It’s perhaps best known for the story of tragic Half Hanged John McNaughton. But a little known fact about the historic Prehen House in Derry is that it’s believed to have been the inspiration behind Emily Bronte’s epic novel Wuthering Heights. The Wuthering Heights link and John McNaughton are just two of the subjects covered in a series of historic tours which will take place at Prehen House this weekend. [...] And the story of John McNaughton remains the house’s biggest selling point, despite the various versions of his story which have been told down the years. John McNaughton was a friend of the Knox family. In 1761 Mary Ann Knox who was just 15 became besotted with McNaughton and the two began a relationship. McNaughton convinced Mary Ann to marry him in secret. But her father Andrew Knox found out their plan and forbid it — he believed McNaughton only wanted her considerable dowry, to continue his gambling. When Mary Ann was travelling to Dublin with her father on November 10, McNaughton held up the carriage to try and elope with the girl. The shoot-out went wrong and McNaughton accidentally killed Mary AA conducted tour had been organised under the `Talks and Tours' scheme run by the University of Ulster at Coleraine and this covered the nature and the history of the island. Everyone was staggered by the impressiveness of the bird colonies which are managed by the RSPB.nn. McNaughton was sentenced to hang for his crime but on the gallow the rope broke. Local legend says he was offered the opportunity to escape but declined, as he did not want to be remembered as a half-hanged man.
Ironically McNaughton became infamous as ‘half hanged’ and his ghostly presence has been said to have been seen in Prehen.
“People know the story better than the house,” said Colin. “During the tours visitors will get to see practically all of the house and hear the entire history. We were very lucky that the year before last Queen’s University Belfast visited and dug up the old borne in the grounds. Amazingly they found an old fort out there and a tower.” Colin explains how there’s a strong suspicion that Emily Bronte could have based her novel Wuthering Heights on the tragic love story of John McNaughton and Mary Anne Knox. “Look back at that situation in the 1760s,” he said. “This was a love story, a great romance. He was brought into the family. Then she leaves him and he comes back and wreaks havoc and revenge. There was quite an outrage at the time. There were contemporary articles written about it all over England and news would have travelled very fast.
“Patrick Bronte grew up in County Down, he would have known all about it. He was a clergy man and a teacher and educated his daughters himself. It would be strange if he didn’t tell them this story. There are so many similarities between elements of the Wuthering Heights and what happened here,
“One imagines Emily Bronte must have heard the story.” (Erin Hutcheon)
Based on this article I am searching on the internet and I found some links
A conducted tour had been organised under the `Talks and Tours' scheme run by the University of Ulster at Coleraine and this covered the nature and the history of the island. Everyone was staggered by the impressiveness of the bird colonies which are managed by the RSPB. Kilkenny was the destination for our weekend excursion in May 2005, based at the River Court Hotel. As we were accompanied by several members of the Brontë Society (Irish Section) there was a strong Brontë connection in some of the places visited.
We called to see the attractive gardens at Rossanagh Cottage. This was formally the dower house of the residence of the Rev. Thomas Tighe who, when rector of Drumballyroney, encouraged Patrick Brontë to go to Cambridge and take Holy Orders. lisburn
After Lady Mary’s death in 1748, William Tighe married secondly Margaret, eldest daughter of Captain Thomas Theaker, MP, who bore him a son, Thomas, and daughter, Barbara. The son, Thomas, was educated at Harrow and Cambridge and became Rector of Drumballyroney in County Down. As such, he provides another extraordinary literary link for the Tighes. One of the Rev. Thomas Tighe’s child protégés in Drumballyroney was the future Rev. Patrick Bronte, father of the famous sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The Rev. Tighe died in 1821. Thomas’s sister Barbara was married in 1776 to the Rev. Michael Sandys, Rector of Powerscourt. turtlebunbury//family_tighe