Holyhill House is a large house in the Georgian Style (this relates to the four Kings of the name who ruled from the death of Queen Anne in 1714 until 1830) located near Leckpatrick. The building is symmetrical and deliberately designed to command its surroundings. Influenced by classical ideals of beauty and proportion, great care has been taken in regard to the size and layout of windows and decoration is confined to the entrance door. The house was built on land granted to the Earl of Abercorn in the Plantation. It was sold to Rev George Sinclair in 1668. However this building was expanded and significantly altered in the prosperous 1760’s to the elegant building of today.
Also of the style, but a little more assertive, is Lifford Courthouse. Designed by the architect Michael Priestly and completed in 1754 (he also designed Port Hall House near Lifford and Prehen House near Derry), this public building makes much of its oversized windows. Their alternating stepped surround is of a form popularised during the period by the London architect James Gibbs and reflects a developing professional class of architects and designers. At the same time Priestly was drawing up plans for the Earl of Abercorn to reorganise Strabane and build 300 houses.
Strabane was thriving during the Eighteenth century and Gray’s printers is a very good example of the sort of elegant shops that could be found in the town. Also in the Georgian style it has a bow fronted window of high quality and a date of 1760 inscribed over the door. It has been preserved because of its link to John Dunlap, printer of the American Declaration of Independence who reputedly served his time in the shop, one of 10 printers in the town, before emigrating to America.
The houses lining the Bowling Green are also Georgian in style and date from near the end of the period – the 1830’s. They also have carefully proportioned sash windows with small panes with decorated doors. They are similar to buildings constructed right across Ireland and Britain at that time.
Badoney Church of Ireland in the Glenelly Valley is typical of new Anglican churches funded by the church’s ‘Board of First Fruits’. Known as the ‘tower and hall type’, they followed the Georgian norms of simplicity and proportion and, as with this one, tend to be located on or near to the site of the preceding medieval building. Churches such as these invariably had a small extension at the end to house a chancel added later. A medieval feature these became popular again in the Church of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century. The chancel to this building was added in the 1860’s.
Holy Hill House, Lecpatrick 1668, remodled 1765
Lifford Courthouse, 1754.
Gray's Printer's, Strabane.
Bowling Green, Strabane.
Badony Church of Ireland, Glenelly Valley.