Castle Ward is Northern Ireland’s most well-known circumstance of two architectural styles clamouring for focus in the a single making: neoclassical compared to gothick. Castle Dobbs has a much less intense but nonetheless surprising twin personality: Georgian versus Italianate. More of that afterwards.
“For its date, 1750 to 54, it is really without having an equivalent in Ulster, though its fantastic Palladian strategy with flanking wings… is tough to match in a house of this scale any where in Ireland.” Prof Alistair Rowan
Established in a secluded walled and wooded demesne, Castle Dobbs is an remarkable survival, untouched by the orange glow of spreading suburbia and however owned by the household from whom its title is derived. The present Superior Sheriff of County Antrim is Nigel Dobbs. His ancestor Richard Dobbs turned Higher Sheriff of County Antrim in 1664. Its ethereal postal deal with is 74 Tongue Loanen.
The estate was proven in the 16th century when a young John Dobbs accompanied Sir Henry Dockwra to Carrickfergus in 1596. Dobbs subsequently turned Dockwra’s deputy as Treasurer of Ulster. John Dobbs was the grandson of Sir Richard Dobbs, Lord Mayor of London in 1551 and a founder of Christ’s Healthcare facility London. A title would never show up in the Dobbs lineage once again.
7 decades later John Dobbs married Margaret Dalway, the only kid of John Dalway, a landowner granted estates in Kilroot and Ballynure in 1601 by James I. Dobbs offered the newlyweds with a freehold lease of a portion of his lands in Kilroot. The few proceeded to create the very first Castle Dobbs. It was recorded in 1610:
“1 John Dobb buylte a fayre castle inside of two myle of Knockfargus identified as Dobbes Castle about w’ch he entends to buylde a bawne of stone… This Castle is buylte upon parte of Ensigne Dallawayes lande.”
Dalway had arrive to Ireland in the 1570s as an officer in the Earl of Essex’s army. In 1606 he designed a bawn (a stone enclosure for cows) on his newly obtained land. The bawn consisted of 4 10m significant towers with a 13m extended curtain wall concerning every 1. He designed his home in the middle of the bawn.
More than the entrance to the bawn is a gallows for unwelcome people. The towers experienced three floors equipped for firing cannons. 3 of the towers remain. Initially the bawn would have held 200 cows. Dalway was Mayor of Carrickfergus in 1592 and 1600. The past of the Dalways, Marriott Dalway, left with his family for Australia in 1884.
Again to the Dobbs loved ones. John and Margaret had two sons with the good names of Foulk and Hercules. Dalway normally nominated his grandson as heir considering that he was the elder son. But a family members row was to erupt above the Dalway estate.
On the dying of his very first spouse, Dalway married Jane Norton who couldn’t stand the sight of her action daughter-in-law. Norton persuaded her new husband to make a will in favour of his nephew in its place. All hell broke loose in 1618 when Dalway died. John and Margaret commenced a protracted legal fight to declare the estate for Foulk’s sake.
At the first listening to the court docket dominated in favour of the Dobbs loved ones but the elected heir challenged this ruling. Not just one to give up quickly, John Dobbs established off with his son to London to petition the king. He succeeded in getting His Majesty’s Grant to the lands of the late John Dalway.
However their triumphal return was not to be. Each Dobbs senior and junior drowned when their ship was wrecked off the Cheshire shoreline in 1622. Hercules continued the legal confrontation with all his toughness. The regulation go well with was eventually settled with a compromise when referees appointed by the Lord Chancellor dominated that Hercules be awarded lands at Castle Dobbs and Ballynure as well as rights to tenement in Carrickfergus. The remainder of the estate was awarded to Dalway’s nephew. The ruling must have manufactured for awkward neighbourly relations – Dalway’s Bawn is a stone’s throw from the entrance to the Castle Dobbs lands.
Hercules married Magdalene West of Ballydugan in 1633. They had just one son, Richard, born in 1634. Hercules died the very same year, aged 21. At just three months old, Richard Dobbs inherited Castle Dobbs together with land at Ballynure.
Richard was reared by his mother’s family in County Down close to Downpatrick and Saul. Aged 21 he married Dorothy Williams, daughter of Bryan Williams of Clints Hall in Yorkshire. After his relationship, Dobbs returned to Castle Dobbs. In 1683 he wrote,
“My dwelling, which is a plantation and advancement of my have time (tho’ descended from my terrific Grandfather)… is referred to as Castle-Dobs from a modest castle below, built by my Grandfather.” Richard established to perform bettering the castle and gardens. The ruins of this castle lie beside the latest dwelling. Dalway’s Bawn is continue to intact although the property it as soon as surrounded has disappeared into the mists of time.
