SMART DESIGN IN BELFAST
This fine period gentleman’s residence is home to Lord Alderdice and his family and offers lots of grandeur and a tranquil setting within the heart of east Belfast. Stephanie Bell reports...
THIS grand Victorian gentleman’s residence built in the late 19th century has been home to the family of former Alliance leader John Alderdice and his wife Joan for many years.
The couple are selling after deciding to move to England to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Lord Alderdice said of their beautiful home: “Our home at Knock Road has been a marvellous place to live, to bring up our family and to entertain friends, and I note that Ballyhackamore has recently been recognised as one of the most desirable places to live in Northern Ireland – something that those of us who live there have known for a very long time.”
The property sits on a secluded site hidden in mature gardens while being in the heart of Knock in East Belfast within strolling distance of Stormont.
The house is as grand as you would expect inside where the quality of craftsmanship of this era is on display throughout its beautifully appointed rooms.
Many of the period features have been preserved including ornate cornices, stained glass windows and beautiful oak panelling.
High ceilings, generously proportioned rooms and a clever internal layout complemented by a rear extension provide an abundance of accommodation.
There is an elegant drawing room, a formal dining room, a modern kitchen/dining room, large family room which opens to a conservatory and a utility room on the ground floor.
The first and second floors feature five bedrooms, master with en suite and there is a separate shower room.
Outside the extensive grounds are in keeping with the prestige of the main house and offer an idyllic escape from the outside world.
There are rolling lawns, ma-
ture trees and shrubs, an Italian garden with a water fountain and sunken pond and there is even a Temple ‘folly’ with Janus Head by sculptor, Anna Cheyne.
A quarry tiled enclosed courtyard features a large double garage with a substantial annex above it with kitchen, shower room and large office/studio. There is also a wine cellar and store room.
This beautiful home delights from the moment you step through the front door into the characterful reception hall from the porch.
This room captures all the grandeur of a bygone era with an abundance of period features including corniced ceiling, ceiling rose, oak wood panelled walls topped by a plate rack, dual aspect windows and a brick fireplace.
Even the cloakroom off the hallway features oak wood panelled walls with a plate rack and a feature stained glass window.
There is a separate ground floor WC with floating wash hand basin.
The drawing room is another gracious space with dual aspect windows, including a bay, high ceilings, cornicing, a tiled fireplace and a lovely oak and walnut herringbone wood block floor.
The dining room is typical of the period too with oak wood-panelled walls with plate rack and there is a fireplace in this room and a ceiling rose and cornicing.
The kitchen is spacious and modern and features a good range of units with granite work surfaces and includes a built-in high level oven, integrated four ring gas hob and integrated dishwasher. It even features the original bell board which would have been used to summon servants.
The kitchen opens to a spacious dining area and leaded glass double doors lead through to a bright family room.
This room is opens via a wall of glass into a large conservatory and has lovely fitted bespoke books cases and shelving, plus a cast iron wood burning stove.
The conservatory which looks out over the mature gardens is a beautiful place to relax winter or summer.
The original staircase with polished newel post has been positioned below a fabulous feature stained glass atrium.
Upstairs and the master bedroom has dual aspect windows overlooking the gardens and come with a superb art deco style en suite with a tiled cast iron bath and corniced ceiling, rose and dual aspect windows.
The family shower room is fitted with a white suite which includes a bidet, a free standing Turkish shower cubicle with chrome shower unit and jets and an archway leads to a low flush WC with floating wash hand basin nicely finished with fully tiled walls and a bamboo wooden floor.
Two of the remaining four bedrooms come with vanity sinks and two more have a good range of built in furniture.
Wine buffs will love the cellar that comes with this property as it has been designed with brick arched wine alcoves which can hold hundreds of bottles.
This wonderful home offers lots of nooks and crannies to explore and enjoy in its generous, mature, well planted grounds.
PROPERTY OF THE WEEK: Archburn, Knock Road, Belfast