Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Nesbitt Estate

CATHERINE DOWNING NESBITT AND COUNT LUSI OWNED 5,638 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

ALEXANDER NESBITT (of the Nesbitts of Dirleton)  was the first of this branch who went from Scotland to Ulster.

He married his cousin Alice, daughter of the Very Rev Alexander Conyngham, of Tower, County Donegal, Dean of Raphoe, and had three sons,
JAMES, of Woodhill;
Alexander;
Albert.
The eldest son,

JAMES NESBITT, of Woodhill, County Donegal, married Margary, only daughter of the Rt Rev Andrew Knox, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, and had issue,
George, his heir;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
William.
The second son,

JAMES NESBITT, of Tubberdaly, County Offaly, who married and had issue.

This branch became extinct in the male line; the representative in the female line, however,

THOMASINA NESBITT, heiress of Tubberdaly, wedded the Rev Clotworthy Downing, and their son, John Downing, assumed the surname of NESBITT.

This John inherited the farm at Tubberdaly from his uncle, Gifford Nesbitt (son of Albert Nesbitt), in 1773.


When William George Downing Nesbitt died in 1847 (at Leixlip House), he left Tubberdaly to his sister, Catherine Nesbitt.
Miss Nesbitt, as she was known, was very good to her staff and to the local people. She gave large amounts of money to such projects as building a bird house at Dublin Zoo and the building of a branch railway line from Edenderry to Enfield to join up with the main line from the west.
As well as her estate at Tubberdaly, Miss Nesbitt had large tracts of land in counties Roscommon, Londonderry, Antrim and Kildare.

In 1886, Miss Nesbitt left Tubberdaly to her nephew, Edward John Beaumont-Nesbitt, who was High Sheriff of King's County, 1892-93.


THE NESBITT FAMILY originally occupied the tower house in Tubberdaly onto which they built a gazebo from where there was a commanding view of the estate and the surrounding area.

They later built a large house and employed a large staff of people to work on the estate.

They also had a walled garden, which provided a large quantity of fruit and vegetables.

In 1923 the family home of the Nesbitts was burned to the ground.

It was one of eight country mansions burned on that night in County Offaly.

It is thought that the motive was to persuade the new government to divide the land among the local people when the landlords had been driven out.

Also burned on that night was the home of Judge Wakely at Ballyburley and the lovely Greenhill House, the home of The Dames family.

Edward John Beaumont Nesbitt had left Ireland in 1920 following a number of disputes with his staff, including a strike which lasted for three months.

In 1925, the Irish Land Commission took over the estate and paid compensation to Mr Nesbitt for his loss.

The land was eventually divided among local people.

Ernest Frederick Charles Spiridion, Count de Lusi (1817-87), was married to Jane Downing Nesbitt.

First published in January, 2012.

Cross of Dartan

THE CROSS FAMILY OWNED 1,090 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ARMAGH

This Lancashire family settled in Ulster at the time of the Plantation, 1611, in the parish of Tynan, County Armagh.

From a tombstone in Tynan churchyard it appears that JAMES CROSS was buried there in 16_8 (the third figure is indecipherable and the church books for a lengthened period are not forthcoming).

Two of his sons, JOHN and WILLIAM, were amongst the defenders of Londonderry, who signed the address to WILLIAM & MARY on the relief of that city in 1689, when they returned to County Armagh, where the descendants of John fixed their abode.

William Cross died unmarried.

JOHN CROSS died in 1742, having had issue by his wife, Jane, five sons and three daughters.

The eldest son,

RICHARD CROSS, of Dartan, succeeded his father, and died in 1776, having had issue by his wife, Margaret, two sons and four daughters.

The second son and successor,

WILLIAM CROSS, of Dartan, married, in 1743, Mrs Mary Stratford, of Dartan (née Irwin), and had issue,
Richard, dsp;
William Irwin (1785-1809);
JOHN, of whom presently;
MAXWELL, succeeded his brother;
Mary.
William Cross, Deputy Governor of County Armagh, 1793, died in 1812, and was succeeded by his third son,

JOHN CROSS (1787-1850), of Dartan, an army officer who saw much service in the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Light Infantry during the Peninsular War.

He accompanied the expedition to Sweden in 1807, and proceeded thence to Portugal, 1808.

