Tollymore Forest Park now and then

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1 Tollymore Forest Park now and then We are going to look at Tollymore Forest Park and how it has changed over time. Tollymore Forest Park covers an area of almost 500 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. The park has a long history dating back to 1611, in the records of James I (who was the King whom Guy Fawkes plotted against), it was recorded that the park was granted to Brian MacHugh MacAgholy Magennis. The neighbouring village of Bryansford is believed to have been named after him (Brian s Ford). The property remained in the Magennis family until about 1685 when Bryan Magennis died unmarried and Tollymore became the property of his sister Ellen who had married Captain William Hamilton. From the Hamiltons (Lord Limerick) the estate passed, again through the distaff side, to the Jocelyns, one of whom was later created Earl of Roden. Tollymore Park remained in the Roden family until it was sold to the Department of Agriculture between 1930 and It is now one of Northern Ireland's main tourist attractions. In 1955 Tollymore was made the first state forest in Northern Ireland. The house was demolished in The production and sale of timber has always been important to the owners of the park. Today, the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development carry on that tradition. Tollymore Forest Park is home to many rare and beautiful trees, native plants and wildlife. There is also a herd of fallow deer. We refer to Tollymore as Tollymore Park up until the early 1950s, then it is known as Tollymore Forest Park. 1

2 The Barbican Gate Today The Barbican gate is the entrance for the public visiting Tollymore Forest Park today. Look closely at the gate what does it look like? (castle) What interesting features can you see? (archways, decorative features e.g. trefoils) Why was there a need for a gate? (Tollymore was a landed estate which was enclosed by a wall to ensure the privacy of the owners and to keep people out. There would have been a gatekeeper living in a cottage beside the gate to check on people who wanted to enter the estate). 2

3 This is a picture of the Barbican gate in the past and the gate house which once stood beside it. Visitors had to stop and wait for the gatekeeper to open the gates and admit them to Tollymore Park. The gatekeeper usually had a list of people who were expected to visit that day. If you were not on the list you may not have gained entrance. 3

4 This is the Bryansford gate with the Clanbrassil Barn in the background. The gate is decorated to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902 after the death of Queen Victoria in The gate is now the vehicle exit from Tollymore Forest Park. 4

5 The Driveway This is a view of the driveway up to Tollymore house which you can just see through the trees. Architects and landscape gardeners would have been employed when the house was built to make sure the first sight the visitor got of the house was magnificent. Try to imagine what it would have been like to arrive in a carriage and travel up this driveway! 5

6 The ladies of the house are leaving for a drive through the estate. The man with the gun is probably the gamekeeper. In the past, the gamekeeper was employed to supervise the range of game available for the lord of the estate to shoot. Shooting was a popular past time of the rich. Often the lord of the estate would invite his friends for the weekend for a shooting party. Some poor people tried to poach animals on the rich people s estates for extra food. Poaching was the term used to describe hunting or killing animals that were on the land of someone else and so belonged to them. Animals that were often killed were rabbits, pheasants, grouse. There were fines if you were caught poaching on the estate. Long ago, poachers may have been imprisoned in Downpatrick gaol and many were transported to countries like Australia. 6

7 The House Tollymore House was built like a square polo mint with 4 sides. There was a courtyard in the centre. Some of the sides were of different architectural styles. The styles included: Late Georgian French Chateaux Classical 7

8 Lady Roden held sewing classes for the women of the area. They made dresses to wear at the monthly dances held in the upper floor of the Clanbrassil Barn. Look closely at the house and you can see the columns which are based on Ancient Greek columns in the Doric style. This is the classical side of the house. 8

9 This shows the side of the house built in the French Chateaux style of architecture. 9

10 This was the site of Tollymore House. After the Earl of Roden sold the house, American soldiers were stationed here during WW2. The house fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1952 what a shame!!. This site is now a car park and it is needed for the thousands of visitors who come to Tollymore Forest Park in the summer. 10

11 Life inside the House Staff, family members and guests in Tollymore House. Who belongs upstairs? (most of the people in the picture) Who belongs downstairs? ( a servant is pictured on the left she is wearing an apron) What is different about this photograph and photos today? (Colour, the people are not smiling and are sitting formally) Discuss clothes, hairstyles etc. What can you tell about the position of women from what they are wearing? (discuss the restrictions of corsets, long dresses, ornate hairstyles etc.) 11

12 The upper classes promenade in the grounds of Tollymore House. If you belonged to the upper classes, there were a lot of rules about how you were to conduct yourself. It was considered to be inappropriate for an unmarried woman to talk to a man alone. Unmarried woman normally were accompanied by a chaperone when going out into society. What are the disadvantages of how the women are dressed for walking? 12

