The first reference to the Lloyds being involved with Gloster (a derivation of Glasderrymore meaning big green wood) was in 1639 when Trevor Lloyd married the incumbent heiress, Margaret Medhop. The Medhop family had originally been granted lands at Gloster under Royal patent by King Charles I. Further lands were assigned to Trevor Lloyd after the Restoration in 1666, in addition to the possibility of lands also having been assigned during the intervening Cromwellian era. Even though the present house is thought to date from between 1700 and 1720, it is conceivable that a house existed on the same site at Gloster from 1639.

In 1696 Medhop Lloyd, descendant of Trevor and Margaret above, married Hannah Lovett, daughter of a former Lord Mayor of Dublin. It is through this connection that their son Trevor engaged Sir Edward Lovett-Pearce (c. 1690-1733), a cousin through his mother and one of the leading Irish architects of the early eighteenth century, to enlarge and embellish Gloster House in the 1720s. This enlargement was certainly substantially carried out before John Wesley preached in the house in June 1749.

Trevor’s granddaughter, Alice, married Lawrence Parsons of Birr, the second earl of Rosse, in 1797. Alice was the mother of the third earl, the famous scientist/mathematician and designer who built a telescope in Birr. This telescope remained the largest in the world until the end of the nineteenth century. The marriage between Alice and Lawrence formalized the friendly link which had existed between the two families for the previous century.

Throughout the nineteenth century Lloyd successors perpetuated at Gloster, variously as MPs (Members of Parliament), JPs (Justices of the Peace) and in the military. The last Lloyd of direct descent was Brigadier-General John Hardress Lloyd, a distinguished World War 1 general, who married Adeline Wilson, an Australian heiress, in 1903. This marriage injected substantial financial benefits into the estate which resulted in a certain degree of internal remodelling of the house and a major enhancement of the gardens.

Adeline died in 1933, the General in 1952. As they had no children the estate devolved to their nephew Major E.T.T. Lloyd who in turn sold it to an order of nuns in 1958. In 1990 the religious order wound up their activities at Gloster after which the property was successively taken over by two organizations before being purchased by the present owners in 2001.

Interesting past visitors include Rev. John Wesley whose journal graphically records preaching in Gloster on Tuesday, 13th June 1749, and the renowned Australian diva, Dame Nellie Melba, who sang from the upstairs gallery in the early twentieth century.

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Gloster House & Gardens
Co. Offaly,
R42 CH02,

E-mail: nigel@glosterhouse.com