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The Wynnes of Hazelwood House

The Hazelwood Wynnes originated from Wales claiming descent from a distinguished chieftain of the 12th century in Merionetshire. The first of the family to settle in Ireland was Owen Wynne who received a grant of lands in and around Lurganboy, and was succeeded in 1670 by his eldest son, Capt. James Wynne, who fought on the Williamite side at the siege of Derry, later at the Boyne.The Wynne family occupied Hazelwood House for three hundred years, during which time all the head's of the Wynne household, with only one exception, bore the name of Owen Wynne.
The first occupant of Hazelwood House was Lt. General Owen Wynne 1664-1737, third son of Owen Wynne Senior of Lurganboy, County Leitrim and formerly of the Bala Estate of the Gwynnes in the old county of Merionith in Wales, now known as the larger county of Gwynedd. Lt-Gen. Owen Wynne, a descendant of the Welsh Wynne family from Merioneth. On his death in 1737, the estate passed to his nephew, also Owen Wynne (1686-1755) who was an Army officer. He was succeeded by his son, a third Owen, who was High Sheriff of Sligo for 1723 and 1745. The house then passed to the latter's son, a fourth Owen (died 1789), who was an M.P. for County Sligo in the Irish Parliament and an Irish Privy Councillor. His eldest son, a fifth Owen (1755–1841), inherited the house on his death and was also an M.P. for County Sligo in the Irish Parliament and High Sheriff. He was followed by his son, John Arthur Wynne (1801–1865), MP for Sligo Borough and High Sheriff for 1840, and John Arthur's son, a sixth Owen (1843–1910), High Sheriff for 1874. Owen Wynne in his youth had served as a lieutenant in the 61st Foot Regiment, as well as following in the family tradition of being High Sheriff of County Sligo in 1875 and of County Leitrim in 1881. Owen Wynne died in 1910 at the age of 67 and with no male heir to take over the estates, so too came the end of the Wynne's occupation of Hazelwood House. After the death of Owen Wynne in 1910, Owen's daughter Murial and her husband Philip Dudley Percival lived in Hazelwood House, selling off the livestock and machinery until they left Hazelwood House in 1923. The landscape surrounding Hazelwood House, and beside the River Garravogue and Lough Gill is of outstanding beauty. It has been under threat from a proposed housing development that would scar the natural environment forever. Trees would have been ruthlessly pulled down, with roads, pavements and houses smothering the fertile land where once wild flowers grew. The exquiste views along the river's edge would have been replaced by the sight of bricks and concrete. The woods much loved and frequented by locals and visitors alike gone under the bulldozers, never to return. The unspoilt magnificence of Lough Gill, regarded by many as one of the most glorious lakes in Ireland, would never have been the same. Thankfully, with the committed diligence of the HHS and many individuals, this environmental catastrophe did not happen and the beautiful area of Hazelwood Forest is safe for the present, for residents and visitors to admire, explore and enjoy. Now, the Hazelwood Heritage Society, with the first phase of its mandate, opposing the proposed development, must turn its attention to the future and particularly the future of Hazelwood House.