Sunday, 19 March 2017

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.

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