Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB16/11/019 A

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1820 - 1839

Address :
Narrow Water Castle Newry Road Warrenpoint Newry Co Down BT34 3LE

Narrow Water

Survey 2:

Date of Listing:

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use
Country House

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J1234 1971

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

Two and a half-storey mid19thC country house with basement, built in Tudor Revival style. It is roughly L planned with the base of the 'L' facing E. The roof is a composition of multiple gables, towers, finials, chimneys and pinnacles creating a picturesque skyline. Roof has numerous pitches, all natural slated with similar over its attic windows. Chimneys are tall Tudor style ashlar granite stacks on common plinths in groups of twos, threes and fours. Other details will be mentioned in the text below. Parapet gutters drain into cast iron down pipes with plain hoppers. Principal elevations are E and S facing. Both these are constructed in ashlar granite. The basement is slightly advanced under a chamfered basecourse. There is a moulded cornice at eaves level and a prominent saddle copped parapet. All sash windows have horizontal glazing bars. Basement windows are pairs of 4/2 sliding sashes with a masonry mullion between them and two vertical bars over each. All ground and first floor windows are of the transom and mullion variety, some are masonry and some are timber framed. All contain sliding sashes, the top sash of each window being the smaller transom. Those to ground floor are a mixture 2/3 and 1/3 sashes and those to first floor are all 1/3 sashes and diminished in height. The small attic windows are as those to basement but containing 4/4 sashes. E elevation. East elevation is three bays wide with the central bay wider than the other two. The left and right bays advance forward slightly, and their outer corners have clasping octagonal buttresses. Right bay is the grandest of the three and its detailing is more ornate. It is three storeys high and contains the main entrance. There is no basement to front and the ground floor level drops to accommodate this. Its front wall is framed by massive clasping octagonal buttresses, of which five and two half faces are exposed. Each buttress has a moulded chamfered basecourse (in line with that to basement). At first floor level of each buttress two moulded stringcourses form the top and bottom of a frieze. Each full face of the buttress in this frieze has a plain granite shield applied. The stringcourses continue across the front of this bay (see later). Each buttress is plain above this frieze until half way up third floor level. From this point, each full face has a cusped Tudor lancet panel, which rises to the parapet base. From here the buttresses continues as a pinnacle, which enclose the roof parapet. Each face of the pinnacle (including the internal ones) has a similar but taller cusped lancet panel terminated by a stringcourse. Over the stringcourse each face of the pinnacle has a Gothic quatrefoil panel with incised spandrels. Over, each pinnacle is crowned by a ribbed ogee cap with a large foliated finial. At ground floor four ashlar granite steps lead up a shallow recessed porch containing the main entrance. At the buttress to either side of the bottom step is a chamfered square-in-section granite bollard, with moulded diminished head. Porch entrance fills space between the clasping buttresses. It is a deeply chamfered Gothic-headed opening, the hood mould over on decorative stops. Porch has a granite-flagged threshold; its walls are rendered and painted with advanced shallow basecourse. Its narrow ceiling arches with the head of the Gothic opening and at join with its front and rear wall is ribbed moulding, which follows the line of the arch and has foliated stops. Wall ahead in porch contains the main entrance. This consists of a pair of timber doors, each has four cusped panels (the top two are taller than the bottom two) and four smaller and narrower (but similar) panels to its head. Each door has a decorative brass Tudor door pulls. To immediate left and right of the heads of these doors are square cusped stucco panels each containing a moulded heraldic shield. That to left is the shield of Roger Hall and to right is the shield of Barbara Savage (his wife). Each of these has a moulded hood on mask stops. The hoods continue across the head of the door and around its large transom light. The transom light is Gothic headed and is as wide as the doorway and its two heraldic shields. It has a chamfered opening with a splayed cill and contains five cusped lancet lights with timber mullions, all diminishing in height from the central one. All have etched glazing with coloured margins all in stiff metal cames. On wall to left of door is bronze bell pull. Back to front wall. On front wall, in