Lorne House and Estate
European Heritage Open Days
Tours of house and garden available when we are participating.
Over 230 visited Lorne over the 2 days and many enjoyed refreshments in the newly renovated solarium.
Henry Campbell was born in 1813 and was apprenticed to James Dorman and Co flax spinners in Belfast. He later became a partner in two linen companies and enjoyed the prosperity of 19th Century Belfast.
After his retirement he bought 20 acres of land from Sir Robert Kennedy of Cultra Manor and in 1875 built Lorne House and 3 cottages. Unfortunately the architect and the builder are unknown. The style of the house is Scottish baronial and the yellow brick used was most unusual at the time. It was named Lorne after the district on the West coast of Scotland associated with the Campbell clan. A boar’s head which is the emblem of that clan has been incorporated into two of the grand fireplaces in the house.
Lorne House is Grade B listed and contains many ornate plaster mouldings, decorative timber works and stained glass windows. The unique solarium is Grade A listed and typical of the Victorian period. It is made from cast and wrought iron with curved glazing.
Mr Campbell was unmarried and died in 1889. In his will after legacies to his nephews and nieces Mr Campbell left most of his £238,000 estate to trustees to build a school or hospital. They decided in favour of a school and built Campbell College in the Belmont Area of Belfast. The school’s emblem is the boars head.
Lorne estate was not sold until 1946 when it was bought by the Girlguides for £6000 and used as a residential centre for leaders and a camping and activity centre for girls. Over the years dry rot and other structural problems have needed continual expenditure with several major repair and refurbishment programmes undertaken.
The Lorne house and estate are the centre of Girlguiding today. The administration offices and equipment department are in the courtyard behind the main house. The coach house which has adapted from the original stables for residential accommodation was opened in 1997. The Marion Greeves Centre was built in 2002 and provides an indoor residential centre as well as a conference centre.
The grounds have campsites with solid shelters, showers and toilet facilities. There is an exciting range of outdoor activities and play areas for all ages to be challenged and have fun.