BANGOR

[Extracts from the Bangor: An Historical Gazetteer, by Marcus Patton, published by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society in 1999 (revised and enlarged edition of 1984 List).]

The Gazetteer also covers Carnalea, Conlig, Copeland Islands, Crawfordsburn, Groomsport and Six Road Ends.


Royal Ulster Yacht Club, 101 Clifton Road:

1897-9, by Vincent Craig:
Picturesque two- and three-storey red brick clubhouse with five-storey square tower above entrance. Red-tiled roof well equipped with finials and chimneys, half timbered gables and dormers. An eyecatcher at the head of its peninsula set on a commanding headland, surrounded by an attractive whinstone wall, with clusters of New Zealand flax on its Seacliff Road boundary and veronica bushes at its Clifton Road side.

A wonderfully varied building in what the Irish Builder called the "old English style of architecture", in tuck-pointed Laganvale bricks and Peake's red roofing tiles, with Arts and Crafts windows set in segmental-headed openings and a verandah overlooking the bay. A recent barrel-roofed front porch addition (by Tony Wright) unfortunately obscures the carved stone entrance. Inside, there is a very rich Edwardian interior, complete with billiard room, elaborate stair case carved with ships and flowers, the tiller from Lord Cantelupe's 84-ton yacht Urania (which was wrecked on the shore nearby in 1890) and splendid "Anti-Fouling and Non Contagious Closets" in the gents.

In 1866, the Marquess of Dufferin & Ava (as he was to become), recently returned from a spell as Under-Secretary of State for India, decided to revive the Ulster Yaeht Cluh which had been founded in Bangor in 1806. The Marquess, who had taken his yacht Foam to Iceland and Spitzbergen in 1856 (as a result of which experiences he published his Letters from High Latitudes) was an experienced yachtsman; on his 1856 voyage he had tried a wide range of cures for seasickness including prussic acid, opium, champagne, ginger, mutton chops and tumblers of salt water. Presumably he found something effective, since his enthusiastic commodoreship of the club led to its receiving a Royal Charter in 1870, and becoming the centre for yachting near Belfast Lough.

In 1889, a young architect called Vincent Craig became a member of the club, and after lengthy discussions Craig eventually became the architect for a new "Club House, Office Houses and other erections". Messrs McLaughlin & Harvey's tender for the work was accepted, and the building opened on 12 April 1899, having cost £6396 12s 1d (50% over tender price!) with furnishings amounting to £1362 3s 2d.

By the end of the century the club's annual regatta attracted "all the crack boats in British waters", including those of "that boating grocer", as Kaiser Bill called Sir Thomas Lipton, who was blackballed from the Royal Yacht Squadron and therefore issued his challenge for the America's Cup from the Royal Ulster in 1898. His yacht Shamrock I lost, but Lipton, undaunted, issued four more challenges from the RUYC, his last being in 1929. The Club has an interesting room of Lipton memorabilia. (See also Seacourt in Princetown Road).

Refs: Eakin; Hogg 17; IB 15 Apr 1899; Lawrence 2361, 3876, 9533; Minute Books in PRONI (D.2747/1/3); Spectator 20 April 1989; Welch 36-40.

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Ardmara, 97-99 Clifton Road:

c.l860: Pair of substantial two-storey semi-villas with shallow Regency-glazed bow windows looking towards the sea; in red brick with stucco dentils under eaves, a fringe of dormer windows, moulded window surrounds and quoins; large brick porches and blind windows to the road. No.97 has unfortunately been rendered. At the time of writing, this fine building, one of the earliest in Bangor and still comprising two good family homes, is sadly under threat of demolition. [Demolished February 1999.]

Refs: Eakin; Lawrence 3876; Seyer p.27; Spectator 10 and 17 Dec 1998, 7 and 14 Jan l999.

[Note: The demolition of Ardmara raised considerable outcry, and the redevelopment of the site was the subject of a planning appeal in 2000.]

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Lorelei, off Princetown Road:


c.l890-1900: Three-storey terrace of six stucco houses accessed from a lane between 82 and 88 Princetown Road, but looking directly over Bangor Bay. Paired three-storey bow windows; iron balconies at nos.3 and 4, which were built about a decade before nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6 were added for Samuel Crosbie by Young & Mackenzie. Sometimes spelt Lorely, latterly most of the terrace has been the Tedworth Hotel. Following a recent planning appeal decision, demolition of all but the facade is likely to take place in the near future.

Refs: App 15; Bldgs at Risk.vol 3 p.52; Eakin; IB 15 Aug 1898; Lawrence 9538; Spectator 18 Sep 1997.

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Nos.49-63 Main Street:

Heart Foundation, Bingham Mall, Winemark, JJB Sports, Halifax: c.1975: A collection of new shops built after the 1972 car bombs.

Nos.53-55 were formerly W & A Gilbey Ltd's fine Victorian premises, with colonnaded upper storeys and elegant shop, while nos.57-63 were three-storey stucco buildings. The replacements tend to the brisk, bright and cheap.

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Ballyholme Hotel, 256-262 Seacliff Road:

(Photograph taken by Peter O Marlow shortly before its demolition in 2000)

Nos.256-262:
The Ballyholme: c.1890: Terrace of three-storey stucco houses with conical roofs to full-height bow windows; paired doorcases with corbelled entablatures. Now a nursing home, it was used for a while (1900-1905) by Dr Connolly's Intermediate School, forerunner of the present Grammar School (see College Avenue), hence its original name of College Gardens, and until recently it was the Ballyholme Hotel.

See Lawrence 11224, 11229.

 

The Society also publishes a brochure on Clandeboye House.