Friday, 9 September 2016

Eglantine House

EGLANTINE HOUSE, near Hillsborough, County Down, is a two-storey, three-bay Georgian house of ca 1800.

It has a concealed basement.

Eglantine House is Italianate in style and stucco-fronted.

It was renovated about 1845 to the designs of Sir Charles Lanyon.

One of its most remarkable features is a very fine, curved stone staircase.

The original building on the Eglantine demesne is thought to have dated from the late 18th century.

P J Rankin considers that it was originally intended as a dower house for the Hills, Marquesses of Downshire.

Eglantine House first appears in 1803 on a survey map of the Kilwarlin estate in the townland of Carnbane on land which is noted as belonging to Hugh Moore.

This map records that Moore’s estate covered "70 Acres and one Rood".

In 1837, documents recorded that Eglantine House was a "gentleman’s residence ... Hugh Moore of Carnbane has an elegant seat, finely ornamented with plantations of young firs."

In 1841, Eglantine House was acquired by St Clair Kelburn Mulholland (1798-1872), uncle of the 1st Baron Dunleath.

The well-known architect Sir Charles Lanyon renovated the house ca 1845 and refaced it in the neo-classical style, adding "a central projecting open Doric porch, refurbishing the interior, and replacing the two old gate lodges."

Many believe that Lanyon may have practically rebuilt the house, as it was believed to date from about 1845, though no evidence could be found of an earlier style.

St Clair Mulholland retired in 1850 and spent the remainder of his days at Eglantine.

His family and friends erected All Saints' Parish Church in memory of Mr Mulholland and his only son, also called St Clair Kelburn Mulholland, who predeceased his father in 1861.

The Mulhollands continued to live at Eglantine until 1917.

Mary Filgate Mulholland (1830-1917) was the last of the family to live at Eglantine House.

In those days the estate comprised two stables, one coach-house, one harness-room, three cow-houses, two calf-houses, one dairy, two piggeries, two fowl-houses, one boiling-house, a barn, a turf-house, a potato house, a workshop and a shed.

When Miss Mulholland died in 1917 the house was occupied for a short period by Joseph Coulter, whose family at one time owned Newport coal quay.

Mr Coulter sold the 300-acre estate to Edward Thomas Green, proprietor of ET Green, millers.

About 1973, it was purchased by Anthony Lyle Skyrme.
Anthony Skyrme's mother, the Hon Suzanne Lyle (1915-94), youngest daughter of the 1st Baron Lyle of Westbourne, married, in 1938, Sir William Thomas Charles Skyrme KCVO CB CBE TD JP, and had issue, two daughters and a son, 
Anthony Lyle Skyrme (37 South Eaton Place, SW1), who wedded, in 1972, Carole-June, daughter of W J Glover, of Sandown House, Belfast.
Sir Saxon Tate, Bt, CBE (1931-2012), Chairman of the Industrial Development Board of Northern Ireland, 1982-85, was the last occupant of the house.

Eglantine House remained vacant until 1987 or 1988.

The estate was thereafter divided into two farms and both were sold.

Two-thirds of the land and Eglantine House were bought by the Falloon family with the intention of converting the house into a hotel or country club.

However, planning permission could not be obtained for this project and the house lay mostly unoccupied until it suffered a catastrophic fire on the night of Sunday, 23rd September, 1990.


A number of modern cottages have been constructed on the site of the old estate office houses.

In 2012, Eglantine House was completely restored with the aid of a government heritage grant.

The work was carried out by The Boyd Partnership.

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