Global interest as Victorian rectory goes up for sale
A Victorian vicarage up for sale in rural Co Antrim is causing a stir around the world.
The Old Rectory in Broughshane, with its red doors, feature fireplaces, bay windows, traditional kitchen/pantry layout and generous lawn, is a step back into an older time.
It was built in 1869 for the Church of Ireland Canon John Grainger, Rector of Broughshane. By the time he died, it was so packed with antiquities, including Samurai armour, that his collection formed the basis of what we now know as the Ulster Museum.
The Belfast-born cleric, who was educated at Trinity College Dublin, amassed the collection during a lifetime of travel.
He left it to the Belfast Corporation when he died in 1891. It was first stored in the public library before moving to the Ulster Museum, with Canon Grainger becoming known as the father of the attraction.
The home remained property of the Church of Ireland until around 25 years ago, when it was converted into offices.
It is being sold on behalf of Tom Keenan as administrator of David Patton & Sons (NI) Ltd. Lynn and Brewster estate agent Charlie Lynn said that while the property had only been advertised this week, he had received inquiries from Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
"We have had a lot of inquiries," he added. "[They are] inquiries from people living abroad who are looking to move back home but want something unique.
"It is just unique and unusual. There are a lot of retained features. It will be a labour of love for someone to take on.
"A lot of rectors in those days built their own [homes], as well as the Diocese. I have another for sale outside Ballymena which was built by a rector. It is believed to be a Charles Lanyon.
"With this one, we are not sure whether the Diocese built it or whether he did so under his own steam. It was commissioned for him on his appointment in 1869, then he became known as the Father of the Ulster Museum. The reason for that was he collected artefacts. These were kept in the building, and that was how the Ulster Museum was founded - because they needed somewhere the accommodate them all."
The Rectory is on the market for £225,000. There have been viewings but no formal offers.