The Synnot family soon after arrived in the parish of Ballymoyer and leased eight townlands from the See of Armagh. In 1778 Sir Walter Synnot [High Sheriff of County Armagh 1783] built the original Ballymoyer House in the townland of Ballintemple. The family was involved not only in the linen trade but also owned lead mines in the vicinity.
‘The lands were healthy and barren previous to 1778, when Sir Walter Synnot erected a house and became a resident landlord; scarcely a tree or shrub was to be seen and the agricultural implements were of the rudest kind. He constructed good roads in the vicinity and planted forest trees [Lewis S. 1837].’
The demesne was extensive and ornate.
‘The mansion built by Sir Walter Synnot and the demesne attached to it is laid out and planted in a tasteful style. Three mountain streams after debouching from the glens of their upper course, unite in the lawn and form a scene both beautiful and romantic.'[Parliamentary Gazetter 1844].
By 1838 the family had bought the eight townlands and continued to improve the estate. By the latter part of the 1870s they owned 7,321 acres. In 1901 the demesne had passed through marriage to the Hart-Synnot family who presented it to the National trust in 1937.
Today Ballymoyer (estate and woodland walk) is still a National Trust property and is well worth a visit. It is located close to Whitecross, nine kilometres from Newry and four kilometres from Newtownhamilton.
… Abbey Newry History …