Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Waringstown House

THE WARING FAMILY OWNED 2,438 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN

This branch of the ancient family of WARING of Lancashire, whose patriarch,

MILES DE GUARIN, came to England with WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, was established in Ulster during the reign of Queen MARY, when its ancestor fled to that province to avoid the persecution of the Lollards.

In the reign of JAMES II, the Warings of Waringstown suffered outlawry, and their home was taken possession of by the Irish at the period of the Revolution, and most of their family records destroyed.

JOHN WARING settled within the civil parish of Toome, County Antrim, and married Mary, daughter of the Rev Thomas Pierse, Vicar of Derriaghy, in that county, by whom he had three sons and several daughters.
One of Mr Waring's sons, Thomas, carried on the family tradition of tanning, having settled in Belfast about 1640. Since he was English and not Presbyterian, he had no difficulty in dealing with the Cromwellian regime.

Having become one of its most prosperous citizens, Thomas Waring was appointed Sovereign (mayor) of Belfast, 1652-55. He lived in Waring Street.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM WARING (1619-1703), became possessed (by purchase from the soldiers of Lord Deputy Fleetwood's regiment of horse) in 1656, of the district of Clanconnell (of which the Waringstown estate formed a part), and shortly after built the present mansion and adjoining church.

He served as High Sheriff of County Down in 1659.

Mr Waring wedded firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of William Gardiner, of Londonderry, and had issue,
SAMUEL, his heir;
Mary, m Richard Close of Drumbanagher.
He espoused secondly, Jane, daughter of John Close, and by her had issue, with six daughters, seven sons, of whom the eldest,
THOMAS, High Sheriff of Co Down, 1724.
The eldest son,

SAMUEL WARING (1660-1739), of Waringstown, High Sheriff of County Down, 1690, MP for Hillsborough, 1703-15, married, in 1696, Grace, daughter of the Rev Samuel Holt, of County Meath, and had issue,
SAMUEL, his heir;
Richard, died unmarried;
Holt, a major in the army;
Jane, m to Alexander Macnaghten;
Sarah; Frances; Alice.
The eldest son,

SAMUEL WARING, of Waringstown, High Sheriff of County Down, 1734, died unmarried, 1793, and was succeeded by his nephew (5th son of Major Holt Waring),

THE VERY REV HOLT WARING (1766-1830), of Waringstown, Dean of Dromore, who married, in 1793, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of the Rev Averell Daniel, Rector of Lifford, County Donegal, and had issue,
Eliza Jane;
Anne;
Louisa;
Frances Grace, m Henry Waring, of Waringstown;
Jane.
The Dean's cousin and son-in-law,

MAJOR HENRY WARING JP (1795-1866), of Waringstown, espoused, in 1824, Frances Grace, fourth daughter of the Very Rev Holt Waring, of Waringstown, Dean of Dromore; and had (with three other sons, who died in infancy),
THOMAS, of whom presently;
Holt;
Henry;
Mary Louisa; Elizabeth Mary; Frances Jane; Anne; Susan; Selina Grace.
Mr Waring was succeeded by his eldest son, 

COLONEL THOMAS WARING JP, (1828-98), of Waringstown, High Sheriff of County Down, 1868-9, MP for County Down, who married firstly, in 1858, Esther, third daughter of Ross Thompson Smyth, of Ardmore, County Londonderry. She dsp 1873.

He wedded secondly, in 1874, Fanny, fourth daughter of Admiral John Jervis Tucker, of Trematon Castle, Cornwall, and had issue,
HOLT, his heir;
Ruric Henry, Lieutenant RN;
Esther Marian; Mary Theresa; Frances Joan Alice.
Colonel Waring espoused thirdly, in 1885, Geraldine, third daughter of Alexander Stewart, of Ballyedmond, Rostrevor, County Down.

The eldest son, 

HOLT WARING JP DL (1877-1918), married, in 1914, Margaret Alicia (1887–1968), youngest daughter of Joseph Charlton Parr, of Grappenhall Heyes, Warrington, Cheshire,  banker, industrialist, and landowner, though the marriage was without issue.

MARGARET ALICIA WARING CBE JP, widowed in 1918.

