Friday, 25 May 2018

Causeway Hotel: A Brief History


In November, 1836, Elizabeth Henry leased just over four acres of land in the townland of Ardihannon, County Antrim, from Sir Francis Workman-Macnaghten, 1st Baronet.

The Macnaghten Baronets, of Dundarave, were the major landowners in the area, owning 7,134 acres in 1876.

Miss Henry, formerly the proprietress of The Copeland Arms in Coleraine, proceeded building on the site; however, by 1841, her financial circumstances were such, that she was unable to complete the construction of her hotel on the Macnaghtens' land at The Giant's Causeway.

When she died, the Macnaghten mortgage debt was still outstanding.


In 1844, the Hotel was let to William McNaul, who pledged
BY diligence and attention to do all in my power to promote the comfort of my Guests, and they may depend on my always keeping a well stocked larder and being well supplied with the choicest Wines and Liquors.
Twenty years later, in 1863, a new lessee, William Coleman, ran the Hotel, the business at least servicing the interest on the debt for the Macnaghtens.

Mr Coleman was the proprietor of Coleman's Portrush Hotel.

On acquiring the Causeway Hotel, he demonstrated his flair for the catering industry in his press advertisement:
W Coleman begs to inform his patrons that he has become Proprietor of the GIANT'S CAUSEWAY HOTEL, which he has completely refitted. The arrangements and rates are the same as those which have given so much satisfaction at his Portrush Establishment.
The GIANT'S CAUSEWAY HOTEL, being immediately above the Causeway itself, is admirably situated for Tourists having only a short time to spare, and also for those who wish to spend some time in the neighbourhood. The Hotel is commodious, and, in every respect, a First class Establishment.
Mr Coleman added, in small print presumably (!),
Tourists are particularly requested not to engage either Guides or Boatmen till arrival at Giant's Causeway Hotel.
HOTEL CHARGES:-
Sitting-room per day ~ from 2 shillings (/) to 3/-
Bed-room ~ from 1/6 to 2/-
Sitting-room fire per day ~ 6d
Breakfast ~ from 1/6 to 2/-
Hot Lunch ~ 1/6
Cold Lunch ~ 1/3
Dinner ~ from 1/8 to 3/-
Visitors' Servants per day ~ 4/-
HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS:-
VISITORS taken at the under-mentioned charges:-
Board, including Bed-room ~ 35/- each per week
Sitting-room ~ from 12/- to 21/- each per week
Attendance ~ 5/-  each per week
Visitors' Servants ~ 21/- each per week
 
A Two-horse van leaves daily, from The Portrush Hotel for The Giant's Causeway, from 1st June to 1st October, at 9.40am, on arrival of first train from Belfast, returning at 2pm, in time for the afternoon trains. Fare:- Return, 2/-; Single, 1/6.
£2 (40/-) in 1860 was worth about £200 today.

By 1884, the Causeway Hotel and its strategic importance had, not surprisingly, come to the notice of the entrepreneurial Traills of Ballylough House.

Sir Francis Workman-Macnaghten, 3rd Baronet, had a meeting with William Atcheson Traill and his brother, Anthony, the result being that the Giant's Causeway Tramway took over the Causeway Hotel.


William Winter was employed to manage it.

This was a mutually beneficial arrangement: Sir Francis acquired a good tenant (with an option to purchase the hotel) to pay off the old debt; whereas the Traills' tramway company got vertical integration in their business.

Their passengers would be directed to their hotel to avail of the conveniences (!) etc.

Advertisements proclaimed that “the Causeway Hotel is now worked in connection with the Tramway."

In 1910, the Kane family purchased the Causeway Hotel; and in 1963 the Hotel was sold to Frank Fleming.

The last private proprietors of the Hotel were the Armstrong family, who sold it to The National Trust in 2001.

If there are any inaccuracies in this article, please let me know.

First published in May, 2014.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Heritage Apple Trees

THE APPLE TREES WE PLANTED AT BALLYQUINTIN ARE NOW ALMOST FIVE YEARS OLD. WE REVISITED THE SITE ON WEDNESDAY, 23RD MAY, 2018.

HERE IS THE ORIGINAL POST FROM 2013.

I spent today at Bar Hall, a property of the National Trust close to Ballyquintin Point, on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.

We all met at the old Mount Stewart estate schoolhouse, from where the trucks were loaded with spades, stakes, mulch sheeting and, of course apple saplings.


We have established a new orchard at the side of a sheltered field near the entrance to Ballyquintin Farm.

The little apple-tree saplings are not ordinary ones. They are heritage varieties, including Bloody Butcher, Lady's Finger of Offaly, Ballyvaughan, Ballyfatten, Ross Nonpareil, Widow's Friend, and Kemp.

Eighteen saplings were planted and they cost about £200.


Therefore, unsurprisingly, we devoted the day to planning the layout, planting at appropriate distances, ensuring that no same varieties were planted together; and stakes were hammered in at a 45-degree angle.

There was fresh manure in the field, which we put to good use.

The mulch sheets will protect the little trees from long grass and weeds, thereby fostering growth and providing them with the best chance of flourishing.

Published in November, 2013.

Milford House

THE McCRUMS OWNED 46 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ARMAGH

WILLIAM McCRUM (1785-1879), son of William McCrum (1756-1818, a farmer from County Armagh, by his wife, Elizabeth Harper, of County Armagh), married, in 1818, Judith, daughter of Moses Paul, and had issue,
ROBERT GARMANY, of whom presently;
Martha, died in infancy.
The only son,

ROBERT GARMANY McCRUM JP DL (1827-1915), of Milford House, County Armagh, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1909, wedded, in 1864, Anne Eliza Riddall, of Armagh, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
HARRIETTE, b 1867.
Mr McCrum was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM McCRUM (1865-1932), of Milford House, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1888, who espoused, in 1891, Maude Mary, daughter of Dr W W Squires, of Montreal, Canada, and had issue, an only son,

CECIL ROBERT McCRUM OBE* (1892-1976), of The Mall, Armagh, Captain, Royal Navy, who wedded Ivy Hilda Constance (1891–1990), daughter of William Nicholson, and had issue,
Patrick, 1917-22;
Antony, b 1919; 
MICHAEL WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Robert.
The third son,

MICHAEL WILLIAM McCRUM CBE (1924-2005), a distinguished academic and historian, married, in 1952, Christine Mary Kathleen, daughter of Sir Arthur Brownlow Frederick fforde GBE,  and had four children, of whom 

(John) Robert McCrum, born in 1953, is a well-known editor and writer.

