Members of Banbridge Historical Society were unanimous in their verdict about this year’s summer outing, ‘It was dead on!’
Jack Sneddon had suggested a visit to Clones and to Hilton Park House, which is a Stately Home.
The day started with a comfort break in the Creighton Hotel, Clones with a cuppa and delicious home-made scones and sausage rolls. Once satisfied members enjoyed had a guided walking tour of the town.
Local guide, George McKnight was excellent. He described Clones’ ancient monastery, the Anglican Church and the Celtic Cross in the middle of the Market Square.
The Anglican Church contains among other interesting items a memorial to Cassandra, the wife of the rector, Rev. Thomas Hand, the incumbent during the Great Famine. She realised the best way to help starving people was to create jobs enabling them to earn a living and started the Clones lace industry. Apparently men as well as women made lace. Clones lace is still being made locally.
Members finished the visit to Clones town in the graveyard getting up close and personal with the round tower then they climbed board the bus and headed to Hilton Park House.
Johnny Madden explained he once owned the property but is no longer responsible. He’s passed it on to his son and daugher-in-law. He described the elaborate defences as protection against possible terrorist attack and the difficulties faced in maintaining a stately home. Members had a guided tour of the house and found it enchanting.
After enjoying the stunning grounds around Hilton Park House they headed back to the Creighton Hotel for what proved to be one of the best evening meals.
Thanks to Jack Sneddon for suggesting such a fabulous day and to members of the committee for their organisation skills.
The next meeting of Banbridge Historical Society will be held in the Old Banbridge Town Hall on 6th September at 7 30 pm. All welcome.