Thursday 18 June 2020

(421) Smith-Barry of Marbury Hall, Belmont Hall, Fota Island and Ballyedmond

The Smith-Barry family derive from the younger sons of James Barry (1667-1748), 4th Earl of Barrymore, who, together with his ancestors, and his successors in the earldom, has been considered in a previous post. His second and third sons, Capt. the Hon. Richard Barry (1721-87) and the Hon. Arthur Barry (1724-70) inherited 
subsidiary properties in England and Ireland: Richard receiving the Marbury estate in Cheshire and Arthur Fota Island in Co. Cork and a property at Weaverham (Ches.). The youngest son, the Hon. John Barry, did not receive an estate, but probably had a cash legacy instead. In addition, John had married an heiress, Dorothy, daughter of Hugh Smith (1672-1745) of Weald Hall (Essex), who inherited her father's properties jointly with her sister, later the Countess of Derby. In recognition of this John took the additional surname Smith after his marriage in 1746. In 1749 he bought a small estate at Great Budworth, close to Marbury Hall, on which he proceeded to build a completely new house, which he called Belmont Hall. The way John and Dorothy's marriage settlement was drawn up suggests the Smiths (quite rightly) thought John had expensive tastes and would run through their money if he had control of it. The settlement therefore vested the property in John & Dorothy's issue, and made Dorothy one of the trustees, but this careful device for the preservation of property was defeated when Dorothy died in 1756, allowing John to gain effective control of the Smith inheritance until his eldest son, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1748-1801) came of age in 1769.

Through the deaths without surviving issue of Arthur Barry in 1770 and Capt. Richard Barry in 1787, and the death of his father in 1784, James Hugh Smith-Barry inherited almost all the extensive property held by the three brothers, but if it made him rich it does not seem to have made him happy. As a young man he had racketed around Europe and the Near East with a group of friends on an extended Grand Tour, and amassed a large collection of art and antiques. On his return, however, he did not marry and settle down to raise a family, but became increasingly reclusive, perhaps as a result of depression. In about 1790 he bought Swerford Park in Oxfordshire and established a mistress called Ann Tanner there, by whom he eventually had five children. They appear not to have lived together since Ann stayed at Swerford and James lived increasingly at Fota; the children were brought up at Swerford. The children were all acknowledged and the elder son, John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) became James' principal heir, but they were all quite young when James died in 1801. He left Ann the Swerford estate for life, and an annuity of £500 a year, and clearly envisaged that she would remain there and bring up the children to adulthood, even if she subsequently married. However, when she did marry in 1802, James' trustees saw fit to take the children away from their mother and place them in the guardianship of relatives in Ireland (probably the Courtenays at Ballyedmond, as Robert Courtenay was one of the trustees). Ann remained at Swerford until about 1805 but then moved away, and Swerford was eventually sold in about 1820, after which it was remodelled. 

John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) inherited Marbury, Belmont, Fota, and lands in Huntingdonshire when he came of age in 1814, and in the same year he married one of the daughters of Robert Courtenay of Ballyedmond and his elder sister married one of Courtenay's sons - a double alliance which eventually brought Ballyedmond to John's descendants. He sold Belmont (which his father had been trying to sell since 1791) in 1801, and later the Swerford estate, and invested the proceeds in buying the other moiety of the Hamerton estate and in enlarging and remodelling Fota House to the design of Sir Richard Morrison. Like several members of the family, John was a keen yachtsman and the situation of Fota on Cork harbour was no doubt a major consideration in selecting this estate for his principal residence. Work was apparently in progress at Fota for much of the 1820s, and it was probably at the same time that his younger brother, James Smith-Barry (c.1798-1861) also employed Morrison to build Lota Lodge not far away.

John Smith-Barry had four sons and one daughter. The eldest son, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56) inherited the Fota and Marbury estates, but unlike his father and grandfather seems to have preferred Cheshire to County Cork. In the 1840s he began a radical remodelling of Marbury Hall in French Renaissance style to the designs of Anthony Salvin, which was interrupted by the impact of the famine years in Ireland on his disposable income, and which was only completed after his son had inherited the estate. James' younger brother, Richard Hugh Smith-Barry (1823-94) inherited Ballyedmond from his Courtenay cousins, and this estate remained the property of his descendants until 1960, when it was sold and soon afterwards demolished.

James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56) had two sons, the Rt. Hon. Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry (1843-1925), a Conservative politician and MP who was raised to the peerage as Baron Barrymore in 1902 (reviving at a lower degree the peerage title held by his ancestors); and James Hugh Smith-Barry (1845-1927). As the elder son, Arthur inherited the Marbury and Fota estates, and also had a town house in London. As a largely absentee landlord and politician in the forefront of resistance to land reform, his estates became a particular focus for agitation by the National League, and his agents were threatened with physical violence. He had two daughters but no surviving son, so the peerage died with him and the Fota and Marbury estates passed under an entail to his younger brother's son, Col. Robert Raymond Smith-Barry (1886-1949). Col. Smith-Barry, who made a notable contribution to air warfare during the First World War by establish a system for the rigorous training of pilots, also inherited property in Wiltshire from his father. He sold Marbury Hall in 1932 for conversion into a country club, and in 1939 he sold Fota and the family's Huntingdonshire estate to Lord Barrymore's younger daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Bell (1894-1975). After the Second World War he moved to South Africa, where he died in 1949. Mrs Bell remained the enthusiastic custodian of Fota until her death in 1975, when her heirs sold the estate to University College, Cork. 

Marbury Hall, Cheshire

An ancient manorial site which was acquired in 1684 by the Earl Rivers, and passed in 1714 to his son-in-law, the Jacobite 4th Earl of Barrymore. The first visual record of the building is said to be a naive mural at Hall Green Farm, Acton Bridge, which shows a rather improbable four-storey brick house with cross-windows, of eight bays by four with an older gabled building behind and a later addition at the front consisting of a pair of semi-circular two-storey bays, linked by a lower block with a porch on the front. The painting is usually said to date from c.1740 but the depiction of semicircular bays must mean that it is rather later. Assuming - and it is perhaps a large assumption - that the painting is anything like an accurate depiction, it may be that we have a 16th or 17th century gabled house, to which a four-storey block was added in the mid-to-late 17th century, which was in turn partially refronted in the mid 18th century. Relating this to the ownership history may suggest work for Earl Rivers, perhaps in the 1680s, and for the Hon. Richard Barry after 1748.

Marbury Hall: the house as depicted in a mural at Hall Green Farm, Acton Bridge.

Marbury Hall: the house as depicted in an engraving of 1819.

Our next visual document is a pair of similar engravings published in about 1819, which show a very different house. Nothing in this view is gabled or of four storeys. Instead we have 'a spacious, irregular building of brick', of one and two storeys, 'with a corridor (i.e. colonnade).... of the Doric order... in the principal front'. We know from later plans that this house occupied three sides of an irregular courtyard. Clearly, if the earlier view relates to Marbury, there has been a great deal of demolition, as well as new building, since it was painted. These changes could have been made either by the Hon. Richard Barry before his death in 1787, or for James Hugh Smith-Barry (1754-1801), although if they were carried out by the latter, the works are more likely to belong to the period around 1790 than to the last years of his life, when he lived chiefly in Ireland.

