Sunday, 20 May 2018

Cairndhu House

CAIRNDHU HOUSE, near Larne, County Antrim, was built for Mr Stewart Clark JP DL MP post-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 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 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;
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,
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 façade; 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.

The Montagu Case



The correspondent of The Central News at Coleraine reports that considerable sensation has been caused in that town and neighbourhood by the committal for trial, on a Coroner's warrant, of Mrs Annie Margaret Montagu, the charge against her being the causing of the death of her daughter, Mary Helen Montagu, aged three years.

The accused is the wife of Mr Montagu, of Cromore House, Coleraine, eldest son of Lord Robert Montagu, who is an uncle* [sic] of the 7th Duke of Manchester.

The offence, as is alleged, was committed on February 13th, and on that day, according to the evidence taken at the inquest, the child was locked in a dark room by her governess as a punishment for some offence.

A short time afterwards, Mrs Montagu went into the room, and, it is said, tied the little girl's hands behind her back with a stocking, and, having fastened to this a piece of string, fixed it to a ring in the wall of the room.

About three hours later the mother went to the door of the room, and called her child by name several times, but there was no answer.

She opened the door, and, going to the place where she left the little girl, found her dead.

She carried the body to her own room, stripped off the clothes, and tried to restore life, but without success.

She then called the governess, and told her what had happened.

At the conclusion of the evidence, the Coroner (Mr. Caldwell) committed Mrs Montagu for trial at the Londonderry Assizes.
*Lord Robert was the 7th Duke's brother.

The Press Association's correspondent has had an interview with Mr A C Montagu JP, the father of Helen Montagu, aged three years, who was found dead in a small dark room, where she had been tied to a ring in the wall by her mother, under circumstances detailed above.

Mr Montagu, who lives at Cromore House, Portstewart, is a son of Lord Robert Montagu, and a grandson of the Duke of Manchester.

He was formerly a lieutenant in the navy, but was compelled to leave the service, owing to an exceptional tendency to seasickness.

Mrs Montagu, who stands committed for trial on a charge of killing her child, is of Scotch extraction, and the daughter of a late wealthy London tea merchant.

She is a lady who is noted in the North of Ireland for her daring horsemanship and her splendid management of high-spirited animals.

They move in the best society, and Cromore is one of the finest mansions in the district, being surrounded by an extensive and valuable estate.

The circumstances of the child’s death, so far as they have leaked out through the meagre reports of the coroner’s inquest, which lasted five hours, have caused the greatest excitement in Ulster.

When, the correspondent proceeds, he called on Mr Montagu, he found that gentleman engaged with his spiritual adviser, the local parish priest.

He willingly granted an interview and escorted the correspondent upstairs to the dark room.

This is an apartment about 6ft. square, with no fireplace or window, and opens into what is known as the children's room, which is bright and airy.

Two rings were fastened by screws into a board, and it was to one of these rings that the child was tied.

There is no ventilation in the apartment except what comes from beneath the door, a mere chink and from* between a couple of badly placed boards.

Mr Montagu mentioned, in the course of the interview, that the little child was his only daughter. He has seven sons.

In reply to a question he stated that it was erroneous to say, as had been implied, that the child got no food on Saturday from breakfast time, which was eight o'clock.

She had come down late that morning, the conjecture being that she was not feeling very well and it was in consequence of this that she got the meal at eleven.

Asked how such a punishment came to be awarded to a child of three years for soiling her clothes, Mr. Montagu said:
"Mrs Montagu entertains very strong opinions on the subject of the upbringing, training, and correction of children. Her theory, which I think to a great extent is right, is that the spirit of disobedience, or any tendency to disobedience, must be conquered from the very earliest years.
She insists upon obedience and cleanliness in her children, and unless they are punished early they soon learn bad habits. She also believed in restraint and confinement as the best punishment."
Asked if it was not too long to leave the child without visiting her, Mr Montagu replied,
"Yes, perhaps it was too long, but then Mrs Montagu has so much to do. I believe she was out for some time while the child was confined, and most of the rest of the time she was in the kitchen attending to various domestic duties."
Mr Montagu added that he thought the governess was kind to the children.

She had never been anything to the contrary.

She had been with them a year last October.

It was on the governess’s report of misbehaviour that Mrs Montagu acted.

The child was a little wilful at times, and Mrs Montagu believed that the natural inclination to that must be suppressed, or the child would grow quite beyond control.

