© Alex Watson 2008 All rights reserved.

Contact us

Home

Col. George Perry McClintock Esq., J.P, D.L, Commanded the 4th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, he was A.D.C to two successive Lord Lieutenants of Ireland, the Duke of Abercorn and Earl Spencer. He married Amelia (Emy) Harriett Alexander daughter of Rev. Samuel Alexander of Termon and Charlotte Frances Beresford, daughter of the Rev. Charles Cobbe Beresford, Rector of Termon 1809-1850 (a connection of the Marquess of Waterford), they had 12 children their first son Beresford died aged 9, the second son John (Jack) Knox McClintock J.P, D.L. CBE (1921) inherited the family Estate on his father’s death in 1887. Like his father, Jack followed a career in the army rising to the rank of Colonel with the 3rd Batallion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was A.D.C to the Duke of Abercorn, when he was Governor of Northern Ireland,

 In 1893 he married Amy Henrietta Frances Eccles eldest daughter and co-heiress of John Stuart Eccles Esq., D.L of Ecclesville, Fintona, Co. Tyrone and Frances Caroline Browne of Aughentaine Castle, Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone. The landholding of the Ecclesville Estate was 9227 acres, it bordered the McClintock Estate. On retirement from the Army, Colonel McClintock was appointed County Commandant of the Tyrone Royal Ulster Special Constabulary.


John Knox McClintock.

Amy Henrietta Frances McClintock nee. Eccles.

(L-R) J.K McC, Amelia C McC, Guy McC, Amy H McC, in front, Rose Eccles (sister of Amy McC), Portrush 1896.

In 1845 Samuel McClintock Esq., J.P, arrived in Seskinore, his mother, Mary was the daughter of Samuel Perry Esq., of Perrymount and Mullaghmore, Co. Tyrone, she married Alexander McClintock Esq., of Newtown House, Co. Louth.

George Perry of Perrymount and Moyloughmore bequeathed the Perry estate to his nephew Samuel McClintock Esq., for his life with remainder to the first and other sons of said Samuel McClintock in tail male with divers remainders over.

“And reciting that by the order of the Court of Chancery in Ireland dated 17th June 1854. It was (amongst others) declared that under the will of said George Perry, the said George Perry McClintock was seized of an estate tail in possession of all the lands set forth”, “including the townlands of Drumconnelly [sic], Tullyrush, Tullyharm, Tullytemple, Rarone, Upper Mullaghmore, Lower Mullaghmore including the Mansion House and 10 acres, Moylagh, Ranelly, the mill at Ranelly and the town and lands of Seskanore all situate in the Barony of Omagh and the County of Tyrone and  also the town and lands of Freighmore, Tullyvally and Kilgort  situate in the Barony of Clogher and County of Tyrone and also the town and lands of Camowen situate in the Barony of East  Omagh and said County of Tyrone and also the town and lands of Knockadreenan situate in the Barony of Armagh and County of Armagh”, a total of 4553 acres.

The Estate devolved to Samuel after the death of George Perry's wife Mary (d.1845). Samuel had his estates mapped in 1846, they were bound in a large red book which is now at PRONI (D586), it shows the Perry and McClintock lands as one estate for the first time.

The McClintocks flourished in Seskinore, unlike many other Irish Landowners who were noted by their absenteeism, the McClintocks lived on their land. The men followed a career in the army.

Samuel McClintock married Dorothea (Dora) daughter of John Knox Esq., of Moyne Abbey, Co. Mayo, they had two sons, George Perry and Samuel John (died young).

Samuel McClintock died in 1852 aged 62, Dora survived him by 43 yrs dying on 31st August 1896 aged 92, she was a much loved member of the family, well known for her kindness and charitable work.

The house at Seskinore was remodelled and extended in 1862 to a design by Londonderry and Belfast architects, Boyd & Batt (DB 4, 15 Mar,1 Oct 1862, 72,254), it was a fine house, it consisted of 5 public rooms and 10 bedrooms, staff quarters and a house for the Butler.

