Helen's Tower lies in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate in Bangor, Northern Ireland. The tower was commissioned by Lord Dufferin of Clandeboye, designed by Scottish architect William Burn and completed in October 1861. The tower was named in honour of Dufferin's mother, Helen Selina Blackwood, the Lady Dufferin.
A close replica of Helen's Tower, the Ulster Tower, was built at Thiepval in 1921 to honour the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division who fell at the Battle of the Somme. Clandeboye Estate was used for army training by the 36th (Ulster) Division during the First World War.
At least two poems have been written with Helen's Tower as the subject; one by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and the other by Robert Browning. A verse from Lord Tennyson's poem "Helen's Tower" is reproduced below:
Helen's Tower, here I stand,
Dominant over sea and land.
Son’s love built me, and I hold
Mother’s love in letter’d gold.
Love is in and out of time,
I am mortal stone and lime.
Would my granite girth were strong
As either love, to last as long
I should wear my crown entire
To and thro’ the Doomsday fire,
And be found of angel eyes
In earth’s recurring Paradise.
- Helen's Tower by Browning
- Helen's Tower by Tennyson
- Helen's Bay, Helen's Tower and Lord Dufferin's papers
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