A piece of Huguenot history at a bargain price

Portarlington was a Huguenot town settled by French Protestants after the Williamite Wars and such was their impact that of all the Huguenot colonies in Ireland Portarlington‘s remained the most distinct. A map of 1678 in the National Library shows a small fort with four streets radiating from the market square. At around this time Portarlington had also been planted with English settlers on the Catholic land of the O’Dempsey’s and indeed

Portarlington was a Huguenot town settled by French Protestants after the Williamite Wars and such was their impact that of all the Huguenot colonies in Ireland Portarlington‘s remained the most distinct. A map of 1678 in the National Library shows a small fort with four streets radiating from the market square. At around this time Portarlington had also been planted with English settlers on the Catholic land of the O’Dempsey’s and indeed

the name of the town evolved from its new Patron “Lord Arlington”.

After initial problems the colony prospered, small farms were dug out of the bog, houses in the French style were built and two churches endowed - a small church for the remaining English residents and a larger one for the French. At one time as many as 16 schools offered an education in French manners to those families who could not afford to send their offspring to France itself.

Among the pupils of one of Arlington’s school is reputed to have been a young Arthur Wellesley later Duke of Wellington. It appears that this Georgian house Melrose was constructed in c.1770. Being located on main street in the centre of town it always had commercial potential and indeed the Ceylon Tea Company was run from there. Eventually the house was purchased in early 1900’s by the Hugenot Family “LeGrange” who were famous cutlers at the time. The Grange’s went on to become Farmers and land Auctioneers in the area of that time and the house was then purchased by TN Wardrop Solicitor in the 1930’s who was married to Annie Grange who lived in Foxcroft Street in what was previously the French School. He carried on his practice in this residence for 40 years until he died well into his 90’s. The house was then taken over by his son William Wardrop a Farmer until his death in 2004 at the age of 100.

Matt Dunne has been instructed by the current representatives of the Wardrop family to sell this property at the

very realistic reserve price of €150,000 excess. The property needs extensive refurbishment ie re-wiring, re-plumbing etc but the house has a lovely feeling to it and many of the original features are still intact. Accommodation includes livingroom, drawing room, office, diningroom, kitchen, 4 bedrooms and bathroom. 10ft side entrance leading to beautiful south facing walled in garden at rear. Viewing of this gem from a bygone era is a must.

Contact Matt Dunne on 057 86 23349 / info@mattdunne.ie or www.mattdunne.ie