He took part in the battle of Corunna, the actions preceding it, and all the subsequent campaigns wit the 52nd regiment; Battle of Waterloo, and occupation of Paris; thrice wounded; received the War Medal with ten clasps, also the Waterloo Medal; subsequently commanded the 68th Light Infantry, from which regiment he retired in 1843.

Colonel Cross was a Member of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order, Lieutenant-Governor commanding the forces in Jamaica.

He died in 1850, and was succeeded by his brother,

MAXWELL CROSS JP DL (1790-1863), of Dartan, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1847, who wedded Sarah, daughter of William Hardy JP, and was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM CROSS JP DL (1815-82), of Dartan, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1860, Captain and Adjutant, 68th Light Infantry and Colonel-Commandant of the Armagh Light Infantry Militia, who espoused, in 1844, Frances Jane, only daughter of Major-General Pennell Cole, Royal Engineers, and had issue,
Maxwell (1845-69);
WILLIAM PENNELL, his heir;
SARAH JANE BEAUCHAMP, succeeded her brother.
The second son,

WILLIAM PENNELL CROSS JP LL.B (1849-1906), of Dartan, married, in 1883, Beatrice Lucinda, daughter of the Rev Dominick Augustus Browne, and dsp 1906, when he was succeeded by his only sister,

MRS SARAH JANE BEAUCHAMP COOKE-CROSS (-1911), who wedded, in 1887, ARTHUR CHARLES INNES, of Dromantine, who assumed  the additional surname and arms of CROSS, and had issue,
ARTHUR CHARLES WOLSELEY, of Dromantine (1888-1940);
Sydney Maxwell (1894-1914);
Marian Dorothea (d 1965).
MRS INNES-CROSS married secondly, in 1907, HERBERT MARTIN COOKE (eldest son the Mason Cooke, of Ely), who assumed, in 1908, the additional name and arms of CROSS.



DARTAN HALL, near Killylea, County Armagh, is situated 6 miles east of the city of Armagh.

The present house was built between 1850-60 by the Cross family.

The house comprises two storeys over a basement.

It remained inhabited by the Cross family until 1906, when it was leased a son of the Very Rev Robert Shaw-Hamilton, Dean of Armagh.


The property subsequently passed to the Knox family, when it lay vacant for many years.

John Erskine acquired the property in 1987, since when it has been extensively restored.

Dartan has recently been sold.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

County of Tyrone

Tyrone is an inland county, bounded in the north and north-east by County Londonderry; on the east, by Lough Neagh; on the south-east by County Armagh; on the south by County Fermanagh, and County Monaghan in the Irish Republic; on the south-west by County Fermanagh; and on the west and north-west, by County Donegal in the Irish Republic.

The boundary line, over about 11 miles in the central part of the north, is formed by the watershed of the Sperrin Mountains; over six miles in the eastern part of the north to Lough Neagh by the river Ballinderry; over the whole of the line of contact with County Armagh, by the River Blackwater.

Over about seven miles of the line of contact with County Monaghan, by the River Blackwater; and over ten miles of contact with the counties of Monaghan and Fermanagh, by the watershed of the Slieve Beagh mountains; over a large aggregate distance, but with many intervals or interruptions, of the line of contact with counties Fermanagh and Donegal, by mountain brooks, and especially by lofty watersheds; and over about ten miles of the terminating contact with County Donegal, down to the junction point with County Londonderry by the rivers Finn and Foyle.

The outline of the county, in a loose or general sense, exhibits a broad parallelogram, extending in the direction of south-east by east.

The greatest length of the county, in the direction of south-east by east, and along the southern border, from the summit of the Croagh mountains, a few miles east of the Barnesmore Gap to the River Blackwater at the village of Caledon, is 38 miles. 

Its greatest breadth, in the opposite direction, and along the western border, over Strabane and Lough Derg, is 30 miles; whereas its least breadth, across the eastern district, and almost over the village of Donaghmore, is 16 miles.

The area of the county comprises about 807,000 acres.

The highest mountain in The Sperrins is Sawel Mountain, at 2,224 feet. 

Portumna Castle

THE MARQUESSES OF CLANRICARDE WERE THE SECOND GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY GALWAY, WITH 56,826 ACRES

The family of DE BURGH, DE BURGO, BOURKE OR BURKE (as at different times written), Earls and Marquesses of Clanricarde, ranked among the most distinguished peers in the British Isles, and deduced an uninterrupted line of powerful nobles from the Conquest.

