It stretches 78 miles from north-west to south-east by a breadth of 25 miles.
The diocese comprises some portion of five counties, viz. Fermanagh, Monaghan, Tyrone, Donegal, and Louth.
THE PALACE, Clogher, County Tyrone, is a large and handsome edifice adjacent to the Cathedral, on the south side of the village, and consists of a central block with two wings.
The entrance is in the north front by an enclosed portico, supported by lofty fluted columns.
The building was completed by the Right Rev Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham DD, Lord Bishop of Clogher, in 1823.
Attached to the palace was a large and well-planted demesne of 566 acres, encircled by a stone wall; and within it are the remains of the royal dwelling-place of the princes of Ergallia, a lofty earthwork or fortress, protected on the west and south by a deep fosse; beyond this, to the south, is a camp surrounded by a single fosse, and still further southward is a tumulus or cairn, encircled by a raised earthwork.
Although the house is no longer a bishop’s palace, the landscape park retains an elegance of proportion and planting that compliments the house.
Parkland trees have been felled and many are now ageing but a few new trees have been added near the pond.
In a later era of garden history, there is a mention in Robinson’s Garden Annual & Almanac of 1936.
An Ice House remains, as does the man-made pond and indications of earlier water features.
In that year the bishopric of Clogher was merged with the archbishopric of Armagh (which it remained until 1886).
Thus Mr Porter had seized the opportunity to buy the now abandoned palace and demesne, and re-named it Clogher Park.
'... a pillared portico above a flight of steps and two wings added in Victorian times [presumably by the Rev. John Grey Porter]. Classic restraint was relieved by a balcony running the length of the south front ..., in summer smothered in purple clematis and red and yellow climbing roses ..., like the warmth of a smile on the formal façade.'
The demesne comprised 3,468 acres of land in 1871.
This supposition is made the more probable by the fact that their second son, Thomas Stewart Ellison-Macartney, had assumed the name Porter as early as 1875.
I helped to prevail on Bishop McKenna, of Monaghan, to buy Clogher Palace and grounds for £20,000 [£886,000 in 2010], as it was the ancient seat of St. Macartan, patron of the diocese.
This enraged the Orangemen, and as it is within the Tyrone border, the day after the Bishop took possession, it was commandeered by the Belfast Specials without notice!
To bring an injunction the Bishop would have to sue in Belfast, and they have got a military authorization, ex post facto. The malice of this is deplorable.Clogher Park is now a residential care home.
First published in August, 2011.