of Leslie House, County Antrim, wedded, in 1650, Jane, daughter of John Echlin, of Ardquin, County Down, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE VEN DR HENRY LESLIE (1651-1733), Archdeacon of Down, Chaplain to the Duke of Ormonde, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

In 1680 he obtained a Prebend in Down Cathedral, which he resigned, 1695, for the Archdeaconry.

Dr Leslie espoused, in 1676, Margaret, daughter and heiress of Peter Beaghan, of Ballibay, and had issue,
PETER, his heir;
Edmund, MP for Antrim;
Penelope.
The Archdeacon was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV PETER LESLIE, born in 1686, Rector of Ahoghill, who married Jane, daughter of the Most Rev Dr Anthony Dopping, Lord Bishop of Meath, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
James, of Leslie Hill, Co Antrim;
Samuel;
EDMOND (Ven), Archdeacon of Down;
Margaret; Jane.
The eldest son,

THE REV HENRY LESLIE (1719-1803), of Ballybay, County Monaghan, Prebendary of Tullycorbet, Clogher, and afterwards prebendary of Tandragee, in Armagh Cathedral.

Dr Leslie married, in 1753, Catherine, daughter of the Very Rev Charles Meredyth, Dean of Ardfert, and had issue,
Peter Henry, b 1755; k/a in America;
CHARLES ALBERT, of whom hereafter;
Catherine Letitia.
The surviving son,

CHARLES ALBERT LESLIE (1765-1838), of Ballybay, married, in 1799, Ellen, youngest daughter of Richard Magenis MP, of Waringstown, County Down, and left at his decease an only surviving child,

EMILY ELEANOR WILHELMINA LESLIE, of Ballybay, who married firstly, in 1828, her cousin, Arthur French, of Clonsilla, County Dublin, and had issue,
ROBERT CHARLES (now LESLIE), of Ballybay;
Charles Albert Leslie Attila FRENCH;
Helena Charlotte; Albertine Caroline; Henrietta Victoria Alexandria.
She wedded secondly, in 1844, her cousin, the Rev John Charles William Leslie, son of James Leslie, of Leslie Hill, by whom she had issue,
Ferdinand Seymour;
Marion Adelaide.
Mrs Leslie died in 1844, and was succeeded by her eldest son,

ROBERT CHARLES LESLIE JP DL (1828-1904), of Ballybay, and Kilclief, County Down, who married, at Paris, 1867, Charlotte Philippa Mary, daughter of Captain Edward Kelso, of Kelsoland, and Horkesley Park, Essex, and had issue,
Theordore Barrington Norman;
EDWARD HENRY JOHN, succeeded his brother;
Mabel Edith.
He assumed, in 1885, the surname and arms of LESLIE, in compliance of his maternal grandfather's will.

Mr Leslie was succeeded by his second son,

EDWARD HENRY JOHN LESLIE CMG MVO JP DL (1890-1966), of Ballybay, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1908, who entered the Foreign Office, 1902; HM Ambassador, Rome.


BALLYBAY HOUSE, Ballybay, County Monaghan,  was a fine Classical house of 1830 by JB Keane, for Charles Albert Leslie.

It comprised two storeys over a high basement, with a three-bay entrance front, the centre of which was recessed, with a Wyatt window above a single-storey Doric portico.

The adjoining front had five bays.

Practically all of the windows in the lower storey were set in arched recesses.

A three-storey, gable-ended range was added behind the house later in the 19th century.

Ballybay House was burnt and the contents were sold in 1920.

Nothing remains.

Former London residence ~ 10 Douro Place, Kensington.

First published in July, 2013.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

1st Baron Rathcavan

THE BARONY OF RATHCAVAN WAS CREATED IN 1953 FOR THE RT HON SIR ROBERT WILLIAM HUGH O'NEILL, BARONET

THE HON (ROBERT WILLIAM) HUGH O'NEILL was the third son of the 2nd Baron O'Neill.

Having served in the Army as a major, O'Neill entered politics and became the Northern Ireland parliament's first Speaker.

He was appointed to the Privy Council of Northern Ireland and became Lord-Lieutenant for County Antrim, 1949-59.

The 1st Baronet was elevated to the peerage as BARON RATHCAVAN in 1953, when the baronetcy merged with the barony.

The 2nd Baronet and 2nd Baron undertook a not dissimilar career pattern as his father, entering politics having served in the Army.

He was, it is thought, a founder member of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

Lord Rathcavan lived at Killala Lodge, County Mayo, Ireland, which was described thus in 1996:
The seven-bedroom Georgian house on five and a half acres is owned by Bridget Lady Rathcavan, widow of the well known Northern Ireland politician, Sir Phelim O'Neill.
The 3rd Baronet is the present Lord Rathcavan.


CLEGGAN LODGE, near Broughshane, County Antrim, has been owned at various times by the O'Neills and the O'Haras.

It is two-storey, with a front of two bows linked by a wooden first-floor balcony.

There are double gables. The roof formerly thatched and windows at one time latticed.

There is an octagonal drawing-room and dining-room; and an imposing double staircase.

There are modern additions to the rear.

Formerly a shooting lodge for Shane’s Castle, the site is known to have been in existence in 1777.

An entry for 1835 records that it was ‘… surrounded by extensive plantations chiefly consisting of fir and larch and extends over about 200 acres.’

Fraser described it in 1838 as, ‘… the beautiful hunting seat of Earl O’Neill’s.’

Extensive landscaping and tree planting were carried out, presumably as shelter and cover.

Cleggan Lodge was built by the 1st Earl O’Neill in 1822 in order to keep one of his mistresses, and as a shooting lodge on the edge of his extensive grouse moors in north Antrim. 

He died without a male heir and, after Gladstone’s Irish Land Acts, the great estates diminished.

In 1927, Sir Hugh O’Neill, 1st Baron Rathcavan, bought the Cleggan Estate.

It was renovated in the 1920s in a fine elevated site with views of Slemish.

ha-ha separates the house from parkland.

There are good mature trees in the parkland and in woodland. A considerable area was once ornamentally planted.

A lake is drained at present.

A pond, Fisher’s Pond, was added sometime before 1857 and a rockery made in the glen by the present owner's grandfather post-1927.

These features are partially maintained in that paths are kept clear.

A cultivated and productive garden is kept at the house in immaculate order, including herbaceous borders, a hot house and frames.

This present garden is post-1927. One of the two gate lodges survives.

Cleggan estate extends to about 1,000 acres and is renowned for The Cleggan Shoot.

First published in June, 2010.  Rathcavan arms courtesy of European Heraldry.