HUBERT DE BURGH (c1160-1243), 1st Earl of Kent, was one of the greatest subjects in Europe, in the reigns of JOHN and HENRY III.

His uncle,

ADELM DE BURGH, settled in Ireland, and was ancestor of

RICHARD DE BURGH (c1194-1242), surnamed the Great Lord of Connaught, who was Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1227.

This Richard rebuilt Galway Castle in 1232, and that of Loughrea in 1236.

He was a man of high authority and power, and died on his passage to France, in proceeding to meet the King of England at Bordeaux, attended "by his barons and knights".

Mr de Burgh espoused, before 1225, Egidia, daughter of Walter de Lacy, and had issue,
Richard,  Lord of Connaught;
Walter, 1st Earl of Ulster;
WILLIAM;
Margery; Alice;
two unnamed daughters.
His third son,

WILLIAM DE BURGH, known by the surname of Athankip, from being put to death at that place by the king of Connaught, was succeeded by his son,

SIR WILLIAM DE BURGH, who, having married a daughter of the family of MacJordan, left, with other issue, at his decease in 1324,
ULICK;
Edmond;
John (1350-98);
Walter;
Richard;
Redmond;
Thomas, Lord Treasurer of Ireland, 1331;
John, father of John, Archbishop of Tuam;
Henry.
The eldest son,

SIR ULICK DE BURGH, feudal Lord of Clanricarde, was a person of great power, and distinguished, like his progenitors, in arms.

He wedded Agnes, daughter of the Earl of Warwick; and dying in 1429, was succeeded by his son,

ULICK DE BURGH, of Clanricarde, who espoused Egeline, daughter of Hugh de Courtenay; and dying in 1451, was succeeded by his eldest son,

ULICK DE BURGH, who was succeeded by his son,

ULICK DE BURGHwho was created, by HENRY VIII, at Greenwich, 1543, Baron of Dunkellin and EARL OF CLANRICARDE; and obtained, at the same time from the His Majesty a grant of the monastery of Abbeygormican, alias de Via Nova, in the diocese of Clonfert, with the patronages and donations of all the rectories etc in Clanricarde and Dunkellin belonging to the Crown.

His lordship did not, however, long enjoy his honours; and dying in the following year, 1544, was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD, 2nd Earl, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; who overthrew, in conjunction with Sir Richard Bingham, the Scots army, at the river Moye, in 1553.

His lordship married Margaret, daughter of Murrough, Earl of Thomond, and had issue, ULICK, Lord Dunkellin.

His lordship died in 1582, and was succeeded by his son,

ULICK, 3rd Earl, who wedded Honora, daughter of John Burke, and had issue,
RICHARD;
Thomas;
William;
Edmond;
John, 1st Viscount Burke, of Clanmories;
Mary.
His lordship died in 1601, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD (1572-1635), 4th Earl, surnamed of Kinsale, from the valour he had displayed against the rebels there.

His lordship was created an English peer, in 1624, Baron Somerhill and Viscount Tunbridge, Kent.

He was advanced to an earldom, in 1628, as Earl of St Albans.

His lordship married Frances, daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham and widow of Sir Philip Sydney, and of ELIZABETH I's unfortunate favourite, the Earl of Essex, by whom he had one son, ULICK, his successor, and two daughters, Mary, wife of Edmund, son of James, Earl of Ormonde; and Honora, married to John Paulet, Marquess of Winchester.

He was succeeded by his only son,

ULICK (1604-57), 5th Earl of Clanricarde and 2nd Earl of St Albans.

His lordship was elevated to a marquessate, in 1644, as MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE.

He espoused the Lady Anne Compton, only daughter of William, Earl of Northampton, and had an only daughter,
MARGARET, m Charles, Viscount Muskerry.
His lordship dying thus without male issue, the marquessate and his English honours expired; while the Irish earldom of Clanricarde and the barony of Dunkellin reverted to his first cousin,

RICHARD, 6th Earl; at whose decease, without issue, the honours devolved upon his brother,

WILLIAM, 7th Earl, who married firstly, Lettice, only daughter of Sir Henry Shirley, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
JOHN, succeeded his brother;
Thomas.
His lordship wedded secondly, Helen, daughter of Donough, 1st Earl of Clancarty, and had issue,
Ulick, 1st Viscount Galway;
William;
Margaret; Honora.
His lordship was succeeded at his decease, in 1687, by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 8th Earl, who wedded Elizabeth Bagnell, and had an only daughter, Lady Dorothy Bourke.

