Thursday, 31 December 2015

Mount Stewart House


This branch of the noble house of STEWART claims a common ancestor with the Earls of Galloway; namely, Sir William Stewart, 2nd of Dalswinton and Garlies, from whose second son, Thomas Stewart, of Minto, descended, 

JOHN STEWART, of Ballylawn Castle (the first of the family that settled in Ireland), who received a grant of the manor of Stewart's Court (where he erected Ballylawn Castle) from JAMES I in County Donegal, and erected the said castle.

Mr Stewart was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

CHARLES STEWART, whose grandson,

WILLIAM STEWART, of Ballylawn Castle, had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Martha, m John Kennedy, of Cultra.
The only son,

ALEXANDER STEWART (1697-1781), of Mount Stewart, County Down, represented the city of Londonderry in parliament.

He married, in 1737, Mary, only surviving daughter of Alderman John Cowan, of Londonderry (by his aunt, Anne Stewart), and sister and heir of Sir Robert Cowan, Knight, Governor of Bombay, and had, with other issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Alexander Stewart was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT STEWART (1739-1821), of Ballylawn Castle, and of Mount Stewart, County Down, who, having represented the latter county in parliament, and having been sworn a member of the Privy Council, was elevated to the peerage in 1789 by the title of Baron Stewart.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Castlereagh, in 1795; and to an earldom, as Earl of Londonderry, in 1796.

In 1816, his lordship was further advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY.

He married firstly, in 1766, Sarah Frances, second daughter of Francis, Marquess of Hertford, by which lady he had issue,
ROBERT, Viscount Castlereagh, 2nd Marquess.
His lordship wedded secondly, in 1775, Frances, eldest daughter of Charles, 1st Earl Camden, and sister of the Marquess Camden, by whom he had issue,
CHARLES WILLIAM, 3rd Marquess;
Frances Anne; Caroline; Georgiana;
Selina; Matilda; Emily Jane; Octavia.
His lordship was succeeded by the son of his first marriage,

ROBERT, 2nd Marquess (1769-1822), KG, GCH, PC; who had already distinguished himself in the political world as Viscount Castlereagh, and filled, under that designation, several high ministerial offices.

His lordship espoused, in 1794, Amelia (Emily), youngest daughter and co-heir of John (Hobart), 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, by whom he had no issue.

The 2nd Marquess died at his seat, North Cray, Kent, in 1822 (at which period he was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs), and was succeeded by his half-brother, Lord Stewart, as

CHARLES WILLIAM, 3rd Marquess (1778-1854); who was further created Viscount Seaham and Earl Vane in 1823.

He wedded, in 1804, Catherine, youngest daughter of John, 3rd Earl of Darnley, by whom he had a son,
His lordship espoused secondly, in 1819, Frances Anne, only daughter and heir of Sir Harry Vane-Tempest, by Anne Catherine, Countess of Antrim in her own right (upon which occasion his lordship assumed the additional surname and arms of VANE), by whom he had issue,
Adolphus Frederick Charles William;
Ernest McDonnell;
A son;
Frances Anne Emily; Alexandrina Octavia Maria; Adelaide Emelina Caroline.
  • Frederick Aubrey Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 10th Marquess (b 1972).
The heir presumptive is his brother Lord Reginald Alexander Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b 1977).The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son Robin Gabriel Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b 2004).
MOUNT STEWART HOUSE, near Newtownards, County Down, is a long, two-storey, Classical house of the 1820s.

The main interior feature is a vast central hall consisting of an octagon, top-lit through a balustraded gallery from a dome filled with stained glass.

I have written fondly of Mount Stewart's former swimming-pool here.

The estate has one of the most outstanding gardens in the British Isles and has been proposed as a World Heritage Site.

It was formulated within an already established walled demesne on the shores of Strangford Lough on the Ards Peninsula, County Down, with mature shelter tree cover some two hundred years old.

The site benefits from an excellent climate in which a vast range of plants can thrive.

The climatic conditions, the plant collection and the design all combine to make this an outstanding garden in any context; and it is rightfully renowned throughout Europe.
The demesne owes its origin to Alexander Stewart MP (1699-1781), a minor County Donegal landowner and successful linen merchant who, having married his cousin, Mary Cowan, a rich heiress, in 1737, purchased the Colville manors of Comber and Newtownards in 1744 and resolved to build a seat on the present site, then known as Templecrone.
This building, which he initially called Mount Pleasant, was a large, long, low two-storey building, originally painted blue, occupying much the same ground as the present William Morrison house.

Young also mentioned ‘some new plantations, which surround an improved lawn, where Mr. Stewart intends building’ - a reference to landscaping round a planned new house that Alexander Stewart intended to built on the hill lying just south-west of the present walled garden.

His son Robert, later 1st Marquess of Londonderry, advanced his father’s plans once he inherited in 1781.

In June, 1783, the architect James Wyatt was paid for providing plans for ‘New Offices’ and ‘Mansion house intended at Mount Stewart’.

Just south of this house, facing the Portaferry Road running close to the house, he built a small settlement known as Newtown Stewart, which Young described in 1776 as ‘a row of neat stone and slate cabins’ and shown on David Geddas’s Demesne map of 1779 [presently in the house].

The latter was never built, but evidently intended for the same location on Bean Hill near the walled garden.

The walled garden itself was probably completed by 1780-1 for, in 1781, there are payments for the ‘freight for tiles for hothouse’; while, in 1780, the head gardener replanted a vine ‘in the west pine stove’ – apparently the same ancient vine that occupies the west end of the glasshouse today.

The adjacent sprawling farm yard complex, which includes a hexagonal dovecote, was also built around this time, possibly in 1784-5, with the yard being repaired in 1816-17 following a fire.

Further additions were erected here in the 1870s.

The landscape gardener, William King, who may already have been involved in landscaping here in the 1770s, was paid for work in July 1781, May and November 1782.

