Our first house is in fact a family home near Bellaghy. Ballyscullion Park is the private home of Richard and Rosalind Mulholland and their family and is only available for visits by arrangement. Designed by architect Sir Charles Lanyon – of Queenâ€™s University fame – the current house dates from 1849. The estate was bought by Richardâ€™s grandparents, Sir Harry and Lady Mulholland in 1938, with the house being restored to its present state.
You will be greeted by Richard and Rosalind with freshly brewed tea and coffee with homemade breads and preserves. Richard will then take you on a fascinating tour of the house and grounds. Next you can experience the beguiling spirit of an inimitable 17th-century ‘Plantation’ home, Springhill House near Moneymore, with its walled gardens and parkland, full of tempting waymarked paths.Hear all about the ten generations of Lenox-Conyngham family with tales that will enthrall you, as well as numerous portraits and much furniture to admire in this perfectly preserved home. And not forgetting Ireland’s best-documented ghost, Olivia! The old laundry houses the celebrated Costume Collection, which features some fine 18th to 20th-century pieces that highlight its great charm and amazing past.
Our final tour is of the unique Lissan House, near Cookstown. The house is approached via a mile long driveway through lush woodland and 267 acres of undulating parkland. The house dates from 1620, with a unique interior that takes the visitor on a fascinating journey through the changing aesthetic of each generation of the Staples family.
Lissan House received national attention in 2003 when it featured on the BBC programme â€˜Restorationâ€™. It did not win, coming second, but it did inspire its last resident, the amazing Hazel Dolling, who bequeathed the estate to the Lissan House Trust on her death in 2006. The house has now been restored to its former glory, including the amazing wooden staircase.