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Redburn House, Holywood, County Down

Front of Redburn House

The front of Redburn House

Redburn House was designed by the architects Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon and built for Robert Grimshaw Dunville and his wife Jeannie in 1865. It had seventy rooms, the most grand of which were the entrance hall and the ballroom, and it was set in one hundred and seventy acres of land, with views of Belfast Lough and the hills of County Antrim. It was looked after by sixteen house staff and ten groundstaff.

A stable block with a clock tower and a walled courtyard were added in 1879. It housed sixty horses for hunting and four horses for drawing carriages, as well as the quarters for the sixteen grooms.

The last Dunville to live at Redburn House was Robert Grimshaw Dunville's daughter-in-law Violet. When she died in 1940, the Second World War was being fought and Redburn House was commandeered by the Air Ministry to accommodate members of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. After the war Redburn House became derelict and vandalised, and it was later demolished. It was replaced first by a hotel, which was converted to a staff members' club for British Petroleum, and then by Holywood Nursing Home. The land was used for a cemetery, a school, a housing estate and Redburn Country Park, which is open to the public.

The view across Belfast Lough to County Antrim would have been to the north-west, and so the conservatory would have been, quite reasonably, on the south corner of the house. The main entrance would have been on the north-west side of the house and the stables to the east of the house.

Redburn House: main entrance

Main entrance, which faces north-west

Redburn House: south-west side of house, conservatory

South-west side of house, conservatory on right
The main entrance is on the left side

Redburn House: back of house, conservatory, fountain, view across Belfast Lough to County Antrim

Back of house, which faces south-east
Conservatory and fountain, stable block on right, view across Belfast Lough to County Antrim

Redburn House: fountain, metal gates, stable block, kitchen garden, arbour

Fountain, metal gates in hedge, stable block and kitchen garden on other side of hedge,
arbour on right, metal fence with brick posts at far end of kitchen garden

Redburn House: fountain Redburn House: metal gates in hedge

Fountain, metal gates in hedge (details of larger photograph)

Redburn House: arbour, metal fence with brick posts Redburn House: arbour

Metal fence with brick posts, arbour (details of larger photographs)

Redburn House: east corner, back and side, conservatory, kitchen garden, stable block, arbour

East corner of house, back and side of house
Conservatory beyond hedge on left, kitchen garden, stable block, arbour in right foreground

The drive from Redburn House to the lodge on the main road

View towards the north of the drive from Redburn House to the lodge on the main road.
See Gordon Thompson's map.

Redburn House: path running south-west

Path running south-west from in front of the main entrance of Redburn House

The photograph at the top was very kindly provided by Gordon Thompson, who is a son of Tommy Thompson, the Gamekeeper of Redburn House. The other photographs above were very kindly provided by Christopher Dunville, who is pictured below, on the right.

Sam Christie, Christopher Dunville, Redburn House ornamental fountain, 25 June 2017

Sam Christie and Christopher Dunville in front of what was the ornamental fountain in the garden of Redburn House, on 25 June 2017. Sam Christie is inter alia a Dunville family historian and a leading authority on Redburn House and its outbuildings, garden features and grounds, which now form Redburn Country Park. Christopher Dunville is a great-grandson of Robert Lambart Dunville (1893–1931), the fifth Chairman of Dunville & Co. Ltd.

See also:

The Dunvilles of Northern Ireland and Dunville's Whisky

Redburn Garden Survey Report by Randal Scott, Ulster Archaeological Society

Gordon Thompsonís Stories of the Dunville Family and Redburn House

More Photographs from Redburn House

Drawings of Redburn House and Dunville Park

Photograph of Robert Grimshaw Dunville (1838–1910)

Photographs of John Dunville Dunville, CBE, DL (1866–1929)

Photograph of Violet Anne Blanche Dunville née Lambart (1861–1940)

Photographs of Robert Lambart Dunville (1893–1931)

Photographs of John Spencer Dunville, VC (1896–1917)

Pictures of Dunville & Co. Ltd. Buildings

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LAST MODIFIED: 23 JUNE 2020