Rowing Project Hazelwood House The Wynnes About Us
OnawetSaturday morningonNovember2nd2013, agroupofHazelwoodHeritage Societysupporters,Breatriceand TamMacDonald,PaulandIrene Allen,MichaelKirby,Wendy LyonsandKateBell,travelledto Charlestown,CountyTyroneto visitLissanHouse.Thestoryof thiswonderfulresidencebeginsinthe17thcentury,whentheStaplesfamily,cameto thisareaofwoodlandsandforestsandmadeittheirhome.Withinthe250acre demesnetheybuiltLissanHouseandresidedthereforalmost400years.Unfortuantely aswithmanyfamiliesoflargehousesandestatesoverthecenturies,theirfortunes waveredandtheirhomesdetoriated.ThesamesituationthatbefellHazelwoodHouse and the Wynnes.FortunatelyforLissanHousetherewasnoplanstobuildahousingestatewithin itsdemense.Itwasalsofortunatethatagroupofpeoplerecognisedthatthehouse couldeasilysufferthe fateofsomany beautiful,importantand historic,ruinandeven demolition.Acharitable groupwasformedto saveitfromsucha disaterousand irrecovable futurfe. TheLissan HouseCharitableTrust underthenewnameof the‘FriendsofLissan Trust’wasformedin2004. TwoyearslaterLissanHouseowner HazelRadclyffe-Dollingdied.UndertheTermsofherwill,theentireestatewas bequeathedtotheCharitableTrust,providedtheysecuredrestorationofthehouse.2007sawthehousebeingopenedtothepublicandhassincebecomeapopular visitorattractioninUlster.Howeversincethen renovationandstructuralrestorationiscontinually beingcarriedouttothebuilding,withstillmuchto do.Suchworkhasnotbeenrestrictedtothehouse, foresttrailshavebeenlaidoutinthedemensetoo. WorkinsideandoutcontinuesbuttodayLissan HouseisagoodplacetovisitastheHHSgroup discoveredonthatbleakwetday.Fortunately,the welcomefromtheFriendsofLissanHouse,the housetheygaveusandthebeautiful,historicand fascinatinghouseitself,warmedupeverymember and made it a most memorable day.Paul J Allen
HHS Recieves ‘GATHERING’ Certificate Signed By Iris PresidentAt a reception held in the Sligo Park Hotel on Nov 25th HHS Hon.Sec Irene Allen and Committee Member Kate Bell joined representatives from many and varied Sligo societies, groups and individuals as ‘The Gathering’ officially came to a close. On behalf of the Hazelwocod Heritage Society they received a certificate, signed by President Michael D. Higgins, stating that the HHS had taken part in the Irish Gathering endeavour of 2013.
On a dull, dreary evening, with another heavy shower imminent, members and friends of the Hazelwood Heritage Society gathered at Parke’s Castle on Thurs Aug 23rd for a Lough Gill cruise on board the ‘Rose of Innisfree’. However, expectations were not dampened as this hardy group were soon rewarded with a wonderful and informative tour on Sligo’s beautiful lake. Proceedings began with a narrative on the locations and beauty of the lough, and the history and importance of the Wynne family of Hazelwood and their connections with this picturesque part of Sligo.Fortunately, the rain must have known we were on board and kept away, as everyone began enjoying themselves as we travelled through the waters, to our first point of interest, the Isle of Innisfree, immortalized by W.B Yeats. There, we were treated to a reading of this famous and inspiring poem by Damian Brennan. Passing Church Island we were soon arriving at ‘Cottage Island’, where tales of Beezie Gallagher were relayed. Soon we were passing the shoreline of Hazelwood Forest and travelling down the Garavogue. Beatrice Macdonald, HHS Chairman, imparted the history of the Wynnes of Hazelwood House, how they planted the magnificent forest, as well as their involvement in the rowing and sailing regattas taking place annually on the lough. With the dismal light being taken over by the night sky, we headed back, entertained by two young ladies delightfully playing on the fiddle and accordion. A wonderful evening, on a wonderful lake filled with memories, history, beauty and music, a perfect conclusion to a wet and showery day.
“Thearchitecturalimportanceofthishousecannotbeoverstressed,anditisvitalthatthisgreathouseisnotallowedtodeteriorateanyfurther”.“TheIrishGeorgianSocietyare monitoring the situation closely”, said Wendy.Lunchfollowedinthe‘MorningRoom,’bringingthehousetolifeagain.AcruiseonLoughGillontheRoseofInnisfreethendinnerattheModelroundedoutthebigday.The weekendseriesofeventswasthenbroughttoaclosewithanoutingtoLurganboy,theoriginalfamilyseat,wherethegroupwastreatedtoitshistoricalbackgroundandgeneroushospitality at Lurganboy church, finishing with a drive through lovely Leitrim, including spectacular rain-swollen ‘wandering water gushing, from the hills above Glencar.’ Participantsexchangedcontactinformation,withmanyplanningtoreturntoSligo,bringingcousinsunabletoattendthefirsttime!Manythankstoallofthosewhoassistedinmakingthis Gathering a great success: County Sligo Heritage Office, Mark MacSharry & Jackie McMahon, Sligo Leader Partnership’s TÚS scheme, Sligo Field Club, and other volunteers.
Gathering of the WynnesEnjoyed by Family Members to HazelwoodAsuccessfulGatheringweekendwasenjoyedSeptember6th–8thby descendantsoftheHazelwoodWynnesfromfarandwide,hostedbytheHazelwood HeritageSociety(HHS)aspartofIreland’snationaltourisminitiativetobringthe Diasporaback‘home.’Theeventstartedwithaneveninglaunchandawarmwelcome bybothMayorCouncillorMarcellaMcGarryandCathaoirleachCouncillorPatMcGrath.GrahamWynneofCalgary,Canada,thankedtheHHSfororganisingthew.endandthe groupwasalsotreatedtoaphotomontagecompliedbyAidanMannionandGerry Foley. Guests poured over extensive family trees and chatted throughout the evening.BeatriceMacdonald,HHSchair,inherspeechremindedtheaudiencethat “almostthreehundredyearsagoLtGenOwenWynneII,whenhebuilthishouseat Hazelwood,madeahugestatementtothepeopleofSligoandbeyondtotheeffectthat TheWynneshadarrivedinSligoandwereanimportantfamilyandaforcetobe reckonedwith.InasimilarwaytheHazelwoodHeritageSocietyweresendingoutthe messagethattheyareintentonprotectingtheHouseandoverseeingitseventual renovation.Withcarefulplanningthisrenovationprogrammewouldprovidehuge employmentforthearea,andawelcomeboosttothelocaleconomy.”Thenextdaythe familywastreatedtoatourofpartsofHazelwoodHousebyarchitecturalconservation expertWendyLyons.WendytoldthosepresentthatHazelwoodHouse,builtbythe WynnestothedesignofRichardCassellsin1727,wasthefirstPalladianvillabuiltby himinIreland,andwasusedasamodelforallsubsequenthouseslater,i.e. Castletown and Powerscourt etc.
(boat cruise photos left) Committee Members, Crew and Poetry Reader Damian Brennanon board the ‘Rose of Innisfree’ (right) Passengers settle down in thecabin for a delightful and enjoyable cruise on Lough Gill. (top left) A passenger takes on the role of Captain as the ‘Rose of Innisfree’ travels through the night.