“By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg!” . . . “By God, sir, so you have!”

In general, I do not read up about any of the National Trust properties we visit ahead of the visit. Maybe I should, from time to time. On our way to Holyhead recently, for an overnight stop before we took the ferry over to Ireland early the next morning (for our National Trust tour of Northern Ireland), we visited Plas Newydd, a mansion alongside the Menai Strait, and home to the Paget family, Marquesses of Anglesey.

There has been a house at Plas Newydd since the late 13th century. The house today reflects the significant changes made by James Wyatt in the late 18th century. There are stunning views along the Menai Strait north to the famous Stephenson Britannia Bridge (the original was constructed in 1850), south towards Caernarvon on the mainland, and further east, of course, the Snowdonia panorama fills the skyline.

The original Paget family home was at Beaudesert, an estate near Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, in the 16th century. Plas Newydd, acquired by the Pagets in the 18th century, was only a holiday retreat, but eventually became their permanent residence.

I didn’t know too much about the estate nor the family, apart from something I’d read about the flamboyant 5th Marquess (featured on the cover of the National Trust magazine for Spring 2017) who squandered much of the family’s wealth, and died, aged 29, in 1905. The consequence of his debts was the sale of Beaudesert by the 6th Marquess in the 1930s, which was demolished but not in its entirety. Many of the contents, particularly paintings, were brought to Plas Newydd. Those in the drawing-room are particularly notable.

The 1st Marquess, Henry William Paget (as the Earl of Uxbridge) was one of the Duke of Wellington’s senior commanders (of the heavy cavalry) at the Battle of Waterloo, who was elevated to the marquessate of Anglesey just three weeks after the battle. Towards the end of the battle, he was struck on the leg by a cannonball, apparently eliciting the exchange between him and Wellington that I have used as the title of this post.

The Duke of Wellington was not well disposed towards Uxbridge, who had eloped with the Duke’s sister-in-law, but who he eventually married. He had eight children by his first wife, and seven surviving infancy from his second marriage. There is a several displays in the house of the Marquess’s regalia, his uniforms, even one of his artificial legs. He was eventually promoted Field Marshal.

In the ample grounds there are many walking trails, a small arboretum, and a terraced garden on the north side of the house.

On the wall of the small Gothick Hall, with its balcony, are early Paget ancestor (which you can just see through the open door from the Music Room). The Music Room itself opens off the left side of the hall.

Through a small door in the far corner of the Music Room, there is an elegant staircase leading to the first floor bedrooms. On the wall above the staircase is an impressive full-length portrait of the Duke of Wellington.

Just a few bedrooms are open to view, including the Alcove Bedroom, opened to the public in 2013, from which there is a wonderful of the Menai Strait. Very relaxing! The bedroom of Shirley, Lady Anglesey and wife of the 7th Marquess, is decorated in pink. Either side of the fireplace are paintings by Constant Joseph Brochart (d. 1889). But what is more remarkable is the hand decoration to the bed posts and canopy that was added by family friend and British artist, designer and illustrator Rex Whistler (d. 1944). More of him later, downstairs. Beyond Lady Anglesey’s bedroom is the bedroom of the 7th Marquess. In several rooms there are examples of old wallpapers.

The study of the 7th Marquess on the ground floor has several desks, piled high with books and documents. He was an enthusiastic military historian. The wallpaper reflects this interest.

Lady Anglesey kept a study at the south end of the house, overlooking the Menai Strait.

Along the east side of the hall (Menai Strait side), several rooms flow from one to another: the drawing-room, a breakfast room, and the dining room with the famous room-length painting by Whistler, and some exquisite trompe d’oeil illustrations on the end walls.

From a vestibule behind the Gothick Hall, you pass through to the drawing-room. At first glance, its colour scheme doesn’t seem to work: green and blue, and a red smaller carpet in front of the fireplace. But I had an enormous feeling of relaxation just walking into this room. Several large landscape paintings by Flemish painter,Balthazar Paul Ommeganck (c. 1789), cover the walls. They were brought from Beaudesert, and cropped to fit the available space. The effect is most pleasing.

Beyond the drawing-room is the breakfast room, with a bust of the 7th Marquess, by Whistler, on the mantelpiece.