 Following The Irish Land Acts the estate was reduced to 363 acres. Seskinore remained in the family until 1941, when it was sold to the Ministry of Agriculture by the Trustee of the last owner, Xenia Joynson-Wreford.


Welcome to the McClintock of Seskinore website.

Perry-McClintock

The McClintock’s are originally from Scotland they settled in Trinta, Co. Donegal, Ireland between 1597 & 1623.

The Perry’s are believed to be of Welsh descent, the first of the name associated with the area is Thomas (d.c.1662), he was the father of James Perry Esq., of Ranally [sic] who received a grant of the lands of Moyloughmore/Mullaghmore from Sir. Audley Mervyn Esq., of Trillick in a deed dated 26th June 1662.

James built his seat at Mullaghmore, he named it Perrymount, it was also known as Mullaghmore House (now in ruins), a second house was built on the land at Seskinore c.1800, the land extended to some 4553 acres, his son, Samuel married Catherine Lowry, daughter of John Lowry of Ahenis and Mary Buchanan, they were to become common ancestors of the Perry, McClintock and Eccles families of Co. Tyrone:

John Lowry of Ahenis and Mary Buchanan had issue:

1. Janet Lowry m. John McClintock of Trinta, Co. Donegal, 11 Aug 1687. (Ancestor of McClintock of Seskinore).

2. Catherine Lowry m. Samuel Perry of Moyloughmore, Co. Tyrone, (Ancestor of Perry & McClintock of Seskinore).

3.  Robert Lowry m. Anna Sinclair:

1. Mary Lowry m. Daniel Eccles (Ancestor of Eccles of Ecclesville).


Alexander McClintock Esq., (1692-1775) son of John of Trinta and Janet Lowry), a barrister in Dublin amassed a fortune which enabled him to buy Drumcar, Newtown, Co. Louth.

Alexander also purchased Tullyrush, Drumconnolly and Seskanore (sic), Co. Tyrone by way of a grant dated 3rd July 1724 from Henry Mervyn of Trillick. This land adjoined those of his cousin, George Perry Esq., Of Perrymount (1700-1767).

On the 20th Dec 1781 Alexander McClintock Esq,. Of Newtown House, Co. Louth (nephew of the above mentioned Alexander McClintock of Drumcar) married, Mary Perry (his 2nd cousin 1x removed), daughter of Samuel Perry Esq., and sister of George Perry Esq., of Perrymount, Mullaghmore, Co. Tyrone.

George Perry Esq., Of Perrymount, Mullaghmore, died in 1824, his will, dated 15th May 1823, devised his estate to his wife Mary for her life and after her death to the use of his nephew Samuel McClintock for his life “with remainder to the first and other sons of said Samuel McClintock in tail male with divers remainders over.”*


Map of The Estate of Samuel McClintock Esq., situate in the County of Tyrone.

D568. Reproduced with kind permission of the Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. PRONI

(L-R)Amelia Alexander m. George Perry - McC,

Amy Eccles m. J.K. McC

Dorothea Knox  m. Samuel McC c.1895.

Seskinore Lodge, c.1870’s.

Ruins of Perrymount/Mullaghmore house (2008).

On the 21st July 1898 Amy gave birth to her first and only child, Amelia Isobel Eccles McClintock, she was to be known as Leila and appears to have had a happy childhood, growing up in the family home and enjoying the country lifestyle which for generations had been intrinsically part of her families life.


































Leila (Amelia) Isobel Eccles McClintock

As a child Leila created her own garden close to the house, her sense of humour appears to in the form of a sign that was attached to the gate at the entrance to her secret garden

 “Please Knock”

In 1918/19 Leila’s life at Seskinore abruptly terminated when her parent’s separated and Leila left with her mother to begin a new life in England, it was here that she met her husband to be Cecil Rhodes Field, this marriage was to be short lived, they divorced.

 Leila then married Captain. Wilfred Heyman Joynson Wreford. a.k.a. Tony Joynson-Wreford on 30 August 1932 at the Registry office in Fulham, London, the marriage was witnessed by her mother, Amy McClintock.


