Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Health and Recreation Department

Viscount’s private Lough Neagh island available for rent

June 18, 2018 / News
Viscount’s private Lough Neagh island available for rent

No man is an island, but the National Trust is offering men and women the chance to live on their own island by putting an historic home on Lough Neagh up for rent. Coney Island (not to be mistaken for its namesakes in Co Down or New York) is a nine-acre island located 1km off the shore at Maghery in Co Armagh. It has been inhabited by humans for nearly 6,000 years with St Patrick, the O’Neill Clan and the 7th Viscount Charlemont having rested their heads there at one time or another. So enamoured with the island was Charlemont that he chose to live there. Building a home in 1895 and being buried here in 1913, inside an ornate stone tower. It is his home, which is currently being refurbished, that is being put up for rent in July. For obvious reasons, it is off the electricity grid. This means the householder will have to learn how to operate a generator and cut their own firewood. And there will be no shortage of that. As part of the renovation works, invasive species, such as sycamore, which self-seeded are being removed. This will create a lough view and fuel the three-bedroom home’s fires. According to Edward Mason of the National Trust, the house will not be for everybody. “If you are in to gaming or watching box-sets this is probably not for you,” he said. “What we are looking for is someone who is caring for nature. Someone who wants to spend time away from the stresses and strains of modern day living. “Someone who is resourceful and can take the elements that will be thrown at them throughout the year.” Despite the sense of being remote, it would be untrue to say that the house offers peace and quiet. The noise comes in the form of beautiful birdsong that is best enjoyed on the forest path between the island’s jetty and the home. The boat journey from the island takes just 10 minutes. Once docked the householder will have access to a shoreside garage. This means they could be in Portadown in half an hour or Belfast in just one hour. Van Morrison famously wrote about jars of mussels and potted herrings in his track about the County Down Coney Island. On Lough Neagh the local delicacy is eel. Like living alone on an island, that is something of an acquired taste.  (Source: BBC News)