Derrygorry - Location of the Millennium Forests
These two woodlands are essentially part of one forest since they lie beside one another on both sides of the border approximately 15km north of Monaghan town. Please see directions/map below.
When translated Derrygorry probably means "oakwood of the goats" Favour Royal Demense derives its name from Favour Royal Bawn, a large fortified mansion house, the ruins of which are still present. Favour Royal House was built by Sir Thomas Ridgeway in 1611 and named because the land was granted as a royal favour from James 1st.
The first edition Ordnance Survey map (1835) shows the forest site of Derrygorry completely wooded whilst Favour Royal was only partially forested. A number of 'forts' are depicted on the map close to the site, one of which may in fact be a tree ring.
During the nineteenth century a considerable amount of information was gathered by travellers passing through the area. There were four hedge schools and a linen factory in the area. At a nearby place called Altadawin, it is said that St. Patrick assembled the first of his followers: it is a valley, 150 feet deep through the centre of which a tongue of land of considerable altitude extends and on the summit stands a large rock in the form of an altar, adjoining which is another rock in the form of a chair. Favour Royal was described as 'the handsome residence of J. Corry Mountray, Esq., erected near the site of the ancient house, which was destroyed by fire in 1823 and surrounded by a richly wooded demesne of 740 acres.
Much of the area was planted in the 1940s with non-native conifers, which are being harvested currently. At both sites oak occurs in conjunction with hazel, ash, birch, hawthorn, alder, blackthorn and willow. The woodland floor is host to sanicle, wood sorrel, broad buckler fern, common dog violet and numerous mosses.
A large herd of fallow deer range across the estate and it is important that they are excluded from the woodlands, especially where young trees are currently being planted. This will be achieved through the erection of a deer fence. Planting in both locations will include oak, ash, alder and birch. This will enhance the woodlands considerably and provide suitable habitats for the bird and animal communities in this area.
View Derrygorry in a larger map
Please see refreshed and upgraded signage installed on all the Millennium sites during 2011.
(This new signage was funded by AIB)