Tony had been married twice before, during his second marriage to Olive Fletcher (nee. Trainor), in September 1927 he co-financied a transatlantic flight attempt to fly from Baldonnel in Ireland to America in a FOKKER F.VIIa monoplane, called “Princess Xenia”.

Tony was originally to have been the navigator on the flight which was being flown by Captain. Robert MacIntosh the owner of the plane, unfortunately he was forced to stand down due to the recurrence of an old leg injury, Commandant. James Fitzmaurice took his place.

The main financier of the flight was William Bateman Leeds; the aircraft which was named after his Russian wife; Princess Xenia Georgievna.

“Princess Xenia”, Baldonnel.

Tony and Leila were holidaying in Switzerland with their baby daughter, Xenia (b. 3rd August 1935) when Leila’s father Col. J.K. McClintock, died at his home in Seskinore on the 24th October 1936.

Col. J. K. McClintock was buried in the McClintock burial ground in front of the Chapel of Ease which had been builtt on the Seskinore estate.

It would appear that before his death, the Joynson-Wrefords were planning to move to Seskinore, probably to assist in the running of the estate. Col. J.K. McClintock visited the stables with Xenia, he is reported to have told a worker that his “grand-daughter was coming to live at Seskinore”.

 Following her husband’s death, Amy seems to have decided to return to Seskinore with her family, she placed the following listing in “Kelly’s Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes 1937”

“McClintock, mrs Amy H. eld. dau and co-heiress of John Stuart Eccles of Ecclesville, co. Tyrone; m. 1893, col. John Knox McClintock, C.B.E., D.L.,J.P (d.1936); 1 dau,: Seskinore, Omagh, co. Tyrone, N. Ireland.” [sic]

 The couple made arrangements to move to Seskinore, with the intention of maintaining the family home. The joy of their arrival home and settling in to the country life was tragically cut short, when after only 3 weeks, Leila contracted meningitis, she died 4 days later on the 30th January 1937, aged 38.


















 




 





















 

“The Mistress’s garden” 1939.

“Plane as Ambulance” March 1939.

Tony & Leila Joynson-Wreford.

Leila’s will left her husband sole beneficiary of her estate. Distraught from her death, Tony refused to have Leila buried, he wished to have her embalmed and placed in a glass coffin, which was to be kept in the house.

The Bishop was asked to intervene and a dispensation was secured, allowing Leila to be buried in a small garden that she had made near the house when she was a child.

“as a little girl, she made a garden on this site. With her own little hands she planted flowers here, and with childish interest and delight, looked after them. That spot, made sacred by her associations with it when she was a child is now to be sanctified by her abiding presence. Here we shall leave her in hope and peace.”

(Tyrone constitution 5th February 1937, Reproduced, Courtesy of The Tyrone Constitution.)

Every night at 6pm Tony would take Leila’s dog for a walk to the “Mistress’s garden”, he would sit at her grave for up to an hour, he never recovered from her death and shortly after this Tony’s health took a turn for the worse, workers on the estate believed that he “did not have long for this world”. Tony spent the next 3 years in one clinic or another with his daughter and her nurse Helen Hunter always present.

Tony died on the 23rd March 1940 from Tuberculosis. He had been convalescing at the Kurhaus, Clavadel, Davos, Switzerland.

Shortly before his death he sold part of the Mullaghmore estate containing 227 acres to the Ministry of agriculture, this left Seskinore House and the demesne with land amounting to 129 acres plus some property in the village.

Tony’s estate was left in trust to his daughter upon attaining her majority of 21 years, her education and maintenance was to be paid for out of the trust, the trustee was appointed “the power to sell Seskinore house if required to raise funds for this purpose”.

Seskinore house along with 115 acres was sold within a year of Tony’s death with the exception of the Garden of Remembrance where Leila was buried and where Tony had requested that his ashes were to be scattered, it was reserved with a right of access at all reasonable times.

Xenia’s Grandmother, Amy McClintock moved to Molstyn, Orestan Lane, Effingham, Surrey, her neice, Rose (daughter of Dosie) and her husband William Frank Sugden lived close by.

 Amy died on the 4th April 1942, she was buried in a simple grave in St. Lawrence Churchyard, Effingham, 3 days later.