On settling at Castle Dobbs he before long turned involved in civil affairs. In 1671 Dobbs was elected Mayor of Carrickfergus, an honour bestowed on him on 4 later instances. Carrickfergus was 1 of the four most critical cities of late 17th century Ireland. Perks of the job provided the prerequisite that tenants would “furnish the Mayor with a number of extra fat hens at Christmas or a specified sum in lieu”. Dobbs explained enhancements to his city:
“The way out of the north road was first paved the partitions that convey the drinking water through the churchyard were being constructed, and the city pump was established up by benevolence. The Sword and Common in the church was refurbished, and money was purchased for recasting the bell.”
Also in 1683, Dobbs started his report A Temporary Description of County Antrim. It has turn into an a must have source for nearby historians. The primary manuscript is in the Northern Ireland General public Records Business office and a copy is held in the library of Trinity College or university Dublin. As well as descriptions of the developed and organic atmosphere, he recounts tales of folklore and social actions these as searching with the Earls of Antrim at Glenarm Castle.
Richard and Dorothy Dobbs had two sons and a few daughters. The eldest son John was educated at Eton College or university for the reason that his father experienced aspirations for him to join the church. Having said that the youthful John went to a Quaker meeting in Carrickfergus and joined that sect. He returned to England to study medication and sooner or later settled in County Cork the place he worked as a health practitioner. His father was not amazed and it was one more circumstance of altering a will. John was bequeathed a measly 10 for every annum while his more youthful brother Richard inherited the relatives estate.
Richard junior enlisted in the Duke of Schomberg’s military to fight in the Williamite Wars. So these had been the progenitors of the illustrious Dobbs loved ones. A distinguished line of politicians, statesmen, churchmen, barristers and troopers was to abide by.
The present Castle Dobbs was built by Arthur Dobbs, Surveyor of the Irish Will work and afterwards Governor of North Carolina. The vacation author Richard Pococke recorded in 1752, “Mr Dobbs is now setting up on a very high-quality spot on soaring floor.” The encompassing oak trees predate the residence. Arthur’s descendent, Captain Dobbs, producing in the 20th century notes,
“The old castle almost certainly fell into disrepair – or as family legend has it: was sacked by pirates, and the present property has been included to, due to the fact it was built. The writer can remember that when alterations have been built to the upper aspect of the existing castle the interior partitions proved to be produced with turf.”
As successor to the acclaimed architect Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, Arthur Dobbs obtained a distinguished library for his part as Surveyor of the Irish Is effective. He is regarded to have owned James Gibbs’ A Reserve of Architecture, dated 1728. Plate 64 was for a ‘Draught performed for a Gentleman in Essex’. Almost certainly in no way constructed, this plate illustrates a durable Palladian nation residence like a more compact variation of Ditchley. The plate is lacking from Dobbs’ duplicate.
Sir Charles Brett considered Castle Dobbs to be loosely based on Gibbs’ design and it would seem a affordable presumption. There are some major deviations, even though. Castle Dobbs has a lifted, not sunken, basement, lending it an elevated and extra outstanding entrance than the initial design and style. In location of Gibb’s columned colonnades are courtyard quadrants with paired oeil-de-boeufs. I would go even even more than Charlie Brett and advise that Arthur Dobbs himself directed the ultimate style with plenty of support from Pearce. A conference of 3 fantastic minds?
Arthur Dobbs was a multifaceted gentleman – an agriculturalist and organiser of expeditions to learn the North West Passage from Hudson’s Bay to the Pacific. Although a member of the Irish Parliament, he obtained 400,000 acres of land in North Carolina from the McCulloch spouse and children in 1745. Dobbs was afterwards granted yet another 60,000 acres in New Hanover County. His 5,000 acres at Castle Dobbs was positively tiny fry in comparison.
In 1795 Dobbs died while he was planning to return from his new household at Cape Dread, North Carolina (also called Castle Dobbs). A further side of his life experienced been organising Scotch-Irish immigration to The usa. The very first tenants Dobbs introduced above from Eire sailed in 1751.
He set sail with “my tenants and their neighbours and good friends” from Ballycarry, Kilroot and Carrickfergus. In 1766 Dobbs organised the emigration of yet another batch of Scotch-Irish. The contingent certain for North and South Carolina included Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson. They experienced moved from their household farm beside Dalway’s Bawn to Boneybefore near Carrickfergus in preparation for their departure. Their son Andrew Jackson would turn into 7th President of the United States.
Anyway back to Castle Dobbs. The house as created comprises a 7 bay two storey double-pile principal block above a considerable basement with five bay two storey projecting wings with no basements. The two storeys of the wings are the same peak as the basement and piano nobile collectively. Two quadrants hyperlink the a few distinct sections of the creating to generate an amazing entrance entrance which embraces the customer like the wings of a large eagle completely ready to engulf its prey. The windowless elevations of projections the exact height as the main block undertaking to the rear of both of those wings.
The piano nobile is accessed by a 19th century double staircase of reddish stone with carved balustrades and piers. The entire arrangement is supported by two Greek Ionic columns flanked by plain pilasters which form a portico to the basement entrance below. A feeling of arrival is confirmed by this triumph in stone.