Robert Garmany McCrum's only daughter,

HARRIETTE (1867-1951), of The Mall, Armagh, married, in 1898, the Rev David Miller, and had issue, four sons,
Robert Craig;
William McCrum;
David Riddall;
Edward Wentworth.
*Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, St James's Palace, SWl. 1st January, 1943: The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following to be Additional Officers of the Military Division of the said Most Excellent Order : Captain Cecil Robert McCrum, RN (Ret.).


MILFORD HOUSE, near Armagh City, County Armagh, is a two-storey, Italianate country house, built for Robert Garmany McCrum between 1865-1904.

It has a three-sided bow; pedimented three-bay projection; and camber-headed windows.


There is an elaborate range of glasshouses running at right-angles from the middle of the front.

During the Victorian era, the grounds extended to 46 acres.

The manor house passed into the ownership of William McCrum in 1915.

Never adept at business, he lost heavily in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and was forced to auction the contents of the house the following year and sell the mill the year after that.

Mr McCrum died penniless in 1932 and the Milford House came into the ownership of the Northern Bank.

In 1936, the bank leased it to a private boarding school for girls (Manor House School), who bought it outright for £3,000 in 1940.

The school closed in 1965; and in 1966 the property was sold to the Northern Ireland Hospital Authority for use as a special care home.

This shut in 1988 and since then the property became vacant.

In 1936, the house was leased and ultimately sold to a girls' school.


In 2000, the Friends of Manor House was established by Stephen McManus in collaboration with Armagh Council to secure the future of the property.


The building was sold to the current owners in 2002.

The Milford Buildings Preservation Trust continues to work tirelessly to protect Milford House, its parkland and gardens.

First published in May, 2014.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Dunsandle House

THE BARONS DUNSANDLE AND CLANCONAL WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY GALWAY, WITH 33,543 ACRES
The family of DALY, or O'DALY, is of very ancient origin, deducing its descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages, monarch of Ireland in the 4th century, who was also common ancestor of the O'NEILLS of Tyrone and O'DONNELLS of Tyrconnell, from whom the pedigree of this family is lineally traced in the Heralds' office.
THE RT HON DENIS DALY (c1638-1721), son of James Daly, of Carrownakelly, by his wife, Anastase D'Arcy (niece of Patrick D'Arcy), had a son,

DENIS DALY, of Carrownakelly, whose son,

JAMES DALY (1716-69), MP for Athenry, 1741-68, MP for the borough of Galway, 1768-9, married firstly, Bridget, daughter of Francis, 14th Baron Athenry; and secondly, Catherine, daughter of Sir Ralph Gore Bt, by whom he had issue,
St George;
DENIS, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

THE RT HON DENIS DALY (1748-91), of Dunsandle, County Galway, married, in 1780, the Lady Henrietta Maxwell, daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Farnham, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Robert (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Cashel and Waterford;
Henrietta; Katharine; Charlotte; Elizabeth; Emily; Mary.
Mr Daly was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES DALY (1782-1847), MP for County Galway, 1812-27, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1845, as BARON DUNSANDLE AND CLANCONAL, of Dunsandle, County Galway.

His lordship  married, in 1808, Maria Elizabeth, second daughter and co-heiress of Rt Hon Sir Skeffington Smyth Bt, MP, of Tinny Park, County Wicklow, and had issue,
DENIS ST GEORGE, his successor;
Charles Anthony;
SKEFFINGTON JAMES, 3rd Baron;
Bowes Richard;
Robert;
Margaret Eleanor; Rosa Gertrude Harriet.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

DENIS ST GEORGE, 2nd Baron, a captain in the 7th Dragoons, wedded, in 1864, Mary, daughter of William Broderick, though dying without issue, the family honours devolved upon his next brother,

SKEFFINGTON JAMES, 3rd Baron (1810-93), who died unmarried, when the family honours reverted to his cousin,

JAMES FREDERICK, 4th Baron (son of the Hon Robert Daly, youngest son of the 1st Baron), Assistant Private Secretary to Lord Beaconsfield, 1874-80, Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Treasury, 1885-87, Assistant in the National Debt Office, 1888.

On the death of the 4th Baron, in 1911, the titles became extinct.


DUNSANDLE HOUSE, near Athenry, County Galway, was a five-bay, three-storey country house, built ca 1780, now in ruins and roofless.

It was said to have been the finest house in the county, famed for its neo-classical plasterwork.  Various visitors commented that it had a good cellar and a fine library.

The basement housed some of the servants, the money room, and the boiler. On the ground floor were the drawing room, the bathrooms, the function room and one of the sitting rooms.

There was also a spacious hallway which led into a highly decorative interior with neo-classical plasterwork.

Photo credit: Eamonn McNally

The second floor had more sitting rooms, several bedrooms and a very large bath, and the attic was used for storage and for water tanks.

According to The Buildings of Ireland,
Although ruinous, the high quality of construction employed in this country house is clearly evident. String courses, cornice and window surrounds are the work of skilled stonecutters and masons. The associated outbuildings and the fine entrance archway enhance the house. The detailing hints at the formerly splendid architectural quality that has been lost in the ruination of Dunsandle House.
The centre block had three storeys over a basement with five-bay entrance and garden fronts, each with a three-bay pedimented breakfront; joined by long, straight screen walls with pedimented doorways and niches to low and wide-spreading two-storey wings.

The saloon had elaborate plasterwork; a coved rococo ceiling in the morning-room; Adamesque ceiling in the drawing-room.


Dunsandle was sold by Major Bowes Daly MC, grandson of the 2nd Lord Dunsandle, about 1954. Major Daly was aide-de-camp to the Viceroy of India, and Master of the Galway Blazers.

 A reader has provided me with more information:
Major Bowes Daly divorced his first wife Diane Lascelles to marry a divorcee Mrs Hanbury (whose first husband Guy Trundle had an affair with Wallis Simpson). This created a scandal in Country Galway on a par with the abdication crisis of 1936!

Major Daly was the last of his family to reside at Dunsandle House and the furore over his re-marriage led to the Catholic clergy boycotting the Galway Blazers of which he was Master. He sold up in 1954 and the house was later demolished.

After going to East Africa he returned to Ireland and lived his last years on Lord Harrington`s estate in Co. Limerick. He is buried in Loughrea near his former home. 
The Irish land commission demolished parts of Dunsandle House and sold all the valuable parts of the house in 1958.

They divided the land of the estate between the local farmers.

