Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The Capper Series: II

Carrickblacker House

Wilfrid Merydith Capper MBE (1905-98) was a former Northern Ireland civil servant whose true passion was for the preservation and conservation of the countryside.

He conceived and created The Ulster Way.

The following article is a selective extract from Caring for the Countryside: A History of 50 Years of the Ulster Society for the Preservation of the Countryside, published in 1987.


PERHAPS an even greater failure was our effort to save Carrickblacker House, near Portadown.

This was probably the last Jacobean manor house in Ulster.

The owners would have liked to preserve it but the cost of repair and maintenance was fairly heavy.

The architectural "experts" of the day were of no help at all, pronouncing it of no special interest!

It was tragic to see this beautiful old building being battered down by the demolishers.

The lintel over the door with the date 1692 was smashed in two but I was able to pick up two parts and have preserved them.

At the time, in 1956, there was no listing of buildings and the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society had not been born.

If it had been, the building might well have been saved.

Our own overworked and under-funded Society could only do so much.

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