The basement entrance contains a double leaf timber panelled entrance doorway surmounted by a cornice on consoled brackets. Upstairs, the piano nobile has a pair of timber glazed entrance doors and a window on either aspect established in a slight three bay projection. The seven first floor home windows all have a simple surround and critical block.
Walls are dominated-and-lined render with – deep breath – chamfered vermiculated rusticated stepped quoins and plain raised quoins to the top rated flooring and south elevation. A modillioned eaves cornice to the wings continues as a string course to the central block. Windows are timber sliding sashes, with uncovered bins to the entrance front, and masonry cills.
Now the wings. The west wing is in depth like the principal block with vermiculated rusticated quoins and plain banded rustication to the basement. Its elevation overlooking the forecourt has five 12 pane windows at to start with flooring with moulded lugged architraves. A central timber panelled doorway with simple lifted stepped quoins with two plainly specific nine pane home windows to every single aspect on the ground flooring. The west elevation comprises seven bays a little irregularly put. A recessed segment at the corner of this wing and the south elevation has stairs foremost to the piano nobile with a door surmounted by a jaunty leaded corner canopy. Obtain to the basement is by means of a timber panelled door down below the stairs. The gable conclusion of the west wing is blank.
The east wing is confronted with ruled and lined render very similar to the west wing. A five bay elevation overlooks the forecourt. This five bay elevation is like an inverted view of the west wing with more substantial 16 pane sliding sash home windows on the lifted basement and smaller 8 pane sliding sash windows previously mentioned. The rear elevation is also related to that of the west wing.
The south dealing with backyard elevation has a a lot more two dimensional good quality with no projections. Alternatively, 13 bays extend down below a centrally put plain pediment in excess of the middle three bays. Plain solid parapets surmount the elevations and bracketed cornices end the wings. 4 ruled-and-lined rendered chimneys with square terracotta pots growing from the pure slate roof finish the photo.
And so for a century Castle Dobbs remained very considerably an executed variation of Gibbs’ plate. Castle Dobbs was exquisitely restored in the late 20th century and now glistens. It is the antithesis of the crumbling Irish country homes beloved by espresso desk e-book publishers. Incidentally Castle Dobbs is just one of the few region residences of the British Isles never ever to have been printed in State Daily life. But in the early 19th century, it wasn’t really so pristine. In 1839 James Boyle mentioned,
“The home is a spacious outdated fashioned mansion, the entrance entrance presenting in its central making and two projecting wings a considerably Elizabethan visual appeal. It is 3 storeys higher and presents a plain roughcast and whitened front – plantations, grounds and residence are in a incredibly neglected condition.”
The constructing appears with an more extension to the west elevation on the to start with edition OS map of 1832. Valuations display the extension to have been farm properties which were pulled down concerning 1857 and 1859.
It is possible that contemporaneous with this demolition was the restoration and remodelling of Castle Dobbs. On the south elevation, Italianate architectural dressing creeps like ivy throughout the two decreased storeys. Meanwhile the leading floor and its plain pediment look down in severity at the interloping element. The totally vermiculated rusticated basement remedy dates from this time. Absolutely this hints at the author currently being Sir Charles Lanyon, king of rustication (consider Crumlin Street Gaol which he rusticated to in just an inch of its existence). Comparable rusticated aspects had been utilized to the west wing but not to the east wing of the entrance front.
The windows of the piano nobile on the south front were being embellished with entablatures on console brackets. The thick glazing bars of the multi paned Georgian home windows ended up changed with idiosyncratic fenestration comprising two vertical panes in the upper sash and a solitary pane in the reduce sash. That’s as significantly as the remodelling went, for regardless of what purpose now lost in the sands of time.
A neoclassical rendered a few bay gatelodge on the peaceful Tongue Loanen marks the entrance to this piece of paradise. Developed in 1875, in contrast to the dwelling, its architect is known – S P Close. It has been restored. The similar architect’s gatelodge on the hectic Carrickfergus to Kilroot highway is also 3 bay but is confronted with uncoursed squared quarry-confronted basalt with limestone dressings and quoins. Tudor label mouldings to the home windows, a doorway set amongst classical columns in antis and a polychromatic chimney on the hipped roof give it an eclectic visual appeal. It lies vacant and its avenue overgrown. Two earlier 19th century gatelodges have disappeared.
The residence is approached by a gravel lane past a lake with a cascade and in excess of a bridge. The demesne is made up of fantastic mature trees grouped in shelter belts, parkland, woodland and avenues. Casual glen aspect walks have been augmented with current planting. The walled back garden to the west of the home was redesigned in 1989 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Arthur Dobbs’ birth. Dobbs was a plantsman and famous for giving the initially created reference to the Venus fly-entice (Dionaea muscipula) though Governor of North Carolina. The potting sheds are again in use alongside with a remaining glasshouse.
A collection of two storey outbuildings types a courtyard to the east of the house. Walls are random rubble with brick dressings and eaves system roofs are pitched and slated home windows are timber casements and doors are timber sheeted. With each other, the house grounds and related buildings type an estate of terrific magnificence and integrity.