Tullylagan Manor – A short History

Welcome to Tullylagan Manor – A short History

The present house at Tullylagan was built during the early 19th Century by the Greer family. The style is that of a late Georgian classical villa. While the precise history is unfortunately not known, it is believed that this building replaced a much older structure which was erected by the Sanderson family.

1898 saw the arrival at Tullylagan of Thomas McGregor Greer. who was responsible for much of the development of the Manor. McGregor Greer was a talented man who had many diverse interests. He considered the Manor House inadequately propor­tioned for a country residence. Rather than risk spoiling the architecture by adding to the house he decided to excavate the basement. ‘This was a mammoth task depending heavily on manual labour, with the soil removed from the basement. the house became three-storey.

The grounds of the estate received similar attention with many rare and exotic trees and shrubs being planted. Greer was able to identify each plant by its common and latin name.

In the farmyard he installed carpentry facilities and here many fine examples of chairs, tables and other items were produced. As he had by now an exquisite collection of fine bone china a kitchen sink was made from softwood and installed in the Manor House. This was to minimise damage to the china during washing. Desertcreat Church was to benefit as the Holy Table, Chancel Chairs and beautifully carved Reredos were made here and pre­sented by Greer to the Church.

To enable work to continue during the hours of darkness a turbine was installed to drive a dynamo. Intially only those buildings located in the farmyard had electric light. in later years the dynamo was replaced by a larger model and electricity was supplied to the House.

In additton to all this McGregor Greer received many guests from all walks of life at Tullylagan. Sir Edward Carson the eminent lawyer who inspired Terence Rattigan’s play “The Winslow Boy” was a visitor. Another was F.E. Smith who later became Lord Birkenhead the Lord Chancellor, who by 1914 was reputedly earning £30,000 a year at the Bar.

Another person who came to Tullylagan, not as a guest but as a mechanic was none other than Harry Ferguson the tractor pioneer and inventor. To conclude with we reproduce two articles which were written by a local enthusiast and which were pub­lished in the Ferguson Club Journal. These relate to Harry Ferguson’s association with McGregor Greer and the estate. We hope you find them enjoyable.

Issued as the cover of an A4 insert to the Club Journal mailing in 1996, with reprints of ‘Anything short of concrete’  V.4 N.1, Spring 1990 and Thomas McGregor Greer and the No. 1 tractor V.3 N.3, Autumn 1988 .

Footnote:  McGregor or MacGregor?
The journal articles consistently show Thomas’ middle name as McGregor.  The Cookstown Local History group have Thomas MacGregor Greer, Births, Deaths, Marriages have MacGregor.