[Extract from the Downpatrick list by Lady Dunleath, P J Rankin and A J Rowan, published by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society in 1970 (reprinted 1971 and 1973).]
Built by Edward Southwell in 1733 to provide almhouses for 6 men and 6 women with schools for 10 poor children and restored in 1826 at the expense of Lord de Clifford. One of the best Early Georgian buildings in Ulster, symmetrically arranged to face the Mall, but now dominated by it since the street level was raised some 15 feet in 1790. The design, built of brick with dressed stone quoins and ashlar cupola, is typical of Irish Palladianism. Two teacher's houses, 3-storey, 3-bay, with a circular-headed Gibbs centre window and modillion eaves cornice, flank the long main block and are attached to it by low quadrant wings. This centre is really a standard 18th century stable block modified to suit the purposes of the charity. Two school rooms, slightly projecting and lit by a pair of high arched windows (like coach houses in a stable), flank the row of almhouses. These are 5-bay, 2-storey, on either side of a central arched feature (once again like stables). The arch is surmounted by a high circular-headed window, a pediment, and a squat quadrangular cupola that rises high above the rest of the group.
Features of note in the building are the juxtaposition of different scales, the careful detailing with stone trim to emphasise the windows of the central and end blocks, and an odd personal mannerism of the designer - a thin nodding ogee arch cut in the brick above alternate windows in the almhouses .
The passage through the archway is of cross-vaulted brick work, the back and sides of harled rubble. To the rear, ranges of six low slated store rooms (without windows) flank a bold brick archway with Gibbs surround and heavy pediment. This too is dated 1733. The school house at the East end was extended in the 19th century with a brick addition at the back.
Refs: Archaeological Survey; Parkinson, E.; Wallace; Lewis.
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Nos. 34, 36 & 38: 1739. Attractive diminutive-scale houses. 2-storey with 7 very narrow windows on the upper floors, surrounded by stucco mouldings. No. 34 has a good 19th-century shop front. A date stone inscribed D.W.L. 1739 is between Nos. 36 and 38.
Nos.46 and 48: c. 1750. A high rectangular block of 2 houses; 3 storey, 4-bay, of excellent early 18th century proportions with small sash windows.
Nos. 50 and 52: c. 1800. Two houses united by a rather crude projecting porch clamped across the join. No. 50 originally a pretty 3-storey, 4-bay stone block with Georgian glazing and broad sash boxes.
No. 60: c.1820. An attractive double-fronted, stucco house with large Georgian windows; 3-bay, 2-storey with a semi-circular radiating fanlight over the door.
[Note: most of this terrace was demolished in 1991 and replaced with new housing by the N I Housing Executive].
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