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11 bedroom detached house for sale

Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT57 8ST

Sold STC £5,000,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Great hall & 5 principal reception rooms
  • 7 principal bedrooms & 9 further bedrooms
  • Formal landscaped gardens and grounds
  • Impressive stable yard & outbuildings with clock tower
  • Courtyard of farm buildings with planning potential
  • Farmland & woodland
  • Shoot
  • About 549 acres
  • Secondary farmhouse & 5 further cottages
  • EPC Rating = G

Full description

Tenure: Freehold


Dundarave is situated between the famous Bushmills Village (home to the whiskey) and the Giants Causeway, a World Heritage Site and the most visited attraction in Ireland. This is combined with the spectacular North Antrim coast with its heritage walks along the cliffs from Portstewart through Portrush, Giants Causeway and on past Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge to Ballycastle and the scenic views seaward of the majestic Rathlin Island and further to the coast of Scotland beyond.

This part of Northern Ireland has many attractions which draw people from all over the world, as mentioned the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Bushmills Distillery, Royal Portrush Golf Course (plus several others in the vicinity), the magnificent beaches of Portstewart and Castlerock Strand on the Atlantic, Rathlin Island (where Richard Branson famously crashed landed his balloon into the sea)


There are records of the Dundarave demesne going back to 28th April 1739, when a Fee Farm Grant was issued to William Harrison from Lord Antrim and a further Fee Farm Grant was issued to Edmund Macnaghten from Lord Antrim on 24th February 1748. There was then a conveyance from Alexander Harrison to John Dunkin on 20th June 1759. It is known the Dunkin family lived in Bushmills House in the latter part of the 18th century. A subsequent conveyance from Sir William Dunkin to Francis (later Sir Francis) Macnaghten is dated 23rd February 1805, Francis having married Sir William's daughter, Letitia. Since 1805, the Macnaghten family has owned Bushmills House, and subsequently Dundarave.

Sir Francis Macnaghten was a judge of the Madras and Calcutta supreme courts and was honoured with a Baronetcy in 1836. At Bushmills, he significantly extended Bushmills House, probably between about 1820 and 1830. However, his son, Sir Edmund Macnaghten clearly did not approve of the extensions and built Dundarave at a location about 200 yards from the site of Bushmills House. The old house was completely destroyed and there is nothing visible except the old walled garden.

Dundarave was built between 1846 and 1849 and was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon. The design is modelled on the London Reform Club. Sir Edmund lived in the house until his death in 1876, when he was succeeded by his eldest son Sir Francis, who was Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim from 1890 until his death in 1911.

Sir Francis was succeeded at Dundarave by his nephew Sir Charles, eldest son of Lord Macnaghten. Sir Charles undertook a major renovation of the house which included the introduction of plumbing, electricity and central heating. Sir Charles died soon afterwards. His two sons (Sir Harry and Sir Douglas) succeeded one after the other, both of them being killed in the First World War during the Battle of the Somme. One interesting footnote concerns Sir Harry's batman, Robert Quigg, who had been a gardener at Dundarave before the war. Subsequent to his (unsuccessful) efforts to rescue Sir Harry from no-mans-land, Robert Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross.

After the war, Sir Charles' brother, another Sir Francis lived in Dundarave. He was succeeded at Dundarave by his nephew Sir Antony in 1952, who in turn was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Patrick, in 1972. The current owner, Sir Malcolm, succeeded his father in 2007.

Although the Macnaghten Family has had a presence in North Antrim since about 1580, they continue their close historic links with Scotland. The current baronet is the Chief of the Clan Macnaghten and, indeed, the name 'Dundarave' is derived from the former Clan seat Dunderave Castle which is located North of Inveraray on the shore of Loch Fyne in Scotland.

The House
The Dundarave Estate is centred on Dundarave House and its surrounding landscaped grounds. Extending to about 595 acres (222 hectares) Dundarave is truly a classic estate combining all the desirable ingredients: a principal house, estate cottages, parkland, farming and sport.

The Grade I Listed mansion house, designed by Sir Charles Landyon, is classical in style. The house has elegant well portioned reception rooms with thoughtfully laid out gardens in an exceptionally private site within the estate. There are a total of 6 estate dwellings, none of which impinge on the privacy of the main house.

There are three entrances to Dundarave. The front drive is guarded to by the Grade I Gate Lodge and meanders through glorious old woodland, opening out to gently undulating parkland and finally arriving to the house, fronted by its sweeping lawns.

The main block of the house is laid out over 2 principal floors with a two storey over basement wing to the East. The accommodation is as shown on the accompanying photographs and layout plans.

The 5 principal rooms are located on the ground floor, mostly off the Great Hall. On entering the house, a vaulted vestibule leads directly into the magnificent Great Hall which was designed from the hall of the Reform Club in London. The hall rises to the full height of the building with a galleried landing at first floor level and lit by a finely plastered cupola.

At ground floor level the Great Hall features carved timber pillars with a painted marble design which are flanked by green marble arches. There is a central open fireplace with decorative mantelpiece sitting on Corinthian pillars. This is overlooked by the first floor picture gallery with carved timber banisters which support twenty Doric columns, which in turn support the elaborate cupola. The cupola features twelve semi-circular windows and ornate ceiling with eight recessed square panels arranged around an octagon panel, all with decorative plaster work.

The drawing room is lit with three large Wyatt windows which flood the rooms with natural light. There is a magnificent ceiling with ornate cornice and frieze, decorative plaster work with recessed diamond panels and central recessed square panels surrounding a central rose. This room also boasts a white marble mantelpiece and large double doors lead into the dining room.

The dining room is another fine spacious room with marble fireplace, decorative ceiling and frieze together with three large windows.

The other principal rooms include the morning room, also accessed from the Great Hall and with a large bay window enjoying fine views over the surrounding grounds.

The billiards room and the library are accessed from the entrance vestibule. Other rooms on the ground floor include the serving pantry, school room, two bedrooms, shower room and a number of service rooms.

There are seven principal bedrooms off the galleried landing on the first floor. The main suite is the Brown Room with an ensuite bathroom and a separate dressing room. Two more bedrooms enjoy private dressing rooms and there is a bathroom on this main landing.

The wing houses 7 further bedrooms with two bathrooms.

The basement is accessed by two sets of staircases and has a range of useful rooms including the main kitchen with ancillary rooms off, the servant's hall, housekeeper's room, the cellar and a number of store rooms.


From Belfast take the A26 North for Ballymena and Ballymoney. Continue on the A26 to Ballymoney. At Ballymoney go straight through the first roundabout (on the A26) and at the second roundabout take the 3rd exit for the B62. Continue on the B62 taking the right hand turn signed for Bushmills. Arriving into the village follow the signs for the Giants Causeway out of the Village, Dundarave is approx. 0.5 miles on the right hand side.

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
18 June 2014


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Floorplan 1


Floorplan 2


Floorplan 3

Ground Floor

Floorplan 4

1st Floor

Map & Street View

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