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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB01/25/002 A

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1780 - 1799

Address :
Brookhall 65 Culmore Road Londonderry BT48 8JE


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
26/02/1979 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:
Country House

Former Use
Country House

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:
26/12 SE

IG Ref:
C4537 2041

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

A 2 storey double pile house with small 2 storey N side return in smooth rendering, part slated roof, part flat roof, with large bow bays, verandah with metal trellis and basement extending under the greater part of the house. Georgian style. The entrance elevation has double, panelled central doorway with rectangular fanlight with projecting flat roof portico supported on 4 couplets of Roman Doric columns resting on oversized bases, in a tetra style arrangement. On either side of doorway, round headed niches without statues. Beyond these, single Wyatt style sliding sash windows with total of 20 panes each and on either side of that again repeat niches. A plinth runs across the front. The height of this is that of window and niche cills and same height as column bases. Over, a continuous string course marking a solid parapet which is returned on the sides but becomes openwork in the middle with a Guilloche pattern. The solid parapet has a small central blocking piece which shield and corner blocks. The top of the parapet forms a gentle downward curve between. To either side of the door there are black fish sculptures. The pull brass door bell is fixed in the wall. Both door leaves have 2 rectangular panels above and below and an octagonal one between. Behind the parapet a flat roof covers the single storey front which abuts the full length of the 2 storey part behind which is 7 bays wide with a 3 bay bowed break front. This is expressed in the slating The windows are 12 pane sliding sash, all similar. At each extreme corner there are tallish chimney stacks, rendered and panelled on front. On the flat roof there is a central glazed dome lighting the inner porch and another smaller glazed dome lighting an inner room (called a gallery.) A wing screen wall sticks out from the south west corner giving privacy to the south garden terrace and screened former glasshouse. This wall has 2 small out of character windows and a double door. On the other side there is a 2 storey side return. This projects to the north and its W wall sets back from the entrance front. Its ground floor is much lower than the main floor and a flight of external steps runs along it. It has a pitched and slated roof with a single chimney stack rising from the ridge. The south side is the end of the flat roofed front and also the end of the 2 storey east facing part. The 2 storey gable is practically a complete bow bay 3 bays wide with 3 tall sliding sash 18 pane windows at ground floor and 3 shorter 9 pane sliding sash windows directly over. The verandah along the east front is returned along the south gable and goes just past the tall sliding sash 18 pane window to the gallery. The verandah which adds delight and a picturesquenes quality to the facades is supported on projecting walls, its outer edge following the profile of the bays. Its roof is a slated skirt supported on a metal trellis which has pairs of slim slender columns spaced to frame the windows behind with segmented arches filled in with metal tracery. Under the verandah and echoing the window positions above a row of large square sliding sash 6 pane windows with reeded architraves all round. The middle one is in fact a door to the basement with stone steps leading down to it. A small s/s 2 pane window lights a toilet. The wing screen wall is interposed between it and the rest of the south side. The east elevation which looks down on the River Foyle is 5 bays wide with a central bowed bay equal in width to that at the front. The verandah extends across the entire east side expressing the profile of the bowed bay. The bay has 3 windows at ground and first floors similar to the south bay with single window on either side on each level. The metal trellis and skirt roof also extends across this front. Under basement windows as before. There are steps at each end of the verandah leading down to the terraced lawns which change level from south to east. The hipped and slated roof expresses each bay and there are 2 chimney stacks on the ridges. Slates on the bay roofs are gradated smalls. C.I. guttering and downpipes. The side return has 2 no. small sliding sash 4 pane windows at ground and first floor and a glazed panel door leading out onto a platform which continues the verandah on the north side. Under this platform a door gives access to the basement and there are 2 windows. Also on this side 4 sliding sash windows and one tiny window. A new flue in brick has been erected just above the eaves. The north elevation looks out on a partially sunken court which drops to a lower level to a service road or lane. The house is approached by a long winding avenue downhill through pleasing landscape planted with indigenous and exotic trees of fine appearance. The present owner’s forbears particularly his uncle established an arboretum which attracts visitors. The house enjoys marvellous view of the River Foyle and the countryside beyond. The garden is laid out in a series of stepped terraces of lawns and the lower ends in a ha-ha with concealed metal fence below. Further downhill is a walled garden divided into 3 sections which contains interesting plant specimens. The S section is managed by Derry City Council with separate road access. At the rivers edge there is a quay named after the initial builder of the house, Sir George Fitzgerald Hill, BT MP. The screen wall to the west formerly had a conservatory against its E side.


Not Known

Historical Information

A house was here in the 1st half of the 18th century and belonged to the Wray family. The property was acquired by the Hill family possibly around mid cent. Hugh Hill was MP for the constituency in 1768 to 1795 when he died. He probably built the house, i.e. the 2 storey part which extended to the N which possibly explains the location of the fanlighted doorway in the present kitchen. His son, Sir George Fitzgerald Hill, became MP in 1797. He carried out various improvements to the house. The 1832 OS map shows the house with 2 bays on the E front and is onger than the present house. Sir George built the quay at the River’s edge where nearby, there is also an icehouse. Sir George was Privy Councillor and vice-treasurer for Ireland from 1817. He was appointed Governor of Trinidad where he died in 1839. (It was George Hill who identified Wolfe Tone in Buncrana, they had been at Trinity College together.) The Griffith Valuation Book of 1831 gives Henry Barré Beresford as lessee with a valuation of £76. The Valuation Book of 1858 gives Samuel Gilliland as lessee with Lady Hill as lessor and valuation of £80. It is thought that Beresford carried out the alterations to the house c1840 when the east front was shortened and the single storey west front added. The Gilliland family have resided in the house since the middle of the last century. Commander Gilliland created the arboretum and improved the walled garden. Recently the house has been reslated. Samuel Gilliland was a Derry merchant and erected the Rock Flour mills mid 19th century. References Primary Sources 1. UAFP O.S. Map 1832 Co Londonderry 13. 2. UAFP O.S. Map 1832 Londonderry 13. 3. Griffiths V B 1831 Parish of Templemore Ballynashallog TD. 4. Griffiths V B 1858 Parish of Templemore Ballynashallog TD 5. Present Owner Secondary Sources. 1. A Rowan North West Ulster p.401 2. J A K Dean The Gate Lodges of Ulster p.113 3. K Newmann Dictionary of Ulster Biography 4. Levin Topographical Dictionary Vol II Parish of Templemore./

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

W. Northern Ireland/International Interest


A pleasant and interesting mid Georgian House with early Victorian alterations giving it a Regancy style appearance. Superbly sited overlooking the River Foyle and surrounded by good landscaped grounds and fine winding avenue approach. The grounds contain a fine arboretum with tree specimens from various parts of the world.

General Comments

Date of Survey

03 December 1999