The house from a circa 1900 postcard
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.
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
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.