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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1820 - 1839

Address :
Graymount House (Hazelwood Integrated College) 70 Whitewell Road Belfast BT36 7ES


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
25/09/1987 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J3374 7960

Owner Category

Education Board

Exterior Description And Setting

Detached five-bay two-storey symmetrical Classical rendered house, with single-storey entrance portico to east, built c.1835 to the designs of Thomas Jackson. The building is now used as the administrative offices for a school, but was originally designed as a residence for William Gray, a linen merchant and founder director of the Ulster Railway Company. Two-storey two-bay extension to west built c.2000. Sited on an elevated position within grounds of Hazelwood Integrated College, located on the Whitewell Road. Hipped slate roof with lead hips and ridge, raised moulded parapet to north, south and east. Roof lantern to west having hipped roof. Projecting chimneys to north and south hips having rectangular insets, projecting stone coping and five octagonal stone pots. Cast-iron and uPVC guttering and downpipes. Hipped slate roof to west extension. Flat roof to entrance portico with raised cornice moulding. East Elevation: Five-bay two-storey symmetrical principle elevation with Ionic entrance portico on plinth with stone steps leading to doorway. Rusticated rendered ground floor with projecting plinth and smooth banded string course. Smooth rendered first floor. Coupled smooth rendered pilasters flanking elevation and entrance portico. Square-headed openings with moulded surround and overhanging sill. Projecting moulded hood to ground floor openings. Six over six panes to single-glazed timber sliding sash windows. Square-headed entrance door with fanlight and side-lights with raised apron panel, flanked by pilasters. Double-leaf timber panelled entrance doors with decorative scrolled iron inset. Moulded surround to doors and side-lights. South Elevation: Four-bay two-storey elevation with lower two-bay two-storey extension separated from main building by narrow glazed flat roofed link block. Rusticated rendered ground floor with raised plinth and string course. Smooth rendered first floor. Smooth rendered clasping pilasters to both ends. Square-headed openings with moulded surround and stone sill. Six over six panes to single-glazed timber sliding sash windows. West Elevation: Two-storey, four-bay extension to west having rusticated render to ground floor and smooth render to first floor with projecting sill course and eaves course. Square-headed openings with smooth rendered surrounds. Hipped roof glazed lantern, return face of clasping pilasters and moulded cornice at parapet to W elevation of original house, otherwise the latter is obscured by the recent addition. North Elevation: N elevation is more less a mirror image of the S elevation, with four-bay two-storey elevation to original house separated by a narrow glazed flat roofed link from a lower two-bay two-storey extension. Materials: Roof : Natural slate RWG : Cast-iron/ uPVC Walling : Render Windows : Six over Six timber sliding sash Setting: Located in an elevated position within the grounds of Hazelwood Integrated College which hosts several other 20th century single and two-storey buildings, with hedge boundary to south, parking and road to north and east and tree-lined boundary to west.