He was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN (1642-1722), 9th Earl, who espoused Bridget, daughter of James Talbot; and was succeeded by his son,

MICHAEL. 10th Earl, who wedded Anne, daughter and co-heiress of John Smith, of Tudworth, Hampshire, Speaker of the House of Commons, and subsequently Chancellor of the Exchequer, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. 

Dying in 1726, he was succeeded by his only surviving son,

JOHN SMITH (1642-1722), 11th Earl, who died in 1782 and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON HENRY, Privy Counsellor, Knight of St Patrick, Governor of County Galway, who was created, in 1785, MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE (second creation).

His lordship died without issue in 1797, when the marquessate expired, and his lordship's other titles devolved upon his only brother,

JOHN, 13th and 1st Earl of Clanricarde, a General in the army, Colonel of the 66th Foot, who wedded, in 1799, Eliza, daughter of the late Sir Thomas Burke Bt, of Marble Hill.
In 1800, Lord Clanricarde obtained a grant, conferring the dignity of countess upon his daughters in succession, and that of Earl of Clanricarde upon their male issue, according to priority of birth, in case of the failure of his own male descendants.
His lordship's eldest son,

ULICK JOHN, KP, 14th and 2nd Earl, married, in 1825, Harriet, only daughter of the Rt Hon George Canning, HM Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

This nobleman and statesman was elevated to a marquessate, in 1825, as MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE (third creation).

Earls of Clanricarde; Second creation (1800; Reverted)



PORTUMNA CASTLE, built near the shore of the northern extremity of Lough Derg on the river Shannon in the reign of JAMES I, was stated to be without equal in Ireland at the time in style, grandeur and distinction.

The elegance of Portumna can be attributed to the taste, experience and wealth of its builder, Richard Burke, 4th Earl of Clanricarde.

It was built between 1610 and 1618 at a cost of £10,000, and Lord Clanricarde also built a mansion at Somerhill, Tonbridge Wells, in Kent.



Portumna was one of the first, if not the first, building in Ireland to admit some of the Renaissance refinements already common in Italy and France for over a century, but which took so long to filter through to Ireland.

The shell of this great mansion conveys an impression of alien splendour, and the overall effect is unique and has a curiously continental air.

The Renaissance features of the exterior of Portumna are - strictly speaking - limited to the fine doorcase of the front entrance and the Tuscan gateway of the innermost courtyard, but the very layout is an expression of Renaissance ideas.



The castle is symmetrical in shape and consists of three stories over a basement with square corner projecting towers.

A central corridor runs longitudinally from top to bottom, supported by stone walls, which contain numerous recesses and fireplaces.

The approach is elaborate from the north with gardens, avenues and three gates.

The formal gardens of Portumna Castle were laid out in the 17th century and were the first Italian or Renaissance gardens to be introduced to Ireland.

It is reputed that the 4th Earl copied the style of Sir John’s garden for his castle at Portumna.



The stately gardens of the 17th century contained formal walks, arbours, parterres, and hedges, as well as jets d’eau, or fountains, artificial cascades, columns, statues, grottoes and similar puerilities.

The inner courtyard, known as the Grianan, was the ladies' pleasure ground.

It contained shrubs, seats, pathways and lawns, where the ladies of the castle congregated, did their embroidery, and discussed womanly affairs.

Fifteen Earls and Marquesses of Clanricarde owned Portumna from 1543-1916.

In the latter years, Hubert de Burgh-Canning, 2nd Marquess, 15th and 3rd Earl of Clanricarde (1832–1916) died. 
He was said to have been a notorious miser and eccentric who dressed like a tramp and spent his life in London; and on his death the estate at Portumna passed to his nephew, Henry Viscount Lascelles, afterwards 6th Earl of Harewood. 
In 1928, Princess Mary and her husband, the same Lord Lascelles, visited Portumna, and by all accounts received a cordial welcome.

