Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Dromore Palace

THE foundation of this diocese is ascribed to St Colman in the 6th century.

It is extremely compact, and the smallest in extent of any in the island of Ireland, which is not annexed to another see.

It extends only 35 miles from north to south; and 21 from east to west; yet it includes some part of three counties, namely Down, Armagh, and Antrim.

The lordship of Newry claimed the same exemption from episcopal jurisdiction, to which it was entitled when it appertained to a monastery before the Reformation.

The proprietor of the lordship, the Earl of Kilmorey, exercised the jurisdiction in his peculiar court, granting marriage licences, probates to wills etc under the old monastic seal.


THE PALACE, Dromore, County Down, otherwise known as Dromore House, was fine, three-storey, late 18th century block built in 1781 by the Rt Rev and Hon William Beresford, Lord Bishop of Dromore, 1780-82.

The palace was enhanced by Bishop Beresford's successor, the Rt Rev Thomas Percy, who laid out plantations, gardens and a glen, adorned with obelisks.

The last prelate to reside at the palace was the Right Rev James Saurin, Lord Bishop of Dromore, 1819-42.

It was sold in 1842, when the see of Dromore was merged with Down and Connor.

Dromore House was in use for some years in the late 1800s as a school.

First published in January, 2013.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Armagh Palace

DEDICATED TO THE MOST REV DR RICHARD LIONEL CLARKE, 105TH LORD ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH, PRIMATE OF ALL IRELAND AND METROPOLITAN, DURING WHOSE PERIOD IN OFFICE THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN


Archbishops of Armagh resided mainly in Drogheda or Dublin (where they sat in the Irish House of Lords) and stayed at Armagh only when necessary.

Archbishop Robinson, however, determined to live as often as possible in Armagh.

The Archbishop, however, disliked the Lord Primates' official residence at the time.

Despite renovations, it still did not meet His Grace's expectations.

He therefore decided to have a new palace built on 300 acres of church land to the south of the city.


The Palace, Armagh, built in 1770, is described by Mark Bence-Jones as a plain, dignified 18th century block.

It is of nine bays, the side elevation being five bays.


The Palace originally comprised two storeys over a high, rusticated basement.


It was erected to the design of Thomas Cooley, by Archbishop Robinson, afterwards elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Rokeby.

Garden Front

A third storey was added in 1786.

Some time later, a substantial enclosed porch was added, with pairs of Ionic columns set at an angle to the front.


Adjacent to the entrance front is the Primatial Chapel, a separate building in the style of an Ionic temple.

Its exterior, also by Cooley, is of 1770; though the interior was fitted out three years later, in 1784, by Francis Johnston.


The chapel's interior is said to be one of the most beautiful surviving Irish ecclesiastical interiors, boasting a coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling; a delicate frieze; Corinthian pilasters; a gallery; magnificent panelling; and pews.

*****

UNTIL tenure in office of Primate Robinson, archbishops of Armagh were not provided with a place of residence in keeping with the revenues of the office.

During less peaceful times, when nothing was left of either city or churches, a precedent was formed for living elsewhere in the diocese, and for a considerable space the Lord Primates had palaces at Drogheda and Termonfeckin, County Louth.

During St Patrick 's time, the Primatial residence was situated on a part of the hill crowned by the Cathedral.

Bishopscourt, in Mullinure, north-northeast of the city, was a residence, and it is recorded that there were rooms for the Archbishop in the Culdee Priory.

When Dr Robinson was appointed Primate, the residence was in English Street.

Ninety-one numerous plantations then started in the splendid demesne, adding greatly to the beauty of the scenery surrounding the city.

Primate Stuart walled the demesne at a cost of £20,000, reserving for his successors in the archbishopric the privilege of sharing in this needful expenditure.

Lord John George Beresford, appointed to the Primacy in 1822, raised the palace from three to four storeys, thereby greatly increasing the dignity of the structure.


At the upper end of the demesne, the ground ascends to a point called Knox 's Hill.

On this there is an obelisk, erected by Primate Robinson in 1783, to perpetuate the memory of his intimacy with the 1st Duke of Northumberland (Lord Lieutenant of Ireland), through whose instrumentality he had been translated to Armagh from the bishopric of Kildare.

