Lesser Spotted Ulster: Lough Beg

Lesser Spotted Ulster: Lough Beg

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Ballyscullion House, Bellaghy, Church Island, Lough Beg






25min 26sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Northland Films ltd, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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Northland Films ltd

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Joe Mahon’s adventures lead to the Wee Lough or Lough Beg. This freshwater lake north of Lough Neagh is located on the border between County Antrim and County Derry. Joe takes a trip to the Church Island on Lough Beg which was a site of a pre-Viking monastery. Apart from these very old ruins you will also find a not-so-old spire. The spire was attached for the benefit of Bishop Hervey, the Earl of Bristol, who was keen to improve the view from his villa in Bellaghy. This house, Ballyscullion House is also known locally as ‘Bishop’s Folly’  was not completed and due to newly introduced window tax it was eventually dismantled in 1813.

The area all around Lough Beg provides a home for a wide range of wildlife. Due to the area's many rare plants and a stopping point for migrating birds the area was protected by the Lough Beg National Nature Reserve.

Joe also meets locals of the Lough Beg area and learns not only about the process of Bann brick making, how to search for artefacts from local ‘curiosity men’ but a lot more than that.


Presented by Joe Mahon 

Thanks to:

Colm Scullion
Peter McErlane
Kitty McAllister
Mary Baxter
Frank Larkin
Willy McNally
Willy John McCann


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