Saturday, 4 August 2012

Errigal Glen

Errigal Bridge 3rd August 2012
When I was out driving today I decided to go for a short walk through Errigal Glen, Churchtown near Garvagh. The glen is in private ownership but the public have access to the path that runs through the glen and which links Temple Road to Churchtown Road. It was a day where I needed the solicitude of solitude and the walk suited my mood. I parked in the lay bye near to Errigal Bridge and headed up the steeply sided glen. It is heavily wooded with many very large beech trees which were planted by the Heyland family some two hundred years ago.

It is a descendant of the same family who still owns the glen , the adjoining lands and the eighteenth century Ballintemple House which is visible a field width away from the glen. The Heylands were one of the first, "planter," families in Ulster. They arrived in Derry in 1611 before moving to Castleroe, Coleraine in 1641. It was from there that they moved to Ballintemple in the eighteenth century. One of their number, Major Arthur Rowley Heyland of the 40th Regiment of Foot died at the Battle of Waterloo after having survived the Peninsular War and being wounded at the battle of Talavera and again at Roncevalles.Two of his sons subsequently fought in the Crimea.

Running through the glen is the Agivey River. Although it is not always to be seen from the path the sound of the river is always present, sometimes a pleasing gurgle but at other times an urgent roar where the walls of the glen close in and restrict its course.

Once I had joined the Churchtown Road  I followed it up hill, passing the rear of Ballintemple House and then headed down hill to Temple Road and back to Errigal Bridge. Probably no more than a two mile walk but the glen is a place to linger in and to enjoy the scenery.

Errigal Glen - 3rd August 2012
Errigal Glen - 3rd August 2012

Horses at Ballintemple House - 3rd August 2012

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