Then you come to the masterpiece that is the Whistler painting in the dining room. And how stunning it is, providing different perspectives on the mountains when viewed from different angles.

What a stunning finale to our tour of Plas Newydd, which fitted in perfectly with our plans to visit Northern Ireland. I’m sure we will repeat the pleasure one day.


Springhill: a complicated genealogy

Springhill House, near Moneymore in Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is a typical ‘Plantation House‘, a 17th century farmhouse that was embellished in the 18th century with the addition of single storey wings, and pavilions with Dutch gables on either side of the avenue leading up to the front of the house.

Constructed in about 1680, it was the home of the Conyngham family of Scottish settlers who came to Northern Ireland from Ayrshire around 1611. Becoming the property of the National Trust in 1957, the house had remained in the same family until then. The family name had changed to Lenox-Conyngham in the early 18th century. The genealogy is complicated by there being multiple Georges and Williams.

To one side of the entrance hall is a small study with a fine display or guns and swords, especially a long gun on one side of the fireplace. Original 18th century wallpaper was uncovered during the restoration of Springhill by the National Trust.

Ceilings are quite low in the 17th century parts of the house, but much higher in the 18th added wings. This can be seen quite distinctly, moving from the library, to the drawing room, and into the dining room.

Springhill is said to be haunted, by the ghost of Olivia, second wife of George Lenox-Conyngham (whose portrait hangs in the ‘haunted’ bedroom). Was he murdered by his wife or did he commit suicide? A secret door and passage were found in the bedroom, which you can just make out in the far right corner beyond the wash-stand, in the photo below. Was this how Olivia crept in to commit the foul deed? Some documents were found, but the evidence is circumstantial. We will never know for sure.

There’s an interesting costume museum, and ample opportunity for long walks on the estate. The weather (and time) was against us.

The Full Monty

With extensive parkland, some of the most beautiful formal gardens, an elegant yet somewhat understated house that simply oozes wealth, position, and history, Mount Stewart on the Ards Peninsula in Co. Down has everything (map).

The Mount Stewart estate (then known as Mount Pleasant) was purchased in 1744 by wealthy merchant Alexander Stewart. His son became the 1st Marquess of Londonderry in 1816. Mount Stewart is the family home.

If I mentioned the name Robert Stewart, this would probably just evince a shrug of the shoulders. Mention Viscount Castlereagh, however, and the reaction would probably be very different, as he was one of the most influential politicians and diplomats of his age, Foreign Secretary in the British government, and a visionary of the Congress of Vienna in 1814-15 that sought to re-establish peace and order (and national borders) to post-Napoleonic Europe. Castlereagh became the 2nd Marquess of Londonderry in 1821 on the death of his father, the 1st Marquess. Yet he had committed suicide just a year later, and the title passed to his half-brother, Charles, who married (as his second wife) one of the wealthiest heiresses of the age, Lady Frances Anne Vane-Tempest. Her wealth gave the impetus for expansion and refurbishment of Mount Stewart. Charles had served as one of the Duke of Wellington’s generals in the Peninsula War, and was Ambassador to Austria at the time of the Congress of Vienna. After this marriage, the family name became, and continues as, Vane-Tempest-Stewart.

Mount Stewart became the principal home of the 7th Marquess and his wife Edith. She was a great socialite and political hostess, and much of today’s decor and the impressive formal gardens are due to her influence and creativity. Their youngest daughter, Mairi, their only child to be born there, was bequeathed Mount Stewart in the 7th Marquess’s will. One of Mairi’s daughters, Lady Rose Lauritzen, still has an apartment at Mount Stewart, and while we were touring the house, I saw her describing some ‘Congress chairs’ to one of the National Trust volunteers in the dining room.

There’s so much to see at Mount Stewart. It must be the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the National Trust in Northern Ireland. I’ve read that the Mount Stewart is counted among the world’s top ten gardens!

So let’s start with the grounds, followed by the formal garden, and then a tour of the house.

We took the lakeside walk, about a mile and a half, encountering the White Stag of Celtic legend, and visiting the family burial plot, Tir n’an Og.

To the south of the house, and up a slight hill about 10 minutes walk, you can find the Temple of the Winds, built in the late  18th century (before the house was even built). There are wonderful views over Strangford Lough to the west, and Scrabo Tower, just south of Newtownards on the other side of the lough. Scrabo Tower was constructed in 1857 as a memorial to Charles, 3rd Marquess. It has now been re-opened in partnership with the National Trust.