Marbury Hall: engraving of the house from Twycross' Mansions of England & Wales, 1849.

Marbury Hall: the house from the avenue in the early 20th century

James's will specified that his collections should be moved from Belmont to Marbury, and that a gallery should be built at Marbury to display them all together. However, James' heir, John Smith-Barry, preferred County Cork to Cheshire, and invested heavily in the improvement of Fota House. Although his father's collection was concentrated at Marbury, the gallery was never constructed, and the house remained much as it was until John's son, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56) inherited the estate in 1837. In 1841, he married Elizabeth Shallcross Jacson, who shared his interest in architecture, and soon afterwards he consulted William Andrews Nesfield (1793-1881) about improvements to the grounds. Nesfield, who was working nearby at Arley Hall, evidently advised that it would be a waste of money to landscape the gardens when the house itself needed improvement, and he perhaps suggested his brother-in-law, Anthony Salvin, as the architect for a radical transformation. Salvin’s plans envisaged remodelling the house in the style of a Second Empire French chateau, with heavy mansard roofs, dormers, turrets and a dome. Work started in 1842, but towards the end of that year there was a fire in the saloon, in which many pictures were completely destroyed and others damaged beyond repair. The family lived in the west wing whilst the remodelling proceeded, and this part of the house survived relatively unchanged, while the centre and the east wing were completely remodelled. By the winter of 1847-8 many of the rooms were completed including the dining room, billiard room, library and the hall, but then work stopped, probably because the famine years in Ireland reduced rental income or caused it to be diverted to other purposes. A directory of 1850 calls the house 'a spacious and elegant mansion of brick with stone facings, in the French style of architecture, which has been upwards of seven years in building, and considerable alteration, and additions have to be made to this stately residence before it is completed.’ The house was finally finished in 1856-58, when a further £7,700 was spent. 

Marbury Hall: entrance hall, with part of the statuary collection, 1929
The house became a country club in 1932, but part of the Smith-Barry collection remained there until the 1940s, when the house was requisitioned. At first it housed British and American troops, and later the Polish Free Army, but later in the war it became a Prisoner of War camp. In 1948 the site was sold to ICI Ltd, which used the house (and the nissen huts in the park) as temporary accommodation for their workers. In 1961 the house was sold on to a property developer, Lesley Fink & Co., who planned to convert the house into offices or flats. This never happened, and neglect of maintenance rapidly caused serious decay and dry rot. In 1968-69, just before the demolition of listed buildings required consent, Fink & Co demolished the house. It is said that the demolition rubble was collapsed into the cellars. The grounds are now a country park, and only two massive rusticated 18th century gatepiers and a section of the walled garden (the site of a garden centre) remain.

Descent: sold 1684 to Richard Savage (d. 1712), 4th Earl Rivers; to son-in-law, James Barry (1667-1748), 4th Earl of Barrymore; to second son, Hon. Richard Barry (1721-87); to nephew, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1748-1801); to illegitimate son, John Smith-Barry (1793-1837); to son, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56); to son, Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry (1843-1925), 1st Baron Barrymore; to nephew, Col. Robert Raymond Smith-Barry (1886-1949), who sold 1932 to T. Place; sold 1932 to George Smith of Warrington; sold 1948 to ICI Ltd; sold 1961 to Lesley Fink & Co., property developers, who demolished it in 1968-69. The house was leased 1891-1914 to Arthur Hornby Lewis, a Liverpool merchant.

Belmont Hall, Great Budworth, Cheshire

The Hon. John Smith-Barry (1725-84), who had married a wealthy heiress in 1746, entered into an agreement in 1749 to buy land at Great Budworth from which, according to local tradition, he could look down upon his elder brother at Marbury Hall. Here he proceeded to build the seven-by-three bay, three-storey house with five-bay links to three-bay pavilion wings set at right-angles to the garden front, which he called Belmont Hall. He seems to have approached the ageing James Gibbs - always the go-to architect for hard-line Tories and Jacobites in the early 18th century - for a design, as a manuscript memoir of Gibbs' career (now in the Soane Museum) records that Gibbs 'contrived a very convenient small house' for Smith-Barry. Although it is fairly easy to see the bones of a typical Gibbs house in Belmont Hall, the completed building has a number of features that Gibbs never used and some solecisms that Gibbs would not have committed. It would seem, therefore, that Smith-Barry probably paid Gibbs for the design and then found someone cheaper and more local to construct it, who introduced some variations from the original design in the process. This was not uncommon at the time, although deprecated by prominent architects (who made most of their fees from a percentage on building costs if they oversaw construction, and who also put up with their designs being mangled). In this case, parallels with the rebuilding in c.1750-58 of nearby Arley Hall (which has a similar bow and the same octagonal glazing) suggest that the executant may have been the local builder-architect, William Lyon. Two insurance plaques on the entrance front of Belmont Hall dated 1755 show  when the carcase of the house was completed, so work at Arley and Belmont may have proceeded in tandem. 

Belmont Hall: entrance front today

Belmont Hall: reconstruction of original James Gibbs design by Andor Gomme, 1986

The late Professor Andor Gomme published an article in 1986 in which he made a speculative reconstruction of Gibbs' original design (no original drawings for the project are known to survive), and suggested how the changes to this scheme had arisen. The chief difference between his reconstructed design and the finished building is the pair of symmetrically placed two-storey semi-circular bows on the entrance front. These are not additions as they are bonded into the brickwork of the wall behind. They created more varied room-shapes within the house and imparted movement to the exterior, both characteristics which were increasingly fashionable in the 1750s. The architect needed, however, to make the bows symmetrical to the rooms within as well as externally. That required the rooms to which they were attached to be wider than Gibbs intended, affecting the plan and meaning that there was no longer sufficient space between the bows to step forward the central three bays of the front. As a result, the pediment sits unsatisfactorily on the cornice, with no projection to give it a formal justification, and inside the hall, the cross-walls of the house are squeezed up against the side windows, with the architraves of the windows overlapping those of the doors in the cross-walls. Gomme also speculates that the present entrance doorcase, although it is to a design from Gibbs' Book of Architecture (1728), is unlikely to have been what was originally intended for the much plainer house that he believes was originally designed.

Belmont Hall: entrance hall.  Image: Country Life
Belmont Hall has a compact plan with two rooms set on each side of the hall and staircase, which occupy the centre of the house. One side had front and back drawing rooms and the other the dining room and morning room or study. We know that by 1755 Smith-Barry was short of money, and it would seem that this led to a pause in the completion of the interior. Work resumed after 1756, when Smith-Barry's wife died and he gained control over her family estates in Essex until his son, to whom they had been bequeathed, came of age in 1775. To the first, pre-1755, phase belong the staircase (which is very similar to a design in Abraham Swan's British Architect (1745), the diamond-pattern stone floors in the hall and staircase, and the austere doorcases and fireplace of the hall. When work resumed, there was more money to spend, and Smith-Barry was able to engage a leading stuccadore - perhaps Francesco Vassalli or perhaps more than one man - to provide delicate Rococo plaster ceilings, cornices, and wall decorations throughout the house. The finest decoration is in the front drawing room, which has rich and delicate stucco wall panels and an elaborate ceiling. The room above it, no doubt the best bedroom, has Chinoiserie decoration, with pagodas, trellis and Chinese faces, and on the staircase there is a very fine drop between the windows, with a portrait medallion of Diana, surrounded by beautifully modelled ornament from which depends a trophy of hunting horns, bows and arrows; this is similar to trophies at Hagley Hall (W0rcs) which are known to have been made by Vassalli. Other rooms have simpler decoration in the same style, except for the rear drawing room, which was originally hung with tapestries and has plain walls. James Hugh Smith-Barry, who inherited in 1784, was a passionate collector of paintings and sculpture much of which was housed here until after his death.