The park layout as shown on the 1834 Ordnance Survey map is probably largely King’s work, and was laid down sympathetically to the drumlin country, probably assuming the house to be located near the walled garden.

However, most of the demesne plantations were put down over the much longer period, with payments being made between 1785 and 1801.

An important focal point in the park is the Temple of the Winds, reckoned by some to be the finest garden building in Northern Ireland.

Located on a hill on the south side of the park, overlooking the lough, this was begun in 1782 to the designs of James ‘Athenian’ Stuart, who was paid for his work in 1783.

His plans were based on the 1st century BC building of the same name in Athens and sourced from illustrations in the second volume of Stuart and Revett’s Antiquities of Athens (1763).

It is of two storeys over a basement and hipped; an octagonal banqueting house, constructed in Scrabo stone and completed in late 1785, as is evident from payments made to the stonemason David McBlain, the joiner John Ferguson and others (refurbished in 1965 and again in 1994).

It is evident that the temple was formerly a very striking feature in the park-scape, for the plantations around it do not appear to have been established until fifteen or twenty years after its completion.

In the 1790s there was little building activity at Mount Stewart, following the expense of electing Robert’s son, Lord Castlereagh, into Parliament in 1790.

However, in 1802 he decided to modernise part of his existing house and so engaged George Dance, the Younger (1741-1825), who produced plans in 1804 for a Classical Regency replacement of the west wing, which was completed around 1806.

This incorporated grand new reception rooms, complete with a Grecian porte-cochère and gravel sweep on the north front; the wing survives in modified form as the end elevation of the present house.

In the period 1804-18 new approaches were laid down to the house and three gate lodges added.

The new western approach was entered via the Georgian Gothick ‘ink pot’ twin lodges (1808-09), placed on the recently re-aligned Portaferry Road (the road originally ran much closer to the house).

These single-storey twin lodges, notably for their distinctive canted elevations, are probably also the work of George Dance, as is also the nearby contemporary ‘toy fort’ Gothic Clay or Greyabbey gate lodge, notable for its horn-like pinnacles.

At the rear entrance, Hamilton’s Lodge was built in 1817 as part of laying down the new Donaghadee Approach; it was later remodelled.

Other buildings at this time included a single-storey, picturesque "toy fort" hunting lodge of ca 1810, probably by Dance, lying in a wooded area on the north side of the park, and a demesne school house of 1813, formerly a charity school belonging to the Erasmus Smith Foundation; now a house and artist’s studio.

Charles William Stewart (1778-1854) succeeded as 3rd Marquess in 1822, after the suicide of his elder half-brother Lord Castlereagh (who had become 2nd Marquess the previous year); and during the 1820s the family’s resources were focused on building work at Wynyard & Seaham in County Durham and Holdernesse [Londonderry] House in London.

Eventually, in 1835, the 3rd Marquess and his wife, the heiress Frances Anne Vane-Tempest, invited William Vitruvius Morrison to prepare plans to knock down the old house to the east of the Dance Wing at Mount Stewart, with a scheme to rebuild and enlarge the mansion.

Morrison’s plans were not actually implemented until after the architect’s death in 1838, when work was undertaken between 1845-49, supervised by the Newtownards builder, Charles Campbell.

The new block, as wide as the old house was long, created a new south entrance of eleven bays with an Ionic porte-cochère as its central feature; the old porte-cochère on the north was removed and replaced with a tripartite window.

As work was being completed on the house, a U-shaped rubble-built stable yard was added in 1846 to a design of the architect Charles Campbell, while at the same time improvements were being made in the park, most notably work on digging a new lake between 1846-51 in what was formerly a gravel pit to the north of the house.

Water from this lake was subsequently used to supply the house via McComb’s Hill, through the use of a horse-drawn pump and later a hydraulic ram.

A boat house was built on the south shore, whose waters were linked to the house by a ‘lawn’ meadow dotted with trees.

A gas-works was built ca 1859 in the south side of the demesne.

During the second half of the 19th century the house was only occasionally used by its owners, the 4th Marquess (1805-72); his half- brother, the 5th Marquess (1821-84); and Charles Stewart, 6th Marquess (1852-1915), the latter spending much of his time in London.

The parkland consequently remained relatively unchanged, with some minor alterations, such as the extension of the enclosing screen to encompass the whole perimeter in 1901.

The townland boundary was changed in 1906 to encompass the whole demesne.

In 1921 Charles, 7th Marquess, and his wife Edith moved to Mount Stewart, having inherited the property in 1915.

She had once remarked, on a visit prior to 1921, that the property was ‘the dampest, darkest and saddest place I had ever stayed in’.

As soon as she arrived there to live, Lady Londonderry undertook to transform the grounds around the house.

She took advice from expert plants-men and was fortunate to have been able to employ workmen from a post-war labour scheme. She used her resources skilfully.

The result is a lay-out that includes both formal and informal areas, each with their own style and atmosphere.

Compartments are arranged in close proximity to the house around three sides and are separated into differing formal gardens, such as the Italian Garden, the Spanish Garden, the Mairi Garden and the Dodo Terrace.

The latter is decorated with specially made statuary of creatures representing early 20th century British political figures, most of whom formed part of her ‘Ark Club’; these figures were made of moulded chicken wire and cement by Thomas Beattie of Newtownards.

Gertrude Jekyll planned some of the planting for the Sunken Garden.

The north-east front of the house has a rectangular balustraded carriage sweep but, further afield, paths wind past informally planted shrubs, specimen trees and woodland, carpeted with bulbs and drifts of naturalised plants.

These areas contain a great variety of outstanding plant material, particularly of Australasian origin.

Paths and a great deal of planting were focused round the large artificial lake, with the family burial ground, Tir-ña-nOg, built in the 1930s at the north end on high ground.