Dunsandle arms courtesy of European Heraldry.  First published in December, 2011.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Agnew of Kilwaughter

THE AGNEWS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ANTRIM, WITH 9,770 ACRES


PATRICK AGNEW, of Lochnaw, Wigtownshire, said to be a kinsman of the Agnew Baronets, Collector of Rents for the Earl of Antrim, married, in 1622, Janet Shaw, and built a castle at Kilwaughter, County Antrim.

Mr Agnew was succeeded by his son,

JOHN AGNEW, who wedded his cousin, Eleanor Shaw, and was succeeded by his son,

PATRICK AGNEW, who married and purchased the remaining lands at Kilwaughter which, until 1660, had been in the possession of the Agnews of Lochnaw:
Sir Patrick Agnew, 1st Baronet, 8th Hereditary Sheriff of Galloway, father of Colonel Alexander Agnew, of Whitehills, who, with Andrew Agnew, his brother, afterwards the 9th Sheriff, was frequently in Ulster.
Mr Agnew, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1669, was succeeded by his son,

PATRICK AGNEW, who married and had issue,
PATRICK, of whom we treat;
Margaret, m James Crawford;
Jean, m Robert Blair, of Blairmount;
Helen, m James Stewart.
Mr Agnew died in 1724, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

PATRICK AGNEW, who espoused Martha Houston (or Houseton) and had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom we treat;
Frances;
John;
James (?);
Patrick (?);
Henry;
Hugh (?).
The eldest son,

WILLIAM "SQUIRE" AGNEW, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1744, married his cousin, Margaret Stewart, of Killymoon Castle, Cookstown, County Tyrone, and had issue,
James, died unmarried;
William, died unmarried;
MARIA, of whom we treat;
Jane, m Henry Shaw, later of Ballygally.
MARIA AGNEW wedded firstly, James Ross; and secondly, Valentine Jones, by whom she had issue, one son, Edward; and a daughter, Margaret.

Her only son,

EDWARD JONES (1767-1834), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1803, succeeded his grandfather and assumed the additional surname of AGNEW.

He married Eleanor Galbraith and had issue,
William, born in 1824; succeeded though died unmarried;
Maria, m T C Simon Esq.
William Agnew was succeeded in the Kilwaughter estate by his niece,

(MARIA) AUGUSTA, COUNTESS BALZANI (1847-95), only child of Thomas Collins Simon and Maria (Agnew) Simon.

Countess Balzani died in 1895, leaving two daughters,
Gendoluni, Madame Valensin;
Nora.
First published in June, 2016.

The Langham Baronets

 THE LANGHAM BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1660 FOR SIR JOHN LANGHAM, KNIGHT

This family is descended from

WILLIAM, son of Henry de Langham, who held land in Langham, Rutland, during the reign of EDWARD I.

The fourteenth in lineal descent from him was

ALDERMAN SIR JOHN LANGHAM (1584-1671), Knight, Sheriff of London, 1642, who was created a baronet in 1660, denominated of Cottesbrooke, Northamptonshire, as a recompense for his sufferings in the royal cause (having been twice committed to the Tower, with the Lord Mayor and other aldermen, for refusing to publish an act for the abolition of royalty).

Sir John, who acquired a large fortune as a turkey merchant, represented the City of London in parliament in 1654, and the borough of Southwark, 1660.

He married Mary, daughter of James Bunce, and was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

SIR JAMES LANGHAM (1621-99), 2nd Baronet, who married thrice, but left one daughter only by his first wife Mary, daughter and co-heir of Sir Edward Alston, Knight; namely Mary, wedded to Henry, Earl of Warrington.

Following his decease the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR WILLIAM LANGHAM (c1625-1700), 3rd Baronet, of Walgrave, Sheriff of Northampton, 1672, MP for Northampton, who married thrice, but had issue by his third marriage only (with Martha, daughter of Herbert Hay), a son, his successor,

SIR JOHN LANGHAM (c1670-1747), 4th Baronet, who espoused firstly, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Samwell Bt, of Upton, Northamptonshire, and had, with other children,
JAMES &
JOHN, successive baronets;
William, father of JAMES, 7th Baronet.
Sir John married secondly, Maria, eldest daughter of Sir Richard Temple KB, and widow of the Rev Dr West, and had several children.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JAMES LANGHAM (c1696-1749), 5th Baronet; who died without issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR JOHN LANGHAM (c1698-1766), 6th Baronet, who transmitted his memory to posterity by placing £6,000 in new South-Sea annuities, in the hands of the Corporation of London, for the purpose of founding a society for the relief of distressed soldiers and sailors, and their families.

Sir John died without issue, when the title devolved upon (the son of his deceased brother, William) his nephew,

SIR JAMES LANGHAM, 7th Baronet.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Tyrone Denis James Langham (b 1994).
*****

SIR CHARLES LANGHAM, 13th Baronet, sold the ancestral seat, Cottesbrooke Park, in 1911.

He had married Ethel Tennent in 1893 and they came to live at Tempo Manor, County Fermanagh, which his wife had inherited.

Former seats ~ Cottesbrooke Hall, Northamptonshire; Glyndebourne, East Sussex; Southend, Essex.

Former London residence ~ Langham House, Portland Place.

First published in April, 2014.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Johnstown Kennedy House

THE KENNEDY BARONETS OWNED 1,447 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DUBLIN

DARBY O'KENNEDY (c1648-1745), of Ballykerogue Castle, County Waterford, wedded a daughter of Stephen Baron, of Knockdrumla, and had a son,

JOHN KENNEDY, of Johnstown, County Dublin, who espoused Eleanor, daughter of Eaton Fagan, of Feltrim, and left issue at his decease, 1758, a son and successor,

EDWARD KENNEDY (1746-1811), of Johnstown, who married, in 1781, Sarah, daughter of John Bayly, of Gowran, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Charles Edward, of Peamount.
The elder son,

JOHN KENNEDY (1785-1848), of Johnstown, wedded, in 1819, Maria, daughter of William Bowman, of Rutland Square, Dublin, and had issue,
CHARLES EDWARD BAYLY, his heir;
William;
John;
Francis;
Robert, father of Admiral Francis W Kennedy CB;
Maria.
Mr Kennedy was created a baronet in 1836, denominated of Johnstown Kennedy, County Dublin.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR CHARLES EDWARD BAYLY KENNEDY, 2nd Baronet (1820-80), who espoused, in 1854, Augusta Maria, daughter of Henry Hartstonge Pery, Viscount Glentworth, and had issue,
JOHN CHARLES, his successor;
George Edward de Vere.
Sir Charles was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JOHN CHARLES KENNEDY, 3rd Baronet, JP DL (1856-1923), of Johnstown, who married, in 1879, Sydney H Maude, daughter of Sir James Macaulay Higginson, and had issue,
JOHN RALPH BAYLY, 4th Baronet;
JAMES EDWARD, 5th Baronet;
Augusta Mabel; Gladys Maude.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN RALPH BAYLY KENNEDY, 4th Baronet (1896-1968), of Johnstown, who died unmarried, when the baronetcy devolved upon his brother,

SIR JAMES EDWARD KENNEDY, 5th Baronet (1898-1974), of Johnstown, who died unmarried, when the title reverted to his cousin,

SIR DERRICK EDWARD DE VERE KENNEDY, 6th Baronet (1904-76), of Johnstown, who wedded firstly, in 1926, Phyllis Victoria Levine, daughter of Gordon Fowler; and secondly, in 1945, Barbara Mary Worthing, daughter of William Shepherd, and had issue,
GEORGE RONALD DERRICK, his successor;
Mark Gordon;
Julia Maureen Patricia.
Sir Derrick, former Major, Royal Ulster Rifles, a hotelier from 1947 until 1966, was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR (GEORGE) RONALD DERRICK KENNEDY, 7th Baronet, OBE (1927-88), who married, in 1949, Noelle Mona, daughter of Charles Henry Green.

The 7th Baronet, Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Artillery, and was appointed OBE (military) in 1975.

By his wife he had issue,
MICHAEL EDWARD, his successor;
Carolyn Phyllis.
He was succeeded by his son,

SIR MICHAEL EDWARD KENNEDY, 8th Baronet (1956-2012), of Otford, Kent, who wedded, in 1984, Helen Christine Jennifer, daughter of Patrick Lancelot Rae, and had issue,
GEORGE MATTHEW RAE, his successor;
Constance Andrea; Josephine Jennifer; Katherine Colleen.
Sir Michael was succeeded by his son,

SIR GEORGE MATTHEW RAE KENNEDY, 9th Baronet, born in 1993.

The present baronet has not (2013) successfully proven his succession to the baronetcy and is not therefore on the Official Roll of the Baronetage.

However, the case is under review by the Registrar of the Baronetage.


JOHNSTOWN KENNEDY HOUSE, Rathcoole, County Dublin, was a plain, three-storey Georgian house.

It had a three-bay side; with a porch which was enclosed at some later stage.

The drawing-room was notable for its acanthus plasterwork.

It was renowned as having been the residence of Major Sinclair Yeates in the television series, The Irish RM.

The Irish RM  on the tennis court

The estate included a most impressive and extensive range of farm buildings.

The buildings had courtyards with high walls and dramatic gateways some with pinnacles, curved equestrian buildings, Gothicised doorways, a small dairy, and several well-constructed utilitarian buildings serving various agricultural purposes.

There was also a water mill with mill race and a cast-iron mill wheel in-situ.

A roadside forge with horseshoe shaped entrance displays the initials "E K" and the date over the door.

The remains of a later walled garden with ruined greenhouses, a gardener's house and other structures, added a further dimension to this outstanding collection of estate buildings.

Johnstown Kennedy was sold by Sir Derrick Kennedy, 6th Baronet.

The house was subsequently demolished and the estate now forms part of Beech Park Golf Club.

First published in March, 2016.

1st Viscount Charlemont

THE VISCOUNTS CHARLEMONT WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ARMAGH, WITH 20,695 ACRES 


The settlement of this noble family in Ireland took place in the reign of ELIZABETH I, when 

THE RT HON SIR TOBY CAULFEILD (1565-1627), a distinguished and gallant soldier, was employed in that part of Her Majesty's dominions against the formidable Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.

This gentleman was the son of one Alexander Caulfeild, Recorder of Oxford, who was descended from ancestors of great antiquity and worth settled in that county, and at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.

In 1615, Sir Toby was appointed one of the council for the province of Munster.

The next year, 1616, he joined in commission with the Lord Deputy of Ireland (Oliver St John, 1st Viscount Grandison), and others, for parcelling out the escheated lands in Ulster to such British undertakers as were named in the several tables of assignation.

In these employments, The King (JAMES I) found him so faithful, diligent, and prudent, that His Majesty deemed him highly deserving the peerage, and accordingly created him, in 1620, Lord Caulfeild, Baron Charlemont, with limitation of the honour to his nephew, Sir William Caulfeild, Knight.

His lordship died unmarried, in 1627, and was succeeded by the said 

SIR WILLIAM CAULFEILD, 2nd Baron (1587-1640), who took his seat in parliament, 1634, after the Lord Chancellor of Ireland had moved to know the pleasure of the House, whether he should be admitted to this place, having brought neither writ of summons nor patent; whereupon it was resolved that his lordship should be admitted, inasmuch as they were all satisfied that he was a Lord of Parliament.

His lordship, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1620, wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John King, Knight (ancestor of the Earls of Kingston), and had issue,
TOBY, his successor;
ROBERT, successor to his brother;
WILLIAM, created Viscount Charlemont;
George;
Thomas;
John;
Anne; Mary; Margaret.
His lordship, Master-General of the Ordnance, 1627-34, was succeeded by his eldest son, 

TOBY, 3rd Baron (1621-42), who also succeeded his late father as Governor of Charlemont Fort, 1640, and there resided with his company of the 97th Regiment of Foot, in garrison.

This fort was a place of considerable strength and importance during the rebellion of 1641; but his lordship suffered himself to be surprised, in that year; and being made prisoner, with his whole family, was subsequently murdered, by the orders, it is said, of Sir Phelim O'Neill.

This unfortunate nobleman, dying unmarried, was succeeded by his brother, 

ROBERT, 4th Baron (1622-42), who died a few months afterwards from an overdose of a prescription of opium, and was succeeded by his next brother,

WILLIAM, 5th Baron (1624-71), who apprehended Sir Phelim O'Neill and had him executed for the murder of his brother, the 3rd Baron.

His lordship having filled, after the Restoration, several high and confidential situations, was advanced to a viscountcy, 1655, as Viscount Charlemont, of County Armagh.

He wedded Sarah, second daughter of Charles, 2nd Viscount Drogheda, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Toby;
John;
Mary; Alice; Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Viscount (c1655-1726); who opposed with zeal the cause of WILLIAM III against JAMES II.