Belmont Hall: drawing room in 1937.

The north and south lodges to the estate seem to be contemporary with the house, and were conceivably also designed by Gibbs. The north lodge has corner pilasters and a heavy cornice and a projecting Tuscan porch. The south lodge is similar but simpler. Interestingly, this is an early example of a full-scale country house being built on a very small estate. When it was bought in 1749 it was just 108 acres and although it increased a little later it was never more than 212 acres.

Descent: built for Hon. John Barry (later Smith-Barry) (1725-84); to son, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1754-1801); to illegitimate son, John Smith-Barry (1793-1837), who sold to Henry Clarke; sold to Joseph Leigh (b. 1768); to son, James Heath Leigh (d. 1848); to son, Joseph Leigh (1830-69); to brother, Oswald Peter Leigh (1833-76); to son, Oswald Mosley Leigh (1864-1949); to son, Oswald Edward Stanley Mosley Leigh (b. 1890); to son, Richard Chandos Leigh (b. 1940). The house was leased for much of the 20th and 21st centuries, with tenants including (from 1919-26) Roscoe Brunner and (since 1977) Cransley School.

Fota House, Fota Island, Co. Cork

Fota (or Foaty as it was sometimes called) Island is part of the small archipelago in Cork Harbour, and is said to have formed part of the original grant of land in County Cork to the Barrys in the 13th century. When the 4th Earl of Barrymore divided his estates between his surviving sons at his death in 1748, Fota came to Arthur (1724-70), the third son of his third marriage, who also inherited a property at Ruloe, Weaverham (Ches.) and who had interests in Belfast, for which he sat as MP in the Irish Parliament, 1757-60. Arthur lived principally in Cheshire, and there seems to be no clear evidence that he had a house at Fota, but the modest five-by-three bay villa which forms the centre of the present house at Fota must have been built either for Arthur in the 1750s or 1760s, or for his younger brother John Smith-Barry, who succeeded him in 1770. Since both men were usually resident in England, Fota was no doubt used as a pied-a-terre for the family when visiting their Irish estates, and did not need to be of any great size. No view seems to be known of the 18th century house before its later enlargement.

John Smith-Barry (1793-1837), who was a keen yachtsman, seems to have preferred Fota to his Cheshire estates, and fairly soon after his marriage in 1814 to Eliza Mary Courtenay from Ballyedmond, he settled at Fota and retained Sir Richard and William Vitruvius Morrison to enlarge it.
Fota House: rejected design by W.V. Morrison for enlarging the house,
published in The Builder, 1850.

A scheme to build a vast new Elizabethan-style house onto the southern end of the existing building was thankfully rejected in favour of expanding the house in a Regency classical style. The house is not closely dated, but it was probably built around 1825, for in 1828 J.P. Neale published a view of the completed house and commented that 'the house has lately been considerably enlarged and improved under the advice and superintendence of Messrs. Morrison of Dublin'. Although there are few documents about the building, it is known that the wallpapers were ordered in 1828-30, so work continued after the death of Mrs Smith-Barry in 1828. There are close parallels between some of the interior decoration and that at Ballyfin House (Co. Leix), where the Morrisons were working from 1822-26.

Fota House: a charming sketch of the house shortly after enlargement by Henry Hill, c.1830. Image: Irish Heritage Trust.
The original five-bay two-and-a-half storey house faced south-west over parkland. The Morrisons extended it to seven bays, and then added two-storey wings, lower than the main block, to either side. The walls are rendered and painted off-white, with typically Irish fine-grained blue-grey limestone used for the window architraves, string courses, angle quoins and the pedimental gables on the wings. The wings have tripartite ground-floor windows with low pediments echoing the shape of the gable-ends above. In the centre is a monumental Greek Doric porch, entirely executed in the grey limestone which seems rather dark and gloomy when unrelieved by the white render. It has a full and heavy entablature in which wreaths alternate with the Barry crest in the metopes, and which is topped by a row of acroteria above the cornice. 

Fota House: entrance front in 2019. On the left is the long gallery added in 1897, with the earlier service wing behind.
Fota House: garden front in 1965. Image: Hugh Doran/Irish Architectural Archive.
On the garden front, the original five-bay house is more apparent, and it sits between wider wings which are brought forward to form broad shallow bows. The service range was built to the north of the house and was set back from the entrance front and screened by shrubberies; it is unusually well-preserved, and includes a particularly appealing octagonal game larder which preserves its central metal rack for hanging the game. In 1872 a conservatory and billiard room were added to the north-west corner of the house, to the designs of Sir John Benson; the conservatory was later replaced in 1897 by a long gallery designed by William H. Hill.

Fota House: entrance hall, 2019

The porch leads into an entrance hall which occupies the full width of the original 18th century house, and which was created by removing the walls between the original entrance hall and the rooms to either side. The room is divided into three sections by screens of paired Ionic columns in yellow scagliola which support beams, disguised as entablatures, that replace the dividing walls. At either end of the room are small lobbies, with further scagliola columns flanking niches containing urns which close the vista down the room. The result is an extremely satisfying and dramatic interior, even though the room is not lofty and the plasterwork is relatively simple. The entablature picks up the alternation of wreaths with the Smith-Barry crest found on the frieze of the porch.

Fota House: drawing room. Image: Irish Heritage Trust.
To the right of the hall, in the wing, are the drawing room and library (at the time of writing the library has been stripped of all its plasterwork to deal with an outbreak of dry rot, but restoration is planned), approached by a small ante room. The drawing room occupies the wide curved bay on the garden front of the wing. The three rooms all have plasterwork designed by the Morrisons and closely related to their drawing room ceiling at Ballyfin. The ceilings have deep borders with floral wreaths containing birds, alternating with lozenges of bay leaves containing trophies of musical instruments and hunting paraphernalia. The drawing room and ante room ceilings also have pretty painted decoration and gilding added by Sibthorpe & Son of Dublin in the 1890s. To the left of the hall are the dining room and a small study, which occupies the other curved bow on the garden front. The dining room is rectangular and has a screen of grey scagliola Corinthian columns at the inner end. The rich plasterwork has a ceiling border of vines on a trellis ground and a frieze of bucrania draped with garlands.

Fota House: dining room. Image: David Dixon. Some rights reserved.
Fota House: staircase hall, 1984.
Fota House: staircase hall dome. Image: source unknown.

The staircase hall is set at right-angles to the axis of the entrance hall and projects out rather awkwardly into a two-storey rectangular bay in the centre of the garden front. A large tripartite window lights the half pace of the staircase and is set above the garden door, but the fact that the levels do not align with the windows to either side is not concealed and is visually disturbing. Inside, however, the staircase is another glorious space, with a stone staircase with brass balusters and a mahogany handrail rising under a domed ceiling with richly moulded plasterwork. At the head of the stairs a pair of Tower of the Winds columns in antis frame the entrance to a lobby leading to a secondary staircase rising to the second floor, while a transverse corridor provides access to the bedrooms. The principal bedroom suite is placed over the dining room and includes a charming apsidal boudoir with a barrel-vaulted ceiling and a half-dome with a little skylight filled with coloured glass.

