Prehen House, Prehen. Derry City   1740

 

Prehen House is an absolute gem and should really be one of the North West’s top attractions. This early Georgian manor house was built in 1740 with the finest materials for Andrew Knox, M.P for Donegal. It sits on an elevated site overlooking the River Foyle and the original estate covered 3,640 acres. Andrew had many colourful and noteworthy decendants who include Baron George Carl Otto Louis Von Scheffler Knox, who inherited the estate before the World War I, During the second World War Dylwith Knox, was instrumental in winning the war as he helped break the Enigma Code and Ronald Knox was known for his outstanding Bible translations. This house also has a famous ghost legend, that of ‘Half-Hanged McNaughton’. In 1761 McNaughton was a landowner who gambled away his fortune and stalked the daughter of Andrew Knox (probably to get hold of her fortune). McNaughton ended up killing the girl by accident when his gun went off after he pulled her from her family coach. This was after they planned to elope and was sentenced to death by hanging. The hanging was botched on the first attempt and public support for this ‘divine intervention’ was strong to set him free. He was however hanged successfully on the second attempt and the popular story of ‘Half-Hanged McNaughton’ entered folklore. The house was acquired in 1971 by the Peck family, cousins of the famous Hollywood star Gregory. The House is now listed as a Grade A Building of National Importance.