Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001
Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

A Collection of Photos/Drawings/Paintings of Houses in Co. Down

On this page:

Alice McClory's Cottage Aureen Castlewellan Castle Clanvaraghan House  
Connsbrook House, Holywood Conlig House   Craigdarragh House, Bangor  
Crossgar House Crossgar, Killyleagh Street Fisherwick House Gillhall Henryville
Killynether House . Little Clandeboye or Conlig House Loughaghery House  
Loughriscouse farm house Magheradrool farmhouse Maple Cottage, Craigavad Marlborough House Mount Panther
Mount Potter/ Ballymacarron House Mountross Mourne Park House Nunsquarter House Portavoe House
Rossconnor House Scadden House Six Road Ends, Ballygrainey Tobar Mhuire Woburn House

Also available on other pages:

Ballee House Finnebrogue Loyola House Castleward
  Scarvagh House Tollymore House .

Typical interior of the main room in an Irish stone cottage, even up to 1960s.
References; FTM Jan 2009 p36


Alice McClory's Cottage
in Drumballyroney


Alice ran away to marry Hugh Bronte in 1775. Her son, Patrick Bronte became Church of Ireland minister in Drumballyroney and taught school there. He was the father of the famous Bronte sisters.


Aureen, Comber

in The Square, Comber

This was the residence of John Miller ,distiller c. 1860. He was the great uncle of Thomas Andrews who built the 'Titanic'.

There was a cobbled pavement outside Aureen. It depicted a hunting scene.The hound was restored after some workmen dug up the cobbles then discarded them in the 1970s.

This photo was kindly sent by Sandra Gilpin

References; TOOC p75


Annesley's Castle

Castlewellan House/Castle
just outside Castlewellan

Former home of Earl Annesley whose family arrived in Co. Down in 1626. This estate was bought by Hon. William Annesley in 1741.


This photo was kindly sent by Brian McCleary.

References; DCPH p 45; NWAG p 5; LR 2006 p10


Clanvaraghan House

Clanvaraghan House
in Kilmegan parish
2km N of Castlewellan

This was the residence of Dominck McCartan then Dr. Hugh McMullan. Father McMullan was born here c. 1800. The Murray family lived here c. 1890-1992 & Rev Fr. H. Skiffington boarded here 1891-1892.

A neighbouring farmer by the name of Oliver Cunningham bought the house and surrounding lands. The house was then leased to the Seeconnell Iinitiative for a period of 10 years, from 1995 until 2005. During this period the original house was demolished and completely rebuilt and used as a Bed & Breakfast. As from 2014, Oliver Cunningham resides in the house with his family.


References; old b/w map J 12; O'L V1 p 78 & B p 569; PE; HCDTD p128; Patrick Cunningham


Connsbrook House

between Parkgate Ave and Connsbrook Ave, Holywood

This house was built early 19th century .
This lovely old photo from 1895 shows Brian Galbraith-Robertson's family. It's taken from the side of the house and shows the back entrance & stables. The figures from the left are Brian's aunt Edith Robertson with her nursemaid, Brian's father on the tricycle , his older sister Pheobe & older brother Joseph in the carriage. Their father is holding the horse which was a trotting champion. The peacocks have no tails because Brian's father used to 'borrow' them.

References; OS map 1902 4.08; Brian Galbraith- Robertson (Tamworth , NSW, Australia)


Craigdarragh House, Craigdarragh Rd, Helen's Bay, Bangor

Described as a house built of stone and stucco house in Italianate palazzo style & farm of 31 acres in Ballyrobert townland in 1863. The house was built for Francis Gordon c.1850 whose monogram can still be seen in the Dining Room plaster work. It is reported that Gordon ran out of funds during construction & never occupied the house & it was tenanted for many years. It was the residence of Robert F. Gordon in 1852 & John Downie in 1855 & leased by George Hamilton in 1863 from Robert Francis Gordon. He was succeeded by Joseph Jaffe in 1864 and then John Patterson in 1874. Earl Dufferin reoccupied the house until 1879 when the house and demesne were advertised “to be let unfurnished” at £325 per annum with applications directed to the Dufferin Estate Office, Clandeboye.
Thomas Workman bought the freehold of Craigdarragh from the Durrerin estate in 1883.

