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Clandeboye Chapel

The lovely little Chapel of Clandeboye, on the estate of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, stands within the Parish of Bangor Abbey. 

It is the private chapel of the Blackwood family, but visitors are always welcomed.

The Blackwood family came from Scotland early in the 17th century.  Their direct ancestor was John Blackwood (1591-1663), merchant, and Provost of Bangor, whose tomb-stone is preserved in the Abbey.

Other members of the family were also buried in the Abbey Graveyard.  Sir John Blackwood of Ballyleidy (1721-1779) married    Dorcas Stevenson of Killyleagh (created Baroness Dufferin and Clandeboye, 1800), descendant of Archibald Hamilton of Halcraig Lanarkshire, 2nd son of Revd. Hans Hamilton, vicar of Dunlop, Scotland, and brother of  James, 1st Viscount Clandeboye.

Clandeboye Chapel (photo Gifford Savage)

Their son, Frederick, 5th Baron and 1st Marquis of Dufferin and Ava (1825-1902) was one of the notable figures of the Victorian era.  He had a distinguished career as Governor-General of Canada, Ambassador to Russia, Viceroy of India, Ambassador in Rome and later in Paris.  A memorial to him stands to the west of the City Hall in Belfast.  He married Hariot Rowan Hamilton of Killyleagh in 1862.

On retiring from public life, Lord Dufferin planned the Private Chapel, producing many of the designs and details himself.   The Chapel was consecrated on 1st January 1898.

It contains the shaft of the Celtic High Cross of Bangor; the tomb-stone of Captain Alexander Hamilton of Granshaw, 2nd son of the Revd. Patrick Hamilton of "Inner Weeke" (Enderwick), Scotland, brother of James, 1st Viscount Clandeboye; also several ancient stones of historical interest, from the Middle East. 

Details of all these may be seen in the Chapel.

Clandeboye Chapel - interior (photo Gifford Savage)

 

Clandeboye Chapel - Celtic Cross (photo Gifford Savage)

Helen's Tower

Frederick, Lord Dufferin, also built "Helens Tower" in memory of his mother, who was a celebrated beauty and writer of the well-known poem, "The Irish Emigrant".

The Ulster Division War Memorial at Thiepval is a replica of "Helens Tower".


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