Benvarden House (also known as Benvardin House)387

Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Brief Description

Benvarden House is an 18th-century country house, remodelled in the early-19th century, in a demesne of late-17th-century origin. The house is set in a landscape park on a river site with trees, walks, pond and an ornamental bridge of about 1870. The walled garden is fully cultivated with ornamental and productive sections and glasshouses, and has been extensively remodelled during the 20th century. There is also a lodge.

History

The demesne dates from the late-17th century. The present house was built in the 18th century for the Macnaghten family. The property was sold in 1798 to the banker Hugh Montgomery, whose family remain in possession. The house was extended in the early-19th century. The park was landscaped in the 18th century. The ornamental bridge was built about 1870. The walled kitchen garden has been partly converted as an ornamental garden during the 20th century.

Visitor Facilities

The garden is open June to August daily 12-5.30 pm, or by appointment.

Detailed Description

The site is approached via a lodge and a landscape park, with a white iron ornamental bridge over the River Bush. The house is surrounded by ornamental planting.

The walled kitchen garden has been partly remodelled in the 20th century as an ornamental garden, with a box-edged parterre, a double herbaceous border and a rose garden including bush and shrub roses. The remainder of the kitchen garden remains cultivated with fruit and vegetables

There are riverside walks with woodland garden planting. A pond is framed with Florence Court yews and rhododendrons.

Features
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: The walled garden is fully cultivated with ornamental and productive sections.
  • Ornamental Bridge
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The central part of the house is of the mid-18th century and includes a double-height central curved bay on each front. The house was extended after 1798, when canted bays were added at either end, together with additional rooms.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Gate Lodge, Pond, River, Riverside Walk, Glasshouse
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

The garden is open June to August daily 12-5.30 pm, or by appointment.

Directions

Six miles east of Coleraine on the B67.
History

Detailed History

The Benvarden demesne was established during the late-17th century on the banks of the River Bush.

During the 18th century the present house was built for the Macnaghten family, who improved the grounds and established the walled kitchen garden.

In 1798 the demesne was bought by Hugh Montgomery, a banker who had returned to Ireland from Virginia. Montgomery extended and remodelled the house and developed the grounds. In the early-19th century the house stood in a landscape park approached by three lodges, one of which remains.

In 1870 an ornamental iron bridge was added, spanning the river. An oval pond was formed, framed by Florence Court yews and rhododendrons.

In the 20th century the walled kitchen garden was partly developed as an ornamental garden. Riverside walks adorned with decorative planting were laid out.

Part of the demesne was developed as a safari park and is now in separate ownership.

Period

  • 18th Century
References

References