Hazelwood Heritage Society News PageThe Hazelwood Heritage Society website is an online news and feature directory for all things connected with the Hazelwood House and its Demense and its future. Please feel free to browse this site and support the Hazelwood restoration
The Wynnes of HazelwoodThe Wynne family occupied Hazelwood House for three hundred years, during which time all the head's of the Wynne household, with only one exception, bore the name of Owen Wynne.The first occupant of Hazelwood House was Lt. General Owen Wynne 1664-1737, third son of Owen Wynne Senior of Lurganboy, County Leitrim and formerly of the Bala Estate of the Gwynnes in the old county of Merionith in Wales, now known as the larger county of Gwynedd.Lt-Gen. Owen Wynne, a descendant of the Welsh Wynne family from Merioneth. On his death in 1737, the estate passed to his nephew, also Owen Wynne (1686-1755) who was an Army officer. He was succeeded by his son, a third Owen, who was High Sheriff of Sligo for 1723 and 1745. The house then passed to the latter's son, a fourth Owen (died 1789), who was an M.P. for County Sligo in the Irish Parliament and an Irish Privy Councillor. His eldest son, a fifth Owen (1755–1841), inherited the house on his death and was also an M.P. for County Sligo in the Irish Parliament and High Sheriff. He was followed by his son, John Arthur Wynne (1801–1865), MP for Sligo Borough and High Sheriff for 1840, and John Arthur's son, a sixth Owen (1843–1910), High Sheriff for 1874.Owen Wynne in his youth had served as a lieutenant in the 61st Foot Regiment, as well as following in the family tradition of being High Sheriff of County Sligo in 1875 and of County Leitrim in 1881. Owen Wynne died in 1910 at the age of 67 and with no male heir to take over the estates, so too came the end of the Wynne's occupation of Hazelwood House. After the death of Owen Wynne in 1910, Owen's daughter Murial and her husband Philip Dudley Percival lived in Hazelwood House, selling off the livestock and machinery until they left Hazelwood House in 1923.
Hazelwood Estate and Hazelwood ForestThe landscape surrounding Hazelwood House, and beside the River Garravogue and Lough Gill is of outstanding beauty. It has been under threat from a proposed housing development that would scar the natural environment forever. Trees would have been ruthlessly pulled down, with roads, pavements and houses smothering the fertile land where once wild flowers grew. The exquiste views along the river's edge would have been replaced by the sight of bricks and concrete. The woods much loved and frequented by locals and visitors alike gone under the bulldozers, never to return. The unspoilt magnificence of Lough Gill, regarded by many as one of the most glorious lakes in Ireland, would never have been the same. Thankfully, with the committed diligence of the HHS and many individuals, this environmental catastrophe did not happen and the beautiful area of Hazelwood Forest is safe for the present, for residents and visitors to admire, explore and enjoy. Now, the Hazelwood Heritage Society, with the first phase of its mandate, opposing the proposed development, must turn its attention to the future and particularly the future of Hazelwood House.Hazelwood HouseUnfortunately this beautiful and important Palladian house now stands empty. The remains of the Saehan plastics factory covers the site of the original walled garden and the vista behind the house. Hazelwood House was a great 18th century estate owned by the Wynne family in Co. Sligo. From the original 15000 acres only 70 acres still belong to the House. This website is dedicated to the protection and care of Hazelwood House and Hazelwood Forest. Hopefully you will enjoy your visit here. Please feel free to browse our webpages.
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Hazelwood Forest & Fauna
Hazelwood House gets distillery green lightFrom the Sligo Champion By Sorcha Crowley OWNERS of Hazelwood House, David and Sue Raethorne have spoken of their delight at finally being granted permission to transform the former Saehan Media factory into a major tourist attraction for the North West.Speaking exclusively to The Sligo Champion, David said "We're delighted. The planning conditions were all to be expected. We're very happy with it" "Sligo County Council has been fantastic to work with in terms of the process of planning. In fairness, they had to ask for a lot of information but they did make the process as easy as they could for us' he said.The planning permission includes the restoration of Hazelwood House to its former l8th century glory and conversion of the old factory to an exclusive whiskey distillery.It was the first Palladian building designed in Ireland by Leinster House architect Richard Cassels in 1730. Over the centuries it's been an aristocratic home for the landed gentry, occupied by an army squadron and used as a psychiatric hospital.Now a new chapter is beginning with plans for a visitor centre, museum/exhibition areas, whiskey historical exhibition and "tasting area along with a restaurant and tea-rooms.The former videotape factory will be turned into a modern whiskey distillery warehouse, visitor tour and staff facilities and another cafe/restaurant and retail centre. The nearby stables will also be restored and opened as craft workshops and trade display areas. The site has under 24-hour security as ground preparation work is underway. The first sod is not expected to be turned until 2018 under the owners ten year phased plan, with the installation of the distillery plant scheduled for 2019 and completion of phase 1 in the factory due in 2020."From our perspective a lot depends on funding and how the distillery goes," David told this newspaper "That plan is the worst case scenario - if we can do things quicker we will move quicker than that’ he said.The Dublin entrepreneur would like to host similar art events on the estate to the Magnetism exhibition staged in the factory last year. ‘If there's a lot of construction work going on it's not possible but we still have options around the site. We’re thinking of something sculptural perhaps but it could be 2017 before that happens," he said.‘We need to gather our thoughts, sit down and plan now. There will be a whole series of announcements made then over the summer' said. David.Sligo planners attached 28 conditions to the permission. The owners must submit a report annually providing details of the work done the previous year. The proposed conservation works to Hazelwood House shall be carried out under the supervision of a conservation architect. Under "no circumstances’ shall any water be extracted from the Garavogue River or Lough Gill for uses associated with the distillery.
Permission granted for distillery at Sligo’s Hazelwood House Production of single malt whiskey to start in the Lough Gill distillery within 12-18 months From the Irish TimesHazelwood House in Co Sligo, which was considered one of Ireland’s most at-risk Palladian mansions just two years ago, is set to be restored. Sligo County Council has granted planning permission for the restoration of the historic house which was constructed for the Wynne family on the shores of Lough Gill in the early 1700s.The owners have also been granted permission to transform a former factory in the grounds of the historic estate into a whiskey distillery and visitors’ centre, incorporating a cafe/restaurant and retail centre.Hazelwood House was designed by architect Richard Cassels, who also designed Leinster House, Powerscourt House and Russborough House.Software developer David Raethorne, whose company Hazelwood Demesne Limited bought the estate in December 2014, said production of single malt whiskey would begin in the Lough Gill distillery on the estate within 12-18 months. “In the meantime whiskey will be distilled to our specifications at The Shed distillery in Drumshanbo, ” he said. Tourist attractionThe businessman hopes to convert the property into a flagship tourist attraction. He said a lot of work had already been done making the house safe, especially in the west wing. Under the 10-year planning permission, the former factory, built in the 1960s, will be adapted as a 1,700sq m distillery and visitors’ centre. Mr Raethorne said this would be phase one of the project but he was unclear what the timeline would be for the restoration of the house. “It has been there for 300 years so whether it takes three years or five years, the important thing for us is to get it right,” he said