On the west side of the house, which faces southwest, there is a Sunken Garden and the Shamrock Garden, with a topiary Irish harp, as well as the Red Hand of Ulster planted with bright red salvias. Along the top of the hedges, there are other topiary figures.

You enter the larger garden through an impressive black and gilded gate. What a feast for the eyes, with lots of mythical animals, extinct ones like the dodo for example, and one clearly male fox!

You can explore the house on your own, but there are very knowledgeable and friendly National Trust volunteers in each room, ready and able to fill in the detail.

The entrance hall is quite unexpected, as you first pass through a modest vestibule, with the hall opening out into a sea of light.

Passing from the hall, towards the dining room, there is a very large portrait of the 3rd Marquess above an arch. To one side are some cabinets with articles of the family’s wealth and connections on display. In the room itself, there is a fine portrait of Castlereagh (the 2nd Marquess), and the ‘Congress chairs’ lining the wall beneath a portrait of a familiar figure: Napoleon Bonaparte.

From the dining room, you can enter the study of the 7th Marquess, and through to a Saloon-cum-breakfast room. The ceiling rose is mirrored in the beautiful inlaid woodwork on the floor. The table standing in the middle of the room is a so-called Irish coffin or wake table.

Lady Edith developed her own drawing room, luxuriously furnished, but homely at the same time. There’s a portrait of her on the wall.

At the bottom of the staircase, there are cabinets on either side displaying the family china. The cantilevered staircase divides halfway up, beneath a huge painting of a racehorse, that’s clearly out of proportion: in the horse itself, the length of the groom’s legs, and the right arm of the other boy.

Finally, in a large and very grand drawing room the walls are covered with portraits of family members, and lined with other objets d’art.

It’s no wonder that Mount Stewart is one of the National Trust’s most popular destinations. The history of the house and the family is almost unparalleled. And if you are ever in Northern Ireland, the trip out to Strangford Lough and Mount Stewart has to be high on your list of attractions. We were not disappointed. You won’t be either.




Fermanagh’s finest . . .

The National Trust manages three properties in Co. Fermanagh in the southwest of Northern Ireland: Castle Coole; Florence Court; and Crom. Florence Court is the Trust’s furthest west property in the United Kingdom. We took in all three on our recent tour of National Trust properties in Northern Ireland, but not on the same day.

Castle Coole and Florence Court and  are elegant 18th century mansions, just a few miles apart near Enniskillen. Crom is a little further south, on the east shore of Upper Lough Erne, close to the border with the Irish Republic (map).

Interior photography is not permitted inside Castle Coole and Florence Court. The interior images included in this blog post are provided courtesy of, and used with permission, from the National Trust, to which I am most grateful. Access to both houses is through a guided tour.

Castle Coole was built by Armar Lowry-Corry, 1st Earl Belmore between 1789 and 1798. He was the grandson of Belfast merchant John Corry who had purchased the estate in 1656. A fine Queen Anne house used to stand on the estate, to the north of the present mansion. The current and 8th Earl still lives in a cottage on the estate, and the family still has access to the south wing. It became the property of the National Trust in 1951 (from the 7th Earl), although the family still own most if not all the contents.

Castle Coole is a very grand, somewhat austere, Neo-Classical mansion with Portland stone façades, built to impress. It appears to have just been placed in the middle of a parkland. Nothing to soften the exterior. But that belies a delight for the eyes inside.

The rear of the house, from the north at the site of the Queen Anne house

There are no formal gardens at all close by. Irish architect Richard Johnston was originally commissioned to design Castle Coole, but got no further than the basement, after which renowned English architect James Wyatt was handed the brief to redesign and complete the building. He also designed some extremely elegant interiors, especially the Saloon, and the furniture to fill it. In fact, the Saloon is one of the most elegant rooms I have seen in my many visits to National Trust properties, and it’s a pity that I’m unable to share any images here.

The entrance hall has four massive scagliola columns, and beyond an impressive double cantilevered staircase, there is another saloon on the first floor, also with scagliola columns.

