Portnagolan

Portnagolan is a Victorian sandstone building, which was purchased by the Dobbs family in the early 1800s and later enlarged. Margaret Dobbs, a Gaelic scholar, and friend of Rodger Casement, lived at Portnagolan until her death in the 1960’s. She was known in the family as Great aunt Margaret.

We took over the house in 1985 when my parent’s in-law left it to us. When our son left home to go to university we decided to convert some extra space into two self- apartments retaining the Victorian character as well as adding modern comfort trusting that this would appeal to discerning guests.

The House

The house overlooks the ocean and lies in a large garden ten minutes walk from Cushendall village, situate in the beautiful Glen Ballyeamon. The village has a sailing club, a nine hole golf course, there is a pebbled beach and you can fish, hike and cycle in the surrounding area. It is a traditional Irish village with four pubs where Irish music is played. A hotel, four restaurants, a bank, two supermarkets, two butcher shops and a medical centre make the village function well as a holiday destination.We are happy to share this beautiful house with you, a perfect country retreat for your family and friends.

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Cushendall where our beautiful house is situated is a small village with about 2000 inhabitants locate by the sea at the foot of Glen Ballyeamon one of the nine Glens of Antrim renowned for their scenic beauty. It lies50 miles north of Belfast, the ferry terminal from Scotland and the International Airport. The village still has active farming as well s being a holiday destination. In the village there are three churches, a Medical centre, a Chemist, two supermarkets, two butcher shops, two restaurants, two hairdressers, a Hardware store and four pubs. There is a nine hole golf course with a club house where meals are available to non
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members, in Ballycastle about 19 miles north of Cushendall there is an 18 hole golf course and one hour’s drive from the village are two championship courses at Portrush. There is an active sailing club in Cushendall sea fishing and river fishing can be arranged. There is a long sandy beach in Waterfoot and walks in Glenariffe forest park with its many waterfalls .Further afield is Ballycastle with a ferry to Rathlin Island where there Is a large bird colony. There is an old distillery at Bushmills on the way to the Giants Causeway where Geology and Old folk tales draw a big crowd. Belfast with its Titanic Museum is an hours’ drive away. There are lots of things to like not least the friendly local people you can meet in local pubs where folk music is played at times. Portnagolan is an old Dower house think the Dowager of the TV series Downtown Abbey albeit a smaller version built in the early 1800 and being bought by the Dobbs family who enlarged it in the 1840 is.The house is listed by British Heritage as a house of Historical and Architectural note.

There is a two acre garden and stunning sea views. The setting is tranquil and the village lies a 10 minute walk away. Here lived until her death in the 1960is when she was over 90 Margaret Dobbs. She came from a protestant family her father was in the Grattan Parliament and they lived in Dublin and moved to Glenariffe which was a hunting lodge, the estate was later gifted by Patricia the wife of a nephew to a second cousin and sold to the Forestry Commission who created Glenariffe Forest Park.

Margaret a remarkable woman a fluent Gaelic speaker, a Gaelic scholar and an amateur Archaeologist. She taught Gaelic and was a founder member of the local Gaelic Feish. She was politically involved and a close friend of Rodger Casement an early Human Rights Campanger. He was born in Ballycastle and worked in the Belgium Congo and drew the attention to the maltreatment of the black population by the Belgium rulers. He later went to South America where he campaigned for the rubber tappers who were badly treated by their employers .Rodger took up the Irish course and he sought the assistance of the German government in the efforts of Ireland leaving the British Empire.

He was tried for treason and executed by the British government. Margaret paid for his defence and he left his possessions to her. The village gave two stained glass windows to her now in the hall. They depict Margaret and Rodger as characters in Gaelic mythology. Rodger riding to heaven on a white horse she sitting on a bench with her books and her cat.

I live in the main house so can provide information and assistance. I hope that you will feel like guests in a country house very private, well coming and comfortable.
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