Local Historical Sites
Glenelly Historical Society was established in the spring of 2006 by a gathering of local people who had in common an interest in recalling and recording of what has gone before in Upper Badoney (Badoney). The Society seeks to enhance an appreciation of the unique and diverse history of the Plumbridge and Cranagh areas. Glenelly Historical Society’s role is enhanced by older people who take time to contribute individual memories of their very own past. In allowing others to record and archive what they recall, they ensure that Glenelly’s heritage is not forgotten. Glenelly Historical Society have compiled a leaflet of Places of Interest in Glenelly. Find out more: www.glenellyhistorical.org.uk
Glenelly Historical Society have created a “Glenelly Our Home” facebook page which has a huge following from all over the world. www.facebook.com/pages/Glenelly-Our-Home/210666532303133
Ulster American Folk Park
Immerse yourself in the world famous story of Irish emigration at the Ulster American Folk Park – the museum that brings it to life. Follow the emigrant trail as you journey from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship leading to the log cabins of the American Frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share. Find out more: www.nmni.com/uafp
2 Mellon Road, Castletown, Omagh, Co Tyrone BT78 5QU, Northern Ireland. Tel: +44 (0) 28 8224 3292
Lifford Old Courthouse
The Old Courthouse in Lifford, Co. Donegal is one of the finest examples of a purpose built courthouse in Ireland. The Courthouse has a long history dating back to 1743 when the Grand Jury approached the architect Michael Priestley to draw up plans for a Courthouse to be built in Lifford, the administrative capital of Donegal. The building incorporated the County Gaol in the basement which was to last as a place of confinement for debtors, felons and eventually “lunatics” until a new gaol was completed next to the Courthouse in 1793. The Courthouse continued to hold trials until 1938. Find out more: www.liffordoldcourthouse.com
The Old Courthouse, Visitor Centre, Lifford, Co. Donegal, Ireland.
Tel: + 353 74 9141733 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Baronscourt Estate offers a beautiful rural conference meeting venue situated in a sheltered valley in the foothills of the Sperrin mountains in Ireland’s County Tyrone. You come across an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Baronscourt, the home of the Duke of Abercorn’s family since 1612, is among that handful of old family estates in the British Isles which combine great historical and architectural interest with a landscape of outstanding natural beauty.
This vibrant working farm, rural business, and estate spreads over the valley floor at Baronscourt and throughout its history each generation of the family has continued to ensure a programme of constant planting and landscaping of the park and gardens
Harry Avery Castle
Thought to have been built around 1320 by a local chieftain of the O’Neill clan, but named after Harry Avery (Henry Aimbreidh) O’Neill, a local chief who died in 1392, this structure is considered unusual in that Irish chieftains of the time rarely built stone castles.
Its design is also unusual. Its two towers look like a gatehouse, similar to that of Carrickfergus Castle, but in reality it served a similar function to a medieval towerhouse. Getting to the courtyard behind would thus have involved climbing a flight of stairs. Behind the towers a large mound forms the courtyard. This was surrounded by a curtain wall, of which only the foundations remain today. Other surviving structures include: a draw bar slot for the main door and a latrine chute.
There would have been many wooden buildings such as kitchens and stables in the courtyard but no evidence of these survives.
Features in “The Journey In Time ” Archaelogical Tour.
The power of the O’Neill chieftains in Tyrone came to an end in 1607. Defeated in battle by English forces and fearful for their future, Hugh O’Neill and his allies fled Ireland in what has become known as the Flight of the Earls. Their lands were declared forfeit to the crown and were in turn granted to English and Scottish gentry as part of the Plantation of Ulster. The lands around Newtownstewart were granted to a James Clapham but were soon sold to Sir Robert Newcomen. Under the plantation scheme new landowners were required to build a castle on their estate. Newcomen began work in 1615 and by 1622 the castle was described as…
“a castle of lime and stone, 4 stories high. Around it is a Bawn of lime and stone, 81 feet long, 66 feet long and 9 feet high, with 2 flankers.”
In 1629 the lands and castle were sold to Sir William Stewart, of Newtown Stewart in Galloway, Scotland, who renamed the town after his family and birthplace.
Today only its south-west and north-west walls and a little of the south-east return survive. The most distinctive feature is the triple gables to the street, with the tall chimney-stack over the smaller centre gable. The stepped gables are a Scottish feature while the 8-pointed, star-shaped brick chimney-stack is derived from England. Half of a fine door survives near the south corner with a frustrating half date, 16.., on the remaining stone. Other features include the mullioned windows, clearly domestic and not defensive, fireplaces, a circular projecting stair tower, and a rectangular tower at the north east corner, perhaps a flanker tower on the bawn wall. The archways in the interior remain from its use as the town market place in the C19th. The castle was burned by Sir Phelim O’Neill in 1641 and again by King James in 1689, on his retreat from Londonderry.
Newtownstewart Castle has also the distinction of being the site of a significant Bronze Age discovery : An intact double cist grave and capstone.