Castles and coastland

No time and no Internet last night so I am playing catch up with our travels…
Saturday morning we set off early, heading out of Belfast centre towards the eastern suburbs.

20140622-205257.jpgOur first stop was to view a statue called “The Searcher” in tribute to CS Lewis. He grew up in East Belfast, and lived across the road from another member of my family, Arthur Greeves, my grandfather’s first cousin. Lewis and Arthur Greeves remained lifelong friends, and Lewis’s letters to Arthur have been published as “They stand together”

20140622-205424.jpgLewis’s childhood home “LittleLea” is privately owned and not visible from the road, and Arthur’s house, known as Bernagh, is now demolished. But we drove past where it had stood. We then set about finding houses occupied by various members of the Greeves family which I knew were in the same area of Belfast, but I just had their names, Lismachen, Altona, and Tweskard. From the wonders of google maps I thought I knew where Lismachen was, and feeling a bit daring we turned into an unmarked driveway and drove up through a park like garden to the front of the house. It looked to be divided into apartments, and possibly some offices now. But I was able to take a photo and then we drove back down the drive before anyone asked us what we were doing! Altona turned out to be large house, estate even, along the road from Lismachen. This time there was no open drive way, it was firmly gated. A little further on we found a development of houses called Tweskard park, which I guess is where the original Tweskard house once stood.

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20140622-205606.jpgFeeling a bit stunned at the obvious size of these family houses, we decided we had done enough family history, and set off north from Belfast. We drove through the Glens of Antrim, to the beautiful hidden and unspoilt Antrim coast, with views across to Scotland. White sand, turquoise sea and the winding scenic road was lined with hedgerows of wild fuchsia – just glorious.

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20140622-210456.jpgThen on to the World Heritage site of the Giants Causeway. Amazing though it is I didn’t find it as beautiful as the earlier beaches, but fascinating to see the convergence of coaches carrying hundreds of tourists from all corners of the globe!

20140622-210746.jpgOur last stop on this leg of our journeying was the romantic ruin of Duluce Castle, said to be the inspiration for the castle of Cair Paravel in the Narnia stories. We loved the Antrim coast, and can understand why CS Lewis was inspired by its landscapes.

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9 responses to “Castles and coastland

  1. annajanegreaves

    THank you so much for putting all these pictures and comments on. I’m finding it exciting and surprisingly emotional seeing them. Dad used to talk about the Lismachen Aunts.

    • So who were the Lismachen Aunts? Do you know? More questions….

      • Dave Stanley

        Hi,
        I am another Greeves descendant and the Lismachen aunts were Lillian, Bertha and Anna in this tree. http://sinton-family-trees.com/ft_main.php?rin=3168. The information on the site is largely from Burkes families of Ireland. Not sure if you will find yourself but I am there.
        Can also confirm Tweskard Park was built on the site of Tweskard House although it’s grounds extended much further

      • Hi Dave
        Thanks for identifying the “Lismachan Aunts” for me! Did you know them at all? I notice they all seem to live to a good age!
        And thanks too for confirming about Tweskard House, I haven’t been able to find any photos of it.

      • Dave Stanley

        Just read further back in your journal and that enabled me to identify your great grandfather in the tree. http://sinton-family-trees.com/ft_main.php?rin=2358

      • John Wilfred Jackson Greeves was in fact my grandfather. His son Paul was my father, and if you follow the line from the link you will find me. My full name is Priscilla although most people call me Cilla.

      • Dave Stanley

        I spoke to my mum about this today and she tells me there were actually four aunts who lived there. One must have been from another part of the family. Two of them lived to over 100. I never met them but my mother and father did. My dad is going to look to see if he has any pictures of Tweskard. He remembers when It was sold to the developers in the ’50s as the mill had shut down and they had to pay off debts. The chap who lived in the gatehouse wouldn’t move so the developers had to build him a new house and give him a lot of money.

  2. Goodness, what a fantastic family you have! Have you read the book of letters?
    What a beautiful country. We have made a resolution to go soon.

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