Roy’s revisiting the past at his Black Bog Road home

Already an established screen ‘star’ in its own right, history-steeped farmland near Dromore is now home to a new attraction.

Local man Roy McMurray last week launched a home-grown agricultural ‘museum’ at Bullsbrook House.

Bullsbrook is Roy’s home at Black Bog Road, Tullindoney, between Dromore and Dromara.

Roy’s land has often attracted the attention of filmmakers in search of a suitable location.

Transactions involving the land are on record at least as far back as the mid-17th century.

“The land was given to the Maxwell family as a reward for fighting for (Oliver) Cromwell,” said Roy.

“Then it was sold on to Colonel Hill.

“ The house itself dates back to the early 1700s.”

An enthusiastic collector of household and agricultural antiques, Roy has now opened his own private museum.

It features old farmyard implements and equipment.

A key feature is a restored period house, offering a glimpse of how Northern Ireland’s rural dwellers used to live. Among the first to visit, the new museum, during an open night at the farm last week, were members of Dromara and District Historical Society.

Members were treated to a guided tour, with information supplied about the many implements on display.

“Mr Hamilton Tate acted as guide and gave a wonderful description of the items displayed,” said the society’s Joan Browne. “In one of the restored buildings there was an open fire with the original crook and bellows and Roy had a cook there who baked us lovely bread on the griddle.

“This was enjoyed by everyone as Roy had also supplied tea.

“It was a superb evening, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, and we wish to thank Roy for his hospitality.”

Last week’s visit to Bullsbrook House wrapped up the year’s programme of events for the Dromara group.

It came hot on the heels of the annual outing for the society.

“We visited Mount Stewart for morning tea or coffee,” said Joan.

“Then it was on to Ballycopeland Windmill and Greyabbey House.

“We ended up with a meal at McKee’s, Craigantlet.”