Alexandra Park Gate Lodge, 19 Castleton Gardens,
1997, gutted by fire
Restored as a family home
Park was laid out over some ten acres and opened to the public in 1887.
The land originally belonged to Sir John Preston, the York Street Flax
Spinning Company and the Jennymount Flax Spinning Company, and the
companies retained water rights as the ornamental lake in the Park
supplied water to the mills. The name of the park marked the visit to
Belfast in 1885 of the Prince and Princess of Wales. The gate lodge is
contemporary with the park, and was probably designed by J C Bretland.
In recent years the park had suffered from considerable vandalism, and
despite the hard work of the city's Parks Department there had been a
marked deterioration in its amenity. About 1990 the lodge was burnt out
in an arson attack but Hearth Revolving Fund subsequently acquired it
from the City Council.
The lodge is a small two-storey rubble-stone building with steeply
pitched roofs and tall stone chimneys, and the windows are plain sashes
with an unusual shouldered design. The fire had destroyed the
staircase, first floor, and most of the roof, and no internal doors
survived, although some windows remained in scorched and rotted
condition. The structure was generally sound, but the stonework had
been repointed in hard mortar at some stage, leading to deterioration
of some of the soft Scrabo stonework.
Restoration of the building involved new slate roofs and cast iron
gutters, and new windows and doors throughout. A considerable amount of
stone was replaced where the original material was badly spalled or
damaged by the fire and ongoing deterioration. Internally, a new
staircase was put in, and flooring was replaced throughout. There was
no evidence of ornamental ceiling roses after the fire, but it is very
likely that the house had roses, and new ones were provided. Originally
there would have been three bedrooms upstairs, but one has been made
into a bathroom.
Main Contractor: McNally Contractors (Randalstown) Ltd
Accommodation: One two-bedroom house
by loans and grants from: N I Housing Executive, Environemnt &
Heritage Service through the Tourism Sub-Programme (EEC), and own
Return to Map or Projects
Return to Home
or About Hearth