Like most other demesnes, Mount Stewart was requisitioned by the troops during the war and in the years that followed (until ca 1965) many of the original beech and oak demesne woods were sadly felled and replaced with unsightly conifers.

In 1949 the 7th Marquess died and left the property to his wife for her life-time and then to his youngest daughter, Lady Mairi Bury.

In 1955 the gardens were transferred to the care of the National Trust and two years later, in 1959, Edith, Lady Londonderry died.

The Temple of the Winds was acquired in 1963 and, in 1977, the house plus an endowment were accepted by the National Trust as a generous gift from Lady Mairi.

Tir-ña-nOg was acquired by the Trust from Lady Mairi in 1986.

The gardens are beautifully maintained by the National Trust.

During his many years as head gardener, Nigel Marshal, (retired 2002) continued successfully to build up the garden’s important plant collections. The walled garden is not currently on public display.

 20,222 acres in County Durham; Wynyard Hall, and elsewhere.

They also maintained a grand London residence in Park Lane, Londonderry House, which was demolished to make way for the Hilton Hotel. 

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

Guards Insignia

The cap badge of the Irish Guards and the bearskin plume are both based on the star and sky-blue sash colour of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick.

The Princess Royal is pictured presenting the Regiment with shamrock.

The badge consists of a star, within which is a shamrock with three crowns on its leaves (the historic kingdoms of England, Ireland and Scotland), the shamrock being placed on a cross of St Patrick.

The centre is surrounded by a circle which bears the legend QUIS SEPARABIT ~ who shall separate ~ and the Roman numerals MDCCLXXXIII ~1783 ~ the year that the Order of St Patrick was established.

First published in November, 2009.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

1st Marquess of Tweeddale


This illustrious family, and that of Hay, Earls of Erroll, are descended from a common ancestor, namely,

WILLIAM II DE HAYA, who settled in Lothian more than eight centuries ago, and filled the office of royal butler during the reigns of MALCOLM IV of Scotland and WILLIAM THE LION of Scotland.

From the youngest son of this personage lineally descended

JOHN HAY (1450-1508), who was raised to the peerage, in 1488, as Lord Hay of Yester; which barony descended, uninterruptedly, to

JOHN (1593-1653), 8th Lord, who inherited, at the decease of his father, in 1609, and was created, in 1646, Earl of Tweeddale.
This nobleman married firstly, Lady Jean Seton, daughter of Alexander, 1st Earl of Dunfermline, in 1624; and secondly, Lady Margaret Montgomerie, daughter of Alexander, 6th Earl of Eglinton, in 1641.
His lordship died in 1653, and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN (1626-97), 2nd Earl. This nobleman was advanced, in 1694, to the dignities of Viscount Walden, Earl of Gifford, and MARQUESS OF TWEEDDALE.

He married Lady Jane Scott, daughter of Walter, 1st Earl of Buccleuch, by whom he had five sons and two daughters. His eldest son,

JOHN (1645-1713), 2nd Marquess, who wedded, in 1666, Lady Anne Maitland, only daughter and heiress of John, Duke of Lauderdale, by whom he had three sons. The eldest son,

CHARLES (1670-1715), 3rd Marquess, was succeeded by his son,

JOHN (1695-1762), 4th Marquess, whose son,

GEORGE (1758-70), 5th Marquess, died a minor, when the family honours reverted to his uncle,

GEORGE (1700-87), 6th Marquess, who died without issue, when the family honours reverted to his kinsman,

GEORGE (1753-1804), 7th Marquess, great-grandson of John, the 2nd Marquess (through his youngest son, Lord William Hay).

This nobleman married, in 1785, Lady Hannah Charlotte Maitland, daughter of James, Earl of Lauderdale, by whom he had issue,

GEORGE (1787-1876), 8th Marquess.
The heir presumptive is the present holder's younger brother Lord Alistair James Montagu Hay, Master of Tweeddale (b 1955).

YESTER HOUSE, near Gifford, Haddingtonshire, was built by the architect James Smith for John, 2nd Marquess of Tweeddale.

Smith was assisted by his partner Alexander MacGill and although work began in 1697, progress was slow and the house was not completed for more than 20 years.

By 1729, the 4th Marquess was already planning modernisation. He turned to William Adam, who provided a new roof, some exterior detail and remodelled the interior.

The saloon, by William, John and Robert Adam, was described by painter Gavin Hamilton (1723-98) as "the finest room at least in Scotland".

None of Smith's original interior remains today, but the Adam work is of remarkable quality.

Robert Adam was commissioned once again to restyle the exterior (1789), but only the north side was completed due to Adam's death in 1792.

The architect Robert Brown re-oriented the interior in the 1830s, moving the main entrance to the West. To achieve this, the West wing was demolished.

The original entrance was converted to a dining-room and the garden parlour to a fine drawing-room.

Robert Rowand Anderson made further changes (1877).

The estate was sold after the death of the 12th Marquess in 1967.

In 1972, it was bought by the Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti. After Menotti's death, the house was marketed by his family with a price of between £12 million and £15 million.

The house is said to have a gross internal area of 34,580 square feet.

In September, 2010, the guide price was reduced to £8 million, with the exclusion of 120 hectares (300 acres) of woodlands from the sale; and two months later, it was reported that the house was being purchased by the musician Lady Gaga, although this was denied by the estate agent.
Yester was built on the site of a previous 16th Century tower house, which itself had been a replacement for the original 13th Century Yester Castle, the ruins of which are still to be found a mile to the south-east.
First published in December, 2013.  Tweeddale arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 28 December 2015

1st Baron Trimlestown


This family, whose surname was anciently written De Barneval and Barnewall, deduces its lineage from remote antiquity, and claims, among its earliest progenitors, personages of the most eminent renown.

It is the parent stock whence the noble houses of BARNEWALL and TRIMLESTOWN branched.