The house is approached by drives from lodges to the north-east and south-east. The main approach is from the north-east and has a Grecian lodge by the Morrisons which is a near copy of one at Ballyfin, with Doric columns  in antis across the front. The gatepiers are surmounted by carved figures of wolves and have the Barry family motto ('Boutez en avant') on panels on the external face; they derive from a design in Papworth's Rural Residences (1818). The two-storey Belvelly Bridge lodge, to the south-east, was designed by John Hargrave in about 1835. Also by Hargrave is the now ruinous banqueting house known as The Tower, which stands on the western tip of the island, overlooking Cork Harbour, and adjoining the yacht dock built by John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) for the sailing which was his chief hobby. Formal gardens, which include a seven-bay orangery on the axis of the garden front, were laid out north and east of the house in the mid 19th century, with an arboretum beyond them. They were begun by James Smith-Barry (1816-56) but are largely the work of his son Arthur (1843-1925), the 1st Baron Barrymore. 

Fota remained in the Smith-Barry family until 1975, when it was sold to University College Cork. The house was then let to Richard Wood, who restored it with the assistance of John O'Connell as architect, and made it a gallery for his collection of Irish landscape paintings and topographical watercolours, which he opened to the public. Unfortunately, in the late 1980s the estate was sold to property developers, causing the collection to be removed. The house then deteriorated rapidly. In 1991 it came into the hands of the Fota Trust, which undertook extensive conservation work in 1999 under the direction of the Office of Public Works. In 2007 Fota was acquired by the Irish Heritage Trust which has undertaken further restoration and reopened the house to the public, while also using it as a wedding and events venue. A small number of the important landscapes from Richard Wood's collection have been purchased by the Irish Goverment and are now displayed in the house, but it is sadly short of historic contents. The wider demesne was regrettably broken up around 1990 and now also accommodates a wildlife park, the Fota Island Resort, with the inevitable golf course, and some housing; these detract considerably from the setting of the house.

Descent: probably built for Hon. Arthur Barry (1724-70); to brother, Hon. John Barry (later Smith-Barry) (1725-84); to son, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1748-1801); to illegitimate son, John Smith-Barry (1793-1837); to son, James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56); to son, Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry (1843-1925), 1st Baron Barrymore; to nephew, Col. Robert Raymond Smith-Barry (1886-1949), who sold 1939 to cousin, Mrs. Dorothy Bell (1894-1975); sold after her death to University College, Cork.

Ballyedmond, Midleton, Co. Cork

This was a large neo-classical mansion consisting of a six-bay central block connected by straight links to wings set at right-angles which appear to be rather later than the centre. There was a house here in the 18th century which was either demolished and replaced or remodelled by Abraham Hargrave junior in 1809-11 for Robert Courtenay (c.1756-1844) and his son George (1795-1837). The new house was a six bay two-storey block with a two-bay breakfront continued above the low blocking course as a raised panelled tablet supporting an urn. The ground floor windows were set in arched recesses with low-relief carving on the tympani of the arches, and there was a boldly projecting Doric porch in the centre. The single-st0rey links joining the centre to the wings were treated as triumphal arches on the entrance front. The two-storey wings although broadly consistent in style with the centre block, had much fuller cornices supporting the roof and moulded architraves to the windows, suggesting a date in the 1830s. The ends of the wings were blank and decorated with shallow recesses framed by concentric arches between pairs of niches under a long horizontal blank panel.

Ballyedmond House: entrance front and side elevation. Image: Tony Harpur.

Ballyedmond House: entrance front. Image: Tony Harpur.
Inside, the entrance hall had pilasters and a black and white marble pavement. To the right of the hall was an imposing wooden staircase with barley-sugar twisted balusters. The principal drawing room and dining room lay along the garden front, the former being decorated in Louise Seize style, with panels of watered silk. The wings contained smaller living rooms rather than service accommodation, which must have been located in the basement. The house was sold in 1960, when the family could no longer afford the maintenance of the house and grounds, and was unceremoniously demolished by the purchaser shortly afterwards.

A large and well-wooded demesne extended on both sides of the Owennacurra River and was laid out with extensive curving drives and a number of gate lodges. The stable court stood north of the house and faced the entrance front. Although the main house has gone, most of the former gate lodges survive, the most impressive being those at the main gate close to Ballyedmond Bridge. These are little cubes with shallow hipped roofs and wide cambered-headed windows, originally tripartite, derived from plate 1 of Soane's Sketches in Architecture (1798), and have unusual carved vermiculation on the window surrounds and gatepiers. They are similar to lodges designed elsewhere in Ireland by Sir Richard Morrison, and since George and Eliza Courtenay of Ballyedmond both married into the Smith-Barry family, for whom Morrison remodelled Fota House in about 1820, it seems likely that he was the architect here. A fine balustraded limestone bridge with curved approach sweeps also survives in the former grounds.

Descent: Mary Browne of Ballyedmond married John Courtenay (b. c.1705); to son, George Courtenay (d. 1791); to son, Robert Courtenay (c.1756-1844); to son, John Courtenay (d. 1861); to nephew, Richard Hugh Smith-Barry (1823-94); to son, Robert Courtenay Smith-Barry (1858-1930); to nephew, Thomas Guy Burton Forster (later Smith-Barry) (1886-1962), who sold 1960; demolished soon afterwards.

Hamerton Manor, Huntingdonshire

An account of this house is given in my post on the Bedell family of Hamerton, baronets.

Lota Lodge, Glanmire, Co. Cork

Lota Lodge, from Hodges' Houses of Cork (1911), 
A two-storey villa with a prominent circular room at the angle, a further semicircular bow, wide eaved roof and iron verandah, which was stated in 1856 to have been designed by 'the famous architect Morrison' and built at a cost of some £10,000. It was no doubt commissioned by James Smith-Barry (c.1798-1861) while the Morrisons were altering Fota House for his brother. Lota Lodge was almost completely gutted by fire in October 1856 but reinstated, only for there to be a further fire in 1902 followed by rebuilding in 1903. After a period following the Second World War when it served as a seminary, the house became an hotel in 1964 and is now known as the Vienna Woods Hotel.

Descent: built c.1830 for James Smith Barry (c.1798-1861); sold to George Richard Barry MP (1825-67), a London merchant; sold after his death to Arthur Sharmon Crawford (1811-91); to son, Arthur Frederick Sharman-Crawford (1862-1943)... sold 1951 to Brothers of Charity; sold 1964 to Joan Shubuek, who converted it into an hotel.

