About the Property
Helen’s Tower, Co. Down
Helen’s Tower is an enchanting three-storey stone tower nestled deep in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate. Built in 1848 by Frederick Lord Dufferin in honour of his Mother, Helen’s Tower has since been immortalized by Tennyson in the poem of the same name.
Spend your time lounging by the fireside, surrounded by a luxuriously decorated and panelled sitting room, with poetry by Tennyson, Kipling and Robert Browning lining the walls. If you want to experience a truly lovely piece of history and have an unforgettable escape, then this is the ideal retreat for you.
We think you’ll love
- You can see as far as distant Scottish shores, the Isle of Man and mountains in Wales from the top of Helen’s Tower.
- Visitors to the area can enjoy walking routes, known locally as Clandeboye Way (Helen’s Bay to Whitespots Country Park).
- 1 Double Bedroom – adults only
- Electric Storage Heating. Portable heaters available.
- Open Fire in Sitting Room
- Beautiful Reading Room
- Roof Terrace with spectacular views
- Electric Oven
- Towels and Linens provided
- Hair dryer
- Iron and Ironing Board
- Cooking Utensils and Equipment
- Shower over half-hip bath
- Separate W/C
- Narrow stone staircase
- Car Parking
Things you should know:
The Tower is an adults-only property.
Please note that the Tower is closed at the moment for essential maintenance. Please keep an eye on the website as dates will be made available to book as they are released to Irish Landmark Trust.
This property has a narrow spiral stone staircase and may not be accessible for those with mobility issues.
Although in an isolated location, please note that this property is close to a very popular walking/hiking track and guests may encounter people on outdoor pursuits during their stay.
WiFi Free Zone: Irish Landmark believes that digital detox is good for the mind, body and soul. This is why Irish Landmark properties advocate the properties in our care as WiFi and television free zones. Reconnecting with our lives, nature, our surroundings, books, as well as family and friends, is vital for a happy life. This continues to make us very proud and happy to be a WiFi Free Zone.
Special Notes: This property had a narrow spiral stone staircase. Although in an isolated location, please note that this property is close to a very popular walking/hiking track and guests may encounter people on outdoor pursuits during their stay.
A contribution towards energy fees is applied to all bookings. As a not for profit organisation, this fee makes a significant contribution to energy costs. It is our aim to reduce our energy consumption at all self catering properties and encourage guests to reuse, reduce, recycle.
Helen's Tower perched high above the rolling hills of Co Down, is an enchanting three storey stone tower nestled deep in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate. Standing on top of the world with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, one can see as far as distant Scottish shores from the top of Helen's Tower.
Built in 1848 by Frederick Lord Dufferin, 5th Baron of Dufferin and Ava in honour of his mother Helen Selina Blackwood, Helen's Tower has since been immortalized by Tennyson in the poem of the same name. Designed by architect William Burn and constructed in 1848-1850 as a famine relief project, Helen's Tower helped relieve unemployment at this time.
The tower has taken on an unforeseen poignancy, as an almost exact replica of it, the Ulster Tower, was built at Thiepval in 1921 to honour the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division who fell at the Battle of the Somme. Clandeboye Estate was used for army training during the First World War, and the 36th (Ulster) Division trained beside Helen's Tower before leaving for France.
A Game Keepers Tower, the interiors and fittings of this building were unique to this period. An octagonal room on the third floor with its paneling throughout with poems engraved on metal plates are set into the walls.
Helen's Tower is equipped with 1 double bedroom, shower room, separate bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room and rooftop reading room.
Visitors to the area can enjoy walking routes, known locally as Cladeboye Way (Helen's Bay to Whitespots Country Park). Other places of interest include Ava Gallery, Ireland Off Road Experience, Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers and Clandeboye Estate.
Two well known poems by Tennyson and Browning about Helen's Tower
HELENS TOWER by ALFRED TENNYSON
HELEN'S TOWER, here I stand,
Dominant over sea and land.
Son's love built me, and I hold
Mother's love in letter'd gold.Love is in and out of time,
I am mortal stone and lime.
Would my granite girth were strong
As either love, to last as long
I should wear my crown entire
To and thro' the Doomsday fire,
And be found of angel eyes
In earth's recurring Paradise.
HELENS TOWER by ROBERT BROWNING
Who hears of Helens Tower,
may dream perchance
How the Greek Beauty from the Scaean Gate
Gazed on old friends unanimous in hate,
Death-doomd because of her fair countenance.
Hearts would leap otherwise, at thy advance,
Lady, to whom this Tower is consecrate!
Like hers, thy face once made all eyes elate,
Yet, unlike hers, was blessd by every glance.
The Tower of Hate is outworn, far and strange:
A transitory shame of long ago,
It dies into the sand from which it sprang;
But thine, Loves rock-built Tower, shall fear no change:
Gods self laid stable earths foundations so,
When all the morning-stars together sang.
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
Our buildings were made to the standards of earlier times – and sometimes without the intention that they should be lived in. Consequently, you may encounter features that reflect their particular character but that deserve due care and attention, particularly by the young, elderly, less mobile or visually impaired. Examples of these are steps worn with age, uneven surfaces, low ceilings and beams, unexpected drops or changes in level, and by modern standards low or absent lighting. In all cases we have sought to make a sensible compromise between due regard for safety and the careful retention of the fabric of each building, which makes it an interesting place to stay. We ask you to appreciate and use the building with this understanding. If you have any queries about the property you are interested in and would like more clarification please contact Irish Landmark at email@example.com.
