Helen's Tower

Helen's Tower, Clandeboye The walk started (or ended) at the footpath leading from the Somme Heritage Centre, Conlig and passed through Whitespots Park, an Area of Special Scientific Interest. It was one of the most important sources for minerals in the United Kingdom during the 19th century when the mines were the largest such complex in Ireland - it produced around 13,500 tonnes of lead between the late 17th century until production stopped in 1900, after 50 years of declining production. There is still much evidence of this historic mining activity on the site.

Continuing along this path we arrived at Helen's Tower which lies in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate. The tower was commissioned by Lord Dufferin of Clandeboye, designed by Scottish architect William Burn and completed in October 1861. It was named in honour of Dufferin's mother, Helen Selina Blackwood, the Lady Dufferin. A close replica of Helen's Tower, 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 by the 36th (Ulster) Division during the First World War.