The obelisk is 113 feet in height, and it is due to Dr. Robinson 's memory to say that its erection was suggested as a means of honourable employment for the people of Armagh during a time of severe distress.

The lands surrounding the palace became a demesne by Act of Council, dated 1769.

Until then, the residence of the archbishops had not been legally transferred from Drogheda.

Archbishop Knox, in order that the Palace may be available for residence by his successors, began a fund in 1888.

This was rendered necessary through changes arising out of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.

The Mall, before Primate Robinson tenure, was a swampy common and the road now surrounding it was a race-course.

By an Act of GEORGE III it was granted to the Lord Primate for useful purposes.

In 1797, Primate Newcombe, successor to Primate Robinson, leased it to the Sovereign and Burgesses of Armagh, for the purpose of being transformed into "a public walk for the people."

This was accomplished by subscription, in a creditable manner.

The Most Rev George Otto Simms was the last Archbishop to live at the Palace.

Fourteen of the one hundred and four archbishops have resided at the palace.

The archiepiscopal palace is now the council offices of Armagh City Council.

The walled demesne referred to by Inglis in 1834 as, ‘… in excellent order … laid out with much taste …’ is largely parkland.

The ground undulates and the palace is on high ground, with fine views of the city and the Anglican cathedral.

The original planting set off the house and the vistas.

To the north it is now a public grassed area, with mature parkland trees (chiefly sycamore); and to the south it is grazing, with a stand of 19th century exotic trees near the house.

A belt of woodland on high ground to the west of the northern section of the parkland affords necessary protection.

A golf course now occupies the north-eastern section.

The walled garden is at the north end, with a garden house.

It is not cultivated though used by the rugby club.

There are modern ornamental gardens on the south side of the palace, and a 1990s garden on the west side, near the primatial chapel.

A fine 19th century glasshouse and ice house also lie to the west of the house and there is another ice house near the main entrance.

The stables and coach yard  have been converted for tourism.

The entrance gates were moved when the road was altered and this unfortunate development effectively cut the demesne off from the city, though the grounds are open to the general public.

The 18th century gate lodge has been demolished and only one of three remains.
UNTIL the early 19th century, the Primate's Castle, Termonfeckin, County Louth, was used for several centuries by archbishops of Armagh as an auxiliary residence to their archiepiscopal quarters in nearby Drogheda.
After the Reformation, several of the archbishops of the established church resided periodically at Termonfeckin. The castle's most famous occupant at that time was the Most Rev James Ussher, Lord Archbishop of Armagh from 1625-56.
He used the castle in Termonfeckin for much of his term until 1640, when he departed for England, never to return. The castle was damaged in the Irish rebellion of 1641 and was not repaired. It fell into disuse and was eventually demolished ca 1830.
First published in December, 2012.

The Archdale Baronets

THE ARCHDALE BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1928 FOR THE RT HON EDWARD MERVYN ARCHDALE

The first of the family of ARCHDALE, who settled in Ireland during the reign of ELIZABETH I, was

JOHN ARCHDALE, of Norsom or Norton Hall, in Norfolk.

In 1612 he was granted 1,000 acres of land in County Fermanagh as part of the Plantation of Ulster.

This gentleman, by the inscription over the gateway in the ruinous castle, appears to have erected the old mansion-house of Archdale.

He married and had two sons,
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
JOHN (Rev), Vicar of Luske, in 1664.
John Archdale died in 1621, and was succeeded by his son,

EDWARD ARCHDALE, who espoused Angel, daughter of Sir Paul Gore (ancestor of the Gores, Earls of Ross), and had issue.

During his time, the castle which his father had erected was taken and burned by the rebels under Sir Phelim O'Neill, in 1641, and only two children of a numerous family survived.

One, a daughter, who was absent and married; the other, an infant son, WILLIAM, preserved by the fidelity of his nurse, an Irish Roman Catholic, which

WILLIAM ARCHDALEafter succeeding to the estates, married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Mervyn, of Omagh Castle and Trillick, both in County Tyrone, and had two sons and a daughter, viz.
MERVYN, his heir;
EDWARD, heir to his brother;
ANGEL.
He was succeeded by his elder son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE, of Castle Archdale, who died a bachelor in 1726, and was succeeded by his brother,

EDWARD ARCHDALE, of Castle Archdale, who wedded firstly, Frances, eldest daughter of Sir John Caldwell Bt; and secondly, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Cole, of Florence Court.

Dying without issue, however, before 1730,  the family estates devolved upon his only sister,

ANGEL ARCHDALE, who thus became heiress and representative of the family.

She espoused NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY MP, of Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh, who assumed the surname and arms of ARCHDALE, and left, at her decease about 1742 or 1743, an only son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE MP, of Castle Archdale and Trillick, who espoused, in 1762, the Hon Mary Dawson, daughter of William Henry, Viscount Carlow, and sister of John, 1st Earl of Portarlington, and had issue, 
Mervyn, his heir;
William, an army officer;
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
Henry, an army officer;
Mary; Angel; Elizabeth; Sidney.
In 1773, this gentleman built the Manor House.

The third son, 

EDWARD ARCHDALE JP DL (1775-1864), of Riversdale, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1813, married, in 1809, Matilda, daughter of William Humphrys, and had issue,
Mervyn Edward, of Castle Archdale;
William Humphrys Mervyn, of Castle Archdale;
Edward, of Clifton Lodge, Lisnaskea;
Henry Montgomery (Rev), Rector of Trory;
NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY, of whom hereafter;
John;
Hugh Montgomery, of Drumadravy;
Audley Mervyn;
James Mervyn;
Mary; Letitia Jane; Richmal Magnall.
The fifth son,

NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY ARCHDALE JP DL (1820-77), of Riversdale and Crocknacrieve, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1861, married, in 1852, Adelaide Mary, daughter of Rev John Grey Porter, of Belleisle, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
EDWARD MERVYN, his heir;
John Porter, of Belleisle;
William Henry;
Henry Butler;
Nicholas Francis;
Theodore Montgomery;
Margaret Eleanor; Matilda Lavinia.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD MERVYN ARCHDALE JP DL (1853-1943), High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1884, Lieutenant-Commander RN, MP for North Fermanagh, 1898-1903 and 1916-22, MP for Enniskillen, 1929-43.

Mr Archdale, a Privy Counsellor, was created a baronet in 1928, denominated of Riversdale, County Fermanagh.

He married, in 1880, Alicia Bland, daughter of Quintin Fleming, and had issue,
NICHOLAS EDWARD, his successor;
William Porter Palgrave, CBE;
Audley Quintin, Lt-Col;
Dominick Mervyn;
Humphries, DSC, Captain RN;
Angel.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

VICE-ADMIRAL SIR NICHOLAS EDWARD ARCHDALE, 2nd Baronet (1881-1955), CBE, who married, in 1920, Gerda Henriette, daughter of Frederik Christian Sievers, and had issue,
EDWARD FOLMER, his successor;
Alice Gerda (1923-87).
Sir Edward fought in the 1st World War, with the submarine flotillas; was Aide-de-Camp to HM King George V, 1929; General Inspector, NI Ministry of Home Affairs, 1931-46.

Sir Edward distinguished himself in the Royal Navy.

He was succeeded by his only son,

CAPTAIN SIR EDWARD (Ted) FOLMER ARCHDALE, 3rd Baronet, (1921-2009), DSC, RN, who married, in 1954, Elizabeth Ann Stewart, daughter of Major-General Wilfred Boyd Fellowes Lukis, and had issue,
NICHOLAS EDWARD, his successor;
Lucinda Grace.
Sir Edward distinguished himself in the Royal Navy , serving as aide-de-camp to HM The Queen prior to his retirement in 1971.

He lived at Comber, County Down.

Sir Edward, 3rd Baronet, was succeeded by his only son,

SIR NICHOLAS EDWARD ARCHDALE, 4th and present Baronet (1965-).

The heir presumptive is his cousin, Peter Mervyn Archadale (b 1953).

The heir presumtive's heir apparent is his son, Jonathan Talbot Archdale (b 1982).


CROCKNACRIEVE, near Enniskillen, is a Georgian house originally owned by the Richardsons of Rich Hill.

It was acquired by the Archdales through marriage by a cousin.