13 Ladies of Tollymore House in the parlour sewing, playing the piano and reading. In the past, ladies from the upper classes were expected to show their talent in reading, playing music and needlework. Remember there was no TV and these activities became hobbies to pass an evening or an afternoon. 13

14 This is a view of Tollymore House from the Horn Bridge. Originally the Horn Bridge had whale bones fixed forming an arch over the bridge. Horn is what bone was called in those days. The whale bones were taken from a great whale that was washed onto the beach at Newcastle. The Earl of Roden had his men go to the shore and collect 4 giant rib bones from the rotting carcass of the whale. The rib bones were placed into sockets on the parapet of this bridge and fixed to form two arches for people to go under. The horns eventually rotted and were removed for safety. 14

15 The Horn Bridge Today the Horn Bridge is part of the many routes through Tollymore Forest Park. It also allows magnificent views up and down the Azalea walk which is in flower in May. 15

16 In the past there were no supermarkets so large houses had to have their own gardens to supply all their fruit and vegetables. These men are working in the walled garden. This garden also provided the fruit and vegetables for Lord Roden s House in London. The ladies and gentlemen of the house would have gone to London during the season to enjoy the balls and parties and to mix with all the rest of the upper class. 16

17 The Gardens The walled garden would have been where the top car park is today. What can you see in this picture as evidence of a walled garden? 17

18 The First Earl of Clanbrassil built the Clanbrassil barn in The architectural style is gothic which was popular in the 1700s. All around the estate you can see bridges and gateways that were built in the gothic style. The Clanbrassil Barn is where the Clydesdale horses were stabled. These horses did all the heavy work, hauling timber in the forest. The clock tower bell summoned the men of the estate to work at 6am and rang again at home time at 6pm. The clock bell was also rung to mark special events in the lives of the Earl s family such as a birth, death or a wedding or an event of national importance such as a royal birth or death, or the beginning or the end of a war. 18

19 Clanbrassil Barn The Clanbrassil Barn is now a lecture room, toilets and a place for storage. 19

20 The Hermitage This is the hermitage in Tollymore Forest Park. It was built by the 2 nd Earl of Clanbrassil during the 18 th century. It was a memorial to his friend the Marquise of Monthermer who died in In the past it was fashionable to have in your garden a place of retreat that was seen to look natural. This is one of the gothic features of Tollymore Park. In the 18 th and 19 th century it became popular to look back at Medieval times and so many architectural features took on a gothic style. Tea would have been brought to the ladies and gentlemen relaxing at the Hermitage. The ladies would have sat in the tea room to avoid getting tanned by the sun (which was considered unattractive then) while the men fished in the river. 20

21 In the past there was a bridge at the Hermitage. This was the Swing Bridge from which the gentlemen would have fished in the Shimna River for Atlantic Salmon. 21

22 Ladies from Tollymore House pose by Foley's Bridge. Here they would read, paint in water colours and write poems and letters. James Hamilton, the Second Earl of Clanbrassil built Foley s Bridge in 1787 in honour of his wife Grace Foley. The Earl liked to drive about his estate in his horse and carriage. Therefore nice drives were created so that the Earl could show off his estate to anybody visiting him or the family. 22

23 Foley s Bridge Today much of Foley s Bridge is overgrown but it is still a popular subject for people who want to come to Tollymore Forest Park to paint. 23

24 In the mid 1800s, there were 5 water-powered sawmills along the banks of the Shimna River. The banks of the mill ponds were the sites of busy sawmills where timber from the estate was cut into planks to be sold. The mill ponds were used to store the water needed to drive the waterwheels of the sawmills. During the summer or periods when there was low rainfall, the stored water was released from the mill ponds. The water rushed down the millraces and turned the giant water wheels of the sawmills thus creating the power needed to cut the timber 24

25 Before the arrival of machinery, work was very hard. This river bank was too steep for the Clydesdale horses to pull up the timber so the men had to haul the felled tress up the bank by themselves. 25

26 This is a picture of the sawmill at the Mill ponds. Young men often had to leave school at 14 years to work on the estate. Here some young men are playing marbles a popular past time in the Victorian period. 26

27 The Mill Ponds Today the mill ponds have no buildings remaining but they are an attractive feature of Tollymore Forest Park and a popular site for picnics. 27

28 Steward s House at Sawmill This was the Steward s House on Curraghard Road in Tollymore Park. The Steward was an important person in the estate. He was responsible for overseeing the workers of the estate. 28

29 The End What has changed most about Tollymore Forest Park? What has stayed the same? Hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into how people lived in the past. Who would you have wanted to be: Earl of Roden Lady Roden The Gamekeeper The Steward A gardener A ladies maid 29

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