The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

McCaffrey home are before emigration, in Poyntzpass area


Mac GAFRAIDH—VM'Gafferie, MacGaffrey, MacCaffray, MacCaffrey, MacCaffery, Caffrey, Caffery, &c.; 'son of Godfrey'; also written Mac Gofradha, Mac Cafraidh, &c.; the name of a branch of the Maguires of Fermanagh, now common in Ulster; to be distinguished from Mac Eachmharcaigh (which see), which is sometimes similarly anglicised.

The way from Poyntzpass to Newby:

The area around the Castle:

Here is a vista of the area where our McCaffrey ancestors farmed. 

St. Mary's, The Church of Ireland church (not Catholic, really) is in the foreground. As far as the eye can see in the feudal land holding of the Close family.

The castle that Carrie McCaffrey (wife of Hugh) relates is the Brumbanagher house. The descriptions of the manor Lord, Col. Maxwell Close, seems to fit, as he appears to have been a fair man with his tenants. 

The local catholic church: St. Joseph's in Poyntzpass, the locale for the 9000 acre feudal lands. This perhaps is the place to begin for church records for the McCaffrey clan.
Established 1790.
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church
Chapel Street
Co. Armagh
Northern Ireland
BT35 6SY

This is a link with information on the castle of Col. Maxwell Charles Close, that Carrie McCaffrey refers to in her writing.

or Wikipedia

The size of the farms upon Colonel Close’s property would not average more than ten acres; there are some as large as 150, down to five acres, but they average ten or twelve acres.

Drumbanagher House - sometimes called Drumbanagher Castle - near Poyntzpass in County Armagh, was a very large, Italianate mansion by William Playfair built ca 1837 for Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell Close, who was the brother-in-law of 1st Lord Lurgan.

Drumbanagher, of Scottish sandstone, had a two storey centre block with higher three storey wings set at right angles to it, protruding beyond both the entrance and garden fronts. The space between the entrance front wings contained a massive, arched porte-cochére.

Beth, in our trip to Ireland, inside all that remains of the house, that arched entranceway:

The roofs of the wings had eaves and bracket cornices; while the roof of the central block had a balustraded parapet. There were plain pilasters framing the downstairs windows in the ends of the wings.

Drumbanagher was designed in 1829, being one of Playfair's"grandest country houses". Following occupation by the American and British armies during the 2nd World War, it was demolished by its owner in 1951 due to the crippling expense of maintaining the property.

Writing in the Belfast Telegraph in 1962, the then owner said;  

"No mortal could have afforded to keep the castle going. So I had it demolished. Death duties, upkeep and financial difficulties meant I just had to get rid of it... It was perfectly sound and in good order when it was demolished... Now it looks like a nuclear bomb hit it. "

Today, all that remains of the great house is the "vast arched porte-cochere" (Bence-Jones), which Sir Charles Brett described as"resembling a Roman Arc de Triomphe."

The Close family still owns the Drumbanagher estate, which comprises 650 acres today - somewhat less than the 9,087 acres a hundred years ago. They run the Drumbanagher Shoot on the estate.

Richard Close, the first of the family to settle in Ireland, is stated to have been the younger son from a respectable household in Yorkshire; and to have held a commission in the army sent from England in the reign of CHARLES I  ca 1640.

He acquired property in County Monaghan; but, after the Restoration, fixed himself in Lisnagarvy, near Lisburn. There he lived and died, leaving a son and heir.

Richard Close, who inherited the Monaghan estates, married Mary, sister of Samuel Waring, Esq., of Waringstown in County Down, MP for Hillsborough.

The Register of Ulster Parks states:
"The walled 400 acre demesne lies in undulating land. At the core of the park was Drumbanagher house in the early 18th century belonging to the Rev. Samuel Close born 1683); then to his son, Maxwell Close (died 1793); grandson, the Rev Samuel Close (died 1817); and great-grandson ,Charles Maxwell Close. 

It was the latter who commissioned William Playfair to build a notable Italianate house in 1829. This was completed in 1837 and consisting of a two-storey central block with two three-storey wings built at right angles – all built of Scottish sandstone at enormous cost. 

At the time of its completion Lewis in the Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, observed the ‘… extensive and richly planted demesne’, which had accompanied the earlier house.
It is of note that in 1820 Maxwell Close had married the daughter of Charles Brownlow of Lurgan, where Playfair was later also to work the house and demesne were occupied by troops (British and then American) during the war, which probably contributed to the house’s demise in 1951, when it was demolished, save for a massive cut-stone port- cochère. 

The owners retreated to a modern house in front of the port-cochère and the land steward’s house in the yard. 

The gardens, once of note, have gone. Gertrude Jekyll was said to have designed bedding plans for the flower garden. There are family water-colours of the gardens in their heyday. Mature parkland and shelter trees remain amongst forest planting. Large exotics emerge above the canopy. 

The present house was built in the 1950s. There is a disused walled garden. The farm buildings are listed. Two gate lodges for the earlier house have gone but one remains, possibly by Playfair".
The Brother in Law of Col. Maxwell Close:

Baron Lurgan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Brownlow, 3rd Baron Lurgan.
Baron Lurgan, of Lurgan in the County of Armagh, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1839 for Charles Brownlow, who had previously represented Armagh in the House of Commons. His son, the second Baron, served as a Government Whip from 1869 to 1874 in the first Liberal administration of William Gladstone and was also Lord Lieutenant of Armagh. The title became extinct in 1991 on the death of the latter's great-grandson, the fifth Baron.

[edit]Barons Lurgan (1839)

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