A historic country house which has lain derelict since it was gutted by fire in September 1990 has been restored to its former glory.
Eglantine House was left a roofless shell but is now in pristine condition thanks to £116,930 from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s Historical Buildings grant scheme.
The listed building in Hillsborough dates from 1800 and was refurbished in 1845 to a design by renowned Belfast architect Sir Charles Lanyon.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood (right) said: “The remarkable transformation of this building — from roofless shell to an elegant country house — is a good illustration of how the grant scheme can help to rescue our most important buildings.
“Eglantine House has not only been restored to its former glory, but has also been rescued for future generations.
“We owe it to future generations to ensure listed buildings, of which there are approximately 8,500 in Northern Ireland, are protected and enhanced.”
Adrienne Smyth of architects The Boyd Partnership Chartered Architects said: “It was a pleasure to be involved and to see the reinstatement of the house as a family dwelling. The Boyd Partnership adds this to our portfolio of conservation work where we endeavour to bring new and sustainable use to historic buildings.”
Eglantine House at Harry’s Road, Carnbane, received a grant from the DoE’s Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) for repairs and replacement work to the fabric and roof.
This grant aid has also pumped funding into the restoration of Lissan House, Bishop Street Masonic Hall in Londonderry, Seapatrick Church in Banbridge and Lorne at Station Road, Craigavad.
It is believed that Eglantine House was originally built by the Hill Family, landlords of Hillsborough before 1800.
In the early 1980s the estate was divided into two farms and sold. Eglantine House was bought by the Falloon family to convert into a hotel or country club. Planning could not be obtained and the house lay mostly unoccupied until it burnt down in 1990.