They mixed with all the people and visited all the formal schools and institutions in town as well as attending various meetings.

The Portumna estate was acquired by the Irish Government in 1948, with the castle being allocated to the then Office of Public Works, the 1,500 acre demesne to the Forestry Commission and land being given for a Golf Course and sports pitch.

Lord Clanricarde was a friend of Sir John Danvers and shared his great love of gardens.
The castle was accidentally burned in 1826; it was very grand and highly interesting; its staircase, its great hall and its state drawing-room were very handsome; its library was a long apartment in the highest storey.  
Several of its rooms acquired an impressive and venerable air from the presence of old family portraits and a large quantity of ancient furniture; opulent plasterwork friezes; carved armorial bearings; and it commanded a brilliant and very extensive prospect of Lough Derg, the River Shannon and the surrounding countryside.
The Castle remained ruinous until work commenced on its restoration by the Irish State in 1968.

To date, the shell and the internal walls have been faithfully restored, and the roof and chimneys which are in place protect the castle from the elements.

The windows, fireplaces and flooring joists and basement have been restored and elaborate archaeological work has been carried out on the outside.

Once the main staircase and internal floors have been installed, the most difficult of the restoration work will have been achieved. 

First published in August, 2011.  Clanricarde arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Lower Crescent, Belfast

Lower Crescent looking towards Botanic Avenue and Cameron Street

Lower Crescent and Upper Crescent, both in the University quarter of south Belfast, have always inspired me, even since childhood.

Lower Crescent, which runs from 4, University Road to Botanic Avenue, is to the north of Upper Crescent.

Upper Crescent runs from 28, University Road to Crescent Gardens.

Number 5 for sale in 2014

The sale of much of Lord Donegall's Belfast estate in the early to mid-19th century freed large areas of land around the town for development.

The lands to the south, along the Malone Ridge, were particularly attractive to developers and fostered the construction of many fine late Georgian-style terraces from the mid 1830s onwards, a trend accelerated by the establishment of Queen's College (now Queen's University) in the area, in the later 1840s.

These grand, new terraces were occupied by the city's professional and business classes, vacating their former residences in the town centre, which, in turn, were gradually turned into shops and offices.

Upper Crescent was perhaps regarded as the grandest terrace development undertaken to the south of Belfast, an elegantly curving row of three-storey town-houses in a late Regency style, built in 1846 by the timber merchant Robert Corry.

Dr Paul Larmour has suggested that Sir Charles Lanyon may have been consulted about the design.

Corry himself undertook the building work and took up residence at 16 Upper Crescent.

For the first few years of its existence, this row was known as Corry's Crescent.

To the immediate north of Upper Crescent, where Crescent Church now stands, there was a large lawn which Corry used as a garden.

Shortly after this garden was laid out, however, Corry had it ploughed up and used for the cultivation of vegetables for relief of local workers suffering as a result of the famine.

To the north of this garden ran an old water course; to the east, some smaller gardens (belonging to other occupants of Upper Crescent); and further to the east and to the north-east ran Albion Lane.

In 1852, Robert Corry built another terrace to the north of his garden and just south of the old water course.

This new development, Lower Crescent, was much in the same vein as that to the south, and was occupied by the same mix of professionals and businessmen; though, by as early as 1860, the ground floors of some of the properties were used as offices.

In the late 1860s, a railway line was laid to the immediate north of Lower Crescent (along the line of the old water course).
In 1873, the large sandstone building, (originally Ladies Collegiate, later Victoria College), was added to the west end of the terrace, with two houses added to the east end by the end of the decade, the most easterly of which, Rivoli House, originally contained a dance academy run by a Frederick Brouneau.
The new railway line cut across Albion Lane and presaged the laying out of a new, broader thoroughfare, to be named Botanic Avenue.

Upper Crescent also witnessed further building in the 1860s and 70s, with two large William Hastings-designed properties erected to the west end in 1869, one of which, Crescent House (latterly a bank) also fronted on to University Road.

In 1878-79, two further houses were added to this end, on the ground between those of 1869.

In 1885-7, the large Presbyterian church (the present Crescent Church) was erected to plans by the Glasgow architect, John Bennie Wilson, on the west side of Robert Corry's former garden, with a two-storey terrace, the present Crescent Gardens, built on the site of smaller garden plots to the east end, in 1898.

