Summer House Restored
The Summer House at Florence Court, with its heather-clad walls and views over the gardens to Benaughlin mountain has been restored in all its glory.
Back in August 2014, the Summer House at Florence Court was completely destroyed by fire. The news was devastating for the staff and volunteers who love and care for Florence Court, one of our most beautiful places in Northern Ireland. As a conservation charity, the National Trust was committed to restoring this beautiful building and much loved part of the property.
The Summer House was built in 1993 as a replica of a much older structure that stood on the estate in the 19th-century. It was built by a team of two brothers with only one photograph of the original to draw plans from. After the fire, we contacted the brothers and one of the pair, Andrew Raffles was able to return to Florence Court to restore the Summer House, this time with their original plans, rather than one photograph!
The rebuilding project was made possible by the outpouring of support from the local community. After the fire the Impartial Reporter, in partnership with the National Trust, launched a campaign for the rebuilding. With generous donations from our local community, Members Associations across the region and supporters far and wide, we have raised to date over £5,000 towards the rebuilding of the Summer House. Devenish Gallery also kindly donated a watercolour painting by Peter Lyner, and prints are available in our shop.
General Manager Jim Chestnutt said,
‘We are all delighted to see the Summer House returned to its full glory and we want to thank all those who passed on messages of support and who gave so generously to see this beautiful part of Florence Court restored.’
Visitors can come along to see it finally back in pride of place and begin to make new memories at this special place.