Helen's Bay railway station serves Helen's Bay in the townland of Ballygrot, County Down.
The station in the grand Scottish Baronial style, built in 1863, was the creation of Lord Dufferin, through whose land the line was laid. His family had their own private entrance and waiting room. The architect was Benjamin Ferrey.
The next station on the line towards Bangor used to be Crawfordsburn, but this was closed in 1997.
The coming of the railway transformed Helen’s Bay from the 1860s .The showpiece of the new Belfast to Bangor line was Helen's Bay station, built at Lord Dufferin's expense,and was originally named Clandeboye. Legend has it that he himself designed it in Scottish Baronial style, all crow-stepped gables, arrow slits, coats of arms and turrets. The gables feature an inset panel bearing the Dufferin and Ava initials surmounted by a coronet. His nephew Harold Nicolson drily referring to ‘Lord Dufferin’s optimism regarding his own capacity as an architect’, describes the station as ‘one of the most fantastic in the United Kingdom’. Benjamin Ferrey principally designed the entrance to the station for Lord Dufferin.
His carriage would arrive in a wide sweep below the line and he could enter the station via a private staircase to a magnificent sitting room furnished with deep red upholstered armchairs with blue cushions embroidered with a coronet.
All trains were required to stop here, even if no aristocratic passengers were waiting (and up to five years could pass with the Marquess away overseas). In constructing the line the Belfast and County Down Railway had wished to go through his land,so he could, in Victorian style,make such a condition. The work provided valuable employment to the tenantry,who generally looked on the Dufferins as reasonable landlords.
The cache is a camouflaged micro containing log book only and is located just outside railway property.
Co-ordinates might be a bit jumpy in the area due to dense tree coverage, so use the clue if you need it!
Enjoy the cache!