During the first half of the 20th century, most of the properties of Upper and Lower Crescent, as well as Crescent Gardens, remained private dwellings.

However, by 1960 many were given over to business use; others divided into flats, with the former Rivoli House, (later called Dreenagh House), becoming a hotel.

This trend continued, and by the beginning of the 21st century none were occupied as private dwellings.

In the mid 1990s, three of the 1860-70 houses at the west end of Upper Crescent were demolished and a modern office block built in their place; whilst in 2000 the railway cutting to the south of Lower Crescent was built over, in preparation for a new development.

1 LOWER CRESCENT:
occupied by Frederick Gee, commission merchant. Gee appears to have remained there until at least 1882, though a Charles McDowell is listed by 1877. By 1899, it was in the hands of neighbouring Victoria College. When the Victoria College building changed hands to become the Crescent Arts Centre in 1978, this property remained associated with it, becoming The Octagon Gallery. It is largely used as a store by the Arts Centre.
2 LOWER CRESCENT:
One of the eleven houses which made up the original 1852 section of Lower Crescent. In 1858, it was occupied by John Savage, flax merchant. John Corry (a relative of the abovementioned Robert Corry) is listed as resident in 1862; Mrs Cuppage in 1877; and Mrs McDowell in the 1890-1900. The property came into possession of Victoria College at some time between 1910-20 and remained as such until that institution left Lower Crescent in the 1970s; however, for much of this period, it appears to have been leased to various businesses and private tenants. In the 1980s, it became a health centre (which appears to have been integrated with its neighbour, number 3); then a stationery shop; and later, offices.
3 LOWER CRESCENT:
In 1858, was listed as vacant, but was occupied by Henry Smith in 1860; the Rev John Moore in 1861; and William Moffat, 1877. In the 1890s and early 1900s, it was occupied by Mrs Margaret Byers, ounder of Victoria College. It was still in possession of Victoria College for some years after Mrs Byers' decease in 1912, but was either sold or leased out by the school by 1930, for by this date it had become a private dwelling once again. The property remained a dwelling house until the 1970s.
4 LOWER CRESCENT:
Thomas Hanlon, of Messrs George McTear & Company, Steam Packet Agents, Donegall Quay; Miss Jane Vance, by 1860. Miss Vance was followed a few years later by Dr Peter Redfern, who remained there until ca 1915. The property appears to remained a private dwelling until the 1950s, when it was divided into flats. It remained as such until the early 1980s, when the flats were converted to offices. The return is recorded as two storey in the valuation of 1860. The decoration to the second floor landing (which matches that to the first floor) suggests that it may have been raised a storey not long after this date.
5-6 LOWER CRESCENT:
Number 5 was occupied by Mrs Andrews; Henry Dickson resided at number 6. By 1860, number 5 was occupied by Aylward Connor, with its ground floor used as offices. Connor appears to have remained there until the late 1870s, when the property became home to Colonel Audain. Number 6 passed to Mrs Charnock in 1870, with both she and the Audain family occupying both houses until 1910 at least. Both buildings appear to have remained private dwellings until the 1970s, but by 1980 number 6 was an office. In the late 1980s, number 5 was coverted to a bar and night club, The Fly. In the late 1990s, this bar was greatly expanded, when its owners acquired number 6 and added a large extension to the rear of the newly-created single property.
7 LOWER CRESCENT:
Robert Cassidy, a solicitor, who, (by 1860 at least) used the ground floor as an office. In 1870,  James Campbell is listed as resident; Henry F Thomas in 1877; Samuel Alexander in 1882; and Mrs Orr in 1910. The property appears to have been divided into flats in the 1960s, but had become an office (once again) by 1980.
8 LOWER CRESCENT:
Tobias Porter, Belfast Flour Mills Manager, who appears to have remained there until at least 1882. In 1899, Mrs Lyons is recorded as resident; with Miss Lyons in occupation from about 1910-40s. From the mid 1950s until the late 1970s, this property and number 9 served as the canteen for Victoria College. No doubt much of the internal changes to both buildings date from this period. The building has housed various offices from the late 1970s onwards.
9 LOWER CRESCENT:
Samuel Delacherois, gentleman. In 1860, it was occupied by a John K McCausland, who appears to have remained there until at least 1882. The next occupant was Miss Vance, who was followed by Mrs Jackson about 1915. In the 1940s, the property came into the possession of Victoria College; and in the following decade became, (along with neighbouring number 8), the college's canteen. After the departure of Victoria College from Lower Crescent in the late 1970s, the property was converted to offices.
10 LOWER CRESCENT:
And its neighbour to the east (11) were used as offices for the Ordnance Survey, but by 1860, number 10 was a private dwelling once again, occupied by Robert W Corry. Corry was followed in 1862 by John Arnold, who remained there until the mid 1880s at least. In 1899, Mrs McKnight is listed as resident; Miss Warner in 1910; Mr T Kernaghan, linen merchant, in 1920. By 1940, the property appears to have been divided into two flats. In 1960, three flats are recorded, with four in 1970. These fluctuating divisions of the property appear to have changed again in the later 1970s, when the first floor became amalgamated with the first floors of numbers 8 and 9 to form a large office suite.
11 LOWER CRESCENT:
Was, by 1860, occupied by Charles Gaussen, who was followed in 1861 by Henry Cuppage, who remained there until at least 1882. In 1899, William Pedlow, District Inspector, National Schools, Belfast South, is listed as resident; then David Wright, bottle merchant and representative of the Chilean Nitrate Committee; T  Kernaghan in 1920; and Mr S E Fitchie, wholesale stationer, in 1930. By 1940, the property became a nursing home; then a guest house in 1951; but reverted to a private residence from the late 1950s to the 1970s. By 1980, the property was converted to offices.
12 LOWER CRESCENT:
Built in 1877-78 to designs by architect William Hastings, who had also worked on the larger property to the east (13) two years earlier. The building was originally occupied by William J Morrison, with William Campbell in residence in 1899. Campbell remained there until some time between 1910-20. Miss Gardener occupyed the house in 1921. In 1930, a journalist named Alex Riddle and Professor Ivor Arnold are recorded as residents; with three occupants listed in 1940, two in 1951 and three in the 1960s and 1970s. Clearly the property must have been split into flats ca 1930. In the late 1980s, the building was converted to a restaurant, linked with the neighbouring hotel (13), with hotel rooms to the upper floors. In the late 1990s, the restaurant was converted to a public bar. 
Sources: Henderson's Belfast Directory; Belfast & Province of Ulster Directory; ST Carleton, The Growth of South Belfast (QUB MA thesis, 1967); John Caughey, Seize Then The Hour: A history of James P Corry & Compnay (Belfast, 1974), pp.28-29; David Evans, Historic buildings of Queen's University (revised edition, 1980); Alison Jordan: Margaret Byers, Pioneer of Women's Education (QUB Institute of Irish Studies).

