The picture on the right was painted by Mary Delaney [Painted in 1792 by Mary Delaney.] on 7th July 1762 it shows the Temple in the grounds at Castle Ward, Audleys Castle and also Audleys town which was subsequently demolished.
Mary Delaney was the wife of Dean Delaney they lived in Mountpanther house in Dundrum (Co Down) Her correspondence and drawings are a valuable source of information from her era (1700-88) as she visited most of the great houses in the area.
The picture appears to prove the existence of the village at Audleystown which is disputed by some. The third Viscount Bangor died in 1837 four years later his widow married Major Andrew Savage-Nugent, who owned an estate on the western shore of Strangford Lough directly opposite Castleward, I am not aware as to what title Lady Bangor would be entitled after becoming a widow and remarrying, whatever title she held is of little consequence at this distance in time, her maiden name appears to have been Harriet Maxwell.
The story below featured in a play on BBC Radio Four some years ago, it appears that Harriet was unhappy with the view from Castleward House which overlooked the clachen (village) of Audleystown [Artists impression of The Rose leaving Strangford Lough.] situated a little north of Audleys castle, she arranged for the villagers to be transported to America had the village demolished and trees planted on the site.
The village is shown on an Ordnance Survey map dated 1835, on the 1863 map it was gone. There is a strong folk memory in the neighboring village of Strangford a man in his seventies told us that his grandmother told him that many the villagers baked soda and wheaten bread for the people to take on the voyage. Also that the stones from the demolished village were used to build some of the wall surrounding Castleward Estate.
The former village of Audleystown was magnificently located on a small hilltop at the northern end of Strangford Narrows, with commanding views towards the Irish sea, given its strategic location it seems highly likley that the site was used by man from the earliest times.
From the archive at The American Folk Park (Rent book from Castleward) it appears that 25 families consisting of approximately 197 people were deported from Audleystown on 28th October 1852 on a ship called Rose.
We are attempting to discover exactly where the ship was bound, if indeed it arrived safely, it would be wonderful to trace any descendants of those transported so long ago.
If anyone can help you can please make contact, and help us expose another chapter of Irelands hidden history.
Read about the Ward family and The Castleward Estate from the PRONI (Public Records Office Northern Ireland) web site.