The name of its patriarch is to be found, with the other companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, in the roll of Battle Abbey.

In Ireland, the Barnewalls came under the denomination of "Strongbowians", having established themselves there in 1172, under the banner of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, commonly known as Strongbow.

SIR MICHAEL DE BERNEVAL, Knight, the first settler, joined the English expedition, with three armed ships, and effected a descent upon Berehaven, County Cork, previous to the landing of his chief, the Earl of Pembroke, in the province of Leinster.

Sir Michael is mentioned in the records at the Tower of London as one of the leading captains in the enterprise; and in the reigns of HENRY II and RICHARD I, he was lord, by tenure, of Berehaven and Bantry.

From this gallant and successful soldier we pass to

SIR ULPHRAM DE BERNEVAL, Knight, the tenth in descent, first possessor of Crickstown Castle and estate, and the founder of what was termed the "Crickstown Branch" of the family.

The great-grandson of this Sir Ulphram,

NICHOLAS DE BERNEVALL (fourth of the same Christian name), married a daughter of the Lord Furnivall, and left three sons,
Christopher (Sir), father of 1st Baron Trimlestown;
John, ancestor of the Barons Kingsland;
Barnaby (Sir), an eminent lawyer.
The eldest son,

SIR CHRISTOPHER BERNEVALL (1370-1446), as the name began to be spelt, succeeded to the patrimonial estate of Crickstown; and was, in 1445 and 1446, Vice-Treasurer of Ireland and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.

He married Matilda, daughter of Sir _____ Drake, of Drakerath, an had two sons, of whom the younger,

SIR ROBERT BARNEWALL, Knight, was elevated to the peerage by EDWARD IV, in 1461, as BARON TRIMLESTOWN, of Trimlestown, County Meath.

"The next patent of creation that occurs" said the historian, William Lynch, in his work on Feudal Dignities, "is one of considerable importance, as being the first grant (in Ireland) of any description of peerage conveying, by express words, the dignity of a baron of parliament."
The patent was dated in the second year of EDWARD IV's reign, and thereby the King ordained and constituted Sir Robert Barnewall, Knight, for his good services to His Majesty's father when in Ireland, as essendum unum baronum parliamenti nostri infra terram nostram prædictam, to hold to him and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, and to be called by the name of Domini et Baronis de Trymleteston, etc;
And also that the said Sir Robert should be one of his, the King's, Council within the said land during his life, with the fee of £10 yearly, payable out of the fee-farm of Salmon Leap and Chapelizod etc.

His lordship wedded firstly, Elizabeth Broune, by whom he acquired a considerable estate, and had two sons,
CHRISTOPHER (Sir), his heir;
He espoused secondly, Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Plunkett, but had no other issue.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease in 1470 by his elder son,

CHRISTOPHER, 2nd Baron; who obtained a pardon for his participation in the treason of Lambert Simnel.

His lordship married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Plunkett, of Rathmore, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
a daughter;
His lordship died ca 1513, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 3rd Baron, an eminent judge and politician, who wedded no less than four times, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1538, by the only son of his first wife, Janet, daughter of John Bellew, of Bellewstown,

PATRICK, 4th Baron, who espoused Catherine, daughter of Richard Taylor, of Swords, County Dublin, and widow of Richard Delahyde, Recorder of Drogheda.

His lordship died in 1562, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 5th Baron, who married Anne, only daughter of Alderman Richard Fyan, Mayor of Dublin; but dying issueless, in 1573, the barony devolved upon his brother,

PETER, 6th Baron. This nobleman dying in 1598, was succeeded by his only son, by Catherine, daughter of the Hon Sir Christopher Nugent, and granddaughter of Richard, 11th Baron Delvin,

ROBERT, 7th Baron (c1574-1639), who wedded Genet, daughter of Thomas Talbot, of Dardistown, County Meath, by whom he had issue,
Christopher, father of MATTHIAS, 8th Baron;
Mary; Catherine; Ismay.
His lordship had a memorable dispute with the Lord Dunsany regarding precedency, which was decided in favour of Lord Trimlestown by the Privy Council in 1634.

He was succeeded by his grandson,

MATTHIAS, 8th Baron (1614-67), eldest son of the Hon Christopher Barnewall, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward FitzGerald, Knight.

This nobleman serving against the usurper CROMWELL was excepted from pardon for life, and had his estates sequestered; but surviving the season of rebellion and rapacity, he regained a considerable portion of his lands.

His lordship espoused, in 1641, Jane, daughter of Nicholas, 1st Viscount Netterville, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

ROBERT, 9th Baron, who married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Dungan Bt, and niece of William, Earl of Limerick, by whom he had two sons and five daughters,
MATTHIAS, 10th Baron;
JOHN, 11th Baron;
Jane; Bridget; Dymna; Catharine; Mary.
His lordship sat in King JAMES II's parliament in 1689, and dying in June that year, was succeeded by his eldest son,

MATTHIAS, 10th Baron, who had a commission in the 1st Troop of King James's guards under the Duke of Berwick, and fell in action against the Germans in 1692, when the barony devolved upon his brother,

JOHN, 11th Baron (1672-1746). The 10th Baron having been attainted by WILLIAM III, that monarch granted the family estates to Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney; but those estates were subsequently recovered at law, and were enjoyed by the house of Trimlestown.

His lordship wedded Mary, only daughter of Sir John Barnewall, Knight, second son of Sir Patrick Barnewall Bt, of Crickstown, by whom he six sons and four daughters,
ROBERT, his heir;
Thomasine; Margaret; Bridget; Catharine.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 12th Baron (c1704-79). This nobleman lived for many years in France, and pursued the study of medicine with great success.

After his return to Ireland he resided at Trimlestown, and gratuitously and freely communicated his advice to all who applied for it.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease by his eldest surviving son,

THOMAS, 13th Baron, a Knight of Malta, who conformed to the established church, and had a confirmation of the dignity (which, although adopted, was unacknowledged from the time of CROMWELL), in 1795.

