Friday, 14 March 2014

Ballyedmond Castle


Arms of the Right Honourable Edward Enda [Haughey],
Baron Ballyedmond, OBE

Ballyedmond Castle, near Rostrevor, County Down, is the County Down seat of the Lord and Lady Ballyedmond.

The demesne lies within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The original house (below) was designed by the architect Sir Charles Lanyon, and during its history it has been used as a hotel.

This house was destroyed by fire-bomb damage and planning permission was granted for a change of use and reconstruction to use as a residence and "company facility" on the 7th January, 1988.

The original house (above) was a ca 1855 Victorian Tudor-Baronial mansion, with pointed gables, mullioned windows; a battlemented tower and conical-roofed turret.

Two gate lodges, since demolished, pre-dated the house and were built for Alexander Stewart.

In the 1870s the demesne extended to 347 acres.

The first house was once a hotel, till the 1970s at least.

One advertisement boasted of the former hotel as being

set amid acres of private parkland and terraced gardens with magnificent views over Carlingford Lough ... is one of the most luxurious in Northern Ireland; beautifully appointed apartments all with private bathroom, telephone, television and radio offer a high standard of comfort to the most discerning guest. Finest cuisine and wines.

The much altered mid-19th century mansion was in a splendid position between the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough.

An even earlier house, called Fort Hamilton, was visited and commented on by Maria Edgeworth in 1806. According to the report in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1836, the garden was "neat".

The surrounding 200 acre demesne had mature deciduous shelter and parkland trees and later conifer additions, included when the park was extended to the west.

The site is exposed to winds coming across the lough but otherwise the climate is mild.

THE GARDENS today have undergone extensive landscaping since 1988, on a 19th century framework.

Terraces on the south side of the house are linked by steps that lead to features at a lower level, where the lay-out is arranged in compartments on a circular theme.

The north side of the present residence has balustrading at the carriage drive and ornamental planting since the 1980s.

The three-sided walled garden is cultivated, with a glasshouse.

The two aforementioned pre-1834 gate lodges, which belonged to the earlier house, have gone.

First published in July, 2011.


Anonymous said...

Very sad to learn of Lord Ballyedmond's death. His contribution to Northern Ireland's economy has been immense. He'll be remembered as one of NI's greatest industrialists and employers, alongside Lord Pirrie and the Mackie family in different eras. I hope Norbrook will continue to grow and prosper in his absence, hopefully in family ownership and with local management and employment. VC

Gavin Bamford said...

Very sad indeed about the noble Lord. I see two of your photos show the old Robinson & Cleaver's marble staircase installed in the gardens of his house. I had envisaged them in the interior but they look well. Can I copy one of them to another forum, please?

Denis Gibney said...

Yes indeed, very sad. He started in a very small way, but must have had an enormous push & brain in him.
I worked in the, then, Ballyedmond Castle Hotel, back in 1970/71. It was a lovely place, and was sad to see it burnt to the ground, but like the Phoenix, it arose again.