Historic Ashbrook House opens doors to public

Agnes Beresford Ash, second right, of Ashbrook House, Ardmore, which will now be open to the public by appointment. Included are Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau staff members, from left, Jane McElhinney, Odhran Dunne and Catherine Crawley. (0405PG31)
Agnes Beresford Ash, second right, of Ashbrook House, Ardmore, which will now be open to the public by appointment. Included are Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau staff members, from left, Jane McElhinney, Odhran Dunne and Catherine Crawley. (0405PG31)

One of Derry’s most historic family homes is to open its doors to the public.

Ashbrook House, the home of the Beresford Ash family since the 16th century, is the latest acqusition to the Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau (DVCB) tourist trail.

Agnes Beresford Ash, second right, of Ashbrook House, Ardmore, which will now be open to the public by appointment. Included are Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau staff members, from left, Catherine Crawley, Odhran Dunne and Jane McElhinney. (0405PG30)

Agnes Beresford Ash, second right, of Ashbrook House, Ardmore, which will now be open to the public by appointment. Included are Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau staff members, from left, Catherine Crawley, Odhran Dunne and Jane McElhinney. (0405PG30)

Odhran Dunne, Interim Chief Executive of Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau said: “This historic property encapsulates generations of the city’s fascinating heritage story and will appeal to visitors from across the globe.

“We believe the increasing level of interest in membership is testament to business growth within the tourism sector in the region.

“DVCB continues to work in partnership with our members and key stakeholders to increase the market profile of the city as a tourism destination and is looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors during ni2012 and City of Culture 2013.”

Set in 30 acres of mature parkland in Ardmore is one of the oldest historic houses in the North West and has been the family home of the Ash family since before 1595.

Built by Thomas Ash circa 1610 on the site of a previous dwelling the original front door and upstairs windows remain, although they are incorporated into the present day house.

The house was made famous during the Ulster Plantations and the Siege of Derry.

The Honourable The Irish Society records the Ash family as one of only four ‘native land owners’ prior to the plantation. It has been continually owned and lived in by the original family – The Ash Family, and this is certainly unique in the North West.

Mrs Beresord-Ash says: “We are excited to open the doors of Ashbrook House to visitors and offer them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the quirky tales and unique memories of the Beresford-Ash family.

“We are thrilled to offer visitors a guided tour of the house and gardens to unravel the story behind our historic home.

The Ashbrook estate was granted as a gift to General Thomas Ash by Queen Elizabeth I in the 1590s as a reward for his aid in quashing the O’Neill Rebellion during the Nine Years War - the conflict which ultimately led to the historic Flight of Earls from Lough Swilly in 1603.