Tony’s will dated, 18th March 1939, appointed Leila’s cousin, Capt. Anthony C S Delmege  and Lady Marjorie Edith Hare to be Xenia’s guardian. On the 16th March 1940, one week before he died, Tony  added a codicil to his will, revoking the appointment of Capt. Delmege, appointing in “lieu” Tony’s friend, Lt-Cdr. John H T Boteler and his wife Sheila.

The reason for this change was most probably his concern about the ongoing war with Germany, Tony would be only too well aware that Capt. Delmege may not survive (Tony had lost his brother Bertran in the 1st WW, along with many of his fellow servicemen). His first concern would be to ensure stability for Xenia’s future.





 


 


 













 















Xenia. c. 1938/9.

 Xenia with Sheila Boteler and Nursie Helen Hunter in the background.

Xenia with her cousin Celeste Ray, Seskinore stables 1938.

Transatlantic attempt film.wmv

Glyn and Xenia on the boat to India, 1958.

Captains. Macintosh and Joynson-Wreford’s attempt to fly the "Princess Xenia" aircraft from Baldonnel in Ireland to America.



Captain. R.H. Macintosh’s flight career is well documented, however David had been unable to find any record of Capt. Joynson-Wreford's flight career before or after this event, he posted a request on the internet looking for information on Captain Joynson-Wreford, this was answered by Patrick (Pat) Joynson-Wreford, Tony's son from his marriage to Olive Fletcher nee Trainor.  

Pat was looking for information on his father, he had recently been wondering what his father had really been like, the stories that his mother told him were full of bitterness and resentment, she had refused to talk about him and when she passed away in 1980, Pat realised that he would never know what his father was really like, but now at the age of 76 and with the internet at his fingertips, he decided to try, he typed his father’s name in to Google, to his surprise he found David Lang’s enquiry about his father!


Before long, they fell in love. Sheila completely disapproved of the relationship, she had other plans for Xenia. Glyn proposed to Xenia three weeks later, as she was preparing to return to England.

Sheila was determined that the relationship would go no further and they returned to England however Sheila’s opposition made Xenia all the more resolved in her decision to return to her fiancé in India, with the help Sheila’s mother Poppy, Xenia was able to buy a ticket to get back to India and buy a wedding dress, or if things were not as Xenia hoped for when she got to India then she would have enough money to get home!

The marriage was a happy one and 3 children followed David, Sharon and Michael. After 8 years in India Glyn felt that a new challenge was required. The family uprooted and travelled to the Pioneer Mill near Ayr, North Queensland, Australia. where Glyn was to be the manager with a tied house on the mill property.

In 1982 Glyn died from a massive heart attack, he left a shattered family, their home was linked to his job at the sugar mill and there was no company pension.

So finding herself widowed and homeless aged 48, it would have been easier to return to Sheila, however she would have to live with Sheila would constantly reminding her how different life would have been if she done what she was told all those years ago!

She would just have to get on with it! First she needed to get a job, she found herself running a coffee shop, then a travel agency before working for the State Senator until her retirement.

Xenia decided that sitting at home was not for her, she decided to go to University and study Japanese and French culture, she also hoped to find Juliet a friend from her school days whom she had lost contact with when she left England for India, she signed up to Friends Reunited and hoped that Juliet would find her.

It was around this time that aviation researcher David Lang discovered British PATHE news archive footage of:


In 1958 whilst travelling to India with Sheila, Xenia met Gordon (Glyn) Lindsay Lewis, a Welshman working as a tea planter in India who was returning to India after a visit home.

The Boteler’s later divorced, with John resigning his guardianship in favour of Sheila.

Sheila married Colonel Pierre Fourcaud on the 3rd August 1944 (Xenia’s 9th birthday), according to published material Pierre, escaped from Chambéry on the 6th August 1944, where he had been held since 19 May 1944.

Sheila met Pierre, who was with the French Resistance whilst she was driving for the Free French during the 2nd World War.