Smith-Barry family of Marbury Hall and Fota Island

Capt. the Hon. Richard Barry (1721-87) 
Barry, Hon. Richard (1721-87).
Second son of the Rt. Hon. James Barry (1667-1748), 4th Earl of Barrymore, by his third wife, 
Lady Anne (d. 1753), youngest daughter of Arthur Chichester, 3rd Earl of Donegall, born 4 September and baptised at St James Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), 29 September 1721. An officer in the Royal Navy, 1733-46 (Lt., 1740; Cdr., 1745), but this did not stop him acting as his father’s secretary in negotiations between the English Jacobites and the French, and he was employed rallying Jacobite supporters in London and Westminster. In June 1744 he was sent by his father to join the French expedition against England which was being prepared at Dunkirk, with a view to using his experience as a naval officer to assist the French in effecting a landing on the English coast. This unquestionably treasonable behaviour did not stop his promotion in 1745 but did terminate his active naval career, which seems a modest penalty as he remained on half-pay for the rest of his life. He succeeded his father as MP for Wigan, 1747-61, but was an inactive member; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1762-63At Dunkirk he formed a close friendship with the Young Pretender, with whom he remained in contact on his own behalf until at least 1750. He married, 4 May 1749, Jane (d. 1751), daughter and heiress of Arthur Hyde of Castle Hyde (Co. Cork), and had issue:
(1) A son (d. 1751); died of smallpox in infancy, 19 October 1751.
He inherited the Marbury estate in Cheshire from his father in 1748.
He died at Marbury (Ches.), 23 November 1787; his will was proved 22 April 1788. His wife died of smallpox, 19 October 1751.

Hon. John Smith-Barry (1725-84) 
Barry (later Smith-Barry), Hon. John (1725-84).
Fourth and youngest son of 
the Rt. Hon. James Barry (1667-1748), 4th Earl of Barrymore, by his third wife, Lady Anne (d. 1753), youngest daughter of Arthur Chichester, 3rd Earl of Donegall, born 28 July 1725. High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1765-66 and of Co. Cork, 1770-71. He took the additional name Smith after his marriage. He was an enthusiastic racehorse owner and cockfighter, and perhaps on account of the associated gambling ran into debt. His debts were still not settled in 1797 when his eldest daughter left the bulk of her estate towards paying them off. He married, April 1746, Dorothy (d. 1756), elder daughter and co-heiress of Hugh Smith of Weald Hall (Essex) and had issue:
(1) Ann Dorothy Smith-Barry (1747-97), baptised at Great Budworth, 9 September 1747; died unmarried in London on or after 23 December 1797, and was buried at Great Budworth, 2 January 1798; will proved in the PCC, 30 December 1797;
(2) James Hugh Smith-Barry (1748-1801) (q.v.);
(3) Catherine Smith-Barry (1750-93), born 31 May and baptised at Great Budworth, 14 July 1750; had evidently quarrelled with her elder brother, to whom she left only a ring 'in forgiveness of past unkindness'; died unmarried and was buried at Great Budworth, 23 December 1793; will proved in the PCC, 16 January 1794;
(4) John Smith-Barry (1751-52), born 6 May and baptised at Great Budworth, 31 May 1751; died in infancy and was buried at Great Budworth, 6 April 1752;
(5) John Smith-Barry (1753-56), born 14 December 1753 and baptised at Great Budworth, 14 January 1754; died young and was buried at Great Budworth, February 1756;
(6) Richard Smith-Barry (1755-1805), born 2 November 1755 and baptised at Great Budworth, 5 February 1756; lived in Fitzroy Square, London; married, 29 August 1796 at Finsbury (Middx), Jane Lodge (d. 1806); buried at Great Budworth, 12 October 1805; will proved 1 October 1805.
He bought the site of Belmont Hall in 1749 and leased Aston Park House (Cheshire) from 1748 until he was able to move into the completed house at Belmont in c.1755. He acquired a moiety of the Hamerton (Hunts) estate through his marriage and Fota Island from his brother Arthur in 1770.
He died 9 September, and was buried at Great Budworth, 11 September 1784. His wife was buried at Great Budworth, 21 January 1756.

James Hugh Smith-Barry (c.1748-1801) by A. Kauffman 
Smith-Barry, James Hugh (1748-1801).
Eldest son of Hon. John Smith-Barry (1725-84) and his wife Dorothy, elder daughter and co-heiress of Hugh Smith of Weald Hall (Essex), 
born 25 December 1748 and baptised at Great Budworth, 18 January 1748/9. Educated at Eton (1762-67) and Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1767; created MA 1770) and then travelled in Europe and the Middle East, 1771-76. In Italy, he visited Rome, Naples and Sicily before travelling on with a group of friends including Lord Winchilsea and Thomas Dashwood, on a two-year tour to Malta, Constantinople and Egypt. On returning to Italy he saw Capua and Florence. During his travels he bought works of art, classical sculpture and medals 'on a lavish scale but with little discernment', although his collection included a number of important works, including the Jenkins vase (now in the National Museum of Wales). His travels were curtailed when his father stopped payment of his bills and he returned to England via Dresden and Paris in considerable debt. He travelled again in 1779, visiting Florence, Rome (where Angelica Kauffman painted his portrait) and Naples. In 1781 he bought a statue of Zeus from the Villa d'Este for £600, which was probably his most important purchase (now in the Getty Museum in California). After inheriting his father's estates and considerable wealth in 1784 he became increasingly reclusive and lived chiefly at Fota, although his collections were divided mainly between Belmont and Marbury.  J.L. de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye, who visited him at Fota in 1796-97 recorded that 'his riches have so surfeited him and disgusted him with the world that he has almost totally retired from society, and lives rather a melancholy life in his island'. He was High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1795-96, but otherwise took no part in public affairs. He was unmarried, but had acknowledged issue, by his mistress Ann Tanner (b. c. 1756), for whom he rented Swerford Park (Oxon), where the children were brought up:
(1) Caroline Augusta Smith-Barry (c.1792-1853); married, 30 July 1814 at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), George Courtenay (d. 1837), High Sheriff of Co. Cork in 1826, eldest son of Robert Courtenay of Ballyedmond (Co. Cork) and had issue two sons (who predeceased her) and one daughter; died 28 May 1853;
(2) John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) (q.v.);
(3) Narcissa Smith-Barry (1794-1831), born 26 August and baptised at Fulham (Middx), 16 September 1794; married, 28 April 1821 in Dublin, as his first wife, Hon. George William Massy (1794-1835) (who m2, 1 October 1834, Mary Jane Crosbie), second son of Hugh Massy, 3rd Baron Massy and had issue three sons; drowned while crossing the River Shannon for a dinner engagement in fog, 9 January 1831;
(4) Louisa Smith-Barry (c.1796-1872), born about 1796; married, 7 September 1819 at Mortlake (Surrey), Rt. Hon. Thomas Berry Cusack-Smith (1795-1866), Master of the Rolls in Ireland, younger son of Sir William Cusack-Smith, 2nd bt., and had issue one son and five daughters; died 18 April 1872; will proved 6 June 1872 (effects under £1,500);
(5) James Smith-Barry (c.1798-1861), born about 1798; educated at Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1815); lived at Lota Lodge, which he built c.1825-30; married, 1835 (licence 31 August) at St Marylebone (Middx), Eliza Yarnel (d. 1880); died at Lota without issue, 29 October 1861; administration of goods (with will annexed) granted in Dublin 4 December 1861 (effects in Ireland under £25,000 and in England under £16,000).
He inherited Belmont Hall, Fota House and Hamerton from his father in 1784 and Marbury Hall from his uncle in 1787. Belmont Hall was advertised for sale from 1791 but not actually sold until after his death. He had a town house in Upper Harley St., London.
He died at his house in London, 18 November 1801; his will was proved in the PCC, 24 December 1801 and a further grant was issued 27 May 1865. After his death, his children were taken to Ireland and brought up by guardians. His former partner married, 21 August 1802 at Hook Norton (Oxon), Simon Chinner (1770-1845), son of Amos Chinner, and remained at Swerford Park until c.1805, after which she disappears from view; she probably died before 1820.