Sir Edward, 1st Baronet, sold the property in 1901.


RIVERSDALE HOUSE formed part of a 5,627 acre estate.

It is now the regional office for the NI Rivers Agency.

I have written about Castle Archdale here.

First published in June, 2010.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Reeks

THE McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KERRY, WITH 15,518 ACRES

CORNELIUS or CONNOR McGILLYCUDDY was born ca 1580; died by shipwreck, 1630, having married firstly, Joan, daughter of the Rt Rev John Crosbie, Lord Bishop of Ardfert; and secondly, Sheelagh, daughter of Richard Oge McCarty, of Dunguile, by whom he had a son, Niell, and a daughter.

By his first wife he had, with other issue,

DONOUGH McGILLYCUDDY (1623-c1695), of Carnbeg Castle, County Kerry, Sheriff of County Kerry, 1686.

This Donough obtained a grant of arms from Sir Richard Carney, Ulster King of Arms, in 1688.

He wedded, in 1641, Marie, youngest daughter of Daniel O'Sullivan, of Dunkerron, County Kerry, and had issue,
CORNELIUS, the heir;
Daniel, Colonel, Captain Monck's Regiment; father of DENNIS.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his elder son,

CORNELIUS McGILLYCUDDY, who married Elizabeth McCarty and dsp 1712, being succeeded by his cousin,

DENNIS McGILLYCUDDY, who married, in 1717, Anne, daughter of John Blennerhassett, by whom he had issue, with four daughters,
DENNIS, his heir;
CORNELIUS, succeeded his brother;
John, dsp;
Philip, dsp.
He died in 1730, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

DENNIS McGILLYCUDDY (1718-35), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

CORNELIUS McGILLYCUDDY, born ca 1720, who wedded, in 1745, Catherine, daughter of Richard Chute, of Tullygaron, and had issue,
Denis, b 1747; d unm;
RICHARD, succeeded his father;
FRANCIS, succeeded his brother;
Daniel;
Eusebius;
Cornelius;
Charity; Mary Anne; Margaret; Ruth; Avis; Agnes.
The eldest son,

RICHARD McGILLYCUDDY (1750-1826), of The Reeks, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1793, espoused, in 1780, the Hon Arabella Mullins, daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Ventry.

He dsp 1826, being succeeded by his brother,

FRANCIS McGILLYCUDDY (1751-1827), of The Reeks, who wedded Catherine, widow of Darby McGill, and daughter of Denis Mahony, of Dromore, County Kerry, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Denis;
Daniel;
Frances; Mary Catherine; Elizabeth.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD McGILLYCUDDY (1790-1866), of The Reeks, who married firstly, in 1814, Margaret (d 1827), only daughter of Dr John Bennett, and had issue, a daughter, Dorothea.

He wedded secondly, in 1849, Anna, daughter of Captain John Johnstone, of Mamstone Court, Herefordshire, and had issue,
RICHARD PATRICK, his heir;
DENIS DONOUGH CHARLES, of The Reeks;
John;
Charles;
Niell;
Agnes; Anna Catherine; Mary Ruth; Sylvia Emily.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD PATRICK McGILLYCUDDY (1850-71), of The Reeks; who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

DENIS DONOUGH CHARLES McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1852-1921), DSO, Lieutenant RN, who married, in 1881, Gertrude Laura, second daughter of Edmond Miller, of Ringwood, Massachusetts, USA, and had issue,
ROSS KINLOCH; his heir;
Richard Hugh (1883-1918).
The elder son,

ROSS KINLOCH McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1852-1950), DSO, Lieutenant, 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, wedded Victoria, daughter of Edward Courage, of Shenfield Place, Essex, and had issue,
JOHN PATRICK, his heir;
DERMOT;
Denis Michael Edmond (1917-44);
Phyllida Anne.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN PATRICK McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1909-59), who wedded, in 1945, Elizabeth Margaret, daughter of Major John Ellison Otto, and had issue,
RICHARD DENIS WYER;
Sarah Elizabeth.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD DENIS WYER McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1948-2004), who married, in 1984, Virginia Lucy, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon Hugh Waldorf Astor, and had issue,
Tara Virginia, b 1985;
Sorcha Alexander, b 1990.
Richard McGillycuddy was succeeded in the title by his first cousin,

(DERMOT PATRICK) DONOUGH McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1939-), who married, in 1964, Wendy O'Connor, daughter of George Spencer, and has issue,
PIERS EDWARD DONOUGH, b 1965;
Michael Dermot, b 1968;
Jocelyn Patrick Spencer, b 1970;
Lavinia O'Connor, b 1966.

