MANOR HOUSE ARTEFACTS GO UNDER THE HAMMER

LOCAL history will go under the hammer this week as antiques, art and household items from Donaghadee’s Manor House go to auction.

Around 200 artefacts dating as far back as the 18th century are currently up for grabs, allowing potential buyers a chance to own a slice of  history – including an unusual statuette of King William III

The online listings will continue until the sale ends on January 24, include Georgian and Victorian furniture, a large Victorian dessert service, and Delacherois family ceremonial pieces.

The historic Grade A listed house itself, which has been in the same family since it was built in the 1620s, is also currently for sale.

Built by Sir Hugh Montgomery, The Manor House is abundant in history and has long stood as a focal point for visitors to the town.

As one of the first settlers, Montgomery is known as one of the founding fathers of Ulster Scots and was the 1st Viscount Montgomery of the Great Ards.

The core of the property, now in the possession of the Delacherois-Day family, was originally built as a ‘Blow House’ to be used for the Montgomery family to rest in while they waited on good weather to get the boat to Portpatrick, which was a key passageway to the UK from Northern Ireland at the time.

The house then passed on to the Delacherois family in the late 18th Century, when Countess Marie-Angelique Mount Alexander (née Delacherois) inherited the Montgomery Estates from her husband, the 5th Earl of Mount Alexander in 1757.

The Countess bequeathed the vast Donaghadee estate to her nephew, Captain Samuel Delacherois, whose own son, Daniel, took possession of the town house following her death in 1771.

It is believed that Daniel remodelled and extended the original building after it came into his possession.

The Delacherois family also have connections to the Crommelin family, of Irish linen fame and one ancestor, Major Nicholas De La Cherois distinguished himself with Prince William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.

The impressive and unusual stately home boasts the size and grandeur of a fine country house, yet is uniquely stationed in its own private grounds in the centre of Donaghadee.

The house presents a two storey facade, six bays long to the High Street, with six pane Georgian sashes throughout.

The large estate of approximately 1.1 acres, consists of seven bedrooms, three reception rooms, numerous bathrooms, two games rooms, as well as a wealth of outbuildings and extensive gardens.

With keen eyed locals already spotting some of the historic pieces and Irish vernacular furniture being removed from this fascinating home for auction at Ross’s Auctioneers in Belfast, it has sparked excitement in the town and further afield about the items up for sale. Many of the furniture or household items will have been estate made or locally purchased.

Notably included in the auction is a statuette of King William III dressed as a Roman Emperor on horseback.

The exceptionally rare, imposing pottery figure, dating back to the late 18th or early 19th Century, is thought to be a maquette for a larger piece of work.

It had pride of place on a custom-built bracket on the main entrance hall, welcoming visitors to The Manor House as they arrived through the instantly recognisable yellow Georgian front door.

Also to go to auction is a characterful Georgian mahogany grandfather clock which stood in the main hall of the house for many years.

A small collection of fascinating 19th estate notices from the Estate Office will also be on offer.

A large Georgian mule chest that sat until recently under a vast carved family crest is also one of the items to go under the hammer, as well as a Georgian style armchair with silk brocade fabric, Georgian and Victorian glassware from the Butler’s Pantry and a Victorian dessert service set.

Some key pieces of ceremonial regalia will also hit the market, with Masonic and Orange artefacts included.

Delacherois family toys dating back to the 20th century, including a dolls house and rocking horse, will also be up for grabs.

Representing the family’s strong connection to the linen industry in Ireland, a rare set of black and white Hincks engravings dating back to the 18th century will hit the market, showing the manufacture of linen in Ireland.