During the 2nd World War , the house was commandeered by the Army & a large hutted encampment was constructed in the grounds which housed some of the first American troops in Europe. Later the camp was used to house German prisoners of war. After the death of Major Workman in 1949, the house was sold to the Sisters of Mercy and converted into a nursing home for the elderly in 1950s.

Approached by a sweeping, private driveway 'guarded' by a Gate Lodge at its entrance, the house is today surrounded by c.26 acres of lawns, pasture and woodland with over 200 trees of various varieties. There is also a glen with a stream and waterfall. The demesne has considerable frontage to a sandy cove and enjoys views over Belfast Lough.

The house & grounds were for sale in Feb 2012 for £2,000,000 and it is hoped that the new owner will restore it and not knock it down for development.


These lovely old photos was kindly sent by Owen McCaughan & Jane Bedcock & shows the hunt starting in 1927 (top) & a grand wedding 1901 where Thomas Andrews, of Titanic fame , was a guest. To see more pictures of Craigdarragh House and Grounds then please follow this link
References; IIW; GV; RWN appendix; POD;


Village of Crossgar, Killyleagh Street-
residence of Alexander Campbell and his wife Hannah (nee Quinn Calvert )


Alexander was born 10 Feb 1876 in Downpatrick, son of Thomas Campbell & Margaret Ann Brown. He married Hannah Quinn Calvert from Killinchy in 1899 in Raffrey Presbyterian Church. He was the father of Mary Ellen b. 31 Oct 1889 (married Hugh James Adams, d. 19 Jan 1991) & Thomas b. 1902 (married Oilene Balmet(?) c. 1928; died 1982/3) & Alexander b. 1904/5 (married Emily Cathcart c. 1934) & Mary Ellen (married Hugh James Adams in 1922). He was a staff sergeant in Crossgar Boys' Brigade c. 1920s & died 1965







This lovely old photo c. 1960s of her great grandparents was kindly sent by Heather Crowther



Fisherwick House, Newcastle

Fisherwick House
in Shore Rd, Newcastle

Comprises a house, yard & garden in Armitage Place , Shore Rd, Newcastle, overlooking the harbour. It was the residence of Rev. Samuel Smith in 1860 & leased by William Henry Martin in 1863 from Earl Annesley. Residence of R. Hill in 1910.


Today the house is divded into apartments.

This photo was kindly sent by Maud Hamill

References; NWAG p22, 59 ; GV; POD



Gillhall, Dromore
in Coolsallagh townland

This house was built in the 1670s by John Magill and was principal residence of the Magill family who owned Gilford town & started the milling of corn in 1691. Visited by the bard, Turlough O'Carolan of Co. Meath in 1709 who composed a song 'The Pride of Gillhall'.
It was enlarged by Robert Hawkins-Magill in 1731. The proprietor in 1795 was Countess of Clanwilliam; In 1836, it was described as having a forest and was the demesne of Lord Clanwilliam . It was also described as an old manorial house of no architectural beauty although the forested areas help. It was close to the Lagan River and later the home of Earl of Clanwilliam. Owned by John Meade in 1876 with 690 acres. It was demolished in 1970 after a fire . Said to have been the most haunted house in Ireland.

This lovely old postcard was kindly sent by David Arathoon

References; V12 p 72, 76 OSM; UJA; ILR 2016 p17; rish /News 8/9/1946; BIH p Y; PNNI V6 p 119, 146, 350; LOI; ODHD p23; DDLHGJ Vol 1 (photo before fire)


just S of Ballymacarret in Victor Street near the Ormeau Estate.

It was the residence of Robert Grogan , a gentleman and linen merchant in Belfast c. 1800 & William Morrow in 1870s and Nat Watson in 1902. It was torn down about 1905 as urban Belfast was spreading east across the Lagan. A railway halt was built near here c. 1890.

