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The Vesey Estate


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The Vesey Estate

Extracted from
Ireland in the Nineteenth Century, and Seventh of England's Dominion
By A. Atkinson Esq.
 
This property is situated on a county road communicating between Fintona and Ballygawley, two market and post towns in this county, at the distance of about two miles from the former, which is the post town to the new family seat, called Vesey Hall and, from Omagh, the capital of the county, about six miles.
 
Some years ago this tract of land was in a very rude and imperfect state, but since it came into the possession of Dr Vesey, the present proprietor, a course of improvements in building, planting and agriculture (which in a few years will amount to a new creation of the place) have been rapidly advancing this property towards the ne plus ultra of its capable perfection
 
The soil in this section of Tyrone is generally speaking by no means of the best class. In many places it is soft and spewy but still, when drained and properly improved, it will produce very tolerable crops of oats, flax grass, potatoes and other green crops; and trees of the light and ornamental kinds flourish both in the mountain lands, and in the moors.Nevertheless, many parts of this neighbourhood have a wild and implanted appearance; the fences are frequently very bad, many of the ditches are bald and totally destitute of quickset hedges. In a word, the timber bears no proportion to the farms, and what is still worse ,the temperature of trade has sunk far below zero. The manufacturing farmer who once derived succour from this latter source is now driven by his necessities, to look more for the means of procuring an immediate return for his outlay from the sale of his crop, than of advancing the future interests of his family by the enrichment of his land. The soil, consequently, suffers in its interests. The demand for labour remains stationary, or perhaps retrogrades, while the candidates for employment rapidly increase and the end of all is, that mendicity follows as a natural and inevitable consequence, of the causes which conduct to it. In this state of things,  it is by no means surprising that every movement of the country gentleman in the march of building, planting and cultivation, is hailed with joy by the people of the country, as an act of temporary salvation, while the improver himself is very naturally regarded by those people as a pilot sticking to the ship in its worst circumstances, and giving indisputable evidence to all around him of the skill and industry, he is exerting to weather the storm and of his inflexible determination to sink or swim with the vessel of his property and country.
 
 This being a true picture of many parts of this once flourishing province, it is by no means surprising that we yield a page of this humble volume with great pleasure to notice the improvements that Dr Vesey and his son are now carrying on at Vesey Hall and in the execution of which they have found a good deal of employment, for a proportion of the labouring poor in their immediate neighbourhood.
 
 The Vesey estate embraces about 1,200 acres of the soil ,thus imperfectly described, and of this a certain proportion has been reclaimed from bog; a large section of the residue is undergoing a process of improved cultivation; a noble new edifice has been erected on the summit of a lovely elevation in the centre of a semi amphitheatre of hills; these hills are tastefully decorated with young plantations and the loftiest and most lordly of the little chain, is surmounted by a temple which acts as a sentinel to the scene, disputing with Boreas the passage of the northern hills. This temple in the progress of the improvements is to receive a castellated form, but from the summit of such a noble hill standing over a deep and lovely valley, richly decorated by the finger of the architect and plaster and enclosing half that valley with its base, a lofty spire raising its spheric cone above the wooded vale and presenting its picturesque point to the eye of the traveller, on the distant roads, would be an infinitely nobler appendage to Vesey Hall, than any alteration of the building that would not (as a top stone to the whole), be surmounted by this picturesque spire, in the climax of its ascending beauties.
 
 The country around Vesey Hall, having much that is rude and offensive to exhibit to the eye, the selection of a modest but beautiful elevation in the valley, for the site of the new building ,surrounded by the hills just noticed, was most judicious; as from this position the prospect of that rude country is completely excluded, and every spice of the picturesque existing in the geography of the place (to which the plantations have been admirably adapted) is presented to the eye of the visiter in its most engaging aspect; while from the noble variety of hill and dale which the home scene presents, with the house reflecting its beauties upon the vale beneath, the circumambient hills elegantly planted, and the whole surmounted, (as we trust it will)  by the spire of a temple on the loftiest of those hills which protect the valley from the country's rude embrace; we are assured that in a few years hence, when the plantations are full grown, the traveller who enters and beholds the lovely, congregated features of Vesey Hall, thus elegantly grouped, will pronounce it to be the most perfectly finished feature of retired beauty of which this section of Tyrone can boast, and on a scale so compact and comprehensive ,that the eye is unconscious of exertion, while revelling in the picturesque pleasures of this little panoramic scene, which presses with indescribable vigour and activity upon the organ of enjoyment, even in a first embrace.
 
 The demesne includes about 120 acres of the property, thus planted and improved. A small rivulet called the Blackwater (upon which a noble flour mill was being erected by the proprietor in 1830), forms a boundary to this property on the south east, and on the other sides, it is bounded by the estates of Mrs Perry, the Earl of Belmore, Robt Waring Maxwell Esq.,  Rev Francis Jervis, and Hugh Gore Edwards Esq.
 




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