The Argory in April
Having met in the Hillmount Garden Centre and welcomed new member Jackie McCutcheon, seventeen of us made our way via the M1 to the National Trust property near Moy where we were made welcome by Carolyn, our guide for the house tour.
The Argory is a neo classical mansion built in the 1820s on a hillside location in a 320 acre wooded riverside estate bordering the River Blackwater. This former home of the MacGeough–Bond family has a splendid stable yard with horse carriages, harness room, acetylene gas plant and laundry.
It was gutted by fire in 1898 and rebuilt in a truncated and modified form shortly after. Remodelled throughout the 19th century, it contains much of its original Victorian furniture, as the family left it. The interiors also include marbled walls, ornate metalwork, and polished brass staircase balusters. And seven years after it was badly damaged in a flood, the study has been restored.
Among the myriad of interesting objects and furnishings is a rosewood Steinway grand piano which Peter Harris was delighted to play. And he also played for us the chamber organ – what a treat!
After lunch and after sheltering form a sharp rain shower, several of us headed for the Blackwater River, which separates the counties of Armagh and Tyrone. It is possible to cross the river by Bond’s Bridge which Brian told us is a fine example of a metal bowstring bridge. In this case it is a road bridge, but the design was often used for railway bridges. After walking along the Armagh side of the river for some distance, we returned to the main house through the woods, at times walking on boardwalks laid across wetlands. A great day out!
The next outing is on 6th May. We will change the destination and will let you know in good time.
Betty, Leslie and Peter G.
Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Sunday 2nd April 2017