Causeway & Chimney Tops

Causeway U3A

History - Hervey Heritage Group

Earl Bishop Trail - a Shared Learning Project

Frederick Hervey (1730- 1803), the Bishop of Derry and 4th Earl of Bristol, is an important historical figure, who provides a strong link between the North Derry and Antrim Coast and Derry City. He was a patron of fine art and architecture; he built a fine residence at Downhill and adorned it with art from all over Europe. But most of all, he was noted for his religious tolerance.

The Causeway and Foyle U3As have joined forces to produce data for a heritage trail, which will include:

• the Giant’s Causeway, (which he brought to scientific attention);

• Downhill Castle (built as his recreational residence);

• the Bishop’s Road (the first road across the Benevenagh Heights to Limavady);

• Denis O’Hampsey’s Cottage (the Bishop was the patron of Denis, one of Ireland’s renowned harpers);

• Tamlaghtfinlagan Parish Church (constructed by the Earl Bishop);

• and Derry City (the Earl was associated with the Foyle Bridge, St Columb`s Cathedral, the Bishop`s Palace, the Bishop’s Gate, and the Casino now part of Lumen Christi College).

This will be run as a U3A Shared Learning Project which will include the Causeway and Foyle U3A’s but also the National Trust and the Northern Regional College.

It is intended to present information relating to the Trail initially as a series of information sheets and as a preliminary to producing information boards and activity packs. A detailed map of the trail highlighting points of interest will also be produced.

The project will help to improve cultural and heritage links between Derry City, Ballykelly, Limavady, Magilligan, Downhill and the Giant’s Causeway and boost tourism in the area.

The trail could become a powerful unifying force and a testament to Frederick’s greatest legacy – his religious tolerance.