Friday, 5 June 2020

Donard Lodge Colourized

Donard Lodge Colourized © History of Newcastle, County Down.  Click to Enlarge

On my seventeenth birthday, the 22nd December, 1976, I received a most thoughtful present from my grandmother.


Historic Buildings In The Mourne Area Of South Down was published by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society in May, 1975.

It was prepared for the Society by P J Rankin.

One property that features in the book is Donard Lodge, the former 'Marine Residence' of Lord and Lady Annesley, whose principal seat was Castlewellan Castle.

The Annesleys developed Newcastle as a resort in the early 19th century.

They owned a vast stretch of land from Slieve Donard to Slieve Croob, totalling almost 25,000 acres, which made them one of the largest landowners in County Down.

The old castle, close to the sea-shore, was taken down by Lord Annesley, and in its place he erected a
'Spacious and elegant' hotel, costing £3,000. This hotel commanded 'a most extensive prospect, embracing the Isle of Man in the foreground, and in the rear the lofty mountains of Mourne.'
William, 3rd Earl Annesley, built Donard Lodge, at the foot of Slieve Donard, about 1830.

Click to Enlarge

It was eighty-nine feet in length, with a large semi-circular conservatory attached to the south side.

The northern elevation, near the Glen River, contained the stable-yard and other outbuildings.

About 500 acres of land above the mansion were planted with trees, and a beautiful garden was created by the Rev John Moore (of Rowallane) and his sister Priscilla, 3rd Countess Annesley.

Eighty acres of the demesne, around and above the mansion, became the pleasure grounds, with winding paths, ornamental trees and shrubs, waterfalls, cascades, an aviary, a hermitage, shell house, spa house, spa well, visitors' dining house, ornamental dining house, and a variety of rustic stone seats and little bridges.

I've already written about it, though recently I came across a fascinating site on Facebook called History of Newcastle, County Down.

With the site's kind permission I have posted a colourized photograph of Donard Lodge as it looked in happier times.

Almost a week ago I visited the location of the old mansion though, sadly, nothing exists at all apart from some overgrowth and rubble.

When it was demolished in 1966, Donard Lodge was derelict and probably roofless, having suffered a calamitous fire in 1941.

Donard Lodge, September, 1966, before Demolition. Photo Credit © History of Newcastle

The gate lodge at King Street of ca 1836 survives.

The colourized image of Donard Lodge is by kind permission of History of Newcastle.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

A lovely and thoughtful gift to you Tim and one which I’m sure you treasure.