This photo of Henryville House c. 1897 was kindly sent to me by Gordon Silleck. Please contact him at if you have a connection.

References;V7 p 98 OSM; old b/w map R6; TMUOP p127, 154; POD ; O S map 1902 4.11


Killynether House

Killynether House
in Killynether townland 3km NE of Comber

The house was built in 1858 in 25 acres . It was held in fee by Thomas McIlwrath/ McLeroth Esq. in 1842 & 1863 & the residence of Andrew Cowan (local magistrate) in 1870 & James Brownlow in 1886 (another local magistrate & land agent for Lord Londonderry) . In 1907 the owner was Arthur James Weir & in 1937 was Jessie Helen Weir .She donated her property that year, including 42 acres of mixed woodland and an endowment of £2,000, to the National Trust. It was then used by the Youth Hostels Association. During the 2nd World War it was requisition by the British Army. Dry rot meant the house was demolished in 1966.

This lovely old postcard & information was kindly sent by Timothy Ferres.

References; GV; old b/w map S8;BN; POD ;PRONI wills


Little Clandeboye or Conlig House

Little Clandeboye or Conlig House, Bangor parish

Large house in Conlig townland with gate lodge .Residence of William Pirrie in 1852; unoccupied in 1863 but owned by Lord Dufferin & Clandeboye.Residence of James Barratt in 1902.


This photo was kindly sent to me by Sandra Gilpin.


References; GV; POD; ACOC p13


Loughaghry House

Loughaghery House, Annahilt

Built in the Georgian style it was home to the Magill family for three generations. The proprietor in 1795 was William Magill.

Jeanie, wife of Daniel Magenis Magill died at Loughaghry House on 15 Jul 1854.

Residence of John & Rachel Eliza Mateer 1907 & 1914

This photo was kindly sent by Carol Ingram. UJA; MIs


farm house in Loughriscouse townland

old farmhouse in Loughriscouse townland,

This cottage is typical of the type of housing common in rural Co. Down in 18th & 19th century. Whitewashed plaster covering stone walls with a slate roof. Many were pebble dashed in the 1950s but this one is unaltered. A rare example.

It belonged to Joseph Anderson and is where his two unmarried daughters , Gertie and Jeannie spent all their lives, with a cow and a few chickens. It's now in use as a toolshed, but beautifully kept up.

This photo was kindly sent by Patrick Thompson.


Magheradrool farmhouse

Farm house in Magheradrool townland, near Ballynahinch

This farmhouse beside the road in Magheradrool townland just along the road from the old Magheradrool graveyard, was owned by Stephen Flynn c. 1940.

Stephen was the son of Hugh Flynn (b. 1876) from Ballylone and Rosina Heaney . Hugh was the twin son of James Flinn (b. 1843) and Mary Magee . James' father William Flinn also farmed here. William's widow, Sarah is listed in the Griffiths Valuations of 1863 as leasing a house, offices & 31 acres from Arthur H. Montgomery.

James Flinn is Ray's great grandfather.

References; GV; 1901 Census


Maple Cottage, Craigavad

Maple Cottage
Craigavad, Holywood

This photo was taken c. 1900.

Could the person who kindly sent this photo please email me.


Marlborough House

Marlborough House
2km S of Downpatrick near the racecourse, in Killough Rd, Ballymote Middle townland

This house was built c. 1750 by Mr Thomas Nevin's son William, then owned by Edward Southwell (Lord de Clifford) in 1777. It leased then bought by James Crawford in 1799 then bought by Richard Stitt in 1816 for £1500. It was the home of the James Stitt in 1840s (son of Richard Stitt of Ballee House). The Stitt family remained here until 1900. It was residence of John Tate J.P. in 1900.


This photo was kindly sent by Warren Martin.

