Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Marquis and the Mariner's Daughter 2

The marriage entry, 9 December 1875, for Caroline Anne Caithness and John Henry Wellington Graham Loftus gives the groom's residence as Ely Lodge, Enniskillen in the County of Fermanagh, Ireland. 

This house dates back to the 1830s when the 2nd Marquis, lacking a seat in County Fermanagh (they had estates there as well as in County Wexford), built Ely Lodge on a promontory beside Lough Erne. Stone for its construction came from another family home, Castle Hume not far away, which had been demolished. 

'Ely Lodge was a large classical house ...The main front was a five-bay, two storey, stuccoed block with Tuscan pilasters and a central, columned porch. On either side were single-storeyed bowed wings.' This residence lasted for thirty years. In 1870, for a series of possible reasons described as '(1) an unwelcome visit from Queen Victoria, (2) the discovery of the agent's fiddling and (3) the building of a bigger and better house, Ely Lodge was blown up as the climax of the festivities that marked the coming-of-age of the 4th Marquis.'

The proposed new house was never built, probably because the 4th Marquis overspent on rebuilding his other seat, Loftus Hall, County Wexford. However, from his will made in 1884 it seems that the stable block at Ely Lodge was converted to domestic use and became in time the seat of the family until sold in 1947.

Loftus Hall: near Fethard-on-Sea, Co. Wexford, 'a gaunt three-storey mansion of 1871 with rows of plate-glass windows and a parapet, incorporating parts of a previous late 17th c house. The house, (which was built by the 4th Marquis of Ely after he turned 21) stands near the tip of Hook Head, an extremely windswept spot bereft of trees and shelter.' The coastal view above gives an impression of the starkness of the place.

Whether Lady Caroline Anne ever spent any time at either Ely Lodge or Loftus Hall history doesn't relate. If she did, perhaps Kearsney Abbey in the softer countryside of Kent, the 4th Marquis's English residence by the 1880s, was more to her liking.

Tom Sheldon 

No comments: