On       a       wet       Saturday morning   on   November   2nd   2013, a   group   of   Hazelwood   Heritage Society   supporters,   Breatrice   and Tam   MacDonald,   Paul   and   Irene Allen,     Michael     Kirby,     Wendy Lyons   and   Kate   Bell,   travelled   to Charlestown,    County    Tyrone    to visit   Lissan   House.   The   story   of this   wonderful   residence   begins   in   the   17th   century,   when   the   Staples   family,      came   to this    area    of    woodlands    and    forests    and    made    it    their    home.   Within    the    250    acre demesne   they   built   Lissan   House   and   resided   there   for   almost   400   years.   Unfortuantely as   with   many   families   of   large   houses   and   estates   over   the   centuries,   their   fortunes wavered   and   their   homes   detoriated.   The   same   situation   that   befell   Hazelwood   House and the Wynnes. Fortunately   for   Lissan   House   there   was   no   plans   to   build   a   housing   estate   within its   demense.   It   was   also   fortunate   that   a   group   of   people   recognised   that   the   house could    easily    suffer    the fate       of       so       many beautiful,   important   and historic,    ruin    and    even demolition.   A   charitable group    was    formed    to save     it     from     such     a disaterous                   and irrecovable futurfe. The             Lissan House    Charitable   Trust under   the   new   name   of the   ‘   Friends   of   Lissan Trust’   was   formed   in   2004. Two   years   later   Lissan   House   owner Hazel   Radclyffe-Dolling   died.   Under   the   Terms   of   her   will,   the   entire   estate   was bequeathed   to   the   Charitable   Trust,   provided   they   secured   restoration   of   the   house. 2007   saw   the   house   being   opened   to   the   public   and   has   since   become   a   popular visitor    attraction    in    Ulster.    However    since    then renovation   and      structural   restoration   is   continually being   carried   out   to   the   building,   with   still   much   to do.   Such   work   has   not   been   restricted   to   the   house, forest   trails   have   been   laid   out   in   the   demense   too. Work   inside   and   out   continues   but   today   Lissan House   is   a   good   place   to   visit   as   the   HHS   group discovered   on   that   bleak   wet   day.   Fortunately,   the welcome   from   the   Friends   of   Lissan   House,   the house   they   gave   us   and   the   beautiful,   historic   and fascinating   house   itself,   warmed   up   every   member and made it a most memorable day. Paul J Allen
HHS Recieves ‘GATHERING’ Certificate Signed By Iris President At a reception held in the Sligo Park Hotel on Nov 25th HHS Hon.Sec Irene Allen and Committee Member Kate Bell joined representatives from many and varied Sligo societies, groups and individuals as ‘The Gathering’ officially came to a close. On behalf of the Hazelwocod Heritage Society they received a certificate, signed by President Michael D. Higgins, stating that the HHS had taken part in the Irish Gathering endeavour of 2013.
On a dull, dreary evening, with another heavy shower imminent,  members and friends of the Hazelwood Heritage Society gathered at Parke’s Castle on Thurs Aug 23rd for a Lough Gill cruise on board the ‘Rose of Innisfree’. However, expectations were not dampened as this hardy group  were soon rewarded with a wonderful and informative tour on Sligo’s beautiful lake. Proceedings began with a narrative on the locations and beauty of the lough, and the history and importance of the Wynne family of Hazelwood and their connections with this picturesque part of Sligo. Fortunately, the rain must have known we were on board and kept away, as everyone began enjoying themselves as we travelled  through the waters, to our  first point of interest, the Isle of Innisfree, immortalized by W.B Yeats. There, we were treated to a reading of this famous and inspiring  poem by Damian Brennan. Passing Church Island we were soon arriving at ‘Cottage Island’, where tales of Beezie  Gallagher were relayed.  Soon we were passing the shoreline of Hazelwood Forest and travelling down the Garavogue. Beatrice Macdonald, HHS Chairman, imparted the history of the Wynnes of Hazelwood House, how they planted the magnificent forest, as well as  their involvement in the rowing and sailing regattas taking place annually on the lough. With the dismal light being taken over by the night sky, we headed back, entertained by two young ladies delightfully playing on the fiddle and accordion. A wonderful evening, on a wonderful lake filled with memories, history, beauty and music, a perfect conclusion to  a wet and showery day.
The Hazelwood Heritage Society AGM The    Hazelwood    Heritage    Society    who    are    actively    directed    towards    the preservation,   restoration   and   upkeep   of   Hazelwood   House   and   its   environs,   ensuring   it remains   a   recreational   and   cultural   asset   for   the   wider   community,   held   its   first AGM   at St    Joseph’s    Clubhouse,    on    Tues    March    19th    at    8pm.The    group    reflected    their achievements   over   the   year,   as   well   as   looked      forward   to   their   plans   for   the   coming year.   Highlights   of   last   year’s   events   included   an   ‘Evening   Cruise’   on   Lough   Gill   with   a wonderful   and   informative   tour   on   Sligo’s   beautiful   lake.   A   narrative   on   the   locations and   beauty   of   the   lough,   and   the   history   and   importance   of   the   Wynne   family   and   their connections   with   this   picturesque   part   of   Sligo   enthralled   the   delighted   guests.      On another   occasion   the   Hazelwood   Heritage   Society   gathered   again   in   Hazelwood   Forest for    a    stroll    around    the    shrubs    and    trees    of    the    former    Hazelwood    Demense    with occasional Yeats poetry readings. But   the   HHS AGM   was   not   purely   about   the   past.   They   have   many   events   lined up   for   the   coming   year   and   are   participating   in   Ireland’s   ‘Gathering’   incentive.   They have   invited   descendants   of   the   Wynne   family   from   all   around   the   world   to   gather   in Sligo   and   be   shown   around   the   former   home      and   estate   of   their   ancestors   as   well   as being   taken   around   some   of   Sligo’s   highlights.These   and   many   other   items,   were discussed   as   well   as   the   elections   of   officers   and   committee   members.   Paul Allen,   one of   the   founder   members   of   the   HHS   resigned   from   the   Committee   but   will   continue designing   and   updating   the   society’s   website.   However   a   new   member,   Michael   Kirby was   added   to   the   committee   line   up.   News   on   the   future   of   Hazelwood   House   and   its Demense,   was   also      discussed   and   explored   at   the   AGM   which   proved   to   be   an interesting evening
Gathering of the Wynnes Enjoyed by Family Members to Hazelwood A    successful    Gathering    weekend    was    enjoyed    September    6th    –    8th    by descendants   of   the   Hazelwood   Wynnes   from   far   and   wide,   hosted   by   the   Hazelwood Heritage    Society    (HHS)    as    part    of    Ireland’s    national    tourism    initiative    to    bring    the Diaspora   back   ‘home.’      The   event   started   with   an   evening   launch   and   a   warm   welcome by   both   Mayor   Councillor   Marcella   McGarry   and   Cathaoirleach   Councillor   Pat   McGrath.     Graham   Wynne   of   Calgary,   Canada,   thanked   the   HHS   for   organising   the   w.end   and   the group   was   also   treated   to   a   photo   montage   complied   by   Aidan   Mannion   and   Gerry Foley.  Guests poured over extensive family trees and chatted throughout the evening. Beatrice    Macdonald,    HHS    chair,    in    her    speech    reminded    the    audience    that “almost   three   hundred   years   ago   Lt   Gen   Owen   Wynne   II,   when   he   built   his   house   at Hazelwood,   made   a   huge   statement   to   the   people   of   Sligo   and   beyond   to   the   effect   that The   Wynnes   had   arrived   in   Sligo   and   were   an   important   family   and   a   force   to   be reckoned   with.   In   a   similar   way   the   Hazelwood   Heritage   Society   were   sending   out   the message   that   they   are   intent   on   protecting   the   House   and   overseeing   its   eventual renovation.    With    careful    planning    this    renovation    programme    would    provide    huge employment   for   the   area,   and   a   welcome   boost   to   the   local   economy.”The   next   day   the family   was   treated   to   a   tour   of   parts   of   Hazelwood   House   by   architectural   conservation expert   Wendy   Lyons.   Wendy   told   those   present   that   Hazelwood   House,   built   by   the Wynnes   to   the   design   of   Richard   Cassells   in   1727,   was   the   first   Palladian   villa   built   by him    in    Ireland,    and    was    used    as    a    model    for    all    subsequent    houses    later,    i.e. Castletown and Powerscourt etc.
“The   architectural   importance   of   this   house   cannot   be   over   stressed,   and   it   is   vital   that   this   great   house   is   not   allowed   to   deteriorate   any   further”.   “The   Irish   Georgian   Society   are monitoring the situation closely”, said Wendy. Lunch   followed   in   the   ‘Morning   Room,’   bringing   the   house   to   life   again.      A   cruise   on   Lough   Gill   on   the   Rose   of   Innisfree   then   dinner   at   the   Model   rounded   out   the   big   day.      The weekend   series   of   events   was   then   brought   to   a   close   with   an   outing   to   Lurganboy,   the   original   family   seat,   where   the   group   was      treated   to   its   historical   background   and   generous   hospitality at Lurganboy church, finishing with  a drive through lovely Leitrim, including spectacular rain-swollen ‘wandering water gushing, from the hills above Glencar.’  Participants   exchanged   contact   information,   with   many   planning   to   return   to   Sligo,   bringing   cousins   unable   to   attend   the   first   time!   Many   thanks   to   all   of   those   who   assisted   in   making   this Gathering a great success:  County Sligo Heritage Office, Mark MacSharry & Jackie McMahon, Sligo Leader Partnership’s TÚS scheme, Sligo Field Club, and other volunteers.
HHS Events
(boat cruise photos left) Committee Members, Crew and Poetry Reader Damian Brennanon board the ‘Rose of Innisfree’ (right) Passengers settle down in thecabin for a delightful and enjoyable cruise on Lough Gill. (top left) A passenger takes on the role of Captain as the ‘Rose of Innisfree’ travels through the night. 
All On Board for a Lovely Lough Gill Cruise
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