John Boteler married 2 more times, Xenia recalls meeting him in later years, he never mentioned her father or where her family came from. When Xenia asked Sheila about her parent’s she was told that they had died when she was a baby, sheila said that she did not know much about them, they had met her father in the Kurhaus in Davos, Switzerland where Sheila’s husband John was also convalescing.

Tony had asked them if they would be the guardians for his daughter and gave them a week to make up their minds!

It has since come to light that this was a complete fabrication, John Boteler was an old friend of Tony’s. The Botelers had stayed at Seskinore with Tony at least once, and Sheila stayed with Tony and Xenia during Christmas of 1937.

Sheila and Tony attended a Cocktail party at ‘Hampstead Hall’ the home of Elsmere and Rosalie McClintock, Sheila made a lasting impression on the hostess, Rosalie recalls “Sheila was very glamorous, she wore a leopard skin jacket which was very striking, she was very social”.

Letters sent by Tony Joynson-Wreford to the gardener at Seskinore; Andy McHugh mention Sheila Boteler, six months before Tony's death. Andy kept the letters and they are now with his grandson, Iggy McGovern, they help to build a picture of Tony's life over a 2 year period from Jan 1938 until his death on the 23rd March 1940.

Iggy’s Aunt, Cecilia McHugh (Andy's daughter) lived in Seskinore village until her death in December 2006, as a young girl she had been employed by Captain. Wreford.

During her visit in September 2005 Xenia met Cecilia, she remembered Captain. Wreford fondly, she said:

                                 “a lovely man, a kinder man you could not wish to meet".

Xenia remembers being visited a couple of times at school by Aunt Dosie (her Grandmother's sister, Anna Theodosia Hester Stoney nee. Eccles), unfortunately she does not recall what was said on these visits, she was mortified because she was called out of class to meet this person that she didn't know, she thought she "looked like Queen Mary, with a stern face, dressed in black", another time a letter arrived for her at school; it said that she should be with her family and told her to say that she was unhappy living with Sheila. Xenia gave the letter to Sheila and there were no more visits or letters.

Shortly after when she was aged 10, Xenia’s nurse, Helen Hunter was relieved of her duties and Xenia was sent to Beaufront boarding school, this was followed by finishing schools in Paris, Switzerland and London.


Patrick Joynson-Wreford

 a.k.a. Pat Trevor

Olive’s first marriage was to Henry Keddey Fletcher, they had two daughters; Patricia and Barbara, she met Tony who was married to Frances Parker, on a trip to London, they started an affair which ultimately ended their respective marriages.

They were married in 1926 in Paris, where they had made their home.    It was here Olive gave birth to their son, Anthony Patrick (Pat)on 10th January 1928. Within a year of Pat's birth, his parents separated, Olive took Pat to America where they remained until 1938 only returning when war looked likely.

Pat was never to see his father again!



 


Pat Joynson-Wreford, an early publicity shot.

Pat in a publicity shot in South Africa.

Scottish Television publicity shot.

Reproduced Courtesy of the Townsville Bulletin.

David Lang was intrigued with Pat’s quest to know about his father, he recruited his friend Jill Grey to assist with the research, Jill came up with numerous references from the “Times online” archive website; Tony’s marriage to Leila McClintock and their respective death notices:-

"JOYNSON-WREFORD. On 30 Jan 1937 after a

short illness LEILA, the loved one of TONY JOYNSON-

WREFORD. Funeral 2.30 pm Wednesday at Seskinore,"


 “JOYNSON-WREFORD. On March 23 1940 at

Clavadel, Davos, Switzerland, WILFRED HEYMAN

JOYNSON-WREFORD passed peacefully away.”


A copy of Tony’s will was ordered from the Public Records office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) This arrived in July 2004, there had been no intimations of a child having been born to Tony and Leila so it came as a surprise to Pat to read in the will that he had a sister; Xenia Penelope!

Pat’s father’s will set up a trust for his sister’s education and maintenance.

Where was she, where do you start to look for your sister, searches on the internet failed to give any clue where she might be.

A “Times” reference was found which told us that a baby boy had been born to Glyn and Xenia Lewis nee. Joynson-Wreford in India. A new search was made of Xenia's married name, a Xenia Lewis was registered on Friends Reunited, her maiden name was included on the profile it showed that she had lived in India and now lived in Australia.