When her husband was killed in action at Kemmel Hill, France, she chose to remain at the Waring family's 17th century home, Waringstown House, and became active within the local community.
Mrs Waring took a keen interest in Orangeism, serving as deputy grand mistress of Ireland, county grand mistress of Down, and district mistress of Down lodge no. 4 in the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland in 1929.
In 1929, she was elected to the Northern Ireland parliament as the official Unionist candidate for the single-seat constituency of Iveagh in County Down.

She was one of only two women standing for election and, as the only one to be elected, became the third female member of the Northern Ireland parliament (her two predecessors being Dehra Parker and Julia McMordie).

In 1933, she was appointed CBE for Political, Philanthropic, and Public Services.

Following her retirement from parliament, Mrs Waring continued to participate in public affairs.

From the mid-1930s, she was a member of the Northern Ireland war pensions committee, and in 1934 became a member of the Northern Ireland unemployment assistance board.

A longstanding enthusiast for cricket, in 1923 she was the first woman elected onto the committee of the Northern [Ireland] Cricket Union, and in 1954 became its president.

Failing health in later life having caused her to withdraw from wider public activities.

Mrs Waring died at Waringstown House, Waringstown, County Down, on the 9th May, 1968.

The Waringstown estate was inherited by her nephew, Michael Harnett, his wife Anne, and their children, Jane and William.


WARINGSTOWN HOUSE, Waringstown, County Down, is said to be one of the earliest surviving unfortified Ulster houses.

It was built by William Waring - who also erected the adjacent church -  in 1667.

The house seems to have been originally of two storeys with an attic; with pedimented, curvilinear gables along the front, still existent at the sides.

The front was swiftly raised to form three storeys, thus providing a late 17th or early 18th century appearance.

The centre block is of six bays, with a pedimented doorcase flanked by two narrow windows.

The two central bays are enclosed with rusticated quoins, as are the sides of the centre block and wings.

The front is elongated by two short sweeps, ending in piers with finials.

There are lofty, Tudor-Revival chimneys.

Waringstown House lay empty for a period, when Mrs D G Waring died in 1968.

The Waring family used to own a town house at 13 Victoria Square in London.


THE DEMESNE grounds here have their origin in the late 17th century and are surprisingly modest, considering the considerable architectural importance of this house, built on rising ground (apparently on the site of a rath) by William Waring (1619-1703), who founded the village, formerly Clanconnel.

In 1689, the extension was added to the south by the Duke of Schomberg, who occupied the house before the battle of the Boyne.

Pineapple-topped gate pillars are in the yard, possibly of early 18th century date.

The original house had a bawn, outside of which lay, as shown on a map of 1703, a series of regular enclosures, some of which were gardens and orchards.

These formal grounds, evidently expanded by William's son, Samuel Waring MP (1657-1739), contained some fine trees: In 1802, the Rev John Dubourdieu noted that there were then oaks of great size, a notable walnut in the ‘yard adjoining the house’ and ‘some of the largest beech in this county’.

Some of these were evidently lost in the "Big Wind" of January, 1839, when it was reported that ‘a row of noble beeches were prostrated’.

Although in the later 18th century the grounds were naturalised and extended with additional shelter belt plantations by Samuel Waring (1697-1793), much of original early 18th century planting survived into the 19th century.

In 1837, for example, Lewis remarked on the ‘ancient and flourishing forest trees’ that then existed at Waringstown, noting also that ‘the pleasure grounds, gardens and shrubberies are extensive and kept in the best order’.

The Ordnance Memoirs, also written in the 1830s, noted that the early Victorian gardens here included an ‘ornamental ground very tasteful’ and a flower garden ‘reckoned the best in the county’; this were located to the south of the house.

To the northwest lay the kitchen garden, which was 18th century in origin and enclosed with clipped beech hedges rather than walls. It was approached by a long path from the house court and contained kitchen stuff and orchards; this is no longer used as originally intended.

To the west of the house there is a Victorian rockery, made of massive flints from Magheralin, with a pond and rustic stone arch, built sometime after 1834 and before 1860.

In the 1980s, Alan Mitchell made a list of the present collection of flora, now in possession of the owner of the house.

The UAHS publication for the area (1968) noted that the grounds and planting here associated with the building, were not just ‘of equal value as a setting and an amenity’, but were also important to the village of Waringstown itself - a self-evident observation perhaps, but worth re-stating.

By and large, the layout of the demesne has changed little from 1834.

The southern end is taken up by the cricket ground, which includes a rath.

First published in March, 2013.

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