The townland of Redford is where Hazel McIntyre spent her growing years and is the inspiration for much of her writings. The cliffs above Redford port is a magical place that can set the imagination on fire. The McIntyre children and their school pals played around the ruins of the old rectory, with its grey stone walls and the old walled garden overlooking the brown hills and rocky shore. Redford Rectory was built around 1734 and served as a rectory until 1870. Rectors included: William Elwood; William Chichester; Edward Chichester; Richard Hamilton and Richard Homan. The setting is surely one of the most romantic and beautiful places in all of Inishowen.

An echo of another time at Redford Rectory can be glimpsed in an extract from George Young's diary of 1840, (extract taken from Three Hundred Years Of Inishowen). When John Laurence, future Viceroy of India, married Harriet Hamilton, daughter of Rev. Hamilton of Redford.

Aug. 26th Weather showery. 3 Galweys came to breakfast. Mrs. Staples and 4 daughters, and shortly afterwards 2 Miss Crookshanks, Mrs. Lyle, Mr. And Mrs. Goring, including 4 from Carthage, all attended the wedding and stopped here for a while on their return to Redford. I had my carriage and 4 for the bride and groom. Several of the party dined in Mr. Lyle's tent at Redford, and we had dancing afterwards. In the evening we all went to Malin to tea, and danced again after tea. 27th We all dined at Redford again, in the tent. Jno. Harvey, Mr. Hawkshaw, Uncle John 2 girls. Wilcocks, Dr. Layard, E. Harvey and Mr. McHenry, and 2 Miss Crookshanks, and we had a ball and supper

It is easy to imagine horse drawn carriages trundling along the long driveway 150 years ago.

 

EMIGRATION
Gaping Holes where your
Twinkling glass
Once reflected light.
Your once thatched roof
Just a gaping space.

Your garden wall
outlined above
The overgrown briars.
Imagine you as you
once were?
The sound of
children at play.


The old Rectory at Redford

Taken from an old watercolour sketch

Shore
The chilly bite of a winter dawn on the
deserted shore.
Only my own footprints
on the hard firm sand.
How many prints of those that trod before me?
Have been long since washed clean,
Ahead of the ceaselessly, timeless rushing tide.

Hazel McIntyre.

Your roof space
neatly thatched,
The scent from your
turf fire waffs
Though the air

Your garden now,
a row of neat
corn stacks
Tightly secured
against winter storm,
And you twinkling
glass windows again;
Reflect the evening
light.
Hazel McIntyre

 
An interesting footnote to the images above; A Rectory features in both of Hazel McIntyre's novels!
 

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