Pat sent an email to Xenia through Friends Reunited profile explaining that they had the same father and hoping to hear from her. Two weeks went by with no reply, a second email was sent. It was quickly answered, Xenia had thought that somebody was playing a joke on her, she had told people about her search to find old school friends and thought that one of them had sent it as a joke.

 Xenia was now aged 69 and having spent most of her life believing that she was adopted, although she kept her own name, it did not seem possible that she could have a 76 year old brother.

They corresponded by email exchanging photos and information, coincidentally they had both been in Australia for a short time in 1968, Xenia arrived with her husband and family, Pat had been there for 4 years working on the stage and radio under his stage name of Pat Trevor.

 Pat lived and worked on stage in South Africa, Zambia and Rhodesia before moving to television where he presented the news, this led to his move to Scotland to work at Scottish Television where he worked until his retirement.The Joynson-Wreford siblings decided to meet, Pat flew to Brisbane where he was met on Boxing day 2004 by his niece Sharon, her husband Ron and their children, Christopher and Nicola. The following day Pat flew to Townsville to meet his Sister, their meeting was captured by the local press who had been following the story.

They came face to face in front of the camera in a relaxed and easy snap.


Over the next few weeks their time was spent together sightseeing and meeting Xenia’s friends. It became obvious to friends and family that not only did they share the same father but they also shared a number of traits, ultimately some of these traits rubbed each other up the wrong way and they got on each others nerves, after 2 weeks together they decided that it would be wise to get a bit of space from each other, or their might be a murder!

Pat flew to the Gold Coast where he joined myself (Alex Watson) and my partner Peter for the remainder of the holiday.

I had known Pat since I was seven and was very used to his personality and sense of humour, he had been a family friend for some 24 years. I had always wanted to find more about his father, I found him mysterious and was intrigued to know more about what had happened to him, Pat always flippantly said “he took one look at me after I was born in a Paris hotel and took off, never to be seen again!”.

I am a naturally inquisitive person and always been very interested in genealogy, so when Xenia, arrived with her daughter, Sharon and grandchildren Chris and Nicky at our apartment on the Gold Coast in January 2005, I asked her if I could investigate her family tree and look into what had happened to the the trust which had been arranged by her father, she said that I could if I wished but that she thought that I was wasting my time, she was not likely to be lucky enough to have anything of interest for me to find out, I felt otherwise, something told me that there was a story waiting to unfold!!



The search at the Land Registry  revealed that an Appointment of new trustees had been registered in 1952, it listed a schedule of the real estate held in trust under the terms of her father’s will.

A further search of the names of the new trustees was required to show what deeds, if any, had been registered by them, this search showed that the trustees had sold property but even allowing for this there were residual properties still remaining of the Seskinore estate.

After several phone calls to the company where the former trustees had worked a file was eventually  located for “Xenia (Lewis) Joynson-Wreford/Seskinore Estate”, it contained the trust documents and deeds, along with a photograph of Xenia, taken at the time of her 21st birthday.

The file was in disarray, however I could now start to work out what real estate had been in trust in 1940 and trace it through the Schedule of Real Estate and Appointment of New Trustees in 1952.

Using old maps and deeds at PRONI and the Land Registry in Belfast, I was able to identify the remaining real estate and ultimately register the land in Xenia’s name, as her trustees had neglected to do this on her attaining her majority of 21 years on 3rd Aug 1956!

In September 2005 Xenia Lewis returned to Seskinore with a small entourage of family and friends.








































































PRONI Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, June 2008.

Seskinore courtyard buildings, September 2005.

Seskinore Revisited.

In February 2005 an email was sent to the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), enquiring if they held any archive material relating to the Seskinore estate and the McClintock family.

The reply confirmed that there were a number of files deposited in the archives relating to the family and the estate.

A two day visit to PRONI proved to be totally inadequate due to the volume of material, the time quickly disappeared and it became evident that subsequent visits would be necessary.

