Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bangor Heritage

On Sunday, 26th May, 2013, I paid a visit to Bangor Castle demesne. I particularly wished to see the restored walled garden.

I've written already about the Castle, its owners and the demesne.

Nevertheless, suffice it to say that this large house was one of the grandest private homes in Ulster, as were its superb grounds and parkland.

Bangor Castle, County Down, was completed in 1852 for Robert Edward Ward. This imposing building is not so much a castle as an elegant Victorian mansion in the Elizabethan-Jacobean revival style.

It had 35 bedrooms and incorporated a huge saloon for musical recitals. When the then municipal authority, Bangor Borough Council, acquired the Castle and grounds, the music saloon became the Council Chamber.
The first Council meeting was held there almost exactly 100 years after the building-now known as the Town Hall was first completed.

The successor to Bangor Borough Council, North Down Borough Council now sits at the Castle. Situated in Castle Park the gardens have won many awards for their outstanding blooms.

The Clanmorris cypher adorns the front wall of the Castle.
Rear-Admiral the Hon Barry Bingham VC OBE was this family's most celebrated son.

I spent some time at the museum within the Castle before strolling a ten-minute walk to the walled garden, which has been beautifully restored, at great expense, by the Council.


Inside a display cabinet in the heritage centre are the insignia of the Rt Hon Sir John Newell Jordan GCMG GCIE KCB, a most distinguished diplomat and one of HM Most Honourable Privy Council, born at Balloo, near Bangor, County Down.

Sir John is interred at Bangor Abbey graveyard.

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