Bellaghy Historical Society – October 2012

October, Tuesday 9th, 2012
The speaker (related to Roger Casement), a free lance historian, has worked at Mount
Stewart and at Glenarm.
1783, James Wyatt was paid £83 for the intended house and £25 for the offices. The
stable block was built but knocked down to make way for the present house.
The gardens then were of a typical Capability Brown layout, with no lake because of the
position of Strangford Lough.
1781/2- King, landscapist, was paid for work done.
1796-Robert Stewart became Lord Londonderry.
1802-George Dance Jnr., Professor of Archaeology at the Royal Academy, engaged to
replace the western block of 1783 and to retain the existing house to the east.
2001-sketches made in 1811-1815 were shown by a family member to Anne Casement.
1819-works in gardens, drives,lodges,tea house and walled garden,lawns cost £1,700.
The public road was also moved closer to the Lough.
1783-Temple of Winds was built.
1813-3rd Earl, son of Robert Stewart, married Tempest. He engaged architect William B.
Morrison in the 1830s to build the new house. The architect died 1838, the building was
delayed til 1845-6. £22,000 was spent on the building. The estate wall is a famine wall.
1854-the 4th Earl married into the Powerscourt (Wicklow) estate. Andrews (related to
Thomas Andrews of the Titanic), was employed as estate manager and he oversaw the
rebuilding of the house-completed 1848. (Campbell was the builder).
An old gravel pit was flooded 1848ish to create a lake and was used as a water supply.
Anne Casement showed watercolours of the finished house, 1856.
After the famine, a model farm was set up to encourage tenant farmers to improve
1872-5th Earl lived in Wales.
1884-6th Earl lived in London. Employed head gardener, Bolis, who set out the present
1903-Edward VII visited and planted two copper beeches in the front garden.
1915-7th Earl. Employed 20 ex-service men to clear and replant the gardens.
1921-became Minister of Education in the first Ulster Parliament. He worked in earnest on
the gardens.
WW2-troops were billeted there. There was a shortage of gardeners/staff and of nursery
items. The gardens were farmed for fruit and vegetables.
1955-78 acres of garden, house and half of the contents, transferred to the National Trust.
1990-family burial plot, Tír na nÓg, given to the National Trust.
2009- death of Lady Mairi Londonderry.
current project- planting schemes around the house; repairs to the house and contents.
When complete, more rooms will be on show to the public. £6,000,000 will be spent by the
National Trust.
Anne Casement also showed historical photographs 1903-1935 of the grounds and house.
1936-swimming pool built; the National Trust has filled in the pool and boarded up the
changing rooms.

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