There is an impressive State Bedroom, decorated in a deep red, on the first floor that was prepared in 1821 for the expected visit to Castle Coole by King George IV. He never got much further north than the outskirts of Dublin, having encountered one of his many ‘lady friends’ there. Obviously he must have found a visit to Castle Coole (and the long journey that would have entailed) less attractive than the charms of M’Lady. Apparently the bedroom has never used on a regular basis subsequently.

All around the outside of the building is an underground passage way, that permitted servants to move about unseen from the residents above. This passage connects, through an impressively wide tunnel (wide enough to accommodate a carriage and four, apparently) to a large stable yard to the north east. Supplies for the house, coal in particular, could be brought right up to the house and stored for easy access in underground storage rooms.

Florence Court sits well in its landscape, the estate nestling below Benaughlin Mountain in the Cuilcagh Mountain range, that straddles the border between C. Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and Co. Cavan in the Republic.

Home to the Earls of Enniskillen, the exact architectural history of Florence Court is somewhat of a mystery. Its central structure is flanked by two pavilions connected by colonnaded passages.

Like at Castle Coole, there is an underground passage that allowed servants to move around without being seen.

The decor of the rooms is defined by stucco plasterwork of the highest quality. When a major fire gutted the entrance hall and rooms immediately above in 1955, the National Trust was faced with a major challenge to repair the damage to the same standard. It is remarkable what they achieved. It’s somewhat ironic that Florence Court had no electricity supply until 1954, and it was an electrical fault that caused the fire! Fortunately, the fire itself did little damage to the rooms either side of the central section, apart from water damage that, at one point, threatened to bring down the ceiling in the drawing room. This was quickly rectified by the judicious drilling of several holes (two of which can still be seen) to allow the water to drain. What is also remarkable is how many of the original pieces of furniture, paintings and other objets d’art were saved. In the entrance hall, there is a rather fine bust of King William III. His travelling trunk is also in the hall, and that of his wife, Mary II, is on display in one of the bedrooms. The nose of the bust has clearly been damaged. Apparently, in the haste to remove artefacts from the burning building, King Billy was unceremoniously thrown on to the lawn outside, and the end of his nose broke off. The butler found it a few days later and glued it back on!

The outbuildings include a laundry with the highest ceilings I think I’ve seen in such a room, just appropriate for hanging out the drying linen.

There are extensive trails to explore throughout the estate, with views of the surrounding mountains. Because of the weather, and wanting to take an early tour of the house in the afternoon, we only took a short walk. There is a working water-wheel-driven sawmill, as well as a smithy in the grounds.

A large walled garden was developed by Charlotte, wife of the 4th Earl in the 1880s. The National Trust is working hard, and with results already, to restore this garden to its former glory.

Florence Court is well worth a visit. It had been high on my list of Trust properties in Northern Ireland. We had to dodge some pretty serious showers (as we did throughout our week in Northern Ireland), but we enjoyed about four hours walking around the estate, and taking the house tour. We learned that the title went to Andrew John Galbraith Cole in Kenya, who became the 7th earl in 1989, and who still resides in Kenya on his 40,000 acre estate!

There is privately-owned castle (not open to the public) on the Crom Estate, home to the Creighton (or Chrichton) family, Earls of Erne, built in 1820. The family acquired the estate in 1609, and there is also a ruined castle on the estate, on the shore of Upper Lough Erne. The estate is managed by the National Trust.

Leaving Florence Court by mid-afternoon, we reached the Visitor Centre by about 4 pm, and apart from two other couples we were the only visitors. The Visitor Centre closed at 5 pm. In any case, we wanted to take the short walk (less than a mile) to the ruins to take in a view of the lough, and the Creighton Tower on Gad Island, about half a mile offshore. Near the ruins are some impressive yew trees said to be about 1000 years old.

Following this visit, and closer to 6 pm, we headed back to our base on Mid-Ulster, via Co. Monaghan in the Republic and along one road, the A3/N54, that almost imperceptibly crisscrosses the border in just a few miles, and will be a complex situation to resolve during the Brexit talks.


Let’s call the whole thing off . . .

Thus end verses in the 1937 song penned by George and Ira Gershwin. And that’s what I was humming to myself after a recent visit to the National Trust’s Castle Ward, on the shore of Strangford Lough in Co. Down, Northern Ireland (map). It was built in the 1760s for Bernard Ward, 1st Viscount Bangor. However, the Ward family (originally from Cheshire) owned the estate since the 16th century, and an Old Castle (from about 1590) still stands north of the house.

