Enjoy some truly opulent living in the countryside ... Stephanie Bell reports
The Linen Barons of the 19th century were famous for building opulent homes with their new found wealth and this grand manor house in Lisburn is a perfect example of the lavish standard of living they enjoyed.
Springfield is still every bit as exceptional today as it was when first built in 1855.
Its beautiful neo-classical style is still the hallmark of this fine home thanks to a sympathetic renovation in 2004.
Inside the original detail is evident in every elegant room in the decorative friezes, cornicing, panelled shutters and many beautiful Victorian fireplaces.
While retaining the integrity of its origins the house has also been subtly brought up-to-date with rewiring, replumbing, a new central heating system, and modern security system.
Also catering for today's luxury lifestyle is the addition of a billiard room, games room and gym with hot tub.
There are four main reception rooms, seven bedrooms including an impressive master suite, a family bathroom, two shower rooms and two en suite bathrooms.
The grounds were also something which the Linen Barons splashed a considerable amount of their cash on and the extensive Springfield estate retains much of the splendour of its original Victorian garden.
Formal gardens with box hedging, informal gardens and a walled garden are all to be found within the five-acre estate which is accessed via electric entrance gates.
There is also a courtyard, two paddocks, stables and numerous garden stores.
The house is set out in such a way that part of it could easily be used as separate accommodation either for a family member or as space for anyone who works from home.
A large panelled entrance door with portico surround opens to an enclosed porch with original tiled floor and cornicing.
Enter into the hallway which is broad, long and grand with many of the beautiful original architectural details on display such as stripped wooden original floor; plaster cornicing, beautiful ceiling roses, decorative frieze and a moulded arch.
Off the hall are two cloakrooms, one a great storage space with cupboards and drawers and the other with a high flush toilet and wash hand basin on a wrought iron stand.
Like most of the reception rooms the period beauty of the main drawing room instantly transports you back in time and it's not hard to conjure of an image of the original family sitting here and enjoying this fine space with its large bay window overlooking the gardens, superb marble fireplace and hearth, stripped wooden floor, cornicing, picture rail and window shutters.
It opens through to a dining room which a wonderful black marble fireplace, decorative cornicing and window shutters.
The living room is another bright space with lots of original detail and another gorgeous black marble fireplace, stripped wooden flooring and moulded arch. Also downstairs is an office again with another marble fireplace.
Another delight is a double height reading room featuring twin glazed cupolas and a minstrel gallery.
The kitchen is a grand space which has been carefully laid out to enhance rather than impinge on the beautiful period feature of the room.
It's top quality, too, with hand painted solid wood units topped with marble and a large matching island unit with woodblock surface which incorporates a twin Belfast sink and an integrated dishwasher.
An oil-fired Aga with two hobs and hot plate is a centrepiece and there is also a fitted larder unit, integrated fridge and freezer. Oak flooring and double glazed sliding sash windows give the room its period character and a double glazed timber door opens to the garden.
The cavernous ground floor also features the games room which has another fireplace painted with an arched cast iron inset and slate hearth.
Along a rear hall you will find another room with a painted Victorian fireplace and tongue and groove panelled walls which is being used as a rather posh store room, a lovely shower room and a huge utility area with a laundry room, rear cloakroom, store room, boiler room, and wood store.
The final luxury touch is the gym, a large space stretching to over 30 feet with a raised area built especially for a hot tub to soak in after your workout.
The grandeur continues on the wonderful landing which has a large arched window with stained and etched glass, a lovely glazed dome skylight, panelled cupola and decorative frieze.
The massive master suite has the luxury which you would expect in this beautiful home. It too is full of period detail with a large bay window overlooking the gardens, panelled window shutters, grey marble fireplace, cornicing, picture rail and panelled window shutters. It has its own dressing room with another marble fireplace and featuring a large range of handcrafted furniture including wardrobes, cupboards and drawers.
The en suite bathroom is also pure luxury with a large shower enclosure with jets and hand shower, twin wash hand basins and low flush toilet.
Two of the remaining six bedrooms also come with en suite bathrooms and all but one has a fireplace. There is also a luxury family bathroom and a shower room on this floor.
A secondary landing has a walk-through gallery with built in storage and two sets of stairs leading to roof space storage and luggage rooms with double glazed skylights and access to the roof.
Outside you could lose yourself in the beautiful gardens which are bursting with mature plants and blooms. The original walled garden has been divided into two paddocks and there are adjoining outbuildings and stables.
Springfield is within a few minutes' drive of Lisburn and Hillsborough, close to both the A1 carriageway and the M1.
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