each spandrel of the porch opening is an ashlar shield emblazoned with the head of a muzzled bear erased (the Hall family charge). Immediately over the porch opening at first floor is canted oriel window. It is two windows wide to front with single windows on each cheek. The base of the oriel corbels out in three moulded stages and rests on a stout chamfered shaft, which rises from the head of the porch archway. The moulded stringcourses of the clasping buttresses cross at this point framing the top and bottom of the apron panels of the windows. The lower one also is the window cill. The front apron panel has the Hall family coat of arms, carved in sandstone and surrounded in foliated arabesques. The aprons of the canted sides each have a square panels with a recessed diamond inset and etched spandrels, with a plain shield applied. The 2/2 oriel windows have Tudor heads and masonry transoms and mullions. Over the windows heads is a thin astragal over which a cornice carries an open fretted lozenge parapet. The roof behind is a balcony serving the second floor. To second floor level a former window opening (the head of which shows it had a masonry mullion) has been enlarged into a doorway. Recessed in the opening is a pair of later (this century) glazed timber French windows. The roof of this bay (over) has an ornate fretted embattled parapet with open cusped lancets to each panel. The exposed left cheek of the advanced right bay is blank and rises higher than the central bay. It has a fretted parapet as the front wall, which is terminated by the common base of four chimney stacks. Roof of this three storey block seems to be flat. The right cheek of the exposed right bay is part of the N elevation of the house (see later). Central bay is wider than the outer two bays and has three window openings to each floor. The central one to the basement is set in the base of a canted bay window that rises to first floor level. The bay window front is three windows wide with one window each cheek. All have masonry transoms and mullions. Each ground floor window is a 2/3 sliding sash. Between ground floor and first floor are the apron panels of the first floor windows, framed by stringcourses each panel containing a plain ashlar shield. First floor windows are 1/3 sashes. The roof of the canted bay window has fretted lozenge parapet (as the parapet of the oriel on the right bay). Above the bay window to attic level of main block is a small gabled wall-head dormer. Its gable is coped as the parapet from which it rises. It has a typical attic window with masonry mullion. Over is a heavy cylindrical masonry finial with ogee cap resting on panelled plinth, which ties into the gable apex. At parapet level similar slightly larger finials resting on octagonal plinths rise from above the left and right cheeks of the bay window. All remaining windows to this elevation have timber transoms and mullions and masonry hood moulds. The ground floor left window is four 2/3 windows wide. Ground floor right has a pair of 2/3 windows. To first floor left and right are pairs of 1/3 windows. Left bay advances forward slightly and is flanked by octagonal clasping buttresses, which are smaller and more plainly detailed than those to right bay are. Each buttress has a chamfered base and plainly panelled frieze between ground and first floor, which is framed to top and bottom by a stringcourse. Buttress continues to base of parapet were it becomes a panelled pedestal rising above parapet and supporting a cylindrical ogee capped pinnacle with foliated finial. Left bay at ground and first floor has a bay window (detailed as the canted one to the central bay), but four windows wide to front. Above it has an attic dormer (as that to central bay). S elevation This elevation fronts the formal gardens and is four bays wide. The second bay from right is double the width of the left and right end bays and the second bay from left is narrower than the left and right end bays. The right bay is detailed as the left bay of the front (E) elevation. The buttress to its right corner is on the SE corner of the building and its left buttress is shared with the central bay. The second bay (from right) is detailed as the central bay of the front elevation with the exception that its ground floor left and right windows are both pairs of 1/3 sashes and the bay window is four windows wide with 1/3 sashes to each floor. Its left buttress is shared with the second bay from left. The second bay from the left has a single opening on each floor. A typical basement window and those to ground to first floor each contain three 1/3 windows with timber transoms and mullions and hood moulds over. The left bay advances slightly and is detailed as the right bay. Its front corners have clasping buttresses (as others) the left one of which is on the SW corner of the building. W elevation The W elevation is mostly lined rendered with ashlar granite to cill