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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB20/01/021 A

Extent of Listing:
not listed

Date of Construction:
1780 - 1799

Address :
Remains of Moneyglass House West of Union Lodge 21 Ballymatoskerty Road Toomebridge Co Antrim BT41 3PS


Survey 2:
Record Only

Date of Listing:

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:
Estate Related Structures

Former Use
Country House

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J0136 9227

Owner Category

Private Private

Exterior Description And Setting

Freestanding masonry remains of a three-bay-wide single-bay-deep single-height Neo-classical country house portico, facing east, built c.1855 to designs by Charles Lanyon, and located to the Moneyglass Estate landscaped grounds. All elevations except the former building-adjoining (west) elevation share the following features: The portico rests on a raised smooth-rendered plinth with corners defined by substantial V-jointed reticulated-rusticated sandstone impost piers supporting an arcade to all elevations of round-headed arches with moulded imposts, archivolts and reticulated keystones. The arcade level has smooth-rendered spandrels, and is surmounted by stringcourse-defined band of moulded console brackets supporting a moulded cornice level. The cornice is surmounted by a finely carved latticed sandstone parapet. The elaborate rustication and moulding is largely carved in sandstone and faces brick construction. The finely dressed aspects of the façade were completed in a smooth render similar in colour and appearance to the appropriated stone. The portico arcade of the east elevation is three arches wide with its internal arch supported by two Tuscan columns on Scotia-moulded bases, bottom-third fluted shafts, and Tuscan-moulded capitals. Central bay’s parapet has a large heraldic cartouche. A single bay of the original country house extends to the west of the rear portico wall. The bay was rendered in conjunction with the portico but now appears mostly as English Garden Wall-bonded red brick. It has a round-arched window. The south elevation is a single-arch wide. The moulded archivolt with its reticulated keystone is supported on V-jointed reticulated-rusticated impost piers. The east elevation formerly abutted the main country house, which has now disappeared except for an exposed cellar and various other underground works. It was not rendered and has red brick walling with wrought-iron straps extending from its impost piers. The north elevation is identical to the south elevation. This elevation has the springing bricks from a collapsed arch (at arcade-height) that lead into the main house. The interior of the porch is plain rendered to spandrels. It is ashlar-faced (concealing brick) to eastern façade of the rear porch (and entrance to former house). A pier to the central arch has a circular hole and two screw holes marking the former location of the doorbell. The house remains to west are largely concealed by grass. One round-arched vaulted cellar chamber survives on axis with porch. Various other foundations of walls survive. Setting Surrounded by the formal landscape of the demesne.


Not Known

Historical Information

The c.1855 portico is all that remains of Moneyglass House, set in the eighteenth century Moneyglass demesne, a rural estate owned by the Jones family. The 1836 Townland Valuation records the estate as being owned by a Major Kennedy. The 1833 OS memoirs describe the 1787 replacement house as being three storeys with two pillars in front on top of which were a balcony. The description does not easily match early-twentieth-century photographs by William Alfred Green (1870-1958), or correlate to the design of the surviving Italianate portico, which appears to be mid-nineteenth-century Victorian. In 1909, Young describes the house as a handscome mid-nineteenth century Italianate house of two storeys over basement, in the style of Sir Charles Lanyon (p. 208). The porch is described as ‘very characterstic of Lanyon’. This suggests that the house was either re-built or extensively remodelled at this time. The 1833 OS map shows a house, a walled garden, a small building on the present farmyard site, and a stableblock. The map appears to show remnants of an early formal layout to the demesne, with radial paths to the northwest of the house (gone by 1857) and a straight tree-lined avenue. By the time of the 1857 OS, house, farmyard complex, and stablecourt had been enlarged and a stream damned to create the ornamental lake as the demesne was developed as a landscape park. There appear to have been three main phases of change at Moneyglass House. The first recorded occupant of Moneyglass. W. M. Jones had leased the estate on the 15th of April 1726 from French John O'Neill for a term of three lives at £25 rent per annum, which was renewable forever. He was second generation in Ireland, a scion of an ancient Welsh family that had arrived during the reign Charles II, and was himself the inspiration of Carolan's “celebrated planxty,” “Bumper Squire Jones.” (OS mem p.117). According to the OS Memoirs, a replacement house was built in 1787 by Thomas Morres Jones Esq. (p.117). A third stage is thought to be associated with Lanyon who is known to have worked on the gate lodge (HB20/01/21D). References: Primary sources 1. PRONI OS/6/1/94/1, OS Map, 1st edition, Co Antrim, sheet no. 42 (1833) 2. PRONI OS/6/1/94/2, OS Map, 2nd edition, Co Antrim, sheet no. 42 (1857). 3. PRONI VAL/1A/1/42, Townland Valuation Map, Co. Antrim, no. 42, 1836 VAL1 1836 4. OS Memoirs of Ireland, Parishes of Co Antrim VI 1830, 1833, 1835-38 (South west Antrim) Vol 19 Secondary sources 1. Brett, C. E. B. “Buildings of County Antrim.” Belfast: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1996 2. Dean, J. A. K. The Gatelodges of Ulster: A Gazetteer, 1994 3. Girvan, W. D. & Rowan, R. J. “Ulster Architectural Heritage Society Second List of Historic Buildings, Groups of Buildings, Areas of Architectural Importance in West Antrim, Within the Designated Area of the Antrim and Ballymena Development Commission.” Belfast: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1970. 4. Young, Robert Magill. “Belfast and the Province of Ulster in the Twentieth Century.” Pike's New Century Series, ed. W. T. Pike. Brighton : W. T. Pike, 1909.

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form E. Spatial Organisation H-. Alterations detracting from building J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

V. Authorship Z. Rarity X. Local Interest


A freestanding ruinous Italianate portico, possibly to designs by Sir Charles Lanyon, that, along with fragments from the main house is all that remains of Moneyglass House. Despite the loss of the attached house, the portico is comparatively well preserved with fine ornamentation and it still dominates an elevated site to the centre of the extensive estate grounds.

General Comments

Date of Survey

04 September 2008