Derrymore House

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Derrymore House

County Armagh

National Trust

Grid reference: J05542795
Location: 54°11’23"N, 6°23’1"W

Derrymore House is a country house in Bessbrook, County Armagh, a fine example of a late 18th-century thatched house in gentrified vernacular style.[1]. It is owned by the National Trust and open to the public.

Built in the style of a cottage orné, the house is set in over 100 acres of beautiful parkland and woodland. It features unique local thatching using Shannon reeds.[1]


Isaac Corry, MP

Derrymore House was built between 1776 and 1787 by Isaac Corry, Member of Parliament for Newry for thirty years, on land he inherited from his father. The house was described by Sir Charles Coote as "without exception, the most elegant summer lodge..."[2] The Act of Union of 1800 was drafted in the drawing room (now known as the Treaty Room)[3] of the house in 1800. The surrounding parkland was laid out by John Sutherland, one of the most celebrated disciples of Capability Brown.

Later years

Derrymore was sold by Corry in 1810, when he moved to Dublin, and was later acquired by the Young family. Sir William Young, Bt sold the Derrymore estate in 1825 to the Smyth family. The demesne, which hosted 140,000 trees, was then bought by the linen manufacturer John Grubb Richardson who lived in the adjoining estate, The Woodhouse. Richardson was responsible for establishing the village of Bessbrook, and building Bessbrook Friends' Meeting House, which sits in the Derrymore demesne.

In 1952 Mr J S W Richardson, a descendant of J Grubb Richardson, donated Derrymore House and his estate at Bessbrook to the National Trust. The National Trust subsequently undertook to demolish a large portion of the house, which had been added by the Richardson family in the Georgian style, in order to return the property to the manner in which Isaac Corry had known it.

The banner of Bessbrook Star of Hope Temperance Loyal Orange Lodge 927, depicts Derrymore House, where the Act of Union was signed.[4]

In the 1970s a bomb in an oil tin was carried by the then occupant away from the house to a safe place.

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Derrymore House
  2. Brett, Sir Charles, Buildings of County Armagh, UAHS, 1999, p. 154
  3. "Derrymore House". Discover Northern Ireland. 
  4. "Orange Banners". The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. Retrieved 2008-07-13.