References; SHM '98 p 42(map); UJA; LM 1985 p4,5,6; POD; LM 1992 p41 (map); LR 2007 p83



Mount Panther

Mount Panther in Kilmegan parish

House & estate of 245 acres built mid 1700s. It is situated on the Clough to Dundrum road. Supposedly named after an ancient 'cat' legend. Residence of Dean & Mrs. Patrick Delaney in 1744 & the proprietor in 1795 was Hugh Moore; . It was the residence of Major William Henry Rainey before his death in 1830. In 1836, Mount Panther house & demesne was the residence of Mr John Allen Esq. It was described as a remarkably fine house, situated on rising ground and seen to perfection from the Clough road. The grounds were neatly planted.Residence of John R.Allen in 1852 & 1863 & of George Allen Esq. in 1886 & 1910. Used by American troops during 2nd World War.

The building was badly burnt and is today in ruins. Local legend says that it had 365 windows. The demesne is still extensive and productive. In 2008 the house & estate went up for sale by current owner Richard Fitzpatrick for £8 million .
Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
accident 30 May 1844; National School prizes 13 Jun 1857; photos 23 Jan 2008 p32

Newspaper articles from Mourne Observer;
remembering previous occupants 30 Jan 2008 p10; photo of ruind 11/6/2014 p39

Check out

References; MIs;V3 p58 & V7 p18 OSM: UJA; DR; old b/map K13;POD; O'L V1 p 349;GV; POD; MO 11/6/ 2014 p45; WDG p81, 121 (photo); LM 1995 p6 (photo)


Mount Potter / Ballymacarron House
in Ballymacarron townland; near Strangford Lough,4km SE of Killinchy village.

Residence of James Potter in 1770s. Later became known as Ballymacarron House .


This photo was kindly sent by Keith Potter . If you have any information about this house, Keith and I would be very pleased to hear from you.




in Ballygarvigan townland, Ballyphilip, 3km NE of Portaferry

A Georgian style, two-storey white house with 2 wings with two wings & possibly named after Robert Ross, proprietor of lands here c. 1650 & later owned by Savage family. The proprietor in 1836 was Mr John Camac of Philadelphia c. 1770 .

It's on the site of an ancient cemetery



This photo was kindly sent by Keith Hazzard.

References; PE; V17 p 126 OSM; O'L V1 p 405; PNNI V2 p 52


Mourne Park House, Kilkeel
4km NW of Kilkeel
Built on the site of a house called ' Siberia' which was built by Robert Needham in 1715. The present house was built 1808 by Robert Needham, 11th Viscount Kilmore. A house & farm estate of 836 acres in Ballyrogan townland in 1863. It's the ancestral home of the Needham family, Earls of Kilmorey. It was leased by Capt. Alexander Ramsay in 1863 from Kilmorey Estate. The residence of Earl of Kilmorey in 1881. It was used as a planning base for the Normandy landings in WW2. Gutted by fire May 2013 .

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
The servants donated £4.13.0 & labourers donated £2.6.6 for victoms of Newcastle storm disaster 28 Jan 1843
Newspaper articles from Mourne Observer;
house & estate of 160 acres for sale 11 Jun 2008 (price was 10 million but reduced to 6.5 million pounds)

see for a detailed personal view of the house

References; HOTC p107; PE; CM ; POD;DR; PNNI V3 p 28;GV; MO 22/5/2013 p1 (photo) ; OKA p22,23,24 ,36 (photos)


Nunsquarter House , Inishargy parish

A house & farm of 123 acres. The proprietor in 1795 was James Allen. It was held in fee (owned) by James Allen in 1863 . The family owned 177 acres in 1876. It was the residence of William Allen in 1910.

Yvonne Walker says;"The family, lived mostly between Bristol, Liverpool and Ireland, the last know Allen to live in the property was my grandfather Harold Alexander Allen, who lived with his mother Elsie and father Alexander, uncles Cecil, Walter Page Allen. My grandfather, married Rose Doherty of Kircubbin and had 10 children moving and purchasing Deerpark House, Portaferry, My grandfather was known to be the last known gentleman of his time, what a wonderful life he must have had growing up in such a wonderful family home with servants and a private school governess , Harold was a lieutenant in the Royal Irish rifles and passed away in 1974 aged 81 years."