His lordship espoused Anne, daughter of the Most Rev James Margetson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh, by whom he had, with five daughters, five sons to survive infancy, namely,
JAMES, his successor;
Thomas, Governor of Annapolis;
Charles (Rev), Rector of Donaghcary;
John, MP;
Henry Charles.
He died after enjoying the peerage more than half a century, in 1726, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JAMES, 3rd Viscount (1682-1734), MP for Charlemont, 1703-4, and 1713-26, who married Elizabeth, only daughter of the Rt Hon Francis Bernard, of Castle Mahon, County Cork, one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, and had issue,
Francis;
JAMES, of whom hereafter;
Alice.
The elder son, Francis, wedded Mary, only daughter of John, Lord Eyre; though was lost, with his lady, infant child, and servant, in a hurricane, during his passage to Ireland from London, in 1775, to fulfil his parliamentary duties as MP for Charlemont.

The Hon Francis Caulfeild left issue, Colonel James Eyre Caulfeild, born in 1765, and Eleanor, who married William, 3rd Earl of Wicklow.

The 3rd Viscount was succeeded by his only surviving son,

JAMES, 4th Viscount (1728-99), KP, who was advanced to an earldom, in 1763, as EARL OF CHARLEMONT.

His lordship wedded, in 1768, Mary, daughter of Thomas Hickman, of Brickhill, County Clare (descended from the noble family of Windsor, Viscounts Windsor, which title became extinct in 1728), and had issue,
FRANCIS WILLIAM, his successor;
James Thomas;
Henry, MP, of Hockley Lodge, Co Armagh;
Elizabeth.
He was a distinguished patriot, and had the honour of commanding-in-chief the celebrated Volunteer Army of Ireland in 1779.


The 1st Earl was a Founder Knight of the Order of St Patrick.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS WILLIAM, 2nd Earl, KP (1775-1863), who espoused, in 1802, Anne, daughter of William Bermingham, and had issue,
James William, Viscount Caulfeild (1803-23);
William Francis (1805-7);
Maria Melosina; Emily Charlotte.
His lordship died without surviving male issue, when the family honours reverted to his cousin,

JAMES MOLYNEUX, 3rd Earl (1820-92), KP (son of the Hon Henry Caulfeild, second son of 1st Earl), Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, MP for Armagh, 1847-67.

His lordship married twice, though both marriages were without issue, when the earldom and the barony expired, and the remaining peerages devolved upon his kinsman,

JAMES ALFRED, 7th Viscount (1830-1913), CB JP DL, of Loy House, Cookstown, and Drumcairne, County Tyrone,
Captain, Coldstream Guards; fought in the Crimean War; Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, 1868; High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1868; Comptroller of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1868-95; Honorary Colonel, 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; Usher of the Black Rod of the Order of St Patrick, 1879-1913.
The 8th Viscount, PC, DL (1880-1949), was elected to the Northern Ireland Parliament as a Senator, where he sat from 1925-37, and was sometime Minister for Education.
James Alfred Caulfeild, 7th Viscount (1830–1913);
James Edward Caulfeild, 8th Viscount; (1880–1949);
Charles Edward St George Caulfeild, 9th Viscount (1887–1962);
Robert Toby St George Caulfeild, 10th Viscount (1881–1967);
Charles St George Caulfeild, 11th Viscount (1884–1971);
Richard St George Caulfeild, 12th Viscount (1887–1979);
Charles Wilberforce Caulfeild, 13th Viscount (1899–1985);
John Day Caulfeild, 14th Viscount Charlemont (1934–2001);
John Dodd Caulfeild, 15th Viscount (b 1966).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Shane Andrew Caulfeild (b 1996).

*****
The Charlemonts were a Patrick family, three members of whom were Knights of St Patrick.

Castle Caulfeild, County Tyrone

Lord Charlemont was the greatest landowner in County Armagh, owning 20,695 acres a century ago.

He also owned almost 6,000 acres in County Tyrone.

During more recent times, the 8th Viscount, PC (NI), DL (1880-1949) was elected to the House of Lords as a Representative Peer; and to the Northern Ireland Parliament as a senator.

He sat in the NI Senate from 1925-37 and was Minister for Education for all but the first of his years.


Lord Charlemont's main country seat, near the village of Moy, County Tyrone, was Roxborough Castle.


The exquisite gates are all that remain.


The Castle was burnt by Irish republicans in 1922.

Charlemont Fort, on the County Armagh side of the river, was burnt in 1920.

Charlemont Fort, with Roxborough Castle in the Background

Subsequently Lord Charlemont lived at another residence, Drumcairne, near Stewartstown in County Tyrone.

It is thought that he eventually moved to the sea-side resort of Newcastle in County Down.


He inherited the titles from his uncle in 1913.

Having no children, the titles passed, on his death, to a cousin.

The 14th Viscount lived in Ontario, Canada and the viscountcy is still extant with the present 15th Viscount Charlemont. 

Earl of Charlemont's arms courtesy of European Heraldry.    First published in December, 2009.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Cairndhu House


CAIRNDHU HOUSE, near Larne, County Antrim, was built for Mr Stewart Clark at some stage after 1878.
Mr Clark was a wealthy Scottish textile industrialist. He married Annie (daughter of John Smiley and sister of Sir Hugh Houston Smiley Bt). Their daughter Edith married Sir Thomas Dixon in 1906. 
Cairndhu comprises two storeys and many gables; though it's style is slightly Oriental, given that it boasts ornate, openwork bargeboards and an elaborate wooden veranda and balcony running for most of the frontage.

It was later extended, 1897-8, to the designs of Samuel P Close.


A collection of small buildings were on the site, presumably a farm, which in 1857 was called Seaview, the property of Robert Agnew.

Mr Clark bought Seaview in 1878, and would appear to have rebuilt it rather than remodelled or extended it, as there is now no trace of any earlier buildings.

The architect of the initial phase of Clark's building may have been Close.

The house was extended by Mr Clark at various times, the last time reportedly being in 1906.


Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon purchased Cairndhu in 1918.

The Dixons added the servants' dining hall.

In 1947, the Dixons donated the house and 162 acres of land to the NI Hospitals Authority. 

*****

SIR THOMAS DIXON, 2nd Baronet, married Edith, youngest daughter of Mr Stewart Clark, of Dundas Castle, South Queensferry, Scotland, and Cairndhu, in 1906, at Dalmeny Church, South Queensferry.

Edith Clark was the sister of Sir John Stewart-Clark, 1st Baronet.

After their marriage, the Dixons lived for varying periods at Graymount House, Hillsborough Castle, Drumadarragh, Luttrelstown, and Lucan, before purchasing Lady Dixon’s childhood summer residence, Cairndhu.

The estate increased in size to nearly 500 acres when the adjoining properties of Droagh (formerly Sir Edward Coey’s estate) and Carnfunnock (William Chaine’s property) were purchased.