His lordship dying unmarried, the title reverted to his cousin,

NICHOLAS, 14th Baron (1726-1813), who espoused firstly, in 1768, Martha Henrietta, only daughter of Monsieur Joseph D'Aquin, president of the parliament of Toulouse, by whom he had issue,
JOHN THOMAS, his heir;
He married secondly, in 1797, Alicia, second daughter of Major-General Charles Eustace.

His lordship was succeeded by his son,

JOHN THOMAS, 15th Baron (1773-1839), who wedded, in 1794, Maria Theresa, daughter of Richard Kirwan, of Gregg, County Galway, by whom he had issue,
Martha Henrietta.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS, 16th Baron (1796-1879), who espoused, in 1836, Margaret Randalina, eldest daughter of Philip Roche, of Donore, County Kildare, and had issue,
THOMAS, died in infancy;
Anna Maria Louisa.
His lordship died without surviving male issue, when the barony became dormant.

In 1891, however, the peerage was  was claimed by

CHRISTOPHER PATRICK MARYde jure 17th Baron (1846-91), a descendant of the Hon Patrick Barnewall, second son of the 7th Baron.

The 17th Baron died before he had fully established his claim; but in 1893, his younger brother,

CHARLES ALOYSIUS, 18th Baron (1861-1937), was confirmed in the title by the Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords.

His lordship married, in 1889, Margaret Theresa, daughter of Richard John Stephens, of Brisbane, Australia, and had issue,
Reginald Nicholas Francis (1897-1918), killed in action;
CHARLES ALOYSIUS, of whom presently;
Ivy Esmay; Marcella Hilda Charlotte;
Letitia Anne Margaret; Geraldine Christia Marjory.
He wedded secondly, in 1907, Mabel Florence, daughter of William Robert Shuff, of Torquay, Devon; and thirdly, in 1930, Josephine Francesca, fourth but 2nd surviving daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Christopher John Nixon Bt, of Roebuck Grove, Milltown, County Dublin.

The 19th Baron was succeeded by his second son,

CHARLES ALOYSIUS, 19th Baron (1899-1990), who espoused, in 1926, Muriel, only child of Edward Oskar Schneider, of Mansfield Lodge, Manchester, and had issue,
He married secondly, in 1952, Freda Kathleen, daughter of Alfred Allen Atkins, of Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANTHONY EDWARD, 20th Baron (1928-97), who wedded firstly, in 1963, Lorna Margaret Marion, daughter of Charles Douglas Ramsay.

He espoused secondly, in 1977, Mary Wonderly, eldest daughter of Judge Thomas Francis McAllister, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

His lordship died in an issueless marriage, and the honours devolved upon his brother,

RAYMOND CHARLES, 21st Baron, born in 1930, of Chiddingfold, Surrey.

There is no obvious heir presumptive to the Barony of Trimlestown.

An heir presumptive may be found amongst the descendants, if any, of Thomas Barnewall, of Bloomsbury, London, a cousin of the 17th and 18th Barons Trimlestown.

TURVEY HOUSE, Donabate, County Dublin, was a late 17th century mansion comprising two storeys below a gabled attic storey.

The upper storey has three distinctive lunette windows added between 1725-50.

The house has nine bays and lofty, narrow windows grouped in threes.

This was once the seat of the extinct Viscounts Barnewall (of Kingsland); though subsequently it passed to a kinsman, the 13th Baron Trimlestown.


TRIMLESTOWN CASTLE, Kildalkey, County Meath, is a medieval tower-house with an 18th century house attached.

In the 19th century, the castle was adorned with ornamental towers, an embattled parapet, and other marks of the style which prevailed in the latter part of the 16th century.

Shortly afterwards, however, the family abandoned the castle and it became ruinous.

Trimlestown arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Ballyscullion House

Ballyscullion House was one of three grand residences built by the eccentric prelate, Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Lord Bishop of Derry.

It is not to be confused with the present Ballyscullion Park, erstwhile seat of the Bruce and Mulholland baronets (still inhabited by descendants of the Mulhollands).

The Earl-Bishop's other seats were at Downhill, also in County Londonderry, and Ickworth, in Suffolk.

Ballyscullion was built close to the shore of Lough Beg, a small lough at the north-west corner of Lough Neagh; near the village of Bellaghy in County Londonderry.

Construction on the house began in 1787 and, like Ickworth, its predominant feature was a central, domed rotunda joined by curved sweeps to rectangular pavilions.

Below is an illustration of what the Earl Bishop's palace at Ballyscullion would have looked like, had it been fully completed.

The central rotunda was virtually completed but ca 1803-04, it was almost completely dismantled to avoid the alleged application of the 'window tax'.

The portico at the front entrance door was taken away to Belfast where it can be seen to this day adorning St George's Church in High Street, Belfast.

Ballyscullion House was apparently based on the 1774 house at Belle Isle, Lake Windermere.

Belle Isle house (which still remains) was very probably based on the Pantheon in Rome.

The Ballyscullion 'Palace' was, in its turn, to be the prototype for Ickworth House in Suffolk - the Herveys' principal country seat.

The Earl Bishop lost interest in the house, afterwards known as the "Bishop's Folly", and it was still uncompleted at the time of his lordship's death in 1803, though inhabited and partly furnished.

Ballyscullion and Downhill were bequeathed to the Earl Bishop's kinsman, the Rev Henry Hervey Aston Bruce, immediately afterwards created a baronet.

Unwilling to have to maintain two great houses in the same county, the 1st Baronet demolished Ballyscullion a few years after inheriting it.

Its fine portico is now at St George's Church (below) in Belfast, some marble columns and chimney-pieces are at Portglenone House; and other chimney-pieces adorn Bellarena House.

