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Buildings(v1.0)

Historic Building Details


HB Ref No:
HB02/05/008 A


Extent of Listing:
House


Date of Construction:
1780 - 1799


Address :
Drumcovit House 704 Feeny Road Feeny Co Londonderry BT47 4SU


Townland:
Drumcovit






Survey 2:
B+

Date of Listing:
28/03/1975 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:
House

Former Use
House

Conservation Area:
No

Industrial Archaeology:
No

Vernacular:
No

Thatched:
No

Monument:
No

Derelict:
No




OS Map No:
50/16

IG Ref:
C6400 0580





Owner Category


Private

Exterior Description And Setting


A double pile 5 bay wide 2 storey partly stonebuilt house, with semi circular gable bays and small 2 storey back returns with much larger, longer back return forming stables, now converted into apartments. The entrance and east elevation has a central 10 panelled door with fixed 6 pane sidelights. There are sandstone panelled pilasters with jambs and square head similarly panelled. Over door and sidelights there is a ½ elliptical radial glazed fanlight. Under the sidelight cills there are smooth rendered panels. Pilasters rise from blocking pieces which line with the chamfered sandstone main plinth course. On each side of entrance 2no, 12 pane sliding sash windows and at 1st floor level 9 pane sliding sash windows. Above, a sandstone corbel course supports c.i. ½ round gutter with round downpipes. Walls are built of random rubble sandstone with handmade redbrick trim to window openings blockbonded to stonework, flat brick arches, sandstone cills. The chamfered sandstone plinth course slightly overhangs the stonework below. 4 no. sandstone steps lead to front door, the top step being the width of the entrance. Well formed chamfered rusticated quoins terminate the front wall on each side. The roof is finished slated in naturalslates with clay ridge and 2 brick chimney stacks on ridge separated by the width of the hallway. Stacks have simple projecting caps with red clay pots. The straight slating merges into the slating of the curved end bays. The S elevation illustrates the double pile aspect of the house, each pile being of similar width. The east pile has a semi-circular end, 2 storeys high with 2no, 12 pane sliding sash windows on ground floor and directly over 2no, 9 pane sliding sashes . The semi-circular bay is the full width of the pile gable less the rusticated quoins returned from the E front. Walls built of random rubble stonework with marked iron staining, brick trim to windows and plinth and corbel courses carried round as front. The N elevation of the front pile is similarly treated. The ½ cone of the bay roofs are neatly slated in trimmed small slates. The S elevation of the rear pile has a pair of 12 pane sliding sash windows on ground floor and similar at first floor while a pair of 6 pane casement windows are tucked under the gable roofline. A large red brick chimney stack on the apex of gable. Wall finished in grey cement plaster with daywork joints quite marked. The N elevation of the rear pile is similar except at first floor there is only one window. The rear elevation has a small storey back return in line with the hall and same width, and, that part to the S, is obscured with the long 1½ storey barns which project at right angles and with the exception of the part immediately adjacent to the house, have been converted into 3 chalets. The exposed rear wall has a single sliding sash window 12 pane at ground floor and a 12 pane bottom hinged window at first floor. The first floor of the small back return has a large 16 pane bottom hinged window. Below is the back door and on the flank wall a 4 pane sliding sash. The roof of the rear pile is neatly finished in natural slates and has a clay ridge and 2 redbrick chimney stacks on each gable. A single Velux rooflight is placed about the centre of the roof. The valley between the piles could not be observed. The other back return, built of stone, roof slated, contains boiler room, and games room store. On the roof 2 Velux rooflights, N side. On the S side wall smooth rendered with single door, and 2no, 9 pane windows, not matching. Drumcovit House is sited on the N side of the Feeny/Dungiven Road in a
setting of mature trees, good gardens, a fine rolling meadow to the east and a fine prospect of Benbradagh mountain beyond Dungiven with the spire of Banagher parish church in the middle distance. A short curving avenue leads up to the house. Unfortunately the entrance gates and boundary wall are built of reconstructed blocks, built when the road was realigned in c1960s.


Architects


McBlain, David

Historical Information


The townland of Drumcovit is an isolated part of the former Fishmongers proportion. In 1821 R Hunter was the occupier and John McCloskey describes it “this building has a very fine front of modern construction, the other parts do not harmonize well with it, and are about to be replaced. The flower and kitchen gardens are charmingly laid out in the rear, on a well selected spot. The house itself commands an extensive and diversified prospect”. This would indicate that the present bow ended front pile was erected sometime in the early 19th cent. The back pile does not appear to be too much altered as suggested by McCloskey, as much of the 18th cent. architectural detail remains such as lugged architraves, staircase etc. The O.S. Memoirs gives some more detail “now occupied by Mr Hugh Swan, a farmer …….. The rear of the present house, which was built by Harry Boyle Esquire is very old. In 1796 the present front was built by his son-in-law, Nathaniel Hunter Esquire, who occupied the place until the expiration of the lease in 1824. It then became the residence of Mrs Maxwell, now of Jackson Hall near Coleraine, who occupied it for nearly 2 years and laid out much money in the improvement of the house and demesne, although she possessed no lease of it. As the present occupant confined his attention to the improvement of the farm, the ornamental grounds and the house have fallen greatly out of order”. Lewis in 1837 states “Drumcovit, now occupied as a farmhouse”. In 1870s the house was reroofed. J S Curl speculates that the front part of the house was designed by David McBlain. A Mr Craig purchased the property in the late 19th cent. The present occupants (2000) are relations of the Craig family. In 1993 an inspection of the buildings was carried out and work followed to cure dry rot including work on floors and roofs. In 1997 some of the outbuildings were converted to chalets (see HB02/05/008B). References Primary Sources 1. John McCloskey, Statistical Reports of Six Derry Parishes 1821 p. 73 2. O.S. Map 1830 Londonderry sh. 30 3. O.S. Memoirs of Ireland, Parishes of Co Londonderry X, 1833-34, 1838 Ed by Angelique Dday and Patrick McWilliams Q.U.B. p. 30 4. Report 1993, Beare and Richardson Partnership. 5. Notes – 1st Survey, Built Heritage 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast Secondary Sources 1. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, p.176 2. Rowan, Buildings of Ireland, North West Ulster p. 294 3. Curl, The Londonderry Plantation 1609-1914 p. 242 4. Mitchell, The Land of the Roe p. 26, 28

Criteria for Listing


Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form H-. Alterations detracting from building H+. Alterations enhancing the building I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting

Historic Interest

V. Authorship X. Local Interest



Evaluation


A fine Georgian style house of mid and late 18th cent, interestingly extended with interior detail of both periods retained. It enjoys a commanding site with grand panoramic prospect and is well maintained. It has good gardens and a handsome avenue approach.

General Comments


This building was recorded as HB02/05/008 in the first survey.

Date of Survey


20 July 2000