Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bishop Street Cathedral Schools - A Cary Connection


The property presently known as Bishop Street Community Centre in Londonderry has I think quite an interesting history. In the middle of the nineteenth century the lands were, with others, held by one Alfred Alexander Julius of 19 Buckingham Street, Strand London, a solicitor by profession. He had acquired the fee simple from the Irish Society. Tristram Cary of Cumber Claudy a doctor of medicine and his kinsman Arthur Lunell Cary of Beech Cottage Co Donegal in their turn held from Julius under a lease in perpetuity and consequently were able to acquire the fee simple under the terms of the Renewable Leasehold Conversion Act. By paying the sum of forty three pounds and fifteen shillings to Julius the Carys were able to obviate the necessity of paying of the ground rent that they would have been committed to pay by virtue of the provisions of the Act. The assurance in favour of the Carys is dated 4th November 1861 and they were to hold the property as tenants in common as to five sixths by Tristram and one sixth by Arthur.

The lands at Bishop Street were not the only lands which the Carys co-owned and by way of a deed of partition dated 1st November 1873 they divided their joint property between themselves with Tristram paying Arthur one hundred and thirty five pounds by way of equality of exchange. It was Tristram who was to end up as the owner of the Bishop Street property. By this time he was living at Ballybrack Co Donegal and Arthur was resident at Castlecary. Arthur was the father of Arthur Pitt Chambers Cary who in his turn was the father of the author Arthur (Joyce) Lunell Cary. Joyce Cary's mother was Charlotte Louise Joyce.

In July 1890 Tristram, who by then was resident at 48 St. Thomas' Road, Victoria Park London, sold a portion of his Bishop Street lands to a Robert Alexander for the sum of £230. Some four years later the bulk of these lands were conveyed to the Representative Church Body upon trust as and for a site for a Mission Church and School in connection with the Parish Church of the Parish of Templemore, ( St. Columb's Cathedral). The then Dean, Andrew Ferguson Smyly raised the necessary funds by way of public subscription. The building which was erected became known as Bishop Street Cathedral Schools. Ownership remained with the Church of Ireland until 21st November 1962 when the property was sold to British Oxygen Chemicals Limited. That Company converted the building into a social club for its staff and it remained as such until it was disposed of to the local authority in 1975.




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