A Wealth of History

Beech Hill Country House has a dramatic history stretching back over 400 years and has been in the ownership of families which have shaped the City and County.

At the time of the Plantation of Ulster in the early 1600s, Ballyshasky, ‘the townland of the sedge grass’, was in the procession of Captain Manus O’Cahan, a member of the princely clan which had dominated the northern part of the county.

A wealthy family called Skipton from Huntingdonshire in England acquired Ballyshasky in 1617 and built Skipton Hall. The original house was subsequently burnt to the ground during the 1641 Rebellion and its successor was reduced to ashes again at the time of the Siege of Derry in 1689. The present house was built by a descendant, Captain Thomas Skipton, in 1729. It was given the name Beech Hill due to the many beech trees surrounding it.

The house remained in the Skipton family until 1872 when it was sold to Edward Nicholson of Newbuildings. The coats of arms of both the Nicholsons and the Skiptons can be found throughout the house and its grounds.

In 1989 Beech Hill was bought by its present owners, Patsy O’Kane and her brother Seamus Donnelly and transformed into a luxury 4 star hotel.

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