Places to go and see in the Cookstown area:
Lissan House is an enchanting country residence set within a 250 acre demesne of ancient woodland and forestry. The estate was created in the 17th century and remained the home of the Staples family for nearly 400 years, reputedly the longest habitation by any single family of a country house in West Ulster. Lissan came to prominence in 2003 when its popularity helped it reach the national final of the BBC Restoration programme.
Following extensive redevelopment the house opened its doors in spring 2012 to reveal modern interactive exhibits and original family furnishings which take you on a unique journey through the history of the estate and the family characters that have shaped it. The demesne also features a challenging adventure playground for children, a wooded picnic area, walled garden and secluded walks to explore.
Research undertaken by the Lissan House Trust identified that Lissan needs to be a combination of things. Among the activities researched were the potential for a museum, accommodation, venue hire, education and activities. It was clear from the research that none of these activities would be feasible on their own but as a combination would provide Lissan with the critical mass needed to become a sustainable and significant project.
Consequently in developing the development options for Lissan House and the Estate the Lissan House Trust has focused on those uses and activities which restore Lissan House as a place to come and “do” and offer a cohesive sympathetic blend of products and activities on site that will enhance the visitor experience.
This is a complex proposal with many elements, summarised as follows:
Securing the most interesting areas of the house to provide visitors with a snapshot of Lissan as it was including the provision of interpretive materials and access to archive material through the creation of library.
As part of the restoration project the Trust anticipate that the following activities will be undertaken:
It is anticipated that the implementation of the proposed redevelopment of Lissan House and the surrounding estate will result in a number of benefits including:
In addition to providing an asset of significant heritage value combined with a tourism attraction, the Lissan House Trust promoters also consider that the redeveloped Lissan House can offer a resource for the promotion of peace and reconciliation which will provide accommodation in empathetic surroundings where a range of courses and programmes can be delivered. The Trust considers that the rural location of Lissan House coupled with the planned meeting facilities, self catering accommodation and outdoor activities provides an ideal setting for a resource centre which could assist in tackling the ongoing religious, political and racial issues experienced throughout many areas of Northern Ireland.