The 1st Viscount and his good lady, Lady Ann Bligh, had very different tastes. It’s a wonder they went on to create a dynasty. But they did, having four sons and four daughters.

Bernard and Ann didn’t see eye to eye on all things architectural. As you drive up to Castle Ward (from the west) you see a typical Neo-Classical 18th century mansion, epitomised by its symmetry. Walk round to the east side, with its views over Strangford Lough, and you are faced with something quite different: 18th century Gothic. What an unexpected surprise, and a dramatic contrast. Certainly an interesting combination.

Neo-Classical and Georgian Gothic side by side, back to front

The view of Strangford Lough from the Gothic, east-facing side of Castle Ward

But the Bangor husband and wife differences were not restricted to the house’s exterior. It is almost perfectly divided down the center, Neo-Classical decor on one side, Gothic on the other. Quite extraordinary!

Ward’s son Nicholas succeeded as the 2nd Viscount, but having been declared insane, he died in 1827, unmarried and childless. The title passed to his nephew Edward. The current Viscount Bangor, the 8th, lives in London with his wife, Royal biographer Sarah Bradford, but they have an apartment at Castle Ward for their use. Castle Ward passed to the National Trust after 1950 when the 6th Viscount died, and the estate was accepted in lieu of death duties.

Entering through a Victorian porch on the south end, there is a staircase on the right leading to bedrooms on the first floor.

Just off this entrance is Lady Ann’s boudoir, with its flamboyant ceiling based apparently on that in Henry VII’s chapel in Westminster Abbey.

Passing through Boudoir into the Drawing Room, one encounters a room full of the Ward treasures, paintings, objets d’art, and furniture.

Further on, a study has paintings of the various Viscounts. The 5th Viscount (d. 1911) I think it was, had been a keen sailor, and desired to be buried at sea. It’s said that immediately after the funeral the Dowager Viscountess had his body consigned to Strangford Lough from the end of the family jetty. At least this is what National Trust volunteer guide George told us. You can see George in the photos above describing a beautiful tea chest.

On the west side of the house (the Neo-Classical side), there is a grand entrance hall, and off that a fine dining room.

From the Library, there is a ‘secret’ door to passages and a stairwell that would have been used by the servants to come and go without being seen.

Several bedrooms are open on the first floor. The Viscountess’s bedroom has original 18th century wallpaper, and there’s a wonderfully decorated screen in front of the fire.

The estate is extensive at Castle Ward, with walks down to the Old Castle, the farmyard, and along Lough (estate map).

Close to the house and stable yard is a Victorian sunken garden and a rockery.

We also discovered that Castle Ward is one of the locations for ‘Game of Thrones’. And I suspect that many of the tourists we saw that day had come to Castle Ward for that purpose rather than taking in the beauty of the house itself.

On our way to Castle Ward, we stopped at Rowallane Garden (map) and had a very enjoyable wander through its natural and formal parts over almost 90 minutes. It’s certainly a haven of tranquility. And we discovered that Rowallane Garden is the headquarters of the National Trust in Northern Ireland. Rowallane Garden was laid out by the Rev. John Moore in the 1860s, and developed further by his nephew, Hugh Armytage Moore after 1903.

Deceptively sumptuous in Co. Armagh . . . women and children first

Walter MacGeough Bond

Built by Walter MacGeough Bond in the 1820s along the banks of the River Blackwater in Co. Armagh, The Argory was the fourth National Trust property we visited during our recent tour of Northern Ireland.

The estate was in the family since the 1740s. The family name was originally just MacGeough, but Bond (the maiden name of the grandmother of Walter) was added by Royal Licence in 1824. Walter was the fourth child of Joshua McGeough of Drumshill. Because of particular restrictions in his father’s will, Walter did not inherit Drumsill House (now a hotel), so invested in expanding his estate at The Argory. It remained the family home until 1979, and its interiors have remained unchanged since 1900.

The main entrance on the west front

The east front entrance, used increasingly as there was better coach access

The hallway from the west entrance catches one’s attention immediately. There is a spiral cantilever staircase, one of the finest examples I think I have ever seen. A large stove dominates the floor space; electricity was a late introduction to The Argory.