First published in March, 2014.

The Duke of York

His Royal Highness THE PRINCE ANDREW ALBERT CHRISTIAN EDWARD, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, KG, GCVO, is 58 today.

Prince Andrew holds the rank of honorary Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, and is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment.

  • Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Sunday, 18 February 2018

County of Londonderry

A maritime county in the north of Ulster bounded, on the north, by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east, by County Antrim; on the south, by County Tyrone; and on the west, by Lough Neagh, Lough Beg, the Lower (river) Bann, and County Donegal in the Irish Republic.

The river Ballinderry traces the southern boundary over the last five miles of its run to Lough Neagh.

A lofty line of watershed along the central summits of the great mountainous district of northern Ulster forms most of the boundary westward from the vale of the river Ballinderry to Foyle Valley.

An artificial line of about eight miles in extent winds round a district on the west side of the River Foyle, down to the beginning of that river's expansion into estuary; and Lough Foyle forms the whole of the western boundary thence to the ocean.

The district east of the River Bann extends at Coleraine; and the district west of the River Foyle, that of Londonderry; so that, but for the artificial disposition of territory connected with these two towns, the Bann and the Foyle would have formed boundary-lines over the entire extent of their contact with the county, and rendered it a naturally well-defined region, from river to river, and from the line of watershed to the ocean.

The outline of the county is roughly triangular, with its sides facing the east, the south-west and the north-west.

Its area comprises almost 520,000 acres.

The highest mountaain is Sawel Mountain (The Sperrins), at 2,224 feet.