The Dixon family held many house and garden parties and entertained public dignitaries with grouse shooting in the Antrim Hills. 

More improvements were made to the house including the servants' dining hall.

The house was beautiful and Cairndhu had a large workforce, with 20 indoors staff, kitchen staff, ladies maids and upstairs staff .

Sir Thomas occupied his time with livestock farming, including a herd of dairy cows.

The farm office, stables and cattle byres were based at Hillhead Farm, now the clubhouse of Cairndhu Golf Club. 

Mr. Frank Brownlow was responsible for looking after the extensive herds of cattle and sheep at Carnfunnock, Cairndhu and hill land at Ballyboley.

He travelled to auctions all over Ireland to purchase cattle for Sir Thomas and managed the farm at Cairndhu. 

The land at Cairndhu was used for grazing cattle, mainly Shorthorns and Galloway cattle, which were bred for beef.

Two or three mornings per week they would inspect the cattle together and if Mr Brownlow pointed out to Sir Thomas that neighbouring farms were for sale, such as Droagh Farm, Sir Thomas would buy them and knock down hedges to have his fields extended for grazing. 

Sir Thomas often had his chauffeur, Sandy Moreland, drive him round the fields in his yellow and black Rolls-Royce to see his cattle, land stewards and head gardeners.

There were twenty-two gardeners and estate workers. 

In 1937, when Carnfunnock was merged with Cairndhu, Mr Brownlow was responsible for the management of the whole estate, which consisted of 500 acres.

In September, 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, Sir Thomas, as Mayor of Larne (1939-41), handed over his Larne residence for use as a War Hospital Supply Depot and organised the YMCA canteen at the harbour. 

Lady Dixon was president of the Ulster Fund and War Hospital Supply Depot for Serving Forces (Larne Depot) with donations requested in October 1939 to purchase necessary materials.

Sir Thomas provided his land, though he and Lady Dixon were able to live independently in Cairndhu without being affected.

The Carnfunnock walled garden grew cabbage, cauliflower and other vegetables that were used in Cairndhu or taken to Lady Dixon’s friends and family. 

In 1940 Lady Dixon gave one of their three Rolls-Royces to be converted into an ambulance for first-aid parties to the Larne A.R.P. Ambulance Service.

In May, 1947, Sir Thomas celebrated his 79th birthday, and the occasion was marked by announcing a generous gift: After forty years at Cairndhu, the Dixons donated their 60-room family home, with 100 acres of the estate, to the Ministry of Health and Local Government for use as a convalescent home and hospital. 

At the time, Lady Dixon said that she was very sorry to be going away from the house that her father built: “It’s too big for us now, though. It was different in the days when we could entertain.”

Sir Thomas died on holiday at the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate, on 10th May, 1950, aged 81.

His body was brought back on the Stranraer steam-boat en route to his last residence, Wilmont House in Dunmurry.

The funeral service was held at Belfast Cathedral before burial at Dundonald Cemetery.

His younger brother Herbert, who had already been elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Glentoran, succeeded him in the baronetcy.

At the time of Sir Thomas’s death, his effects were valued at over £389,000.


Cairndhu was officially opened as a convalescent hospital in 1950, but funding difficulties meant that, in 1986, it was closed down by the Department of Health and Social Services. 

In 1995, the Lord Rana purchased Cairndhu House and the surrounding gardens from the council.

A public consultation is to be held in May, 2018, over plans to develop the site of the derelict mansion into 'retirement village' facilities.

The event will take place at Cairndhu Golf Club.

It will outline plans to turn Cairndhu House into an 80-bedroom nursing home.

Also planned for the site are five new-build retirement cottages with access through Carnfunnock Country Park, as well as the development of the surrounding area to provide well-being facilities and living space.

Johann Muldoon, lead architect on the project said:
"What we are aiming towards is the restoration of the existing Cairndhu House, which is listed; the reinstatement of the historic gardens, and the retention and restoration of the stable block. The well-being facilities we are planning will be related to the aim of delivering a retirement village."
It is understood the project will represent an investment of around £25-£30million.

Cairndhu was originally built as a summer residence in 1875 on a beautiful site overlooking the sea, which hitherto had a small amount of planting around a former smaller house called Sea View.

The trees, forming an effective shelter-belt, date from the late 19th century.

The site benefited initially from the shelter-belts of the adjoining property, Carncastle Lodge (now Carnfunnock Country Park).

These adjacent sites are now both administered by Larne Borough Council.

Gardens developed round the house with steeply terraced lawns. The grounds rise on a steep slope from sea level, east to west.

The productive gardens were to the west side of the house at the most elevated level.

Vestiges of these remain and some dilapidated glass-houses.

There are good specimens of mature trees, shrub planting and lawns. The northern end is now a golf course.

First published in August, 2010.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Sir Charles Lanyon

SIR CHARLES LANYON OWNED 1,951 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM


SIR CHARLES LANYON JP DL (1813–1889), son of John Jenkinson Lanyon, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, married, in 1835, Elizabeth Helen, daughter of Jacob Owen, of Portsmouth, and had issue, ten children, including, 
JOHN (1839-1900);
WILLIAM OWEN, of whom hereafter;
Louis Mortimer (1846-1919), m Laura, daughter of CV Phillips;
Herbert Owen (1850-1919), m Amelia, daughter of J Hind.
Sir Charles's second surviving son,

COLONEL SIR WILLIAM OWEN LANYON KCMG CB (1842-1887), Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

 *****

Photo credit: Queen's University of Belfast

Sir Charles Lanyon designed the famous Antrim coast road between Larne and Portrush.

He also designed and erected many bridges in the county, including the Ormeau Bridge (1860–63) over the River Lagan in Belfast.

Sir Charles laid out the Belfast and Ballymena railway lines, and its extensions to Cookstown and Portrush; was engineer of the Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railway; and the Carrickfergus and Larne line.

He was the principal architect of some of Belfast's best-known buildings, including the Queen's College, now University (1846-9); the old Court-House (1848-50); Crumlin Road Gaol (1843-5); and the Custom House (1854-7).

His palm house at the Botanic Gardens, Belfast, built in two phases between 1840-52, is notably one of the earliest examples of curvilinear iron and glass.

Much of Lanyon's work was carried out in private practice, in which he was assisted by two partners: W H Lynn; and latterly his eldest son John, from 1860.

Lanyon resigned the county surveyorship in 1860, and then retired from practice completely following the breakup of his firm in 1872, to devote his energies to public life, in which he was already involved.

In 1862, he served the office of Mayor of Belfast; and was, in 1866, MP for Belfast.