Off the hall is the dining room, and a very fashionable drawing room off to the other side, with several pieces of outstanding furniture, including Italian marble top tables.

Upstairs, the landing is dominated by an organ.

In one of the bedrooms, a story about the second owner Ralph (Walter’s second son), also known as Captain Shelton, is captured in a painting (a copy of the ca. 1892 original by Thomas Hemy) of the sinking of HMS Birkenhead, a troopship that foundered off the coast of South Africa in February 1852. You can see it on the wall to the left of the bed.

Captain Shelton was on board – and survived. He is depicted as the officer on the right hand side carrying two small children. On the other side of the deck the troops line up in a disciplined way, allowing the women and children into the life boats, the first instance of ‘women and children first’ enshrined in what became known as ‘the Birkenhead Drill‘. Only 193 (out of almost 650 persons on board) were saved.

The Argory is a beautiful house, quite understated on the outside, but a feast for the eyes awaits within. We enjoyed our visit, having combined it with a visit to Springhill House earlier that same day. National Trust volunteer Rosheen was an excellent guide.


Linked by an Irish harp table . . .

We landed in Dublin just after noon, taking the M50 tunnel to cross the city northwards to Northern Ireland.

We were headed to Ardboe and the west shore of Lough Neagh, where we had booked a seven night stay at a guesthouse there. Our route north took us past three of the National Trust properties that were on our list for our week-long holiday. We initially intended just to visit Derrymore House, a few miles west of Newry in Co. Armagh, then head off to Ardboe. But we found that we could also spend a couple of hours at Ardress House. And, as it turned out, there was a loose link between the two properties.

Derrymore House is only open on five afternoons a year. The National Trust rents it out as a private residence, and only one room, the so-called ‘Treaty Room’ is open to the public on these days, although there is year round access to the grounds.

Derrymore House is an eighteenth century thatched cottage, ‘in a landscape demesne’, built on land inherited from his father by Isaac Corry, born in Newry in 1755, who became MP for that city in 1776 in the Irish House of Commons. At that time, Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Ireland were separate kingdoms until the Act of Union was signed in 1800, coming into effect on 1 January 1801. Corry was Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer and government spokesman for the Act of Union.

Cottages of this type were often built just for show, to enhance a landscape, to be used for recreation. It seems, however, that Derrymore was used as a residence on a continual basis. In fact, when Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, Corry introduced an unpopular window tax, and his coach was stoned by residents near Newry on the road to Dublin, he had a by-pass road built to avoid such confrontations.

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the 1800 Act of Union was drafted in the ‘Treaty Room’.

There is a black and white photo among the National Trust’s information showing a fine Irish harp table, made by James Flood in 1799, which is purported to have some connections with the 1800 Act of Union¹. No longer at Derrymore, it now can be seen at Ardress House, less than 30 miles north, and which we visited that same afternoon.

Although photography is not normally permitted inside the house, I was given special permission (for which I am most grateful) to photograph this beautiful piece of Irish craftsmanship. It’s a feast for the eyes, with marquetry of the highest quality, showing the rose, thistle, and shamrock of England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively (what about the poor Welsh?) inlaid in the table top. The support for the table is in the form of a shamrock, and an Irish harp is also part of that support.

Ardress House was a 17th century farmhouse, nestling in 40 acres of farmland, in the apple orchards of C. Armagh that was remodelled and embellished in 1760 by Dublin chief architect Charles Ensor. His family originally came from Coventry (some 35 miles from where I live in Worcestershire), and he married the heiress of Ardress, Sarah Clarke.

It’s quite easy to see the differences between the two phases of building: lower ceilings and smaller rooms in the 17th centry farmhouse parts; higher ceiling, Neo-Classical design in those from the 18th century.

But Ardress does have another interesting feature: a perfect traditional farmyard. Just like the ones I remember from my childhood when visiting my grandparents in rural Derbyshire.

Such was the start to our Northern Ireland National Trust adventure. The omens were good the following days!

¹ There is no evidence it was ever used to sign the Act of Union. However, King George V signed the new constitution of Northern Ireland on this table in Belfast in 1921. For many years, it was ‘lost’ in storage in England, before being returned to Ardress House in 2006.