John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) 
Smith-Barry, John (1793-1837).
Elder illegitimate son of James Hugh Smith-Barry (c.1748-1801) by his partner, Ann Tanner, born 24 February and baptised at Fulham (Middx), 26 March 1793. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1811). High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1819-20 and County Cork, 1825-26. He was authorised by royal licence, with his siblings and issue, to bear the name and arms of Smith-Barry, 20 December 1821. Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Squadron, 1833-37. He married 1st, 21 April 1814, Eliza Mary (1797-1828), second daughter of Robert Courtenay of Ballyedmond (Co. Cork), and 2nd, 24 March 1835 at Daresbury (Ches.), Mary Felicia (1801-69), second daughter of Gen. Peter Heron of Moor Hall (Ches.), and had issue:
(1.1) James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56) (q.v.);
(1.2) Anne Smith-Barry (1817-34), born 14 March 1817; died unmarried and was buried 8 December 1834;
(1.3) John Smith-Barry (1818-34), born 25 September 1818; buried 9 April 1834;
(1.4) Robert Hugh Smith-Barry (1820-49), born 13 January and baptised at Great Budworth, 25 January 1820; educated at Eton; an officer in the Light Dragoons (Cornet, 1839; Lt., 1841; Capt., 1846); died unmarried of consumption at Funchal, Madeira (Spain), 25 April 1849;
(1.5) Richard Hugh Smith-Barry (1823-94) [see below, Smith-Barry of Ballyedmond].
He inherited Marbury Hall, Hamerton and Fota Island from his natural father in 1801 and came of age in 1814. He enlarged and remodelled Fota House in the 1820s, acquired the second moiety of the Hamerton estate and probably pulled down the manor house there.
He died 24 February and was buried at Great Budworth (Ches.), 8 March 1837; his will was proved in the PCC, 28 June 1837. His first wife died 16 April 1826. His widow died in Leamington Spa (Warks), 22 July and was buried 25 July 1869; her will was proved 7 September 1869 (effects under £5,000).

Smith-Barry, James Hugh (1816-56). Eldest son of John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) and his first wife, Eliza Mary, second daughter of Robert Courtenay of Ballyedmond (Co. Cork), born 27 January 1816. Educated at Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford (matriculated 1833). JP and DL for Co. Cork; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1846-47 and of Co. Cork; Admiral of Royal Cork Yacht Club, 1846-56. He married, 16 September 1841, Elizabeth (1823-1915), eldest daughter of Shallcross Jacson of Newton Bank (Ches.), and had issue:
(1) Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry (1843-1925), 1st Baron Barrymore (q.v.);
(2) James Hugh Smith-Barry (1845-1927) (q.v.);
(3) Geraldine Smith-Barry (1847-94), born 26 April 1847; married, 17 October 1867, Col. Henry Verney (1844-1902), 18th Baron Willoughby de Broke, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 21 December 1894 and was buried at Compton Verney (Warks); will proved 4 March 1895 (effects £503);
(4) Maude Smith-Barry (1849-1936), born 19 July 1849; Vice-President of Ayr division of British Red Cross and Chairman of Carrie House Hospital Committee during First World War; awarded OBE, 1920; married, 25 November 1868, Richard Alexander Oswald VL JP (1841-1921), of Auchencruive House and later of Mount Charles, Ayr (Ayrs.), but had no issue; died 18 March 1936; will confirmed, 22 May 1936 (estate £17,846).
He inherited Marbury Hall, Fota Island and the Hamerton estate from his father in 1837, but lived chiefly on his Cheshire estate.
He died 31 December 1856; his will was proved in the PCC, 27 July 1857. His widow married 2nd, 26 January 1871 at Compton Verney (Warks), as his second wife, Rt. Hon. George Warren (1811-87), 2nd Baron de Tabley, but had no further issue; she died aged 93 at Christchurch (Hants), 14 March 1915.

Rt. Hon. A.H. Smith-Barry, 1st Baron Barrymore 
Smith-Barry, Rt. Hon. Arthur Hugh (1843-1925), 1st Baron Barrymore.
Elder son of James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56) and his wife Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Shallcross Jacson of Newton Bank (Ches.), born 17 January 1843. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1863). JP for Cheshire, Co. Cork and Huntingdonshire; DL for Co. Cork; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1883-84 and Co. Cork, 1886-87; MP for County Cork, 1867-74 and for South Huntingdonshire, 1886-1
900. He was sworn of the Privy Council, 1896, and was raised to the peerage as Baron Barrymore, 18 July 1902 (taking his title from the earldom held by his ancestors). He was a high profile Conservative politician in Ireland and as Vice-President of the Irish Landowners Convention was tasked by A.J. Balfour with organising landlord resistance to the National League's 'Plan of Campaign', 1886-91. His own tenants on his estate at Tipperary reacted by refusing to pay their rents, and when they were evicted set up a new settlement ('New Tipperary') which was financially supported by the National League. Ultimately, however, the cost of this proved unsustainable and contributed to the collapse of the 'Plan of Campaign' movement. Smith-Barry was a keen huntsman until incapacitated by an accident in the field; he then took up yachting and was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, and Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, 1890-1925. On one occasion he was riding in Rotten Row when his horse bolted and knocked down the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), an accident which the Prince happily took in good part. He married 1st, 17 August 1868, Lady Mary Frances (d. 1884), third daughter of Edward Richard Wyndham-Quin, 3rd Earl of Dunraven & Mountearl, and 2nd, 28 February 1889 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Elizabeth (d. 1930), daughter of Gen. James Wadsworth of Geneseo, New York (USA), military governor of Washington DC in the American Civil War, and widow of Arthur Post, and had issue:
(1.1) James Hugh Smith-Barry (1870-71), born 22 October 1870; died in infancy, 18 May 1871;
(1.2) Hon. Geraldine Smith-Barry (1869-1957), born 9 June 1869; married 1st, 18 July 1893, Henry Burleigh Lethem Overend (d. 1904), son of John Overend of Dublin and Edenderry House (Co. Armagh), and 2nd, 9 November 1917, Maj. James William David Thomson (d. 1943), eldest son of Maj. Chadwick Thomson, but had no issue; she died 23 December 1957; will proved 20 May 1958 (estate £19,030);
(2.1) Hon. Dorothy Elizabeth Smith-Barry (1894-1975) (q.v.).
He inherited Marbury Hall, Fota Island and the Hamerton estate from his father in 1856 and came of age in 1864; he also had a town house in Hill St., Berkeley Sq., London.
He died 22 February 1925; his will was proved 18 June 1925 (estate £492,277). His first wife died at Bex (Switzerland), 21 September 1884; administration of her goods was granted 13 November 1884 (effects £1,211). His widow died 9 May 1930; will proved 10 July 1930 (estate £3,432).