Historical Information

Graymount House, a two-storey Regency-style gentleman’s mansion located in the townland of Greencastle, was constructed in c. 1835. The Townland Valuations (1835) note that the house was constructed for William Gray, a local linen merchant and founding Director of the Ulster Railway Co. who possessed a bleaching concern in the same townland as his demesne. The valuer noted that Gray’s property was a 1A- class structure (ie, a ‘new or nearly new building that was slated’) and measured 57ft in length by 22ft in breadth and 18ft in height. The property possessed a rear return, coach house and a gate lodge and was valued at a total of £40. Larmour states that Graymount House was designed by Thomas Jackson (1807-1890), a local architect who established an independent practice in 1835 and was described by the Dictionary of Irish Architects as ‘primarily a domestic architect, though he turned his hand to buildings of every type, commercial, industrial, educational and ecclesiastical.’ Graymount House was one of the earliest buildings Jackson designed upon establishing his independent architectural practice (DIA). Dean suggests that Graymount was redeveloped from earlier Greencastle House (Dean, p. 16). Graymount House was first depicted on the second edition Ordnance Survey map (1857) which depicted the building as a rectangular-shaped structure that occupied the layout of the current building. The map recorded that Graymount possessed a west-facing rear return, a block of outbuildings to its south-west side and a gate lodge at the entrance of the Shore Road (all of which have been demolished). The bleach works of William Gray & Sons was located to the west of the mansion and was substantially larger than Graymount itself. The contemporary Griffith’s Valuation (1859) noted that William Gray leased the site from the Marquis of Donegall and increased the total rateable value of the mansion to £116 (the gate lodge was valued at £2 and 10 shillings). William Gray resided at Graymount until his death in c. 1860 when the property passed to his relative Capt. George Gray, a local magistrate and Justice of the Peace. George Gray vacated Graymount upon his own death in c. 1880 when the residence was administered by the Trustees of his estate, James and Acheson Gray. The Annual Revisions suggest that Graymount remained vacant from c. 1880 until 1907 when the building was occupied by Sir. Thomas Dixon (1868-1950), the son of Sir. Daniel Dixon (1st Baronet) who was Lord Mayor of Belfast. Thomas Dixon went on to serve as High Sheriff of Antrim in 1912 and was Lord Lieutenant of Belfast and a member of the Northern Ireland Senate between 1924 and his death in 1950. Dixon had vacated the building by 1910. In the following year the mansion was acquired by Jonathan Vint, a local wine merchant, and renamed ‘Mount Moan.’ The 1911 census building return described the mansion as a 1st class dwelling that consisted of 15 rooms and possessed a stable, coach house, fowl house and a shed as its sole outbuildings located to the south-west side of the mansion. Mount Moan continued to be owned by the Gray family until at least the 1970s. The property was occupied by the Vint family until the 1940s but under the First General Revaluation of Property in Northern Ireland (1935-56) the building was converted into a school administered by Belfast Corporation and valued at £110. The school, known as Graymount Intermediate and Open Air Special School, was expanded from the 1950s with the construction of modern school blocks (including a gymnasium designed by R. S. Wilshere) resulting in a vast increase in the value of the site to £5,200 by the end of the Second Revaluation (1956-72). Graymount House was listed in 1987 and in that year was described by Larmour as ‘a very fine Regency house built on a slope overlooking Belfast Lough. A typical Jackson house of the period, finished in stucco with coupled pilasters across the front and a central Ionic tetrastyle portico. Very fine Neo-classical detailing to interior with bold panelled ceilings and good marble fireplaces. An Ionic hall screen leads to an impressive double return stair with a big spacious lantern soaring above’ (Larmour, p. 8). The NIEA HB Records note that the modern annex to the rear of the building (see First Survey image) was demolished in 1992 and replaced with the current two-storey five-bay extension (which was designed in a sympathetic style) in c. 2005 (NIEA HB Records). References Primary Sources 1. PRONI OS/6/1/57/1 – First Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1832-33) 2. PRONI OS/6/1/57/2 – Second Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1857) 3. PRONI OS/6/1/57/3 – Third Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1901-02) 4. PRONI OS/6/1/57/4 – Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1921) 5. PRONI VAL/1/B/128A – Townland Valuations (1835) 6. PRONI VAL/2/B/1/21C – Griffith’s Valuation (1859) 7. PRONI VAL/12/B/5/8A-F – Annual Revisions (1862-1897) 8. PRONI VAL/12/B/43/H/1-7 – Annual Revisions (1897-1930) 9. PRONI VAL/3/C/3/12 – First General Revaluation of Property in Northern Ireland (1936-57) 10. PRONI VAL/4/B/7/16 – Second General Revaluation of Property in Northern Ireland (1956-72) 11. Ulster Town Directories (1852-1943) 12. Census of Ireland (1901; 1911) 13. First Survey Record – HB26/51/006 (1986) 14. First Survey Image – HB26/51/006 (No date) 15. NIEA HB Records – HB26/51/006 Secondary Sources 1. Dean, J. A. K., ‘The gate lodges of Ulster: A gazetteer’ Belfast: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1994. 2. Larmour, P., ‘Belfast: An illustrated architectural guide’ Belfast: Friar’s Bush Press, 1987. Online Resources 1. Dictionary of Irish Architects –

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form I. Quality and survival of Interior

Historic Interest

W. Northern Ireland/International Interest Y. Social, Cultural or Economic Importance


Graymount House is a two-storey well-proportioned and detailed Regency style mansion dating from 1835 that was designed by Thomas Jackson for William Gray. The building is of considerable historical importance due to William Gray's success as a linen merchant and founding director of the Ulster Railway Co; he also owned land that was used for bleaching to the west of the mansion. It remained within the Gray family until 1970s. Graymount was occupied by Sir Thomas Dixon, from 1907-10. Dixon was a member of the NI Senate, Lord Lieutenant of Belfast and High Sheriff of Antrim. Converted to a school during the 1940s, the building is therefore also significant from a social perspective. It was renovated in 2005 when a two-storey extension was erected to the east/ rear section of the main house. Despite the change of use, the building retains much of its original character including fine Neo-Classical detailing, rusticated walling and Greek entrance portico, all of which are of fine architectural quality. Internally much of the historic detail has survived in excellent condition.

General Comments

Listing Criteria R - Age; S - Authenticity; T - Historic Importance and U - Historic Associations also apply.

Date of Survey

24 June 2014