Where to stay
30 Quay Street
Ardglass BT30 7S Ireland
Mrs Anne Willis
028 44 841141 in UK
011-441 844-841-141 from Canada
History of Burford Lodge
Burford Lodge was built in 1861. In that year the original lease for the ground was drawn up between Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk the owner of the Ardglass Estate, and his uncle George Robert Beauclerk, who was then residing in Kings Castle. George R. Beauclerk had been captain in the British Army and had retired to live in Ardglass. The house, when built, was rented out and provided its owner with an annual income. Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk was the owner of the Ardglass Estate which compromised the town of Ardglass and some surrounding 3000 acres. The house remained part of the Beauclerk Estate until 1911 one Aubrey DeVere Beauclerk went bankrupt and the entire estate was sold at public auction by the principal mortgagee, the Scottish Widows’ Fund Life Assurance Society. Mr. M’Ilwaine, a solicitor bought it in trust for the sum of two hundred and two pounds. He was acting for two brothers who were to become quite well known in Ardglass – Andrew William de la Coeur Carroll and Robert Henry Wright Carroll. They came from Howth where their family was engaged in the liquor trade. Andrew had traveled widely in Canada and he was an early photographer. Both he and his brother were important members of the nascent art class golf club. Robert was a member of the first council and was a subsequent captain. When they died the property was left to a friend, Eva Lilley. On her death the house then passed through a succession of private individuals and it is now a very successful bed-and-breakfast establishment, run by Thomas Ann and Wills.
Why was a house called Burford Lodge? As might be expected this was entirely due to the Beauclerk connection. The Beauclerks were descended from illegitimate son of King Charles, the second and Nell Gwynn. The Dictionary of National Biography narrates the story that has all the marks of being authentic. One day in 1670 the king went to visit Nell and his son at her house near Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. Nell shouted to the child, “Come here you wee bastard and speak to your father”. The king said, “Nay Nay Nelly don’t speak the child like that”. “But you have given me no other name to call him by” said Neel. Whereupon the king created the youngster the Earl of Burford. The child was, in 1684, given a titled more in keeping with the status of a king’s son, Duke of St. Albans.
The title of Earl of Burford’s did not fall into abeyance. The Duke of St. Albans eldest son was given this title and presently there is a titleholder noted largely for jumping upon the Woolsack in the House of Lords because he was opposed to the proposed reform of the house! Nell Gwynn was rewarded for services to the king by being granted in 1680 the freehold of Burford Lodge. This house had been built a few years earlier in the grounds of Windsor Castle. When she died in 1687 the property passed to her son. The original Burford Lodge was at a later bought back by George III. The house still stands in the grounds of Windsor Castle and has now been converted into servants’ flats. Charles II had to supply his son with a surname as well as a title. He chose Beauclerk. Beauclerk maybe a French form of Stuart and this is a reminder of the boy Stuart blood or more probably a reminder of his descent from Henry I – often referred to in old documents as King Henry Beauclerk.