Some of the stone was later used to build the present mansion house, also known as Ballyscullion Park.

The part-walled demesne was established about 1787 and the old palace is now denoted by a heap of rubble in woodland, having been partly demolished in 1813.

Nearby stands the present house designed by Charles (later Sir Charles) Lanyon in the 1840s for Admiral Sir Henry Bruce, 2nd son of the 1st Baronet.

Until recent years this house was the home of the late Sir Henry Mulholland, Bt, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Parliament.

It overlooks Lough Beg and distant mountains beyond, affording fine views and incorporating the spire of a church on an island in the lough.

This was added as a folly tower to provide an eye-catcher from the original house.

The Earl Bishop chose the spot for his late 18th century building as he considered it, ‘… not to be inferior to any Italian scenery’.

The foreground to the lough is in the manner of parkland with stands of trees.

There are effective shelter belts in what is flat, exposed land.

Near to the stable yard lies the part-walled garden, which is cultivated as an ornamental and productive garden for present-day family use.

During Victorian times, the Bruce Baronets were the largest landowners in County Londonderry, with 20,801 acres.

The history of the Hervey/Bruce families can be read in the Hervey/Bruce Papers deposited at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Bristol arms courtesy of European Heraldry.  First published in February, 2010.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Clandeboye House Guest

Photo credit: Katybird

CLANDEBOYE, County Down, home to the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, is filled with memorabilia collected by the 1st Marquess, a 19th-century diplomat, and provides a dramatic glimpse into his life.

As you pass between the cannons that flank its gates, Clandeboye seems to rise over the mist on the lake like a Chinese watercolour.

This romantic early-Georgian mansion and its 2,000-acre estate in County Down, Northern Ireland, is home to Lindy, the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, and is sustained by a series of enterprises.

'We are free of foundations and trusts,’ Lady Dufferin says proudly.

Helping to keep the estate self-sufficient is its golf course, the Ava art gallery, a banqueting hall used for weddings, a classical music festival and Clandeboye’s own brand of yogurt, courtesy of the estate’s award-winning herd of Holstein and Jersey cows.

The settlement dates from the 17th century, but the building we see today was built in the early 1800s by Robert Woodgate (formerly an engineer to Sir John Soane), who was commissioned by the politician Sir James Blackwood, 2nd Baron Dufferin and Clandeboye.

Incorporating elements of an earlier building, Woodgate created two wings at right angles to each other.

About 50 years later, it became home to Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, the 5th Baron and 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (Lindy is the widow of the last Marquess, Sheridan; the title is now extinct).

The great-grandson of the playwright Richard Sheridan, Frederick travelled widely as Governor-General of Canada and then Viceroy of India, and put his own stamp on Clandeboye.

Like many of his generation he was a passionate collector, and the interior at Clandeboye (sometimes known by its original name, Bally­leidy) is a reflection of the countries he served.

The breadth of this passion is evident the moment one enters Clandeboye through its Doric portico.

In the outer hall the walls are decorated with symmetrical displays of weaponry: daggers, pistols and cutlasses presented to the 1st Marquess.

In the pistachio-green Long Gallery there are more surprises.

The grand staircase is flanked by a pair of narwhal tusks and on either side lie two ornate daybeds.

These belonged to King Tibor of Burma.

Frederick bought them when the contents of the palace at Mandalay were auctioned off after he annexed Upper Burma. 

Upstairs the names of the bedrooms recall the many places that he served as a diplomat: France, St Petersburg, Canada, Rome.

France is the most exquisite, decorated in neoclassical gilt motifs copied from a Pompeiian fresco.

The mythological Europa and the bull are pictured on the bed head.

The gilt empire furniture complements the theme.

The house was designed to take maximum advantage of the light: the south-facing corner of the L-shaped layout is made up of 16 bay windows.

Frederick also had a mania for glass roofing and skylights.

The Simla corridor on the upper floor – named after the hill station in India where the British went on holiday – illuminated by oculi, small hemispherical skylights.

'Clandeboye needs constant attention,’ Lady Dufferin, a successful artist who works using her maiden name, Lindy Guinness, says.

On the day I visited, the Rev Ian Paisley was scheduled to come and see a portrait she had painted of him.

'The studio is somewhere I feel safe,’ she says.

Several chiaroscuro black-and-white gouaches in the studio, destined for a show in Paris, are studies of light in the rooms at Clandeboye – a subject she returns to often.

Outside is a walled garden with its thousands of saplings.

It has been planted over the past 25 years by Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland, which has brought Protestant and Catholic communities together to work in tandem.

Deeper in the woods is Helen’s Tower, a turreted folly with views over the rolling parkland, immortalised in Tennyson’s poem of the same name.

Commissioned by Frederick and completed in 1861, it was designed by the Scottish architect William Burn, its name in honour of Dufferin’s mother.

Lady Dufferin and her late husband, who died in 1988, have worked tirelessly to restore Clandeboye to its former glory and have created a lasting memorial to Frederick’s unique vision.

It has been a major project, and the work continues.

'This is a real, living estate with no dead hand of institutional discipline,’ she says. 'I look upon Clandeboye as a gift.’
First published in November, 2011.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

1st Earl Castle Stewart


This is a branch of the royal house of STUART, springing from Robert, Duke of Albany, third son of ROBERT II of Scotland.

ANDREW STEWART, 1st Lord Avondale, was the natural son of JAMES THE FAT (sole surviving son of Murdoch Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany).

He wedded Margaret, sister of David, 1st Earl of Cassillis, and had issue,
ANDREW, his successor;
Henry, 1st Lord Methven;
Barbara; Agnes; Anne.
His lordship fell at the battle of Flodden, in 1513, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW (c1505-49) succeeded his uncle as 2nd Lord Avondale, who exchanged the title for that of OCHILTREE.