THE REEKS, near Beaufort, County Kerry, is a two-storey, five-bay, late Georgian house.

It has an eaved roof and pilastered porch, doubled in length with an extension of the same height and style.

Effectively this forms a continuous front of ten bays, the original porch, no longer central, remaining the entrance.

The two end bays of the extension protrude slightly.


AT THE end of the 19th century, before the Land Purchase Acts, Richard McGillycuddy's grandfather, whose mother had injected American money into the family, distinguished himself in the 1st World War, winning the DSO and the L├ęgion d'Honneur.

From 1928 to 1936, he sat in the Senate of the Irish Free State as a supporter of the moderate WT Cosgrave and an opponent of the republican Eamon de Valera.

In the 2nd World War, he returned to the colours and became a regular informant on what was happening in neutral Ireland.

His grandson, Richard Denis Wyer McGillycuddy, was born in 1948. Richard's father, the senator's son, who had succeeded in 1950, himself died in 1959 as a result of wounds sustained during the 2nd World War in the Northampton Yeomanry.

At the time Richard was only 10 and still at his preparatory school before going on to Eton.

His English mother, although never feeling at home in Ireland, carried on dutifully at Beaufort to preserve the family inheritance for her son.

Every August, she organised a rather gentrified cricket match played on the lawn of the house - but it was abandoned around 1970 after young Richard, who had little interest in cricket and was not watching, was knocked unconscious by a mighty drive by a visitor who had played for the Cambridge Crusaders.

The young McGillycuddy's passion was cars, and he went into the motor trade in London after a brief sojourn at the University of Aix-en-Provence.

He was unreceptive to the efforts of his uncle Dermot, a Dublin solicitor much beloved of McGillycuddys of every class and creed, to interest him in Ireland.

Tall and dashing, the rugged and auburn-haired young McGillycuddy of the Reeks was much in demand in London among the Sloane Rangers.

Eventually, in 1983, at the age of 35, he married Virginia Astor, the granddaughter of the 1st Lord Astor of Hever.

Feeling that he had little in common with the local people in Kerry, McGillycuddy decided to sell The Reeks, and moved to France, where he acted as a property consultant to prospective British purchasers of chateaux and lesser French properties.

After the birth of his second daughter in 1990, the family returned to live in Ireland - not, however, in their ancestral territory, but nearer Dublin, where they rented a succession of houses, the last of them in Westmeath.

He continued to dabble in property, and latterly sold insurance; but it was a handicap that his upper-class English demeanour disappointed expectations raised by his Irish-sounding name.

Although he could be charming in the appropriate company, he did not relate well to Irish people outside his own class.

Meanwhile, despite poor health, his wife carved out a niche for herself doing valuable work as a prison visitor.

McGillycuddy was active in the council of Irish chieftains who had been recognised by the Irish Genealogical Office.

Richard McGillycuddy was survived by his wife and two daughters.

He was succeeded by his first cousin, Donogh, who lives in South Africa.

First published in March, 2013.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Best Veggie Bangers


For the benefit of those of you who don't follow me regularly, I happened to be digging and shovelling at a little wood beside Greyabbey, County Down, during the week.

This wood is owned by the National Trust.

I was chatting with a fellow volunteer about a favourite topic, viz. food, and he apprised me of a certain brand of vegetarian sausages.

Geoff's wife and daughter are both vegetarian, though he is not.

However, he recommended Tesco Meat-Free Lincolnshire-style Sausages.

They are in the freezer section and are sold in packs of six.

Dear readers, I am not vegetarian.

I had a home-made rump steak burger several days ago.

However, I am not averse to trying healthy alternatives to pork sausages.

Accordingly, I purchased a packet of the said sausages.

