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Ardress House

Ardress House.

This a lovely 18th century manor is an enlargement by the Dublin architect George Ensor, George married the heiress Sarah Clarke in 1760 and decided to settle at Ardress with his wife in 1778 upon his retirement as Clerk of Works to the Surveyor General. The original house was built built by his wife's family sometime around 1670, in the house there are some particularly fine examples of stucco plaster work by Dublin master craftsman Michael Stapleton, the ceiling designs are considered to among the best he produced, comprising a plaque representing Aurora in 'The Chariot of the Dawn' surrounded by foliate and urn motifs. Stapleton's original drawings of the design survive in the National Library of Ireland, the present colour scheme is derived from these drawings

Ardress House acquired its present appearance between 1790 and 1810 when the property was inherited by George Ensor (1772-1845) in 1803. Two bay windows were added to each end of the house new wings were built to the north and east side, the dining room was located in the latter.

In 1845 the third George Ensor inherited Ardress House, this George Ensor died unmarried in 1879, the property then passed to his nephew Charles Ensor, later to his son Captain Charles Ensor, who was active in the UVF, in the first World War led his men in the Battle of the Somme in which he was wounded and fourhundred men from the nearby town of Portadown were killed. Captain Charles Ensor sold Ardress House and the one hundred acres in which it stands to the National Trust in 1960.

Behind the Ardress House is a magnificent 18th century pink cobbled working farmyard containing a piggery, blacksmith's shop, chicken houses, a harness room, threshing barn and a well in the middle of the yard. There is also an interesting collection of farm machinery and tools

Ardress House
64 Ardress Road
County Armagh
BT62 1SQ
Tel +44 028 8778 4753
Fax +44 028 8778 9598
Web Sire

Ardress House.

The grounds are open all year.
You can take a 30 minute guided tour of the house and yard during the summer season.
Located 7 miles from Portadown on the Moy Road (B28). NGR: H 914559

Derek Forshaw