He married Margaret, natural daughter of James, 1st Earl of Arran, and had issue,
ANDREW, his successor;
This nobleman was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW (c1521-91), 2nd Lord Ochiltree, who married Agnes Cunningham, and had a son and heir, Andrew Stewart, styled Master of Ochiltree, who predeceased him in 1578, and was succeeded by his grandson,

ANDREW, 3rd Lord Ochiltree (c1560-1629), who, having thus divested himself of that title, was created a peer, in 1619, by the title of Baron Castle Stewart.

He wedded, ca 1587, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Kennedy, of Blairquhan, and had issue,
ANDREW, his successor;
JOHN, 5th Baron;
Robert, ancestor of the Earl Castle Stewart;
Margaret, m George Crawford, of Crawfordsburn;
Maria, m John Kennedy, of Cultra;
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW, 2nd Baron, who espoused, ca 1604, Lady Anne Stewart, fifth daughter and co-heiress of John, 5th Earl of Atholl, by which lady he had issue,
ANDREW, 3rd Baron;
JOSIAS, 4th Baron.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW, 3rd Baron (-1650), who married Joyce, daughter and heiress of Sir Arthur Blundell, by whom he had issue, an only child, MARY, who wedded Henry 5th Earl of Suffolk.

His lordship died without male issue, and the honours devolved upon his brother,

JOSIAS, 4th Baron (c1637-62), who espoused Anne, daughter of John Madden, of Enfield, Middlesex, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Charles Waterhouse, of Manor Waterhouse, County Fermanagh.

This marriage was without issue and the family honours reverted to his lordship's uncle,

JOHN, 5th Baron, after whose decease without issue, the title remained in abeyance until 1774, when it was claimed by, and allowed to,

CAPTAIN ROBERT STEWART, de jure 6th Baron, who married Anne, daughter of William Moore, of Garvey, County Tyrone.

He died ca 1685, and was succeeded by his son,

ANDREW, de jure 7th Baron (1672-1715), who wedded Eleanor, daughter of Robert Dallway, of Bellahill, County Antrim, by whom he had issue,

ROBERT, de jure 8th Baron (1700-42), who wedded, in 1722, Margaret, sister and co-heiress of Hugh Edwards, of Castle Gore, County Tyrone, and had issue,

ANDREW THOMAS, 9th Baron (1725-1809), who was created Viscount Castle Stewart in 1793; and advanced to an earldom, as EARL CASTLE STEWART, in 1800.

His lordship wedded, in 1781, Sarah, daughter of the Rt Hon Godfrey Lill, judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, by whom he had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Caroline; Sarah.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 2nd Earl (1784-1854), who espoused, in 1806, Jemima, only daughter of Colonel Robinson, by whom he had issue,
EDWARD, 3rd Earl;
Andrew Godfrey, in holy orders, father of 6th Earl.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD, 3rd Earl (1807-57), who married, in 1830, Emmeline, only surviving daughter and heir of Benjamin Bathurst, in a childless marriage.

His lordship was succeeded by his brother,

CHARLES ANDREW KNOX, 4th Earl (1810-74), who wedded, in 1835, Charlotte Raffles Drury, only daughter of Acheson Quintin Thompson, of County Louth, and had issue,
HENRY JAMES, his heir;
Mary; Ella Sophia; Alice Maude; Margaretta.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

HENRY JAMES, 5th Earl,

The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Andrew Richard Charles Stuart, styled Viscount Stuart (b 1953).

Castle Stewart arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Stuart Hall Album

I am indebted to those who send me old pictures of Northern Ireland's proud heritage.

Stuart Hall is a good example.

It gives me great pleasure to post these old images.

The Earls Castle Stewart were the second-greatest landowners in County Tyrone, with 32,615 acres in the 1870s.

Lord and Lady Castle Stewart still live at the estate. 
Stuart Hall was built about 1760.

It was originally a three-storey Georgian block with a pillared porch, joined to an old tower-house by a 19th century Gothic wing.

The top two storeys of the main block were later removed, giving it the appearance of a Georgian bungalow.

The mansion house was burnt by the IRA in July, 1972, and subsequently demolished.

A bungalow was built on the site in 1987.

Stuart Hall was actually larger than it appeared from the entrance front, due to high basement or storey to the rear.
Paul Wood has kindly sent me some old photographs taken by his grandfather, William Homewood, who used to travel with the family to Ireland and Scotland.

His grandmother told him that the people (in the photos) were very kind.

It is thought that the gamekeeper's wife was the housekeeper.
They are ca 1919-22. Paul Wood's mother was brought up at Old Lodge on the estate.

I'm afraid I don't know the names of the gamekeeper and his wife.
I have written at length about Stuart Hall near Stewartstown in County Tyrone.
First published in November, 2010.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

6th Earl of Erne (1937-2015)

I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of the Right Honourable Henry George Victor John Earl of Erne KCVO today.

Lord Erne was a true friend of Northern Ireland, particularly his beloved Couny Fermanagh and Crom.

He shall be sorely missed.

I convey my sincere condolences to Lord Erne's family.

Ormiston Restoration

I met an old school pal for breakfast at S D Bell's this morning.

I fancied the scrambled eggs and granary toast, which were tip-top.

Major restoration work is progressing today, 23rd December, 2015, at Ormiston, in east Belfast.

Ormiston was the former residence of Sir Edward Harland Bt; and the Viscount Pirrie.

The Hawthornden Road lodge of ca 1867 has a new slate roof and awaits further renovation.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Tesco Vintage Port

I happened to be at a massive Tesco store near me this morning at nine o'clock and bagged a bot of their finest vintage port, viz. the 1997 Vinho Do Porto, by Symington Family Estates.

Christopher Bellew, on his fine new blog, has apprised us - not to add tipped us off - about this.

It currently costs £16.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Connswater Progress

February, 2015

In February, 2015, I photographed the river Conn's Water at Holywood Arches health centre, Belfast, where the river is culverted for a short distance.