Smith-Barry, James Hugh (1845-1927). Younger son of James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-56) and his wife Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Shallcross Jacson of Newton Bank (Ches.), born 11 January and baptised at Leamington Priors, 28 March 1845. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1864). An officer in the Grenadier Guards (Ensign & Lt., 1865; retired 1867); High Sheriff of Co. Louth, 1870; JP for Wiltshire (from 1901). He married, 1 December 1874 at Killesher (Co. Fermanagh), Lady Charlotte June (1847-1933), eldest daughter of William Willoughby Cole, 3rd Earl of Enniskillen, and had issue:
(1) Col. Robert Raymond Smith-Barry (1886-1949) (q.v.).
He inherited property (but apparently no residence) in Co. Louth. He rented White Hall, Tarporley (Ches.) for some years and later Stowell Park, Pewsey (Wilts) from about 1900.
He died in London, 30 June 1927; his will was proved 29 December 1927 (estate £1,489). His widow died 3 September 1933; her will was proved 30 November 1933 (estate £1,325).

Robert Raymond Smith-Barry (1886-1949) 
Smith-Barry, Col. Robert Raymond (1886-1949).
Only child of James Hugh Smith-Barry (1845-1927) and his wife Lady Charlotte Jane, eldest daughter of William Willoughby Cole, 3rd Earl of Enniskillen, born 4 April 1886. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1904). He taught himself to fly on Salisbury Plain in 1911 and served in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force from 1912-18 (Col.). He was awarded the Air Force Cross, 1918, and the Belgian Order of Leopold. He suffered two broken legs in a crash in France in 1914 close to the advancing German front, but despite his injuries managed to escape capture and return to England. 
His most notable contribution to the Air Force was in developing flying instruction methods. In December 1916 he masterminded a complete reorganisation of flying training methods, establishing the "Gosport System" which was adopted worldwide. He returned to the Air Force in the Second World War, working as a ferry pilot and ground instructor. He married 1st, 2 August 1913, Kathleen Beatrice Melita (1878-1941), youngest daughter of Col. George William Cockburn (1838-1924), and the adopted daughter of the Hon. & Rev. Bertrand Pleydell-Bouverie (1845-1926), and 2nd, 22 October 1946, Anne Gertrude (1884-1969), fourth daughter of Canon Edward Southwell Garnier of Shropham House (Norfk), but had no issue.
He inherited Marbury Hall, Fota Island and the Hamerton estate from his uncle in 1925 and the lease of Stowell Park from his father in 1927. He lived chiefly at Stowell Park (later moving to Conock Manor (Wilts)), and sold Marbury Hall in 1932 and Fota Island and Hamerton to his cousin, the Hon. Dorothy Bell in 1939. 
He died in Durban (South Africa), 23 April 1949, following an operation on his leg, which had troubled him since the First World War. His first wife died 18 May 1941; her will was proved 1 September 1941 (estate £13,677). His widow died 6 February 1969.

Mrs. Dorothy Bell (1894-1975) 
Smith-Barry, Hon. Dorothy Elizabeth (1894-1975).
Only child of Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry (1843-1925), 1st Baron Barrymore, and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Gen. James Wadsworth of Geneseo, New York (USA) and widow of Arthur Post, born 14 April 1894. She married, 6 January 1917 at St George, Hanover Square, London, Maj. William Bertram Bell (1881-1971), younger son of John Francis Bell of Northend, Durham, and had issue:
(1) Susan Wanda Dorothy Smith-Barry Bell (1917-87), of The White House, Coolbawn, Midleton (Co. Cork), born 23 October 1917; died unmarried, 20 April 1987; will proved 19 September 1987 (estate £11,435);
(2) Evelyn Nancy Bell (1921-2007), born 25 January 1921; married 1st, 30 March 1940 in Winchester Cathedral (div. 1945), Maj. George David Petherick (1917-86), barrister-at-law, of Porthpean House, St. Austell (Cornw.), and had issue one son; married 2nd, 8 June 1946 in Chelsea (Middx) (div. 1960), Capt. Michael George Dacres-Dixon (1922-2018), son of Henry George Dacres-Dixon, and had issue two sons and one daughter; married 3rd, 9 June 1961 (div. 1971), her first husband, Maj. George David Petherick; said to have died in 2007;
(3) Rosemary Elizabeth Bell (1924-2011) (q.v.).
She purchased Fota Island and Hamerton from her cousin, Col. R.R. Smith-Barry, for £31,000 in 1939. It was sold after her death.
She died 16 January 1975; her will was proved 10 November 1975 (estate, £255,505). Her husband died 28 November 1971; his will was proved 11 May 1972 (estate £4,400).

Bell, Rosemary Elizabeth (1924-2011). Third and youngest daughter of Maj. William Bertram Bell and his wife, the Hon. Dorothy Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry (1843-1925), 1st Baron Barrymore, born 25 January 1924. She married, 9 April 1948, Capt. Anthony Henry Heber Villiers (1921-2004) of The Old Priory, North Woodchester (Glos), only son of Capt. Gerald Berkeley Villiers OBE RN of Court Lodge, Lamberhurst (Kent), and had issue:
(1) (Anthony James) Valentine Villiers (b. 1949), born 8 September 1949; educated at Aiglon College (Switzerland); married 1st, 1974, Sally Wilson, and had issue one son; married 2nd, 1984, Sara, daughter of Basil Ashmead Gotto of Willowhill House, Carrigaline (Co. Cork), and had further issue two daughters;
(2) Rosemary Henrietta Dorothy Villiers (b. 1950); married 1st, 18 November 1973 (div. 1978), (Nigel Graham Cedric) Peregrine Banbury, son of Ralph Banbury; married 2nd, William Murray Lucas (d. 1982) and adopted one daughter; married 3rd, 2004, Norman Gerald Gold;
(3) Charles Henry Villiers (1954-80), born 10 May 1954; educated at Milton Abbey School; died 25 November 1980; administration of goods granted 31 March 1981 (estate £45,051);
(4) Emma Helen Villiers (b. 1963), born 16 October 1963; married, 1988 (div. 2004), Richard Henry Ronald Benyon MP (b. 1960), and had issue three sons.
She died 2 February 2011. Her husband died 28 May 2004.

Smith-Barry family of Ballyedmond

Richard Hugh Smith-Barry (1823-94)
Image: National Portrait Gallery
Smith-Barry, Richard Hugh (1823-94).
Fourth and youngest 
son of John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) and his first wife, Eliza Mary, second daughter of Robert Courtenay of Ballyedmond (Co. Cork), born 21 February 1823. Educated at Eton, 1835-38. An officer in the 12th Lancers (Cornet, 1840; Lt., 1841; Capt., 1847; retired 1850); JP and DL for County Cork and JP for Hampshire. A keen yachtsman, he was Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, 1866-90; he was also an enthusiastic follower of horse-racing. He married, 18 April 1850 at Leamington Priors (Warks), Georgina Charlotte (1826-93), daughter of Col. John Grey, and had issue:
(1) Robert Courtenay Smith-Barry (1858-1930) (q.v.);
(2) Nina Mary Gregory Smith-Barry (1859-1926) (q.v.);
(3) Aileen Emma Smith-Barry (1861-1951), born 25 April and baptised at Milton, June 1861; married, 25 April 1882 at Leckhampton (Glos), Godfrey Hugh Wheeler Coxwell-Rogers (1857-1913) (against whom she brought unsuccessful divorce proceedings in 1889, and from whom she was subsequently separated), of Dowdeswell Court and Ablington Manor (Glos), and had issue one son and one daughter; lived after her separation at Kilcrone, Cloyne (Co. Cork); died 8 January 1951;
(4) Cecil Arthur Smith-Barry (1863-1908), born 19 October and baptised at Milford, 17 November 1863; married, Jul-Sept 1894, Mary, third daughter of William Henry Barry JP of Ballyadam (Co. Cork) and had issue two daughters; died 21 November 1908; will proved 22 February 1909 (estate £5,084);
(5) Katherine Winifriede Smith-Barry (1868-1948), born 25 October 1868; lived latterly at Woodlands, Windlesham (Berks); died unmarried, 14 May 1948; administration of goods granted 22 October 1948 (estate £10,792).
He inherited Ballyedmond House from his uncle, John Courtenay in 1861.
He died 23 January 1894 and was buried in the family mausoleum at Castlelyons (Co. Cork), from which his remains were removed for forensic examination and DNA testing in 2018; his will was proved in Dublin, 23 April 1894 and sealed in London, 18 May 1894 (estate in Ireland, £23,712, and in England & Wales, £7,090). His wife died 9 September 1893.