The correspondent adds that the body of the child was buried with great privacy: Mr Montagu and one of his boys took the coffin in the family carriage, which, with blinds drawn, was driven in the direction of Bushmills, where there is a Roman Catholic burying-ground.

[A cablegram in another column states that Mrs Montagu has been sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment, for the murder of her daughter].

First published in May, 2014.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Derrymore House

WALTER GARUTH CORRY, of Dumfriesshire, born in 1620, settled in Ulster about the time of the Plantation.

His son,

WALTER CORRY, a cornet in the dragoons of the usurper Cromwell's army, was granted the Rockcorry estate in County Monaghan by CHARLES II in 1667.

Mr Corry, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1672, built the town and castle of Newtoncorry (later renamed Rockcorry).

His son,

ISAAC CORRY, born ca 1655 at Rockcorry, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, had a son,

ISAAC CORRY (c1691-1752), of Abbey Yard, Newry, County Down, merchant, who married Cæzarea Smyth, by whom he had he had seven children.

The third and youngest son, TREVOR, was born at Newry in 1724.

Mr Corry had further issue, twin sons,
EDWARD, of whom presently;
The elder son,

EDWARD CORRY (1723-92), MP for Newry, 1774-76, wedded Catherine, daughter of Captain Charles Bristow, of Crebilly, County Antrim.

His son,

THE RT HON ISAAC CORRY (1753-1813), MP for Newry, 1776-1800, CHANCELLOR OF THE IRISH EXCHEQUER, born at Newry, County Down, was unmarried, though had an intimate friendship with Jane Symms, who bore him three sons and three daughters.

DERRYMORE HOUSE, near Bessbrook, County Armagh, is a single-storey thatched cottage ornée of Palladian form.

It comprises a bow-fronted centre block and two flanking wings, joined to the main block by small canted links.

The central bow of the main block is three-sided and glazed to the ground, with astragals and mullions; flanked by two quatrefoil windows, under hood mouldings.

Each wing has a mullioned window.

Derrymore was built at some time prior to 1787 by the Rt Hon Isaac Corry, MP for Newry and Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer.

In 1810, Isaac Corry conveyed the property to William Young, son of the Rev John Young, of Eden, County Armagh.

Young, a lieutenant-colonel in the East India Company, was created a baronet in 1821.

Sir William added an entrance hall on the north side of the U-shaped courtyard, thus enclosing it entirely.

About 1828, the Youngs moved from Derrymore to Bailieborough, County Cavan.

Derrymore was sold to Edward Smyth, of Newry, whose family retained the estate until 1859.

The demesne, which hosted 140,000 trees, was then bought by a wealthy merchant, Robert Glenny, of Trevor Hill, Newry, who in turn sold it onto the linen manufacturer John Grubb Richardson who lived in the adjoining estate, The Woodhouse.
Richardson was responsible for establishing the village of Bessbrook, and building Bessbrook Friends' Meeting House, which sits in the Derrymore demesne.
In 1952, John Stephens Wakefield Richardson donated Derrymore to the National Trust, and it was opened officially in 1957 by the Lady Wakehurst, wife of the Governor of Northern Ireland.

The National Trust subsequently undertook to repair Derrymore and to demolish Sir William Young's entrance hall and later accretions, thus restoring the house to its 18th century character.

Thatching with Norfolk reed had not been a success and in 1963 a native appearance using wheat straw and omitting the block ridge was restored.

During the Troubles, the house was bombed on five separate occasions between 1972-79.

The custodian, Edmund Baillie, carried out some of the bombs to the garden.

When interviewed in February, 2000, Mr Baillie confirmed that, due to the damage suffered by the structure, most if not all of the timbers had been replaced and that some changes had been made to the interior.

A re-thatching scheme using water reed with wheat straw for the block ridge was completed in 2003.


DERRYMORE'S parkland is attributed to John Sutherland, the leading designer of the day.

Thin belts of mature, mostly deciduous trees and woodland to the north-west of the house are the only reminders of the original planting.

The elms have died out, though replanting has taken place.

The parkland to the south and east of the house was used for Nissen huts during the 2nd World War.

The parkland trees were felled and concrete bases remain in what was always poor soil.

A pond was made in the quarry where stone was used for local building.

There is a small but charming ornamental garden at the house, which has a Victorian appearance.

The walled garden is part cultivated.

It was latterly an orchard used for The Woodhouse.

The head gardener’s house is called Hortus Lodge.