December, 2015

Today I revisited the same location and, as we can see, the Connswater Greenway scheme is progressing well.

Ballyward Lodge


SIR WILLIAM LESLIE (c1400-67), 4th of Balquhain, descended from a common ancestor with the Earls of Rothes, was knighted at the coronation of JAMES I.

He married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Alexander Fraser of Lovat, and had issue,
Alexander, ancestor of the Leslies of Balquhain;
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Sir William wedded secondly, Agnes, daughter of Alexander Irvine, of Drum, and by her was ancestor of the Leslie Baronets of Wardis; Leslie of New Leslie; Leslie of Kininvie; and Leslie, Viscount Balgownie.

He espoused thirdly, Euphemia, daughter of Sir William Lindsay, of Cairney, Fife, and by her was ancestor of Leslie of Pitcaple.

The younger son by his first marriage,

WILLIAM LESLIE, of Kincraigie, married Mary, daughter of Francis Ross, of Auchlossan, Aberdeenshire, and had an only son,

WILLIAM LESLIE, of Kincraigie, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Strachan, of Balhousie, Forfar, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
Patrick, of Loch Tulloch, Aberdeenshire;
James, dsp;
The eldest son,

ALEXANDER LESLIE, of Kincraigie, espoused Margaret, daughter of George Gordon, of Halhead, Aberdeenshire, and had issue,
GEORGE, of whom presently;
John, of Durno;
The elder son,

GEORGE LESLIE, of Kincraigie, married Mary, daughter of Patrick Leith, of Edingarrock, and had issue,
PATRICK (Sir), of whom presently;
Isabella; Margaret; Elizabeth.
The eldest son,

SIR PATRICK LESLIE, Knight, of Kincraigie, Provost of Aberdeen, wedded Jane, daughter of John Leslie, 10th of Balquhain, and had issue,
George, of Kincraigie;
JOHN, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

JOHN LESLIE, of the city of Aberdeen, espoused Margery, daughter of William Strachan, of Tippartie, Banff, and had issue,
PATRICK, of whom presently;
William, settled & died in America;
Isabella; Margery.
The elder son,

PATRICK LESLIE, settling in Ulster, married Mary, daughter of John Forbes, of the city of Aberdeen, and had issue, a son,

JOHN LESLIE, of Kincraigy, County Donegal, who settled in Ulster about 1705, and had issue, with a daughter, Margaret, a son,

CHARLES LESLIE, of Kincraigy, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of John Griffith, of Dublin, and who left issue, a son,

THE VEN CHARLES LESLIE DD, Archdeacon and Vicar-General of the Diocese of Raphoe, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of James Grove, of Grove Hall, County Donegal.

The Archdeacon died in 1781, leaving issue,
Charles, dsp;
John (Rev), of Kincraigy, died unmarried;
Robert Grove, died unmarried;
JANE, of whom presently.
The only daughter,

JANE LESLIE (c1764-1833), heiress in her issue to her brothers, married, in 1795, William Beers, of Ballygorian and Ballyward, County Down, son of William Beers, and grandson of Philip Beers.

Mrs Jane Beers had issue,
FRANCIS CHARLES, of whom presently;
William Philip, died in infancy;
William, JP, of Brook Cottage, Newcastle;
John, JP, of Leslie Hill, Co Donegal;
Philip Grove, died in New Zealand;
James Annesley (Rev), Rector of Drumballyroney;
The eldest son,

FRANCIS CHARLES LESLIE, formerly Beers (1796-1866), of Ballyward, County Down, and Kincraigy, County Donegal, assumed, in 1850, the surname and arms of LESLIE in lieu of his patronymic.

He wedded, in 1837, Hannah Theodosia, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Thompson, of the 27th Regiment, by whom he had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Harriet Jane.
The only son,

JOHN LESLIE (1839-), of Ballyward Lodge, lieutenant, 5th Fusiliers, and captain, Donegal Militia, espoused, in 1862, Harriet Anne, daughter of Sir David William Barclay Bt, and had issue,

MAY FLORENCE DE RUNE LESLIE, who married, in 1888, Colonel Frank Robert Lowth CB, Lincolnshire Regiment, and had issue,
Francis Robert Leslie, b 1889;
John Leslie, b 1890;
Norman Charles Leslie, b 1891;
William Barclay Leslie, b 1893;
Doris May Leslie.
Photo credit: David Byers

BALLYWARD LODGE, near Castlewellan, County Down, has been described as a "gentleman's cottage" of ca 1800.

This house, situated picturesquely beside a lake, was originally the residence of William Beers.

Ballyward comprises two storeys, the upper storey being partly in the attic; dormer gables; projecting single-storey porch.

There is a large, elegant fan-lighted doorway.

Several upstairs windows are pointed, with Georgian-Gothic astragals.

The library has a low ceiling, with columns which formerly graced Downhill Castle; and a spacious bedroom landing.

The formal garden to the south of the house is equally impressive, with statuary and urns.


Ballyward estate was purchased in 1954 by WING-COMMANDER JOHN SYDNEY HIGGINSON CBE JP DL RAF, Honorary ADC to His Excellency the Governor of Northern Ireland, 1952, who farmed it himself until 1985.

At that time the grounds comprised 134 acres, of which 63 were agricultural land, 3 acres were garden, and 68 acres were woodland and wetland.

Many improvements to the house and grounds were initiated by Wing-Commander Higginson.

Wing-Commander Higginson died in 2000, when the estate devolved upon his nephew,

ANDREW HIGGINSON OBE, who sold Ballyward in 2001 for £1.15 million.


THE ESTATE today is spread over 300 acres, consisting of mature woodland, surrounded by sloping hills.

There are also significant wetlands thus attracting a wide variety of game.

Ballyward has recently established itself as a shoot.

First published in November, 2013.