Smith-Barry, Robert Courtenay (1858-1930). Elder son of Richard Hugh Smith-Barry (1823-94) and his wife Georgina Charlotte, daughter of Col. J. Grey of Blackford Hall (Northbld), born 19 February and baptised at Milford (Hants), 21 March 1858. JP for Co. Cork (from 1883). He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Ballyedmond House from his father in 1894. At his death the estate passed to his nephew, T.G.B. Forster, who took the name Smith-Barry. He also owned a house called Bar View, Strand, Youghal (Co. Cork).
He died at Bar View, 13 March 1930; his will was proved in Bristol, 30 May 1930 (estate in England & Wales, £57,091; in Scotland, £5,562), and in Dublin, 3 July 1930 (estate in Ireland, £18,154).

Smith-Barry, Nina Mary Gregory (1859-1926). Eldest daughter of Richard Hugh Smith-Barry (1823-94) and his wife Georgina Charlotte, daughter of Col. J. Grey of Blackford Hall (Northbld), born 15 June and baptised at Milford (Hants), 29 July 1859. She married, September 1885, Maj. Thomas Henry Burton Forster (1850-1927) of The Manor House, Holt (Wilts), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Guy Burton Forster (later Smith-Barry) (1886-1962) (q.v.);
(2) Nina Georgina Mary Forster (1893-1975), born 28 November 1893 and baptised at St Margaret, Westminster (Middx), 19 February 1894; married, 1 December 1917 at St Margaret, Westminster (div. 1936), Dennis George Farran Darley (1893-1984) of West Hall, High Legh (Ches.) (who m2, 1938, Evelyn Lillie Fitzgerald (1891-1972), daughter of John Fitzgerald Tuthill), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 16 May 1975; lived after her divorce on the Holt estate; will proved 6 October 1975 (estate £65,768).
She died 27 October 1926; her will was proved 22 December 1926 (estate £8,360). Her husband died 24 June 1927; his will was proved 9 August 1927 (estate £1,315).

Thomas Guy Burton Forster Smith-Barry

Forster (later Smith-Barry), Thomas Guy Burton (1886-1962).
Only son of Maj. Thomas Henry Burton Forster (d. 1927) of The Manor House, Holt (Wilts), and his wife Nina Mary Gregory, eldest daughter of Richard Hugh Smith-Barry, born 10 September 1886. Educated at Winchester. An officer in the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers reserve (2nd Lt., 1907; Lt., 1910; Capt., 1915; Maj., 1926), seconded to Royal Engineers during the First World War. He took the surname Smith-Barry in lieu of Forster by deed poll in 1930. His chief hobbies were mountaineering and skiing, which he pursued in the Alps, Ireland, Norway, Morocco and Tunisia in most years from 1905 until shortly before his death. He became a member of the Alpine Club from 1923, and he was also an amateur artist, painting and sketching the landscapes he loved. He married, Apr-Jun 1948, Frieda Elsa Lang alias Adler (fl. 1965) of Zurich (Switzerland), but had no issue.
He inherited The Manor House at Holt from his father in 1927, and Ballyedmond in 1930. He sold Ballyedmond in about 1960 and it was demolished soon afterwards.
He died from injuries received when butted by a cow, 29 March 1962; his will was proved 11 January 1963 (estate £81,345). His widow's date of death is unknown.

Principal sources

Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 72-73, 76-77; A. Gomme, 'A Gibbs ghost? Belmont Hall, Cheshire', Country Life, 19 June 1986; J. Allibone, Anthony Salvin: pioneer of Gothic Revival Architecture, 1987, pp. 92-93, 181; P de Figueiredo & J. Treuherz, Cheshire country houses, 1988, pp. 31-34; M. Bence-Jones, A guide to Irish country houses, 2nd edn, 1990, pp. 21, 127; Irish Architectural Archive, The architecture of Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison, 1989, pp. 92-97; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, 1999, pp. 56-57; C. Hartwell, M. Hyde, M. Hubbard & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cheshire, 2011, pp. 104, 378-79; S.R. Evans, Masters of their craft: the art, architecture and garden design of the Nesfields, 2014, p. 165; J.A.K. Deane, The gate lodges of Munster, 2018, pp. 47-48, 81-83; F. Keohane, The buildings of Ireland: Cork city and county, 2020, pp. 411-16, 515;

Location of archives

Smith-Barry family of Marbury Hall, Belmont Hall, Fota House and Ballyedmond: deeds, estate and family papers, 1596-1927 [Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, DCN; Acc. 2802]; deeds and papers, 1660-1800 [Private collection; enquiries to National Library of Ireland]; papers relating to the Tipperary estate, c.1890 [Trinity College, Dublin, MSS.5945-5948.

Coat of arms

Quarterly, 1st and 4th, argent three bars gemels gules (for Barry); 2nd and 3rd, each quarterly, 1st and 4th, gules on a chevron or, between three bezants as many crosses pattee fitchee sable; 2nd and 3rd, azure a fess argent between three porcupines or.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone supply further pictures of Ballyedmond (especially any interiors or views of the garden front)  or of Lota Lodge before it became an hotel; or any views at all of Fota House before the Morrisons enlarged it or of the manor house at Hamerton?
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • Any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated. I am always particularly pleased to hear from members of the family who can supply recent personal information for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 18 June 2020 and updated 21 June 2020, 27 October 2022 and 27 April 2023. I am most grateful to Dr. Paul McCarthy of the Royal Cork Yacht Club for his assistance with the yachting activities of this family, and to Dart Montgomery for a correction.


  1. Catherine Coakley17 August 2023 at 22:54

    Hi. I notice in your piece on the Smith Barrys of Fota, that you have used some images from the Fota Facebook series of short articles called "On this day...". Can you please acknowledge this in your sources? Many thanks. Catherine Coakley, author of these Fota Facebook entries.

    1. I should be very pleased to do so if you tell me which images are yours. I am aware that there is one image of the staircase hall above which I found on Pinterest and was not able to find the original source for. Are the images of the exterior and the entrance hall also yours? As far as I can recall now I found these online but was unable to establish the source, or I should have sought permission in advance.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.