  References; UJA; GV; old b/w map V14; POD ; These lovely old photos were kindly sent by Yvonne Walker nee Allen. The above photo shows the Yard at Nunsquarter House and the mechanism for turning the churn in the old dairy. This photo was printed the wrong way round.



Portavo House
in Bangor Parish

Originally a prime Plantation Estate owned by James Hamilton ( Viscount Claneboy) in early 17th century. Mr Ker from London bought the estate for £23,000 and his son David took over in 1779. It was still the residence of David Ker Esq. large landowner in 1836. It was described in 1836 as a handsome house built of brick & surrounded with a forest.

Newspaper Article from Down Recorder;
the destruction of Portavo House by fire 20 Jan 1844

References;V7 p 22 OSM; UJA; DR: BM ; MO17/12/03


Rosconnor House

Rossconnor House
in Inch parish

The Brown family lived here from 1800-1900. It was the residence of Captain Brown in 1836 & James Brown Esq. before 1854. It was described as a very plain, substantial building with a small woodland. In 1863 this estate comprised a house & farm of 112 acres with corn & flax mill. It was leased by Arthur Browne in 1863 from William B. Forde.

It is now in the village of Annacloy on the Downpatrick to Ballynahinch Road and is in a delelict state and on the 'at risk' list of houses with Ulster Architectural Heritage Society in 2005. Being restored in 2018.

This photo was kindly sent by Roy Creighton

References; V17 p 88 OSM; old b/w map O11; GV; LR 2005 p 76 ; DR 25/2/2009 p33


Scadden House

Scadden House
3km NE of Saul village in Russells Quarter South/Ballintogher; now 15 Myra Road. Residence of Torney family in 19th century.


Newspaper article from Down Recorder;
serious agrarian outrage 17 May 1856


This photo was kindly sent by Sandra Abrahms

References;old b/w map Q14; DR


Six Roads Ends, Ballygrainey

Six Roads Ends, Ballygrainey
Bangor parish

Crossroads in Ballygrainey townland, 3km SE of Bangor town, Site of Matt McClenaghan's blacksmith's shop, which was the centrepoint of the 1798 Rebellion.

This shows a good example of whitewashed cottages in a cluster group. (clachan)

This lovely old postcard was kindly sent by Dianne Poore

References; BGHD p 1


Tobar Mhuire

Tobar Mhuire/ Crossgar House
in Kilmore parish, near Crossgar

Originally built on the site of an ancient chapel. Formerly called Crossgar House. The proprietor in 1795 was Robert Martin; William Thompson bought the house c. 1790 from E.S. Ruthven for £20,000. It was the residence of Mrs. Hamilton in 1836 & was described as a fine house almost surrounded by trees. After it was burnt down, it was rebuilt by James Cleland J.P. in 1860 (whose death notice was 16 Oct 1875) and the residence of James Cleland in 1886. It became home to British & American troops in 2nd World War then became a Passionist Monastery in 1950 . For sale 27 Aug 2008

References; UJA; KCB p 24; V 17 p88, 89 OSM; POD ; LM 1983 p50; V17 p 88, 89 OSM; O'L V1 p 330; LR 2005 p73; MO 27/8/2008 p44


Woburn House Millisle

Woburn House
near Millisle (Donaghadee parish)

Comprises a large house & farm of 131 acres (in 1863) in Drumfad townland. near Drumfad Bay; 1km S of Millisle. The propietor in 1795 was John Dunbar. It was the residence of John Gilmore Dunbar Esq. in 1824 (his summer house) then held in fee by George Dunbar in 1863 & the Dunbar family in 1890 & Charles W. Dunbar-Buller in 1893 & 1910 & Reynell Pack- Beresford in 1934.

Newspaper article from Belfast Weekly News;

opening of Woburn Memorial Hall, Carrowdore 14 Jan 1893

This lovely old postcard c. 1920 was kindly sent by Leslie Drew whose grandmother , Louisa Alice Farrar (born Co. Westmeath in 1905) , worked there .

References; old b/w map W9; UJA; GV; POD;BWN; NDM p49,58; POD




Would you like to add a house photo? Please email it in JPEG format.

by Ros Davies