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Prehen House and Estate

This Early Georgian Style manor house is located in a picturesque area outside the city of Derry. The estate is made up of 3, 641 acres adjacent to protected woodlands and features glorious views of the city and the River Foyle, and surrounding areas.

The Knox Family

The Prehen family first occupied the estate in 1640. In 1738 Andrew Knox, MP of Donegal,  married the heiress of Prehen House, Honoria Tomkins, and their union began a long line of Knoxes, featuring some colourful and noteworthy descendants, many with wartime connections

  • Colonel George Knox, who was one of Derry's most well known citizens
  • The Colonel's grandson, Baron George Carl Otto Louis Von Scheffler Knox, who inherited the estate
  • The estate was seized as enemy property during the first world war because of the Baron's German connections
  • Members of another branch on the family tree later regained ownership of the estate, and the Baron's grandson held his wedding celebration there in 1988
  • Another family member, Dylwith Knox, was instrumental in winning the war, by helping to breaking the Enigma Codes
  • Ronald Knox was known for his outstanding Bible translations

Half-Hanged McNaughten

Prehen House is also noteworthy because of its close association with a popular local ghost legend, that of "Half-Hanged McNaughton".

  • McNaughton was a gambler who tried to marry the daughter of Andrew Knox, mainly to get hold of her fortune.
  • When Mr. Knox tried to separate the pair, McNaughton ended up killing the girl. He was sentenced to death.
  • The hanging was botched on the first attempt, but not the second, yet McNaughton earned his fateful nickname
  • Read more about the ghost of Half-Hanged McNaughton.

Tours and Events

  • Prehen House is available for tours, which can be booked in advance.
  • Murder mystery events are also staged at the house.

Official Link


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