level of ground floor windows at right. The eaves stringcourse and parapet continue from S elevation. Its narrow left bay advances, the advancing portion meeting a raised true ground level allowing external access from its ground floor rooms. The right bay has two windows on each floor. Those to ground floor are 2/3 sashes and those to first floor are 1/3 sashes, all have timber transoms and mullions. Between these windows at parapet level is a wall head chimney on a slightly advanced corbelled plinth. Plinth has a plain ashlar shield and carries a pair of chimneystacks. The exposed right cheek of the advancing left bay has two basement windows and a single window to each upper floor (as those to right bay). Its front (SW) end has a chamfered corner. The narrow end wall of the advanced left bay is abutted to left by an octagonal four-storey tower. The remaining wall to its right has a ground and first floor window as those to its exposed right cheek. The ground floor window is a French window allowing access into the garden. The octagonal tower has six exposed cheeks; the remaining two are tied into the main block. It is lined rendered with a moulded stringcourse between ground and first floor levels and similar between second and third floors. Its third floor is slightly taller than the others and has a machicolated ashlar parapet with stepped battlements. At ground floor on its N face there is a semicircular-headed door with decorative Tudor nail heads. Each remaining cheek on each floor has a chamfered arrow-loop containing a very narrow 3/3 sash window. From second floor level the tower rises above the rest of the elevation and its two formerly abutted faces stand free. The E facing one of these is abutted by a cylindrical stair-tower, which rises from a square base (exposed to N cheek with arrow-loop windows from ground floor level). It has a small nail studded door at basement level on its N cheek. Its walls are lined rendered and its cylindrical part has narrow unglazed arrow-loops. It rises beyond the parapet of the octagonal tower (with doorway on its W cheek onto the octagonal tower roof); and has an embattled ashlar granite parapet concealing a masonry roof, which the spiral staircase rises into. To left of the stair tower is the N elevation of the main house. N elevation The N elevation is lined rendered and has parapet and stringcourses as other elevations. It faces the domestic yard. Its right bay is abutted by the servant's block (HB16/11/019B). The central bay has an advancing stairwell gable and an abutting square tower. Its left bay advances forward, partially enclosing the domestic yard on the E side. Right bay on N elevation is abutted to right by the servant's block. Over to left and right of roof are small two-paned windows. On parapet above is a rendered plinth with applied decorative shields, plinth supports four Tudor chimneystacks. The exposed section of the right bay (to left of where servant’s accommodation abuts) is abutted by a three storey square tower (see later). Remaining wall has a pair of boarded up basement windows to left (of tower) and a single one to right. At ground floor there is a pair of 2/3 sashes to left with a pair of 1/3 sashes above to first floor. All have stucco hoods and timber transoms and mullions. At basement right there is a single basement window. At ground and first floor to right (of tower) there are single narrow arrow loops containing 2/2 sliding sashes. The square tower is lined rendered and has a door on its left cheek at basement level. It has an arrow-loop (containing a narrow 2/2 sash window) to each cheek at ground and first floors. It carries the eaves stringcourse and above (it is now exposed on all three sides) it has a single (boarded up) round headed arrow-loop window on its N, W and E faces (S not inspected). It has a corbelled eaves course and an ogee leaded roof with ball finial. The basement area at this point is enclosed by Coade stone walling as that to front garden, with a wrought iron gate and stone steps down. Central bay of N elevation has a large abutting gabled return (containing the stairwell) set to left of centre. It has a chamfered basecourse but no basement to its end gable. It has clasping buttresses with plain frieze between ground and first floors and cylindrical, ogee capped pinnacles. Its gable is saddle coped and embattled where it meets the buttresses. It is topped by an apex cylindrical pinnacle on a corbel. To centre of its main gable is a large ashlar granite oriel window serving half landing of the main staircase. Oriel has a moulded corbelled base and is three windows wide and single windows wide to each of its canted cheeks. Each window has two narrow fixed Tudor lancets (1/1) with masonry transoms and mullions. The glazing is stained glass (see interior description). Oriel has an embattled parapet and in gable over there is a pair of small 4/4 sash windows with masonry mullion. The