The records were fascinating, they ranged from a family scrapbook with photos and news clippings which brought Xenia’s family alive. There were several boxes full of Land registry deeds, this showed the extent of the McClintock estate up until the time of Xenia's Grandfather, Col. J.K. McClintock.

A visit to the Land Registry was required to search the names of the people that we knew had owned the land at Seskinore, namely Xenia’s Grandfather, Mother, Father and the trustee named in her Father’s will.

Many thanks to the Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland who has kindly granted permission allowing cuttings/extracts from albums D/568, D/1385/3 and D/1711/2 held at PRONI, to be reproduced on this site and especially thank you to all the staff at PRONI, for their assistance in researching the McClintock of Seskinore story.

I would also like to extend my sincere and eternal gratitude to Caroline James, from whom I learnt so much, her calm guidance and steady hand, helped to steer me through the difficult but fascinating situations that arose during the research of Xenia’s story.

Thank you!

Xenia's, 2nd visit to Seskinore in June 2008 was captured by BBC Northern Ireland news presenter Sarah Travers, Sarah featured Xenia’s story in her Family Focus program.

Special thanks to Julia Chessun nee. Mathews, Sir. David Stewart of Athenry and Patrick Thompson for permitting the use of their family photographs and archive material on this site.

In 2008 encouraged by Xenia and friends, Pat tried to find out what had happened to his sisters from his mother’s marriage to Keddey Fletcher, he had met them once in Hyde park, London, whilst on an errand for his mother, this was to be the only time he met them.

He believed that they could have tried to contact their mother or himself if they had wished but had not done so, however amongst Olive’s personal photos Pat discovered a photograph of his eldest sister Pat, on her wedding day to Edward Asa Thomas in 1940, there was another of Barbara with her baby daughter Dawn.

Possibly Olive had been in contact privately, this only added to Pat feeling that they had rejected their mother and himself and he was concerned that they might do so again, but with Xenia reassuring him that he should try and heal the wounds, he wrote to his family, and he is now in contact with them and very happy to be in touch.

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay then it's not the end"

Site of Seskinore house, September 2005.

Pat and Xenia at the graveside.

Seskinore house in it’s heyday, c.1900.

Virtute et labore

Xenia with her lions.

The entrance gates to the estate are topped with statues of the McClintock Lion, the drive continues up an avenue of trees. Several members of the community were waiting to welcome us at the entrance to the courtyard where Xenia had played as a child.

Xenia heard stories about her family, one of the men recalled the time her grandfather took her to see the horses in the stables, another recollection was of festivites held to commemorate the King’s Coronation on 12th May 1937, when she accompanied her father in his sports car, a blue Jaguar SS, the boys in the village were more impressed with Captain. Wreford’s car which had a Union flag on the side.

The Seskinore community group hosted a night to welcome Xenia and her family to the village. It was held in the McClintock primary school, built by Xenia's grandfather in 1900.

The school children sang and a presentation was made to Xenia on behalf of the Community group, a photograph of Seskinore house framed in wood which came from a floorboard of the house, later in the night an opportunity was provided for everybody to chat over a cup of tea and cake. In 1941 Seskinore House and surrounding land was sold to the Ministry of Agriculture, it was later demolished in 1952, only the courtyard and outbuildings remain.

The walled garden has survived although it is now looking rather sad and neglected, no longer fulfilling the purpose for which it was intended, it once produced fruit and vegetables to feed the occupants of the house.

In front of the walled garden we took a path into the forest, where a short distance away the outline of the Garden of remembrance could be seen, as we approached, silence descended, there was a surreal feeling of being enveloped by the forest  and completelt detached from everything else. We walked up the stone steps into a peaceful and tranquil setting. There in front of us, lay moss covered stones, topped with the gravestones of Tony  and Leila Joynson-Wreford.


I have brought your little girl home, I said.


A newspaper article “The end of a house that nobody wanted” states, “no other use could be found for the house".

The turning circle for the carriages is visible and helps to place the exact spot of where the house once sat, you can picture the horse drawn carriages pulling up under the Port-Cochere and the guests being welcomed for social events being held in the house.

Xenia, Alex and Pat, January 2005, Gold Coast, Australia.