Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Sandown House

SANDOWN HOUSE, Sandown Road, Belfast, is a two-storey Regency-style villa with basement.

This late-Victorian villa was built about 1889 on land owned by Robert Edward Ward, of Bangor Castle, County Down.

Mr Ward, great-grandson of Bernard, 1st Viscount Bangor, owned 5,735 acres of land in County Down.

Robert Corry, a local builder and contractor whose commercial premises were on University Street, Belfast, leased the land from Mr Ward in 1887 and built Sandown House.

Mr Corry and his family were the first occupants.

The census of 1901 described Sandown House as a first-class dwelling with twelve rooms.

The outbuildings (now demolished) included a stable, cow-house, dairy, barn and laundry.

Newspaper Article of ca 1961.  Click to Enlarge

Robert Corry continued to live at Sandown House until his death in 1909.

Sandown House was inhabited for a short time thereafter by William Virtue, managing director of the United Distilleries Company.

In 1919, it was leased to Sir Frederick Ernest Rebbeck KBE JP DL (1877-1964), a distinguished shipbuilder and marine engineer.

It is said that Sir Frederick had a staircase installed, reputedly from a local church.

There is a maritime theme throughout the design of the main hall: a ship’s wheel motif features on the glazed skylight above the main door.

The front hall has glazing or stained-glass reminiscent of work undertaken by Italian craftsmen at the Harland & Wolff shipyard during the 1930s.

Sandown House, January, 1996

Sir Frederick retired in 1962 and died at Sandown House two years later.

Following his death, Sandown House was acquired by William J Glover, a company director, who lived there from 1964 till the 1990s.
Mr Glover's daughter, Carole-June, married Anthony Lyle Skyrme, in 1972. They lived at Eglantine House, near Hillsborough, County Down.
Sandown House was listed in 1987.

It continued to be occupied by the Glover family until 1999, when it was sold to Fraser Homes.

The house remained vacant until about 2009, when it underwent extensive refurbishment and conversion it into a number of self-contained apartments.

Prospect from the Garden, 1995

The central return and flat-roof extension, located to the rear of the building, were added at that time.

The restoration of Sandown House was undertaken to the designs of Sutherland Architects, Belfast, who were also responsible for the construction of the modern red-brick apartment blocks located within Sandown’s former grounds.

First published in September, 2016.


Samantha said...

There are a quite few errors in this and I'd love to help you correct it. I'm John Glover's granddaughter and I lived at Sandown after I left university. Let me know how to contact you privately then I can help you correct this. For example, where you write: The original windows and timber conservatory were replaced in the 1970s - that's incorrect. My grandfather never changed the conservatory. Also, the house was not in disrepair during the Glovers' time there. During my grandfather's retirement he spent tens of thousands on a complete new roof, new bathroom, redecoration, new carpets, etc. He'd be horrified to read that you thought it was 'in disrepair'! Please correct!

Timothy Belmont said...

Samantha, many thanks for the information. I am reliant on readers to apprise me of any factual errors or otherwise. I got the details here ~

Timothy Belmont said...

Samantha, I wondered if you had any photographs of the house and gardens? Thanks, Tim.

robert george bracewell said...

As a young boy i used to play in and around the grounds of Sandown with the McGuffan children
who i think were Sir Fredericks nephews.I can recall him standing at the top of the spectacular staircase and speaking to us and the huge proportions internally appearing huge
to a small boy.I lived across the road in number 79 Sandown Road right opposite the
McGuffans home and would see Sir Frederick driving into Sandown House on frequent occasions.
My memory of Sir Frederick is a kindly gentleman a bit on thr gruff side but always friendly
to us as young children. I have many fond memories of exploring inside the house with its
many rooms and lovely grounds.

Robert George Bracewell