I fried them gently in butter, fried a finely-chopped red onion, and boiled a few potatoes.

I had these veggie sausages with onion mash, tomato, and my home-made coleslaw.

I will understand if some of you are sceptical when I tell you that these veggie sausages are as close in texture and flavour to the real thing.

It is true, though.

I have consumed Quorn sausages, and the Tesco Lincolnshire-style ones are considerably better.

I am convinced that I could fool a few pals if I presented these bangers to them in a blind tasting.

In conclusion, readers, you must try them for yourselves and please do let me know what you think.

Loughgall Manor

THE COPES WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ARMAGH, WITH 9,367 ACRES

ANTHONY COPE, of Portadown, County Armagh, younger brother of Walter Cope, of Drumilly, and grandson of Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet, of Hanwell, wedded Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Thomas Moigne, Lord Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh, by whom he had an only son,

THE VERY REV ANTHONY COPE (1639-1705), Dean of Elphin, who wedded his second cousin, Elizabeth, daughter and eventual heiress of Henry Cope, of Loughgall, and granddaughter of Anthony Cope, of Armagh, who was second son of Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet, of Bramshill.

The Dean left, with other issue, a son and heir,

ROBERT COPE (1679-1753), of Loughgall, MP for Armagh, who espoused firstly, in 1701, Letitia, daughter of Arthur Brownlow, of Lurgan, who dspand secondly, in 1707, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Fownes Bt, of Woodstock, by whom he had, with other issue,
ANTHONY (Very Rev), Dean of Armagh;
ARTHUR, of whom hereafter.
Mr Cope's younger son,

ARTHUR COPE, of Loughgall, wedded, in 1761, Ellen Osborne, and had issue,
ROBERT CAMDEN, his heir;
Kendrick, lieutenant-colonel, died unmarried 1827;
Emma; Elizabeth;
MARY, m Col R Doolan, and had 2 sons: RWC Doolan (cope); KH Doolan.
The elder son,

ROBERT CAMDEN COPE (c1771-1818), of Loughgall, MP for Armagh, Lieutenant-Colonel, Armagh Militia, married Mary, daughter of Samuel Elliott, Governor of Antigua, and had an only son,

ARTHUR COPE (1814-44), of Loughgall; who dsp, and bequeathed his estates to his cousin,

ROBERT WRIGHT COPE DOOLAN JP DL (1810-48), of Loughgall Manor, who assumed the surname and additional arms of COPE in 1844.

He espoused, in 1848, Cecilia Philippa, daughter of Captain Shawe Taylor, of County Galway, and by her left issue,
FRANCIS ROBERT, DL (1853-) his heir;
Albinia Elizabeth; Emma Sophia; Helen Gertrude.
*****

In 1610, the Plantation of Ulster came into effect under the auspices of JAMES I. The manors of Loughgall and Carrowbrack in County Armagh were granted to Lord Saye and Sele.

In 1611 he sold these lands to Sir Anthony Cope Bt, of which 3,000 acres were represented by the manor of Loughgall.

The manor of Loughgall was divided between two branches of the Cope family, being known as The Manor House and Drummilly.

THE MANOR, LOUGHGALL, County Armagh, is a two-storey, mildly Tudor-Revival house of ca 1840 with numerous gables, some of which have barge-boards.

The windows have simple wooden mullions; and there are also hood-mouldings over ground-floor windows of the main block.

A lower service wing is at one side, gabled, with pointed windows in the upper storey.


The gabled entrance porch, in Gothic-Revival style, looks like a work of the 1850-70s and may be a later addition.

While the tree-lined avenue leading from the main street of the village was indicated on a map of 1834, the gateway and lodges, and the main house were not; nor was the house referred to by Lewis in 1837.

The main gates were manufactured in 1842, according to their inscription, which accords with that of the manor-house, although there is no architectural similarity between the gateway and lodges and the main house.


The Yew Walk, to the north of the Manor House, also seems to be indicated on a map of 1835.

One branch of the family subsequently lived in Drumilly House, situated to the east of the lough, which was demolished in 1965, while the other lived in the Manor House.

The manor-house was purchased from Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Templer, a relation of the original owners, by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1947.

The Ministry began general farming operations in 1949, and in 1951 established a horticultural centre on the estate.

