Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland mansion once gifted by William of Orange goes on sale for £650k

Peacefield in Portadown was once gifted to a French officer by William of Orange
Peacefield in Portadown was once gifted to a French officer by William of Orange

By Allan Preston

A Northern Ireland mansion thought to have been gifted to a French officer by William of Orange in 1690 has been listed for sale.

Peacefield on the Carbet Road in Ballynacor, Portadown, is a Grade 2 listed residence and is on the market for £650,000.

The luxurious property boasts five bedrooms, a games room, a stable and sits in five acres of matured landscape.

It is said to have been "immaculately cared for" over half a century by the present owners.

Ciaran McKendry from Hannath estate agents said the former farmhouse was steeped in history.

"It was built around 1690, with the Georgian front added in 1840," he said.

"We're absolutely delighted to be involved in the sale.

"Given the history and location, I'd like to think it will attract a lot of attention.

"It's set in five acres of beautiful grounds, which will really start to bloom as we come into spring and the proximity to the M1 makes it ideal for commuters to Belfast or Dublin," Mr McKendry added.

The property has previously featured in the book Buildings of County Armagh by CEB Brett and published by the Ulster Architecture Heritage Society in 1999.

At the time, the present owner said: "A local farmer tells me that he has always understood, as recounted by his father and grandfather, that there were three brothers, commissioned officers of French origin, by the name of Ruddell, who came to Ireland with William's army in 1690, and that as a reward for services rendered, each of them was granted a property in this area."

These included Peacefield in the townland of Ballinacorr, Fairfield in the townland of Aghacommon and a third in the townland of Turmoyra.

A slate slab in a rear farmhouse is inscribed 'D Ruddell 1788'.

The author described the property as "one of the best examples of a Georgian farmhouse within the Craigavon designated area".

He added that as a working farmhouse "frills such as external quoins and internal window ledges were omitted".

The 'Peacefield Hymn' was named in tribute to the property by the Rev David Ruddell Wilson, later a dean of St Patrick's in Dublin, who was born in the property in 1871.

The last surviving son of the builder, another David Ruddell, died in 1896 at 83.

The farmhouse fell into disrepair until a restoration in the 1920s.

It was later acquired in 1966 by the Craigavon Development Commission to accommodate the building of the M1 motorway, with the present owners purchasing it a year later.

Belfast Telegraph

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