Friday 15th December 2017
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Ballydrain House
The first dwelling erected on the estate at Ballydrain was a fortified bawn or farmhouse. It was built in 1608 by William Stewart. The next house was built in 1675 and was situated close to the entrance from the main road. The Stewart family lived on the Ballydrain estate for the next two centuries, during which time they were engaged in farming and linen. In the mid-18th century the Stewarts built a house at the end of the tree-lined drive, on land which is now the car park. This house was sold in 1834 to Hugh Montgomery who was a Director of the Northern Bank.
  
He was keen to have a much more stately house and employed an English architect to design the house. This building, which was built in the Tudor Revival design, is now the present club house and work began in 1835 and was completed in 1843. The house was extended in 1876 for Thomas Montgomery by the architect William Henry Lynn. A new entrance porch was added, a billiard room was situated above it and a bay window was built on the garden side of the house. In 1880 a large conservatory was built by James Boyd and Son of Paisley in Scotland. In 1920 the house was purchased by Mr John Barbour Morrison from Major Hugh Wyndham Montgomery, grand-son of the first Hugh Montgomery to own the estate. The Morrison family resided in the house until 1940. During the Second World War the house, like its neighbour Wilmont across the road, was occupied by various units of the Armed Forces, both American and British. On leaving the estate at the end of the war some members of the forces painted a ‘V’ for victory on the gate post at the entrance. This is still visible today.
 
In 1947 Ballydrain was transferred to Mr John Maynard Morrison, the son of John Barbour Morrison and to John’s brother. The land continued to be farmed but the house remained uninhabited until 1960. Malone Golf Club purchased the estate in 1960 and after considerable extensive and expensive alterations the club house was opened on 19th September by the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable, the Viscount Brookeborough of Colebrooke, CBE, MC, DL, MP.
 
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