This river is the main stream of a significant waterway system of rivers and lakes which provides the angler with some great fishing, It has in the past been navigable over the eight miles between Ballybay and Cootehill, and one day may be again Link
. For some four miles before it reaches Cootehill, the river flows through a countryside of beautiful wooded drumlins, islands and little crannocks, where lie two historic estates. They were founded in the 17th century, and the Dromore river is the border between them.
Opposite, on the far (south) bank, is the Bellamont Forest estate which was established by the Coote family who, with the Hill family of Co. Down, founded the town of Cootehill. In about 1730 Thomas Coote completed the building of a great mansion (his nephew, Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, was the architect) which “was, and still is, regarded to be one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in Ireland” Link
. A member of the family, John Coote, lives there today, and he has restored much of the 1000-acre estate to its original de-forested layout and the interior of the house “to reflect the grandeur and tranquillity of the 1700s”.
On this (north) side of the river is the Dartrey estate which was established by the Dawson family – view and history at H6117 : Inner Lough island and the history of the Dartrey estate
. In 1950 their Gothic-style ‘Dartrey Castle’ Link
, on the edge of the Inner Lough, was demolished and the estate sold to Coillte for forestry. Coillte have mainly planted conifers, but some great oaks (439 were planted in 1820) and other broadleaf trees (e.g. beeches, planted in 1949, ash and sycamore) survive from the old estate and are being protected and increased Link
Several fine buildings of the Dawson period still remain, including two great stable blocks, built in 1730 H6016 : “A fine Georgian building” – the original Dartrey stables
and H6017 : The ‘new’ stables on the Dartrey estate built in the 1840s
, H6017 : Dawson Monument
, and H6116 : The Temple on Black Island - Restoration
. Map at Link