He was one of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners, a Deputy Lieutenant, and a magistrate.

In 1862, Sir Charles was elected President of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, and held office until 1868, when he received the honour of Knighthood, which was conferred by His Grace the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

In 1876, he served as High Sheriff of County Antrim.

Sir Charles died, after a protracted illness, at his residence, The Abbey, in 1889, and was buried at Knockbreda cemetery, near Belfast.


THE ABBEY, Whiteabbey, County Antrim, was designed by Charles Lanyon for Richard Davison MP (1796-1869), on the site of Demyat, a gentleman’s cottage on the site inhabited by Samuel Gibson Getty (1817-77).

Abbey House is an imposing two-storey, multi-bay, Italianate stucco house, built ca 1855 to designs by Sir Charles Lanyon, as a private residence for a client, though shortly afterwards becoming his own home and reflecting his personal taste.

Entrance Front in 2017

Despite the degradation of its setting and years of neglect, the house remains a handsome edifice, with ornate stucco detailing and the Italianate styling typical of Lanyon’s work.

Internally, while the house has undergone some remodelling for use as an administrative block, its plan from and detailing survive, although suffering serious decay.

It is said that Abbey House is an important structure, historically and architecturally, of robust character, especially given its association with Lanyon.

The Abbey takes its name from the ancient monastery which originally stood in a field near by.


The abbey was built by the Cistercian religious order (Trappist Monks) ca 1250, but was damaged by the army of Edward the Bruce in 1315.

The ruins of the White Abbey survived for centuries but today there are no visible remains.

The present Victorian house is ‘L’ shaped in plan, with an additional rectangular building located to the north-west.

Garden Front and Outbuilding in 2017

In 1832, the the site was occupied by a smaller, though fairly substantial, dwelling occupied by Mrs Matthews.

At that time the description detailed a ballroom, stable, scullery and dairy and a square tower.

The Abbey, inhabited by Richard Davison, was described thus:-
'…a very superior first class house built 12 years ago… Cemented and stone finished with stone quoins and dressings…very [finely] situated and close to Whiteabbey Station’.
The gate lodge was  '…very neat & well finished’.

Also listed in the entry for The Abbey was a cow-house, stables with a bell [tower attraction], and a green house.

Garden Front in 2017

Documents of 1862-64 list the occupier as Charles Lanyon.

Following Lanyon’s death in 1889, The Abbey remained vacant for about six years.

Records show that the leasehold has transferred to Granville Hotels Company, although the freehold was still owned by the Lanyon family.

In 1906, the house was described as ‘auxiliary workhouses, gate lodges and land’.

The ownership was revised from Guardians of Belfast Union to Belfast Corporation in 1916, and the property was described as ‘auxiliary workhouse, gate lodges, office, hospital for consumptives and land’.

In 1913 this entry was crossed out with the exception of the gate lodges, and "electric power house" was inserted, indicating a change of use.

Abbey House was listed as a "municipal sanatorium, gate lodges, electric power, house, office and land" about 1935, with the occupier stated as being Belfast Corporation (City Council).

The private treatment centre became Whiteabbey Sanatorium during the 1st World War, and became Whiteabbey Hospital in the 1930s.

Admittedly I haven't visited Whiteabbey Hospital - or whatever it's called today - though it seems to have been spoiled by hideous painting.

Its future is uncertain.

First published in May, 2014.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Parkanaur Manor

THE BURGESES OWNED 2,485 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE

The surname of this family, as appears from ancient documents, was formerly De Burges, afterwards Burches, and subsequently, in 1747, the present one was adopted.

Richard De Burges was High Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1351-2.

SAMUEL BURCHES, born in Dublin, ca 1645, married, in 1684, Margaret Williams, of Llanelian, North Wales, and had issue,
David (Rev), Rector of St Mark's, Dublin;
Wilham;
JOSEPH, of whom we treat;
Katherine; Deborah.
Both brothers eventually moved northwards to the city of Armagh during the primacy of Archbishop Lindsay, with whom they were connected.

The youngest son,

JOSEPH BURCHES, born in 1689 and baptized the next day (for the times were again unsettled) at St Michan's Church, Dublin, wedded, in 1716, Elizabeth, daughter of Ynyr Lloyd, of East Ham, Essex (Deputy Secretary of the East India Company), and had issue,
Joseph (Rev), 1717-46;
JOHN, of whom hereafter;
YNYR, of East Ham;
Molly; Margaret; Alice.
Mr Burches died in 1747.

The second son,

JOHN BURGES (1722-90), espoused, in 1763, Martha, daughter of Robert Ford, and had issue,
JOHN HENRY, his heir;
Mary, m 1784, G Perry, of Mullaghmore, Co Tyrone;
Martha, m 1787, J Johnston, of Knappagh, Co Armagh;
Alice, died in infancy.
His only son and heir,

JOHN HENRY BURGES JP (c1768-1822), of Woodpark, Tynan, and Parkanaur, both in County Armagh, married, in 1795, Marianne, eldest daughter and eventually co-heir of Sir Richard Johnston Bt, of Gilford, and had issue,
JOHN YNYR, his heir;
Richard, deceased;
Margaret Anne;
Matilda, d 1805.
The only surviving son,

JOHN YNYR BURGES JP DL (1798-1889) of Parkanaur, County Tyrone, Thorpe Hall, Essex, and East Ham, Essex, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1829, wedded, in 1833, the Lady Caroline Clements, youngest daughter of Nathaniel, 2nd Earl of Leitrim, KP, and had issue,
YNYR HENRY, his heir;
Charles Skeffington, 1835-45;
Clements Keppel, d 1840;
John Richard Alexander Wamphray, 1843-50;
Mary Anne Margaret; Alice Caroline.
The eldest son,

YNYR HENRY BURGES JP DL (1834-1908), of Parkanaur, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1869, espoused, in 1859, Edith, third daughter of the Hon Richard Bootle-Wilbraham, and sister of the 1st Earl of Latham, and had issue,
YNYR RICHARD PATRICK (1866-1905), father of YNYR ALFRED;
John Ynyr Wilbraham (1871-95);
Edith Alice; Ethel Margaret; Lilian Adela; Myrtle Constance; Beatrice Annette; Irene Caroline.
Colonel Burges, officer commanding 6th Brigade, Northern Ireland Division, Royal Artillery, married secondly, in 1896, Mary, daughter of George Pearce, of Bishops Lydeard, Somerset.

