Sampson's tower outside Limavady Grid reference C656235
This is a famous local landmark. The facts are easily
told. After the
Beresfords had been in charge of the Fishmonger Company's extensive
properties for a while, the latter seem to have regretted this decision
and decided to run the place themselves. With 'place' is meant a very
large area in and around Ballykelly. Unfortunately they picked the Rev.
George Vaughan Sampson who, because of an act of parliament, couldn't
take up the job. The Rev. got in the way, they say. His son Arthur
however wasn't reverent, so he took over from his father and worked for
the Fishmongers for 34 years. It is in his memory that the tower in the
townland of Farlow was built in 1860.
The place is very hard to get to as it is on private land and surrounded by trees. The tower itself is in excellent shape and it is quite a charming combination of round and square tower. The round part of the tower contains a stone spiral staircase and the square part presumably some rooms, though large heaps of nesting material as well as lack of headroom prevented this rather tall investigator from making certain. The battlements of the round tower were unfortunately vandalised some thirty years ago.
Above the entrance is a stone plaque which reads:
IN MEMORY OF ARTHUR SAMPSON ESQ
FOR NEARLY FORTY YEARS JUSTICE OF THE
PEACE FOR COUNTIES LONDONDERRY
AND TYRONE AND AGENT OF THE WORSHIPFUL
COY OF FISHMONGERS
HE DIED THE 22nd JANY 1859 IN
THE 64th YEAR OF HIS AGE
The building is situated in a small copse which seems to be frequented by trespassing hunters, judging by messily discarded cartridge cases and one silent example of the breed stalking the wood and looking at the world through his telescopic sights.
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