At Blaney you may visit one of the original Plantation castles, Tully Castle, founded by Sir John Hume in 1619.
Established in 1857 by John Caldwell Bloomfield, the Belleek Pottery exploited kaolin and feldspar deposits found in the lands surrounding Castle Caldwell. Early examples of Belleek’s fine Parian china were designed and painted with flora and fauna typical of the natural beauty of the area.
By 1865 prestigious orders for centrepieces, tableware, mirrors and other fine objects were being commissioned by Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales who prized Belleek for its delicate translucency and the intricacy of its designs.
The International Centrepiece which is currently on display in the foyer of the Belleek visitors’ centre, was designed by Frederick Slater and won a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1900.
The sisters Louise and Maude Allingham from Ballyshannon were the first to paint the shamrocks that became a hallmark of Belleek especially in America where it was prized by nostalgic emigrant communities.
In 1979, an American, Richard Degenhardt set up the first Belleek Collector`s Society and now there are 99 chapters in the States and over 8,000 members worldwide. In 2007, as part of Belleek’s 150th anniversary celebrations, 350 collectors converged on Fermanagh to be welcomed by the president of the Collectors Society, Newry born Angela Moore, whose husband, American millionaire George Moore, owns Belleek Pottery Ltd.
As the original works bell chimes join a 30 minute tour of the pottery and watch the moulding and casting teams who fashion every piece until i
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