Northern Ireland news

Hopes new Jamie Dornan TV drama will ignite interest in historic Co Derry home

The 17th century plantation home Springhill was used as a location for the BBC series Death and Nightingales

THE National Trust is hoping a historic Co Derry property featured in a TV drama starring Jamie Dornan will ignite interest in the venue.

Springhill, a 17th century plantation home in Moneymore, took on a starring role in the BBC Two series Death and Nightingales.

Based on a book by Monaghan writer Eugene McCabe and directed by Allan Cubbitt, the finale of the three-part period drama was aired last night.

The series is set in the Fermanagh countryside in 1885 and tells the story of Elizabeth Winters, who falls for Dornan's character - a Catholic called Liam Ward - and decides to use him as her escape route from her abusive stepfather Billy, a wealthy Protestant landowner.

It was filmed at various locations across Northern Ireland, including Tollymore, Strangford and Springhill, which plays a central role as the Winters’ family home.

Springhill was closed to the public in May and June as the gun-room, staircase and living-room were all used by filmmakers.

Springhill general manager Gemma Elliott said: "It’s never ideal to have to close a property coming into peak season, but when the opportunity arose to have this special place featured in a new BBC drama we were keen to explore the benefits this would bring.

"Stars like Jamie Dornan have a huge following and we hope that Death and Nightingales will attract new visitors to Springhill, introducing them to the important work that the National Trust does caring for special places like Springhill for ever, for everyone."

The location fee will be used to support conservation work at Springhill, including a major restoration project.

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