There are four gate lodges, described by Dean as, ‘...disappointingly nondescript’:

One, built pre-1834, two pre-1861 and one pre-1906.

First published in April, 2014.

The Jackson Baronetcy


THOMAS JACKSON, of Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland, and of Coleraine, County Londonderry, married Susannah, daughter of Sir Tristram Beresford Bt (ancestor of the Marquesses of Waterford).
Miss Beresford's family was considerably powerful in the Coleraine area and her marriage to William Jackson, who also owned substantial estates near Coleraine and acted as agent for the Irish Society, was deemed a dynastic alliance. 

She had perhaps seven surviving children from her first and her husband's second marriage. Her husband fell out of favour with the Irish Society over the improper exploitation of timber belonging to them. 

Richard Jackson, of Draperstown, who served in Michelburne's regiment, was probably her son. 

In the aftermath of the siege, Susannah married John Michelburne. Both she and her daughter stood guarantee for a loan given by the Stronges to her new husband. 

Her son, William Jackson, stood in the 1697 by-election for County Londonderry, which followed the death of George Philips MP. Although the election was won by James Lennox, Mayor of Londonderry, Jackson overturned the result and had himself declared MP for the county.
Mr Jackson was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM JACKSON, who married, in 1729, Frances, daughter of George Eyre, of Eyre Court, County Galway, and granddaughter of Thomas, 1st Earl Coningsby, and had issue,

THE RT HON RICHARD JACKSON (c1729-89), MP for Coleraine, 1751-89, Privy Counsellor, Chief Secretary to the Marquess Townshend and the Earl of Harcourt when Lords Lieutenant of Ireland, who married firstly, Lydia, niece of William Richardson MP; secondly, Nicola, daughter and co-heir of Arthur Cecil Hamilton, of Castle Hamilton, County Cavan; and thirdly, in 1768, Anne, daughter of Charles O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, County Antrim, and sister of John, 1st Viscount O'Neill.

By his first two wives he had no child, but by the third he had issue,
GEORGE, of whom we treat;
Richard, died unmarried, 1767;
Mary, m the Ven Richard Golding, Archdeacon of Derry.
His eldest son,

GEORGE JACKSON (1776-1851) was created a baronet in 1813, denominated of Fork Hill, County Armagh, and of Beech Hill, Surrey.

He married, in 1814, Anne, daughter of William Woodville, of Edgehill, Lancashire.

Sir George, having served in the army and attained military rank, had no surviving issue, and the baronetcy expired.

THE MANOR HOUSE, Coleraine, County Londonderry, was a building of two storeys over a basement with a dormered attic, and six bays. It was originally built in 1680.
This building was seemingly the official residence of the agents of the Clothworkers' livery company: The Jacksons and Edmond Stronge both filled this office. In 1871, the estate was bought by Sir Hervey Henry Bruce Bt for £150,000 (£1.5 million in today's money) and became part of the Downhill estate, created originally by The Earl-Bishop.
The old manor-house was enlarged and remodelled about 1770 by Richard Jackson, who gave it an extraordinary roof parapet of curving open-work, Chinese-style; and apparently open porches surmounted by ball finials in front of the dormers.

The windows received octagonal glazing.

The manor-house was originally faced in brick, though was rendered in cement during the 1920s.

Most of the windows were subsequently re-glazed.


The manor house was inhabited by the Jacksons from 1680 till 1803, when it was occupied by the Rev Michael Alexander.

Mrs D Maxwell was the tenant and manager between 1824-42.

From 1840-71, the Clothworkers' Company occupied the house; Charles James Knox and Edmond Stronge were successive agents.

Sir Henry Hervey Bruce Bt was resident there, 1871-1907; H T Barrie, 1914; D H Christie, 1930; Coleraine Health Centre; and ultimately Londonderry County Council, 1956-82.

Captain Stronge changed its name to the Manor House and built a lodge.

It was demolished it in 1982 to form a car-park at the rear of the County Hall.

I'm seeking better images of the manor house: if any readers can help, please get in touch.

Former seats ~ Fork Hill, County Armagh; Beech Hill, Surrey.

First published in May, 2012.

Princess Royal at Balmoral Show

The Princess Royal, President, this morning attended the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth's Annual General Meeting, Royal Ulster Agricultural Society Show-ground, Balmoral Park, Maze, Lisburn, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast (Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE).

Her Royal Highness this afternoon visited Royal Ulster Agricultural Society's Balmoral Show.