He was succeeded by his grandson,

YNYR ALFRED BURGES JP DL (1900-83), of Parkanaur, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1951, who wedded, in 1930, Christine, daughter Colonel George Iver Patrick O'Shee (by his wife, the Lady Edith King-Tenison), and had issue,
MICHAEL YNYR, b 1931;
Susan Elizabeth, b 1934;
Patricia Anne, b 1936.
Major Burges, who lived, in 1976, at Catsfield Manor, Battle, Sussex, was succeeded by his son,

MICHAEL YNYR BURGES, Lieutenant, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; in the Belfast Linen trade, 1950-74, at Belfast; who lived, in 1976, at Skinners, Edenbridge, Kent.

*****

The BURGES estate, East Ham, Essex, was established by Ynyr Burges, Paymaster, East India Company, between 1762 and his death in 1792, at a total cost of £20,700.

He was succeeded by his daughter Margaret, wife of Sir John Smith-Burges Bt, a director of the East India Company.

In 1799, the estate comprised 422 acres.

Sir John died in 1803.

In 1816, his widow married John, Earl Poulett.

Lady Poulett, who was childless, was succeeded by John Ynyr Burges, grandson of her father's elder brother.
In 1838, the estate produced an income of £1,549, but by 1840 this had been increased to £2,471. An estate map drawn in 1881, which includes details of recent and later changes, shows that most of the property lay near the present town centre.
John Ynyr Burges, who died in 1889, was succeeded by his son, Colonel Ynyr Henry Burges, who was largely responsible for developing the estate for building.

He had started to do so, on his father's behalf, about 1887, and continued until his own death in 1908.

Colonel Burges was succeeded by his grandson, Major Ynyr Alfred Burges, who completed the development of the estate during the 1920s.

Ynyr Burges (d 1792) lived at East Ham for most of his life.

As a boy he was adopted by his uncle, Ynyr Lloyd, deputy secretary of the East India Company.


PARKANAUR MANOR, near Castlecaulfield, County Tyrone, is a large, rambling, romantic, Tudor-Revival house which has evolved over many years.

Originally the land was held by the O’Donnellys until granted by JAMES I to Sir Toby Caulfeild in the early 1600s.

The growing importance of the house from retreat to home to seat is reflected in the graduated scale of the different parts.

When Ynyr Henry Burges settled on the estate in the 1820s, the cottage was enlarged.

His son, John Ynyr, added further to the building from 1839-54, encasing the original building and adding a west wing.

This new house was then named Parkanaur and was built from block rubble on a larger scale.


Parkanaur has a grand, terraced front with octagonal shafts (or pinnacles) and gables at each projection of the fa├žade; a big bay window and an upper oriel; and is comparable to Narrow Water Castle in County Down, again by the Newry Architect, Thomas Duff.

The original two-storey dwelling is still visible with the new building adjoined to it.

The large plate windows of the 1820 and 1839 additions have mullioned windows with leaded lights and transformed frames.

They are shielded by block drip-stones.


The present, higher west wing, lying along the terrace, was laid in 1843.

It doubles back to form an upper yard which has a coach house and a tower intended for hanging meat.

A free-standing office block was added in 1870.

A plaque above the doorway leading to the court is inscribed “This house and offices were built by John Ynyr and Lady Caroline Burges without placing any debt upon the property (A.D. 1870)”.

The cost of the works was specified not to exceed £5,000.

The house remained within the ownership of the Burgeses until 1955, when Major Ynyr Burges and his family moved to Catsfield Manor in East Sussex.

The house lay vacant until 1958 when it was bought by the millionaire Thomas Doran for £13,000 as a gift for his friend, the Rev Gerry Eakins.

Mr Doran had originally come from near Castlecaulfield but had emigrated to the USA as a teenager, where he made his fortune as the founder of The Cheerful Greetings Card Company.

The reason for purchasing the house was to facilitate his friend Gerry Eakins in developing a new centre for the education of handicapped young adults.

The house reopened in 1960 as The Thomas Doran Training Centre (Parkanaur College) and much of the house continues today in this role.

Parkanaur boasts rich, Elizabethan-style interiors.

It has a great hall lit by its three perpendicular windows, with a Tudor-style, arched screen and minstrel's gallery at its south end.

Older work includes the 17th Century Jacobean carved, wooden mantel with male and female figures, and an imported dining-room chimney-piece dated 1641 with Ionic columns, decorated with bunches of grapes and interspersed with spiralling vines and cherub heads below the shelf.

In the Duff Wing, Mrs Burges's sitting room, the drawing room (which has a strap work mantel) and a further octagonal room have lofty Jacobean ceilings.

There is a pretty, mid-17th century Baroque organ-case in the gallery.

Parkanaur is set in beautiful grounds. It boasts a rare herd of white fallow deer.

Much of the original estate remains in the ownership of the NI Forest Service.

As previously stated, the present Tudor-Revival house was begun in 1839 by John Ynyr Burges after he succeeded to the property in 1838, though this building may incorporate elements of the 18th century house on the site.

A wing was added by Duff in 1858 and the whole complex of house and yards completed by 1870 as detailed above, including stable-yard, terrace, retaining wall, gates and urn.

The mansion is enhanced by lawns and parkland, with a small, modern ornamental garden.

Formal gardens on the west side of the house are not planted, but yews and a terrace survive.

The demesne dates from the late 18th century and is on undulating ground; is well planted, with a mixture of mature trees in woodland and parkland, including some unusual trees, exotics and forest planting.

The NI Forestry Service is developing the site as an oak forest and for native conifers.

It is referred to now as ‘a lowland broad-leaved estate’.

This continues a tradition noted by Deane, who describes the demesne thus:
… immaculately tended grounds, wooded by the planting of 40,000 trees by John Henry (Burges) are two avenues leading from two gate lodges added in the mid 1840s.
There is a walled garden, no longer planted up, which has a castellated potting shed in the eastern corner and a large, fine lean-to glasshouse used for peaches, with an extending centre piece.

This was erected in 1873 by J Boyd & sons for £250.

There are remnants of an ornamental area east of the house, between the house and the walled garden, which is oval in shape; retained paths, yews and an urn.

A pond and riverside walks in woodland have been maintained by the Forest Service.

The gate lodge, gates and screen, also by Duff ca 1845, are fine and are listed.

The local and main road have been realigned.

In 1976 the NI Department of Agriculture bought 161 hectares and subsequently more land was acquired, including the stable yard, to allow the provision of facilities for the Forest Park.

Five white fallow deer arrived from Mallow Castle, County Cork, in 1978 and they are the basis of the present herd.

The grounds were opened to the public as Parkanaur Forest Park in 1983.

Parkanaur is open to visitors for functions. 

First published in October, 2010.