The sham fort at Tyrella, County Down. This charming little folly stands on a rise above the main house and with views across the surrounding countryside and seascape. It is believed to date from the mid-19th century, being created to accommodate three cannon rescued after the SS Great Britain – at the time the world’s largest passenger ship – ran aground on a nearby beach in 1846 (seemingly the ship’s crew mistook the newly constructed St John’s Point Lighthouse for a lighthouse on the Isle of Man).
A stone doorcase on what is now a side elevation of Tyrella, County Down but was once the main front. Of five bays and two storeys, this section of the house is believed to date from c.1730, not long after the land on which it stands was acquired by George Hamilton. At the end of the 18th/start of the 19th century, this grandson the Rev. George Hamilton added an extension to one end of the building with Wyatt windows and a fine Tuscan portico, and thereafter this has served as Tyrella’s entrance.