History of the House / 1950 to 1952 - Stanley-Clarke

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Earlscliffe Residents 1950 to 1952

Earlscliffe was purchased on the 1st May 1950 by Olive Gladys Mary Stanley-Clarke (née Carroll-Leahy), wife of Brigadier Arthur Christopher Lancelot ("Kit") Stanley-Clarke.

Olive Gladys Mary Stanley-Clarke & Brigadier Arthur Christopher Lancelot ("Kit") Stanley-Clarke

Family History

Stnaley-Clarke Family Tree
Stanley-Clarke family tree

Olive Gladys Mary Stanley-Clarke

Olive was born in 1896 and was the third daughter of Mr Thomas Joseph Carroll-Leahy and Anne Mary Carroll-Leahy of Woodfort, Mallow, Co. Cork, and grand-daughter of John Harold Barry of Ballyvonare House (also known as Ballinavonear House), Buttevant, Co. Cork. [1] [2]

"Kit" Stanley-Clarke
"Kit" Stanley-Clarke

Brigadier Arthur Christopher Lancelot ("Kit") Stanley-Clarke

Kit was born on 30th June 1886 in Brighton, Sussex and went to Winchester College and later Oxford.

He served in the 2nd Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in the 1st World War where he was wounded while in the trenches near Chapigny, on 1st of March, 1915. [3]

He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in December 1916. When he left the 10th Battalion in September 1918 he was awarded the DSO and Bar, the French Legion d'Honneur and the French Croix de Guerre.

Whilst he was stationed in the Curragh in Ireland, Kit became engaged to Olive Carroll-Leahy in February 1931 [1] [3] and they married at St. Peter’s in Eaton Square, London, on June 23rd that year. [4] [3] [5]

Kit later served in the 2nd World War where he commanded the 154th (Argyll and Sutherland) Infantry Brigade until their escape from Dunkirk.

He finally retired from the British Army on 3rd June 1944 after almost 35 years of service. He was awarded the CBE and the Polish Order of the Polonia Restituta, 3rd Class.

Move to Earlscliffe

When Olive and Kit moved to Earlscliffe in 1950, Kit became heavily involved in hospital work, becoming chairman of Mercers Hospital. [6] Both Kit and Olive were also enthusiastic gardeners.

Olive Stanley Clarke taken in the 1980s
Olive Stanley-Clarke in her garden at Shiel at around 90 years old
"In An Irish Garden" by Sybil Connolly and Helen Dillon

In the book "In An Irish Garden", edited by Sybil Connolly and Helen Dillon (image right), Olive described her move to Earlscliffe. She said:

...we bought Earlscliff, a large ugly house nine miles from Dublin, looking over Killiney Bay. The garden was neglected * and quite overrun with Aubrieta and a hideous mauve Gladiolus .

I imagine we must have lived rather above our station in this large house, with two maids and a so-called gardener, and suddenly there was no money. So we made the only intelligent decision we ever made and sold Earlscliff, keeping one field of about one and a half acres sloping down to the sea.

-Olive Stanley-Clarke, "In an Irish Garden" [7]

Olive and Kit subsequently put Earlscliffe on the market in April 1951. [8]

Move to Shiel

As Olive described in the book "In an Irish Garden", above, she and Kit cut off a one and half acre corner of the Earlscliffe land and built themselves a cottage which they named Shiel.

In the process of building Shiel, Olive used stones taken from Earlscliffe to build steps down from the cottage to the lawns of Shiel and planted flowering cherries (dug up from Earlscliffe before they had sold the place). [7]

Whilst living at Shiel, Kit became deeply involved in hospital work as treasurer of a children's hospital and later as chairman of Mercers Hospital. He was an administrator of the Church of Ireland, an enthusiastic gardener and supporter of animal welfare. [6]

Sadly, Kit died at Shiel on Jan 8th 1983, aged 96. At the time of his death he was thought to have been the oldest living English first-class cricketer. [9]

Olive continued to lived in Shiel and got great pleasure from her gardening. [7]

Sadly, Olive died on January 26 1996 at the age of 100. [10] She is buried with her father and many of the Carroll-Leahy family at Kilpadder, Drommahane, Cork [2] 


( * By the time Olive and Kit moved into Earlscliffe in mid 1950, Earlscliffe house had not been lived in since at least March 1949, when the previous owner, Lily Margaret Graham Gough, bought the house, and then sold it without moving in. Therefore, it was not surprising that the garden looked "neglected"!)

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List of Earlscliffe Residents

1844 to 1864 - Cornelius Egan
1864 to 1878 - Bunbury McClintock
1878 to 1896 - The Knox family
1896 to 1901 - John Randal Plunkett
1901 to 1922 - John Pentland Mahaffy
1922 to 1924 - CT Ovenden
1924 to 1927 - Robert Rooney
1927 to 1930 - Dr Ella Webb
1930 to 1945 - Sir John Lumsden
1945 to 1949 - William Martin Murphy
1949 to 1950 - Lily Margaret Graham Gough
1950 to 1952 - Stanley-Clarke
1952 to 1961 - Woods
1961 to 1969 - Knowles
1969 to today - Robinson & Foley family 

Disclaimer. Parts of the data found in these history pages are derived from sources currently available on the internet. In researching the previous owners of Earlscliffe, certain assumptions have been made as to the validity and accuracy of this internet data. If you believe that some of this data is inaccurate or should not be published on this website, please contact .


This page was last updated on 28-Jul-2023 .