In 1952, the Northern Ireland Plant Breeding Station, which had been founded by the Northern Ireland Government in 1922, was transferred to Loughgall.

In 1987, the Horticultural Centre and Plant Breeding Station were amalgamated to form the Northern Ireland Horticultural and Plant Breeding Station; and in 1995 the station became part of the NI Department of Agriculture's Applied Plant Science Division.
*****

THE VILLAGE of Loughgall developed slowly under the benign guidance of the Cope family, assuming a distinctly English appearance.

During the 18th and early part of the 19th century, a number of houses were built in the elegant Georgian style of architecture.
The two Cope families, of Loughgall Manor and Drumilly respectively, did not take a very active part in politics; however, as residential landlords, they pursued a policy of agricultural development on their own estates and greatly encouraged the improvement and fertility of their tenants' farms.
Apple-growing over the past two centuries has become a major factor in the economic development of County Armagh, with Loughgall at the heart of this important industry.

To this day there is no public house in Loughgall.

The Copes, at some stage in the past, actively discouraged the sale and consumption of alcohol by buying several public houses in the village and closing them down.

In their place they established a coffee-house and reading-room.

The Copes Baronets are now extinct in the male line.

The last generation of both the Loughgall Manor and Drumilly families had daughters only.

Of the Manor House family, a Miss Cope married a clergyman, the Rev Canon Sowter; while Ralph Cope, of Drumilly, had two daughters, one of whom, Diana, married Robin Cowdy of the local Greenhall linen bleaching family at Summer Island.

Both the Manor House and Drumilly estates were purchased by the Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture and now play a prominent part in testing and development in the horticultural field.

Both estates remain intact and have not been developed for housing or industry; they form part of Loughgall Country Park.

With considerable areas of mature woodland interspersed with orchards and cultivated fields, this area must surely be one of the most pleasant stretches of countryside in County Armagh.

First published in August, 2010.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Bushmills Miscellany

These photographs were taken in 2014 in the village of Bushmills, County Antrim.

Former premises of Causeway Books

My first port-of-call was the former second-hand and antiquarian bookshop, which, alas, closed down in the autumn of 2013.

I always enjoyed a good browse here and looked forward to my visits.


The erstwhile proprietor had been good enough to suggest two other sources in the vicinity, one of which is in Society Street, Coleraine (almost opposite the parish church on the main street).


The owner's son, James, now owns the Coleraine shop.

The old courthouse in 2014

The former courthouse in Main Street, with its distinctive portico, was built in 1834 by the Macnaghten family, of Dundarave, to serve as a petty sessions court and as a symbol of authority in the area.

The building contained a courtroom and cells, with apartments above for the police.

It served as a petty session court well into the first half of the 20th century, when it became a private residence.

*****

I have already mentioned the former National School of 1842, which has lain neglected and derelict for many years.

Bushmills National School in 2014

This fine old building is yearning for a sympathetic new owner to restore its fabric and historic character.


In March, 2014, the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment (DoE) served an Urgent Works Notice on the agent for the owner.

The old school is a listed building, built as part of a nationwide initiative launched in 1830 by Edwin Stanley, Chief Secretary for Ireland and later Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The building is not watertight and is not well secured.

The DoE has tried repeatedly to encourage the owner to take steps to remedy the situation, to no avail.

The Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan MLA, said:
“The serving of this Notice is a further tangible commitment by my Department to Bushmills’ rich heritage and builds on previous funding to tackle dereliction in Portrush and Portstewart. Our listed buildings are jewels from the past which we need to conserve for now and future generations.
Once gone they can never be brought back. Listed buildings attract much tourism and there is always the potential to develop this further by securing and preserving them. I am determined that we should do that and this Urgent Works Notice is an example of that determination.”
The school is regarded as a dignified and well proportioned building of two storeys.

The front elevation has a central projection which is carried up to a pediment and has a distinctive use of a double chimney as a terminating feature.

Built in random rubble with the quoins, hood mouldings, cornice, chimneys and ornamental details all in dressed stone, the building has a pleasing civic quality and could make a valuable contribution to the town if brought back into use.

I wonder who actually owns this building?

First published in June, 2014.