Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB24/07/009 A

Extent of Listing:
House, gates and gate piers

Date of Construction:
1760 - 1779

Address :
The Manor House High Street Donaghadee Co Down


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J5918 7978

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

Situated immediately to the South East of the town centre, the Manor House is located on the East side of High Street at the junction with Manor Street. It is a large two storey dwelling of c.1770-80, built around a house of c.1610, with later extensions of c.1800 and c.1870. It is slightly set back from the pavement and has a small garden with low rendered wall and hedge. The house is approximately 'L' shaped, the vertical stroke of the 'L' being the front NW facade and the horizontal stroke being the SE facade and the SE face of the rear return. The front elevation (SW) has an off centre panelled front door with semicircular radial fanlight with sidelights. A projecting porch is formed with fluted Doric columns on squat square bases which support an entablature with projecting cornice. The side panels are glazed to the upper section and have moulded timber panels to the lower section. To the right of the doorway are two sliding sash windows, to the left are three similar and to the first floor there are five equally spaced and similar windows (all six over six). The facade is finished in lined ivy covered render which is clipped neatly to the level of the first floor window cills. The left hand gable NW merges with the single storey NW Extension. The NW gable is composed of two merged blank hipped gables, the NE gable, in painted brick, being the late Victorian extension. The NW gable is finished in painted lined render. The rear elevation is in two halves, the right hand being the rear of the main front and the left being the end of the end of the return. The right hand side has four levels, the lower ground floor, the main ground floor, (level with the ground floor front), the first floor and the attic floor. The facade has a rather haphazard composition of windows, some 'modern Georgian', some tripartite sliding sash, some round headed and some round headed half dormers. The right hand side has two levels, is blank and merges with a single storey outhouse which in turn merged with the NE Manor Lodge. The NW side of the return has a recessed glazed doorway with fanlight to the right. This is directly beneath an unusual semi-circular bracketed bay window. The SE facade is two storey and has a central two storey projecting canted bay (probably added c.1800), the left of which is merges with a single storey flat roofed bay. The first floor has seven sliding sash windows with Georgian panes, with two either side of the bay and one to each face of the bay. The ground floor has one sliding sash window as before (but taller) to the NW face of the single storey bay with one sliding sash to the SE face of this bay. To the right of this is a sliding sash window as before. To the right again is a panelled door with multi paned fanlight over, to the right of which is a sliding sash window as before. (Both in the base of canted bay). To the far right are another twosliding sash windows as before. Generally the front walls are finished in unpainted lined render. Rear walls are mainly unpainted rough cast. The rear of the Victorian extension is in painted brick. Roofs are hipped and have bangor blue slates. Cast iron gutters and down spouts.


Historical Information

The Manor House has its origins in the early 1600s when Hugh Montgomery acquired the lands within the Donaghadee area and set about promoting the interests of the town as a major port. As part of this scheme Montgomery built himself a large dwelling within the town, reputed (probably erroneously) to be Donaghadee’s first stone house. This Manor House (so-called because Donaghadee was in origin a medieval manor) remained one of the residences of Montgomery’s descendants, the Earls of Mount Alexander. Thomas, the fifth Earl, died childless in 1757 and his wife, Marie Angelique, bequeathed the Donaghadee estate to her nephew the Samuel De la Cherois, whose son, Daniel took possession of the town on the death of the Countess of Mount Alexander in 1771. At this stage the Manor House was probably still substantially that built by Hugh Montgomery in the early 1600s and shown on James Dillon’s map of the town in 1700. Daniel, however, appears to radically remodelled and extended the original building not long after 1771. Daniel may also have built the dower house at the rear at this time also, but the entrance portico and the canted bay were probably added by his son (also named Daniel) in the early 1800s, though the stable extension to the NW appears to date from the mid 1800s. The last major alteration to the house occurred in the 1870s when the two storey brick extension to the rear was constructed.* *A handicap encountered during investigations of the history of many buildings within Donaghadee is the fact that the bulk of the De la Cherois estate papers are still within private hands and not available for consultation. A catalogue of the papers is currently being undertaken by Anthony Malcomson of PRONI, but it is unclear whether permission will be given for the transcription of documents. References- Primary sources 1. Map of Donaghadee [?1700]. [This map is curious. It belongs to the owner of the Manor House, Donaghadee, and was believed to have been drawn up by one James Dillon for Daniel De la Cherois in 1780. However, the overall crude style of the piece and the fact that the representations of the buildings (especially the Church) contradict what we know of them at this stage, suggests it is much earlier . This theory appears to be borne out by the fact that the actual date on the map is probably ‘1700’ rather than ‘1780’, a stroke from the ‘7’ passing through the first ‘0’ giving it the appearance of a figure 8. The map has been reproduced for several publications (notably John Stevenson’s Two centuries of life in Down 1600-1800 republished by White Row Press in 1990) each of which have accepted the date of 1780 at face value, yet questioned the contradictions in the style and positioning of the buildings.] This map shows what must be the original Manor House. 2. ‘A map of the town of Donaghadee...’ [c.1771-90]. [This map was prepared for Daniel De la Cherois, who inherited much of the town and its hinterland in 1771. As Daniel died in 1790, the map can thus be dated to some time between 1771-90. At some point someone has written on the map ‘about 1780’, a date which may be accurate.] 3. PRONI VAL 1B/32 p.11 1st valuation, Donaghadee parish, Donaghadee., c.1836. [See also accompanying town plan.] 4. PRONI OS Maps 1st rev. 1858-60, Co. Down 3. 5. PRONI 2nd (‘Griffith’s’) valuation Donaghadee parish, Donaghadee, 1863. [The town plan for the 2nd valuation is not available at PRONI and therefore it is difficult to match the properties listed in the valuation with actual buildings.] Secondary sources 1. Hugh Dixon et al Historic buildings, groups of buildings, buildings of architectural importance in Donaghadee and Portpatrick (UAHS 1977), pp.17-18.

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

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

Historic Interest

V. Authorship X. Local Interest Z. Rarity


Large two storey gentleman’s town residence of c.1770-80, possibly containing the fabric of an earlier dwelling of c.1610, of national importance. There have been some significant nineteenth century alterations to this building including a Doric columned portico and a canted bay. The mainly Georgian interior is still largely intact.

General Comments

Date of Survey

Monday, May 11, 1998