Arrival and Departure Time?
Unless otherwise agreed with the House Manager the earliest time at which you can check in is 4.00p.m. Guests may NOT take over the property any time later then 9.00pm. Guests are requested to vacate the property by 10.00am at the latest on the day of departure.
Is there a TV?
No, but there is a radio, board games, cards and plenty of books.
Is there WiFi?
No, at our properties you have an opportunity to experience the best of a former way of life: beautiful architecture, fascinating history and a peaceful relaxed ambiance, without modern electronic distractions, where you decide the pace of your holiday.
Can I bring a dog?
No, this property is not suitable for dogs.
Do you supply towels and bed linen?
Yes. The bed will be made up on your arrival and you will be provided with a bath towel and guest towel according to the number of beds in the property.
Is there an open fire?
Yes. There is an open fire in the sitting room.
Can I light a fire?
Yes. You can light the open fire in the sitting room. There is a limited amount of fuel left for the fire (where applicable) so guests may want to bring more for the duration of their stay. Please contact the local House Manager for more information on what type of fuel is used at your chosen property.
Do you supply fuel for the fire?
Irish Landmark Trust supply enough fuel for one night only. Guests will be advised where to purchase fuel for the fire locally.
Do I need a car to get here?
It would be preferable to have a car otherwise it will be difficult to get to shops etc as the Tower is situated within the Clandeboye Estate.
How do I get the keys?
When you complete your booking, you will receive an email giving you information about arranging access for your arrival date.
Can I arrive early?
Only by special arrangement with the bookings office and agreement of the local House Manager. A charge is made if you are requesting a morning arrival, as this means we cannot take a booking for the night before your arrival date.
What is the latest departure time?
10.00am. The House Manager will discuss arrangements for your departure on the day you arrive.
How far to the nearest town?
From the front door of Helen's Tower it can take about 30 minutes to Bangor.
Where can I find information about the local area?
Each of our properties contains a Green Book catered to that specific property. In this book, we have compiled all of the necessary information important local amenities such as medical centres and taxi services, including locations and phone numbers. You will also find tips for recommended restaurants, bars, and things to see and do for all ages.
Is there a caterer who will come in to cook meals?
We do not know of anyone who can go in to cook meals at this property.
Is it suitable for children?
No. This is a small property that only sleeps 2 adults only. There is a winding stone staircase which would not be suitable for young children.
Is it suitable for older people?
This property does not suit anyone with mobility issues. There is a narrow stone winding staircase up to all the floors.
Does it have facilities for disabled people?
Is it suitable for a wheelchair?
Is there central heating?
There is electric central heating at Helen’s Tower. There are storage heaters throughout the building. There are also portable heaters available.
Is the cooker electric or gas?
There is an electric cooker.
Is there a shower?
Yes – there is an electric shower over bath in the bathroom.
How many bathrooms?
Can I get to the house by public transport?
Yes. You would get a train or bus to Belfast and then a local train to Bangor. A local taxi could take you onwards from there to the tower. However, you would need a car to get to local shops, etc.
Where is the nearest train station?
What type of heating is in the house?
Electric storage heaters.
Can I book for just one night?
What is your minimum booking period?
Irish Landmark Trust have a 2 night stay minimum at all of our properties. Some Special Dates will have restrictions on arrival and departure date which will effect the minimum number of nights.
Is there a garden at the house?
No. However there is a roof terrace with outdoor furniture.
How many cars can I bring to the house?
Is there parking on site?
Yes, there is parking for 1 car in front of the lodge.
What condiments and products do you supply?
We supply teabags, coffee granules, sugar, salt & pepper, cooking oil, tin foil & kitchen roll, handwash, washing up liquid, dishwashing cloths, and dishwasher tablets if there is a dishwasher. We do not supply any other cleaning products that contain chemicals, including laundry detergents – we suggest you bring your own.
HOW TO BOOK AN IRISH LANDMARK HOLIDAY :
It is possible to reserve dates online at www.irishlandmark.com but bookings are not confirmed until a confirmation email is received from the bookings desk.
Your booking must be for holiday purposes only. Irish Landmark reserve the right to refuse hire for purposes other than holiday accommodation. When you make a booking, you accept full responsibility for all persons who will use or visit the property during the period booked. When you book, you agree to indemnify us against all loss and damage arising directly or indirectly to the property and its contents from any deliberate or negligent act or omission by yourself, or any person accompanying you.
CONTRACT OF HIRE:
The hiring contract shall be between the Hirer and Irish Landmark and made subject to these Booking Conditions . The Contract of Hire is not effective until Irish Landmark dispatches to the Hirer written confirmation of a booking.
Click arrival date for cost of stay
“Had a lovely & relaxing two days in Helens tower. Walter met us nearby to show us where to go and show us around the Tower. It’s in the a beautiful wooded area with stunning 360 views. If only staying a couple a of nights I would recommend bringing all your food so you don’t have to venture out. We lit the fire on both nights and had such a relaxing time. It really is a unique property and as surrounded by trees you have birds singing morning and evening….bliss.” (SBell)
A Fairytale Trip
“We stayed in Helen’s tower as part of our honeymoon and it was perfect from start to finish. Such a unique property, it felt such a privilege to be able to stay there. Walter was so helpful and communicative. We love staying in Landmark Trust properties.” (AJHaigh)
Walter Corr is the House Manager at Helens Tower. Walter loves to welcome guests and tell them about the best things to do in the local area. Walters local highlights include: