Summer from a bygone era

If walls could talk……….

Walls do talk but do we make the time to listen to the many stories they hold?

Walls harbour shared histories, memories and loved lives. Walls absorb people’s laughter and tears. Walls are like picture frames for a host of domestic scenes. Walls breathe belonging….

Unearthing such vanished histories, lost voices and forgotten narratives is what much of Irish Landmark’s work is about. We love to coax time-neglected buildings back to life, and encourage them to rise again. Stone-by-stone, brick-by-brick, memories weave, cement and merge themselves back into the soul of these heritage buildings. Once family homes, these buildings share some glimmers of the wonderful people who once lived within.

It is a joy for Irish Landmark to hear from people who remember a significant property from their childhood, like recent special guest Elizabeth Wharry.

Elizabeth returned to our Drum Gatelodge property in Bushmills, Co. Antrim for her 84th birthday this Summer. She was  accompanied by her daughter Janice, and grand daughters, Hannah and Rachel. Walking through the restored rooms, Elizabeth recalls vivid childhood memories from visits with her grandmother Eliza (Lizzie) Taggart.  Drum Gatelodge is the place her grandmother Lizzie called home for sixty years from 1898 -1958. In those distant days, Lizzie, was a farm labourer, employed to look after the geese, ducks and hens on the Ballylough estate. She maintained her farm labourer role and reared her three children after her husband Robert Taggart died in 1913.

Elizabeth’s return for her 84th birthday celebration beautifully encapsulates the power of place. Rescued buildings protect national, local and personal histories. Over her birthday weekend, three generations of Elizabeth’s family gathered in Drum Gatelodge, affectionately referred to as ‘the little round tower’. They did this to honour her, their family lineage, and meaningfully mark the ‘little round tower’ with their historic associations.

Remembering Granny

So often the tastes, smells and rituals of baking and eating together are evocative memories associated with grandmothers. When Elizabeth Wharry returned to Drum Gatelodge for her  84th birthday celebration, the experience was no different. Stepping back into her grandmother’s ‘little round tower’, Elizabeth was immediately transported back: the sounds, the smells and happy memories of her rural childhood. Oh, that remembered piece of  Lizzie’s warm fresh soda bread and home-made rhubarb jam! Her deliciously airy pancakes….those crumbly warm scones.

Much slips from our hands as we age. There’s nothing more meaningful that to be able to go back in time, to places where memories were sweetly anchored, and deeply savoured. Baking was at the heart of Lizzie’s home. Although Drum Gatelodge is now catered with modern appliances, Elizabeth can still trace the shadows of Lizzie’s workspace. She can almost smell the peat burning, and “see” her grandmother swinging the crook over the flames, setting the griddle. Lizzie’s meticulous eye monitored the fire’s temperature, no support from heat dials or timers, culinary instinct alone, the sole guiding force for griddle perfect potato cakes. Elizabeth can still “see” her grandmother kneading the tactile dough slowly, mindfully. Smell that wonderful bread, brown flour and folded-in egg!!  – everything made from scratch in those days. Afterwards, Lizzie swirls hen meal around the bowl, mopping up the last pinch of dough. A “handful share” is thrown over the half-leaf door for the hens. Everything has its purpose. Nothing wasted. Thrift paramount. A goose wing, brushed up the surplus flour. She “sees” her grandmother outside Drum cottage, back bent over the small tin bath, laboriously hand washing her clothes. Then the newly cleaned clothes are draped over evergreen hedges to drip and drain. The hedges are the only available resting place for them to dry. Washing lines not yet in vogue.

Another memory, a crash and a smash. Elizabeth has accidentally broke her grandmother’s favourite china cup. Blue patterned pieces lie in smithereens. Her grandmother sits down, delft wreckage looked at, not quickly brushed up and she sheds tears for the loss.  Lizzie’s reaction encapsulates a time where everyday utensils were in short supply.  Such items were priceless but because they were precious, not easily replaced.  This is a position that Lizzie’s granddaughter Elizabeth fully appreciates. ‘Things were harder to come across in these days and a broken cup could ruin the week’. 

Memories turn to stories about the challenges of childbirth without a doctor. Elizabeth recalls the vital role her grandmother played in the community. A forgotten tale. Now remembered. One cold night, the Gothic styled window of the little round tower is rattled with an unexpected knock. A local woman struggles in childbirth. A ‘man person’ awaits in a carriage to escort Lizzie to assist. As lay mid-wife, Lizzie understands that the family in need can’t afford the doctors call out fee.  Coat over nightdress, off she goes, at a moment’s notice. Thanks to Lizzie’s skill and guidance, a safe birth ensues.  A legacy of everyday caregiving, not rendered special. Lizzie deems it mere practical assistance. Yet, her actions contribute to life saving outcomes, support local families, and offer mercy response. A final image. Lizzie sits by the golden light of fire, knitting needles for company. Natures light diminishes but ember flicker offers last rays of luminescence. It will be pitch black before the lamp is lit. Thrift revokes comfort in all facets of life.   Lizzie works on the stitch, the patterns and the craft. In time, architects weave the design, the plan and the drawing. Dusk descends but Lizzie casts on.

Have you an Irish Landmark personal connection to share?

Have you a story to share about your family connection to an Irish Landmark Trust property? Have you a personal history, experience or genealogy research that we could help you craft into a narrative? We are always happy to hear from people who hold a personal connection with our properties, or who have an interesting story to tell.

Simply send an email to and we will be delighted to follow up with you directly.

Featured Property

Salterbridge Gatelodge

Salterbridge Gatelodge, located in the glorious Blackwater valley, dates from the mid 19th Century.

View Property

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Booking Conditions


It is possible to reserve dates online at 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. 


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. 


Irish Landmark reserves the right to increase or decrease the price of unsold holidays at any time. However, such amendments to price will not be applied to holidays already confirmed.   


All prices quoted are based on current prices and rates of V.A.T. at the time of going to press. Irish Landmark is unable to absorb increases in Value Added Tax or any new forms of taxation which may be introduced. Any such increases will be charged as notified and will be payable. 


All bookings can be paid for in full at time of booking. All bookings made within 12 weeks of stay must be paid in full at time of booking. Bookings made more than 12 weeks in advance of stay require a 30% non-refundable deposit with the balance due 12 weeks before arrival.  Irish Landmark shall be entitled to treat any failure to pay by the due date as a cancellation of the booking and will notify the Hirer by email.  The maximum number of payments for a booking will be limited to two – the deposit and balance payment.   A separate payment may be due where an amendment has been made to the original booking.  


Payments can be made by credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard ONLY).    

Payments for properties in the Republic of Ireland are taken in Euros, payments for properties in Northern Ireland are taken in Great British Pounds. 


Please note that only one voucher can be used per booking.  Vouchers have a strict expiry date. 


Upon receipt of payment by our bookings office, you will receive a confirmation of your reservation.  All charges for the booking will be confirmed in this notification.  Once confirmation has been issued, the Hirer is responsible for the total advertised price of the property and any extras notified.   

AMENDMENTS TO BOOKINGS (excluding cancellations):    

Irish Landmark does not offer a transfer of dates option. A complete change of dates is treated as a cancellation 

CANCELLATION POLICY: We hope that you will not have to cancel your stay, or part of your reservation.  If for any reason this is unavoidable, cancellations must be notified by email to In the event of cancellation (this includes a reduction in number of nights) your deposit is non-refundable and the following cancellation charges will apply:  

Date of Cancellation 

Cancellation Charge 

More than 12 weeks before start date 

The deposit of 30% 

84 – 28 days before start date 

50% of total rental 

Fewer than 28 days 

100% of total rental 

Irish Landmark does not operate a cancellation insurance scheme for any reason, including Covid-19, and strongly recommends that all guests take out full holiday insurance cover.    

PARTY SIZE AND COMPOSITION:  In no circumstances may more than the number of persons listed on the booking form occupy the property overnight.   Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse admission if this condition is not observed. Bookings can only be made by adults and cannot be accepted from anyone under the age of 21.  Irish Landmark only allows guest stays where the lead guest is aged 21 years or over.   


Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive Access Details and Important Information via email about your rental. This includes the contact information of the Local House Manager, directions to the property, arrival and departure time, etc. However, the specific arrival time must be agreed with the relevant local House Manager at least four days prior to holiday start date.  It is the responsibility of the Hirer to arrive at the property at the time agreed with the House Manager. Irish Landmark reserves the right to levy an additional charge if the property is not vacated in accordance with these terms on the day of departure.  


The number of day visitors will be limited to the capacity of the property – i.e., a 2-person property may have 2 day visitors, etc.   Prior written consent must be obtained from Irish Landmark Trust for additional numbers of day visitors. 

PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Baggage and personal belongings are always at the Hirers risk. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage to any car or its contents. 


Only certain Irish Landmark Trust properties accept a dog.  ALWAYS check this before you book.  Hirers who have made a reservation and are taking a dog will be required to read and agree to special terms, which details the conditions of bringing a dog to one of these properties.  Failure to comply with these conditions could result in the guest being asked to leave a property.  The rental cost is non-refundable in such cases.   


Irish Landmark respectfully request that you charge your electric vehicle at the nearest charging point and not at the property.  


The Hirer is responsible for the property and is expected to take all reasonable care of it. Our House Managers work hard to maintain and clean the buildings and aim to ensure that the property is in a satisfactory condition for your enjoyment.  We ask that you leave the property in a clean and tidy condition upon departure, including all equipment, utensils etc. If the property is left in an unsatisfactory condition and additional cleaning costs are incurred, Irish Landmark reserves the right to recover these costs from the Hirer.   All breakages and damage must be reported to the House Manager immediately so that they can be rectified. All breakages and damage are the legal responsibility of the Hirer and the cost of repair or replacement must be paid to Irish Landmark upon demand.   If there are problems relating to the functioning of the building, please let the House Manager know immediately. Please note that candles are NOT permitted at any Irish Landmark property. Smoking is not allowed inside any Irish Landmark property. 


While every effort has been made to ensure that the representations stated on our website, or any printed literature, are made in good faith, neither they nor any oral representations made by employees or representatives of Irish Landmark Trust will create liability on the part of Irish Landmark. 


There shall be no liability for any claim arising from the act, omission or neglect or default of Irish Landmark Trust, its employees or representatives unless proved to be done with intent to cause damage or recklessly and with knowledge that loss or danger would probably result. Irish Landmark’s agents, servants and employees or other representatives have no authority to waive or modify these Conditions other than in writing. 


On rare occasions Irish Landmark may need access to the property for essential maintenance work, should it be necessary, Irish Landmark will give you as much notice as is possible.   There is no need for you to stay in the property since our House Manager can accompany any such visits. 


If you have any complaint during your holiday, please contact the House Manager.  If the matter is not dealt with to your satisfaction, please email outlining details of your complaint.   


Irish Landmark reserves the right to refuse any booking and cancel any booking already made, if in its absolute discretion it considers this to be necessary. Where a booking is cancelled by Irish Landmark, every effort will be made to offer an alternative holiday at no increase in cost.  If the Hirer does not accept the alternative holiday offered, Irish Landmark will return to the Hirer the deposit paid and any other sum paid to Irish Landmark by the Hirer.  Liability for all consequential loss, damage and disappointments is accordingly limited to such return. 


It is the hirer’s responsibility to ensure they book a specific dog-friendly property if they are bringing a dog.  There are specific terms and conditions that to which the hirer must adhere: 

We allow a dog, but only when they have been booked in and paid for. The “Taking a Dog” option must be selected at time of booking.  A charge will apply.  

Our policy is strictly ONE DOG. If you arrive at the property with more than one dog the House Manger is entitled to deny you access to the property.  If it becomes known during/after your stay that more than one dog is/was with you, you may be asked to vacate the property and a charge of €100/£100 per dog will apply. 

You must bring your own crate/bed in which your dog can sleep.  Please also bring bowls, towels, and waste bags for your dog. 

Your dog must be house-trained and kept under proper control.  Dogs are STRICTLY not permitted on beds, sofas, or any furniture.  There is no exception to this rule.  

Before departure, please thoroughly clean the property, paying particular attention to removing pet hair from rugs and soft furnishings.  A vacuum cleaner is available to you.   

If there is evidence that you have not cleaned up adequately after your stay, you will be charged a flat rate of €100/£100.   

You must double-check that the outside area around the property is free of any foul. Dog fouling inside the property is completely unacceptable.  Guests will be asked to vacate the premises immediately if this is discovered.  

Your dog must not be left unsupervised in the property.  We ask that you take your dog with you when you go out.  Please be mindful of any livestock nearby. 


By accepting a confirmation of a reservation from Irish Landmark the lead guest agrees: 


I have read and agree to be bound by the Booking Conditions. 

I agree to be held responsible for the balance of hire for the property due and payable in accordance with these terms. 

I understand that most Irish Landmark properties have no television or internet access; that some have no washing machines or dishwashers; and that many have limited mobile phone coverage. 

I understand that as the Lead Person, I am responsible, before their arrival, for informing all guests of Irish Landmark’s booking conditions, and for their observance of same. 

If I am bringing a pet or having day visitors, I have particularly noted the special conditions that apply in these situations 


Hirers making a reservation over the telephone are deemed to have read all Booking Conditions and agree to be bound by them.   


Availability Calendar

Check availability for all of our properties at a glance here.

Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Important Notes

1-night stays are not permitted.

Bank Holidays & Special Dates have a set minimum number of nights.

Deposits are strictly non-refundable & non-transferable.

Cancellation Fees will apply if you cancel your reservation.

Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings.

Special Offers and Discounts are not valid against existing bookings.

There are restrictions on arrival and departure dates over the Christmas and New Year periods.
Strictly no arrivals or departures on 24th, 25th and 31st of December.