Saturday, 6 May 2017

Parkmount House

THE McNEILES, OF PARKMOUNT, OWNED 7,011 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

PARKMOUNT HOUSE, Antrim Road, Belfast, was a two-storey Georgian house with a three-storey return.

It had a six-bay front, with a single-storey Ionic portico.

Coupled columns were added later.

There were also Ionic loggias at the end of the house.

The portico was subsequently glazed and the loggia filled in with a one-storey projection.

The roof had a lofty, solid parapet.

To one side there was a substantial Victorian conservatory running parallel with the front of the house, though set back.

This concealed a lower service wing to the rear.


Parkmount was originally (c1666) a hunting-lodge or country residence of the Chichesters, Earls (later Marquesses) of Donegall.
The district now known as and called Oldpark should not be confused with the New Park, formed by the Lord Deputy's nephew, Arthur, 1st Earl of Donegall, which is recorded as having been in process of formation in 1666. It extended in an easterly direction from the Cave Hill towards Belfast Lough, terminating at Parkmount.
Thereafter it was acquired by Thomas Ludford.

This lodge was rebuilt ca 1796 by Hugh Cairns:
The finest house on this road, or perhaps in the parish, is Parkmount, built by the late Mr Cairns, on or near the site of a residence, or hunting lodge, formerly belonging to the Donegall family.
Mary Harriet, wife of the 1st Earl Cairns, was the eldest daughter of John McNeile, who purchased Parkmount from Captain William Cairns ca 1828.

The McNeiles were of the same family as the Very Rev Hugh Boyd McNeile, Dean of Ripon, whose brother John (1788-1855), a banker, had made his fortune in South America.

John McNeile, DL, was married to Charlotte Lavinia Dallas, daughter of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Dallas GCB.

They continued to reside at Parkmount for most of the 19th century; while the Cairnses moved to Cultra, County Down, at the opposite side of Belfast Lough.

In 1905, Sir Robert Anderson, 1st Baronet, bought Parkmount from the McNeiles.

Parkmount House was demolished in 1932.

First published in May, 2013.

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