Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Derrymore Trip

IN MAY, 2014, I PAID A VISIT TO DERRYMORE HOUSE IN COUNTY ARMAGH


DERRYMORE HOUSE was acquired by the National Trust in 1952.

It's not far from Newry, County Down (the river Newry divides the adjoining counties).

I couldn't see any road signs to Bessbrook on my way in to Newry, so stopped the car and told the "sat-nav" that I wished to go to the said village.

So far, so good.

However, on approaching Bessbrook there were no obvious signs, so I stopped at the side of the main road twice and enquired of passers-by.

I was told to look for Rose Cottage; and indeed there was an unmarked drive beside this private cottage which I found, having re-traced my steps, as it were.

I gingerly drove up the track, which passed an old walled garden.

Eureka! I saw the familiar thatch and shape of Derrymore House.


There's a car-park beside this exquisite cottage orné.

Derrymore is larger than it appears because there is a basement below this single-storey house.

I arrived about two-thirty and there were no other visitors, so I ventured in through a corner entrance.

It's a charming building, though only one room is open to visitors, if you exclude the entrance hall.

The drawing-room, as it formerly was, affords a beautiful aspect of the rolling lawn and landscape.

This is a spacious room, with a large central window.


I have unearthed an old picture of the way this room used to look, though it's largely unfurnished at the moment.

Presumably the chandelier is in storage or hanging in another property.

The plasterwork is not elaborate, though there is some detail at the fireplace.

There are various niches for books and so on.

The ceiling has an oval kind of recess with a chunky chain hanging from the middle, obviously meant to hang a heavy chandelier.

The drawing-room is also known as the Treaty Room, an allusion to the Act of Union which was said to have been drafted here.


This room has charming quatrefoil windows.

Sir Charles Coote considered Derrymore "without exception, the most elegant summer lodge".

I've written about the Corrys and Derrymore here.

*****

I remained in the house and conversed with the warden for about twenty-five minutes, before taking my leave and roving into the fine oak woods and demesne.

I passed The Woodhouse, a fair-sized house in the woods which was the residence of the Richardson family before they gave Derrymore to the National Trust.

There is a curious enclosed circular or oval garden deep within the woods, which has a shallow wall and stone archway, apparently of some antiquity.

I terminated my stroll at the Friends' Meeting House (the Richardsons were Quakers).

*****


ON my way back to Belfast, I stopped at the Corry monument, an obelisk at the side of the main road into Newry.


It's generally in good condition, though the Corry arms, carved from a block of sandstone, are badly eroded.

First published in May, 2014.

1 comment :

flowers on my table said...

Oh it looks very pretty. Shame there aren't any furnishings, and only one room to see. Linda