Geoff. McElwaine

Geoff. McElwaine

Posted on 08/13/2013


Photo taken on May 30, 2006



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Keywords

Northern Ireland
Co. Down
Scrabo Tower
3rd. Marquess of Lord Londonderry
Memorial Newtownards


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Scrabo Tower.

Scrabo Tower.
Viewed from McKee's Farm & Coffee Shop [ www.mckeesproduce.com/index.aspx ], one of my favourite " watering holes ". It's said that, on a good day, one may view most of Northern Ireland's six Counties from the Tower. I've never managed that : it's always been too cloudy or misty or wet !

The turreted Tower, as it stands today, was built on a site 540' above sea level and is 125' (41 m. ) high. The walls are over a metre thick and the entire building is constructed of stone from Scrabo Hill. The walls are of the dark dolerite rock, which forms the summit of the hill, while the roof, stairs, quoins and window dressings are of Scrabo sandstone.

An inscribed stone panel may be seen above the doorway on its North side. The inscription reads -

Erected in memory of Charles William Vane
3rd Marquess of Londonderry KG and C by his tenantry and friends.
Fame belongs to history, remembrance to us. 1857.

Erected in 1857, the Tower was built by local people as a monument to Charles William Stewart, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry. The Marquess was a local landowner and nobleman with a lengthy military and diplomatic career. He was Lieutenant Colonel of the light Dragoons and fought in 25 major battles, earning the nickname ' Fighting Charley '. He was also Adjutant General to the Duke of Wellington, during the Napoleonic Wars, before becoming diplomat as Envoy Extraordinary in Prussia and British Ambassador to Austria.

The Third Marquess, inherited the title and family seat of Mount Stewart after his half brother, the Second Marquess, committed suicide in 1822. The Second Marquess is better know as Viscount Castlereagh, Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs during the Congress of Vienna, to which he was a major contributor.

Besides earning fame and fortune overseas, in some quarters the Marquess was held in high regard for what were seen as his efforts to alleviate suffering during the Irish potato famine [ 1845 - 1847 ].

Following his death, in 1854, a meeting was organised to discuss how the Marquess should be commemorated. This, held in Newtownards Rectory, agreed that a monument should be erected. On December 27 1855, the monument's design was discussed, and a decision taken to have an open competition. The architects' designs were to be received before February 1 1856. No particular kind of monument was specified, but an obelisk or tower was a preferred option. Two prizes were offered - £20 and £15 - and the cost of the work was not to exceed £2000.

Four designs were considered. The winner was an obelisk by W J Barre of Newy, the second a tower by J Boyd of Belfast and the other two were Towers by Daniel Hanus, assistant County Surveyor, and Charles Lanyon, afterwards Sir Charles, whose design was placed fourth.
When tenders were received the first three cost more than £2000 and Lanyon's design was, therefore, adopted as it was the only one to come within the specified outlay. The winning design of W J Barre was priced, by Messrs McLaughlin & Harvey, Belfast, at 20 % above the stipulated cost of £2000.

The ironic outcome of the competition and the adoption of the Lanyon design was that it, too, ultimately proved too expensive, forcing alterations to his design in order to reduce costs. The Tower was therefore shortened, the small towers were reduced in size, the buttress walls were deleted and the interior left incomplete. Yet the Tower still cost much more than planned, the eventual cost being over £3000.

Light Scholar, Blueman have particularly liked this photo


7 comments - The latest ones
Blueman
Blueman
Beautiful photograpy!!!

Ring of Excellence
Ring of Excellence Group
4 years ago.
Janet Brien
Janet Brien
What a cool image of this tower, great information too. Fascinating to read about the history of this place. It's so HUGE!!! And EXPENSIVE!!!!
4 years ago.
Janet Ulliott
Janet Ulliott
So Well Taken and Presented ..
4 years ago.
beverleyplaya
beverleyplaya
o0o an unusual effect of the softness around the picture ... very effective oOo
4 years ago.
LeapFrog
LeapFrog
Great view of the area ...

An Excellent View!!
Seen in

'Scapes!!
4 years ago.
Diko G W
Diko G W
Beautiful work
Well Done!!
Seen in

Leap's Photo
Pond!!
4 years ago.
LeapFrog
LeapFrog
Well Done!!
Seen in

Leap's Photo
Pond!!
4 years ago.