left cheek of this advanced gable has two basement windows and two brick dressed (rendered off) wall recesses to ground and first floor levels. The right cheek is identical. The exposed section of the N wall to left of the stairwell gable is narrow and has a pair of windows to basement, a pair of 2/3 sashes to ground floor and a pair of 1/3 sashes to first floor. All have stucco hoods and timber transoms and mullions. The left bay of the N elevation advances, partially enclosing the E side of the domestic yard. Its exposed right cheek is the rear wall of the central and left bays of the E elevation. It is two bays wide; the left one is part of the entrance tower and three storeys high. The right bay is two storeys high. At basement level it has a pair of basement windows at left and a door at right. There are two windows to each upper floor. At ground floor they are 2/3 sashes with timber transoms and mullions, the left sash of each pair has a large heating pipe abutting. Second floor windows are 1/3 sashes; the left one has been remodelled into a doorway and is served by a large two stage metal escape stair. The basement passage here is again encloses by Coade stone walling and has a wrought iron gate. Basement area has a large metal fuel tank. The left bay advances with clasping stucco buttresses (as those to main entrance tower) on each corner. It has a canted bay window at ground floor, containing a pair of basement windows in its basecourse. The bay window is three 1/1 fixed lights wide with a single one to each cheek. Each top pane of each light has a cusped lancet head with pairs of similar transoms over; all are painted and leaded glass. Over is an embattled parapet enclosing its flat roof. At first floor level there is a pair of 1/3 sashes flanked by arrow loops, all have hood moulds, the left one is blank and the right one contains a narrow 3/3 sash window. At second floor level there is a pair of 1/1 sashes with hood mould over. Parapet to main roof over is as rest to tower but is not fretted. Its end (N facing) wall has clasping octagonal buttresses. That to left is the right one on the N elevation and that to right is a stucco version but devoid of the shield panels between ground and first floors. This elevation has a chamfered ashlar granite basement, which is blank and partially abutted by ground level. Ground floor is blank but for two Tudor recesses set to centre. Between ground and first floors an apron panel is formed by two stucco stringcourses which continue from the right bay of the east elevation. At first floor there are four 1/3 sashes with masonry transoms and mullions under a common stucco hood. To left and right of which are narrow 3/3 sliding sashes with common hoods over. At second floor there are three 4/4 sashes with masonry mullions under a common stucco hood to left and right of which narrow 2/2 sashes with hoods over. Over is a fretted embattled parapet (as that to right bay of E elevation). Estate context Narrow Water is a large informally landscaped demesne outside Warrenpoint. Its boundary to S is Newry Road. Its boundary to W is Narrow Water Forest, to the E is Mound Road and to the N is Greenan Road. S boundary is enclosed by a random rubble wall with a shelterbelt of mature trees behind. On this boundary, just opposite the old Narrow Water Castle are the main gates (HB16/11/018). From here there is a serpentine main driveway which winds W through hillocks then turns NW revealing (at a distance) the principal facades (S and E) of the main house (HB16/11/019A) raised up on the hillside ahead. The driveway then runs N to the front (E) elevation of the main house. The main house (Narrow Water Castle) has a driveway to its E, a formal garden to its S and W and a domestic yard to its N. Abutting its N elevation and enclosing the W side of the yard is Mount Hall (HB16/11/019B), the former house prior to the present main house. E side of the domestic yard is open to the main driveway and to its N side is the stable yard. Stable yard (HB16/11/021) is square in plan, with its SW boundary enclosing the N side of the domestic yard. The main driveway continues W and N from the front of the main house. Its W route takes it towards the modern farmyard (of no interest) and S again to the front entrance. Its N route runs up the side of the stable yard (with an access lane to its NE side) and continues N to a large walled garden, to the centre of the SE wall of which is a gardener’s house, and both of these are HB16/11/020). To the NE of the E corner of the walled garden, in a copse, is the former icehouse (HB16/11/043). On NW boundary of the walled garden is the old farmyard (HB16/11/045), accessed from the main driveway, which leads to its NE side. A lane running from the gateway on its SW side leads to the derelict steward’s house and its associated ruinous outbuildings (HB16/11/044). Also in the demesne is the former N lodge on Mound Road (HB16/11/023).


