Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Beresford Obelisk

The Beresford Obelisk (Image: Belfast Live website)

THE BERESFORD OBELISK is situated in a large field in the townland of Carrick East, Ballyquin.

It is about two miles from Limavady, on the road to Dungiven in County Londonderry.

I hadn’t much difficulty in finding it, with the assistance of Limavady tourist office and my car’s “sat-nav”.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

Parking is difficult, because the Ballyquin Road is narrow and there is no car-park, though I managed to tuck myself into a small section of verge beside the information-board.

From the car I walked up a concrete drive to the wheat field on the right-hand side.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

The obelisk is perhaps a hundred yards from the drive-way.

As I mentioned, access is not easy, nor even encouraged, given that it is located on private land today.

The foundation stone of the obelisk was laid on the 29th June, 1840, in the third year of Queen Victoria's reign.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2021)

It was erected by the tenants of Lord Waterford's estate  in County Londonderry to commemorate the "Virtues and Talents that distinguished and adorned their late Agent."

(Image: Timothy Ferres. 2021)

Henry Barré Beresford, seventh and youngest son of the RT HON JOHN BERESFORD, was born on the 25th September, 1781, at WALWORTH HOUSE, near Ballykelly, and died in London on the 15th December, 1837.

The obelisk is about 45 feet in height, and the sides face north, south, east, and west.

The Beresford Obelisk before Restoration (Image: Follies Trust)

It was restored in 2015 by the Follies Trust:-
"Thanks to the help of many donors, grant aid from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and several charitable trusts, the Follies Trust was able to complete the conservation of the Beresford Obelisk at Ballyquin, near Limavady in the first few months of 2015."

"The obelisk was erected in 1840 in memory of Henry Barré Beresford, who was land agent for his relative the Marquess of Waterford."

"A reception was held at the Roe Valley Resort Hotel on 19 May 2015 to mark the completion of the work and the launch of an associated publication funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, entitled The Beresford Obelisk, A Legacy in Stone in the Roe Valley."

"We were delighted to welcome Marcus de la Poer Beresford, Lord Decies, who formally launched the book."

"The event was attended by other members of the Beresford family, including the Marquess of Waterford and Agnes Beresford-Ash, widow of the late John Randal Beresford-Ash (1938-2010), who was a direct descendant of Henry Barré Beresford."

"Amongst the many others attending were most of the authors of essays in the book, Chris McCollum, Raymond Blair, Daniel Calley, Professor James Stevens Curl, Primrose Wilson, the book’s editor Dr Evelyn Mullally, and the farmer who owns the land on which the obelisk is situated, William Purcell."

"The total cost of the project including the book amounted to over £80,000."

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