DiCamillo Companion

Hillsborough Castle (Hillsborough House) (Government House)

  • Built / Designed For: 1st Marquess of Downshire

    House & Family History: In 1922 the 7th Marquess of Downshire sold Hillsborough Castle to the British government to become the official residence of the governor of Northern Ireland, a newly-created post that reflected the creation of the Irish Free State and the loss of Phoenix Lodge, the Viceregal Lodge, in Dublin (today Aras An Uachtaráin, the residence of the president of the Republic of Ireland). Hillsborough was chosen because it was close to Northern Ireland's largest city, Belfast, and, as a country house, it offered more security than a house in Belfast itself. In 1925 the first governor of Northern Ireland, the 3rd Duke of Abercorn, moved in and the house was officially renamed Government House.

  • Architect: James Sands

    Date: 1844
    Designed: Plans for the 3rd Marquess of Downshire

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    Architect: Robert William Furze Brettingham

    Date: Circa 1795-97
    Designed: Enlarged house for 2nd Marquess of Downshire

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  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pg. 847
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade B+

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Current Seat / Home of: HM The King

    Past Seat / Home of: Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire, 1774-93; Arthur Hill, 2nd Marquess of Downshire, 1793-1801; Arthur Blundell Sandys Trumbull Hill, 3rd Marquess of Downshire, 1801-45; Arthur Wills Blundell Sandys Trumbull Windsor Hill, 4th Marquess of Downshire, 1845-68; Arthur Wills Blundell Trumbull Sandys Roden Hill, 5th Marquess of Downshire, 1868-74; Arthur Wills John Wellington Trumbull Blundell Hill, 6th Marquess of Downshire, 1874-1918; Hill family here until 1922.

    Current Ownership Type: The Crown / Royal Family

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Mixed Use

    Ownership Details: Hillsborough is the official residence of monarch in Northern Ireland and the home of the secretary of state for Northern Ireland. Its public spaces are administered by Historic Royal Palaces.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 02892-681-300

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.hrp.org.uk/

    Historic Houses Member: No