Duff, Thomas

Historical Information

The Hall family is of English extraction. William Hall is believed to have arrived in Ireland in 1640, settling in Red Bog, Co Antrim. His son Francis Hall is said to have purchased the former Narrow Water Castle estate, which included the town of Warrenpoint, in the 17thC for £1,500 and constructed Mount Hall (HB16/11/019B), the main house prior to the current Narrow Water Castle, in 1707. Over the years the house passed down the family line from father to son, Francis Hall, Roger Hall, Toby Hall to Savage Hall. By 1820 it was the property of Roger Hall. In the early 1830s he employed Thomas Duff of Newry to enlarge Mount Hall, and erect gate lodges and screens. The new house (Narrow Water Castle) was completed in 1837, with Mount Hall remodelled as servants’ accommodation. The main house and servant’s accommodation is shown in its present form on the 1834 OS 6” map. Roger Hall was married to a Barbara Savage whose family crest and initials appear with his own, throughout the house and on some of its purpose made furniture which was constructed by Curren and Sons of Lisburn. Joseph Paxton and Thomas Smith were employed to landscape the demesne with serpentine walks and formal gardens. Byrne states that, ' A mound on the NW of the castle is crowned with seven gigantic oaks in a circle, inside of which are rustic seats. … A little northward of the house is a tastefully constructed rustic bower, inlaid with seats all round, with a circular rustic table in the centre. The floor is paved with variegated pebbles. The bower is surmounted with a carved golden eagle with outspread wings.’ Roger Hall was also responsible for the erection of Warrenpoint Shambles in 1834 (HB16/11/049) and the gallery in Warrenpoint Parish Church (HB16/11/001). When he died in 1853, the property passed to his son Samuel Madden Hall. On his death it passed to his nephew William James Hall who erected the farmyard to NW of the walled garden (HB16/11/045). He died in 1896 (a memorial tablet and the chancel window of Warrenpoint Parish Church were installed in his memory). The estate passed to his son Roger Hall (one of the nave windows in Warrenpoint Parish Church was installed in his memory). It passed to Toby Hall early this century and on his death in 1939 the estate became controlled by Trustees but remained occupied by the Hall family. During WW2 the upper floors and basement of the house were used by British and American Troops and so too was the demesne. The house was vacated as a family residence in October 1999. It is presently used as a function/conference centre. Primary Sources: 1. Information from the Hall family (October 1999). 2. Photograph no.11269 in Lawrence Collection. 3. Photograph no.3451 in W. A. Green Collection. 4. Date and makers name on right side of Library chimney piece (behind the carved figure). 5. OS 6” map, 1834, Co Down sheet 51 (PRONI, OS/6/3/51/1). Secondary Sources: 1. T. Bradshaw, 'General Directory', Newry, 1820, p.36. 2. J. A. K. Deane, 'The Gate lodges of Ulster' UAHS 1994. 3. J. Keane, 'Lord's brother moves wife off his posh estate while mistress lives in the stables.' Sunday World Newspaper 19/09/1999, p.12-13. 4. P. Byrne, 'Handbook to Carlingford Bay', Newry 1846, p.64, 65. 5. A. Day, 'Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland, Parishes of County Down 1, 1834-6, South Down, Vol.3. QUB, 1990. p.121.

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form H-. Alterations detracting from building I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

V. Authorship W. Northern Ireland/International Interest


This imposing mid 19thC Tudor Revival-style mansion (designed by Thomas Duff of Newry, 1830’s), is set within an attractive informally landscaped demesne. It retains all of its original external character, and the splendid internal detailing survives intact. Along with the servant’s accommodation (HB16/11/019B), Gardener’s House and walled garden (Hb16/11/020), Stable yard (HB16/11/021), Ice house (HB16/11/043), Steward’s House (HB16/11/044) Old farmyard (HB16/11/045) and Gate screen (HB16/11/018) it forms an important and substantial group of buildings.

General Comments

Date of Survey

Saturday, October 16, 1999