Things to see and do at Springhill
Springhill was the home of ten generations of the Lenox-Conyngham family. Regarded as 'one of the prettiest houses in Ulster', its portraits and furniture feature a wealth of history. Springhill has one of the largest collections of historic dress in Northern Ireland, and you can view an annual exhibition of it in the old laundry house, which showcases examples of 18th to 20th-century fashion.
Take a tour of Springhill House
Entrance Hall and Stairs
Here in the entrance hall the atmosphere of the original house is most apparent. The staircase with its yew balusters and oak treads is a rare survivor of the late 17th century.
Stairs like this were often replaced as fashions shifted towards more elegant and airy constructions. At Springhill you can still appreciate the craftsmanship and quality of William Conyngham’s fine staircase, intended to convey a sense of solid, long-lasting prosperity.
The Gun Room
The Gun Room, like many of the rooms at Springhill, has had different functions. It was probably the original drawing room. The rare, hand-blocked English wallpaper was manufactured around the 1760s.
During the 19th century the room took on a more masculine use. The wallpaper was covered by oak panelling, lying hidden until 1960 when the National Trust removed one of the panels for maintenance and found the wallpaper still intact behind.
Several of the panels have been removed permanently, displaying the contrast between the elegant décor of the 1700s and the more subdued atmosphere of a 19th-century study for estate business.
The book collection not only includes three hundred years of reading, but also contains considerable amounts of rare 17th and 18th-century books. The majority of texts are still in their original bindings.
The Library owes much of its existence to the Lenox-Conynghams. In addition to the books of the Conynghams who first built the house, it includes books assembled in the city of Derry by their merchant cousins the Lenoxes, whom they later married into, to combine their names into the Lenox-Conynghams.
Originally designed as a grand reception room, the airy proportions and large windows reflect the architectural fashions of the day, contrasting strongly with the earlier parts of the house. The floorboards originally stretched from one end of the room to the other without a break.
It was not until the 1820s that this room became a ‘withdrawing room,’ when a new formal dining space for entertaining large numbers of guests was added to the rear of the house.
This room was the last of the main additions to the house. It was built by William Lenox-Conyngham in the 1820s and became the formal entertaining and dining space.
Book onto a house tour
You can learn more about the treasures within each room when you book onto a ground floor tour of the house on arrival at the visitor reception area.
Find out how we're restoring Springhill's iconic shell house to its former glory, thanks to charitable fundraising through our supporters.
Discover volunteering opportunities at Springhill and learn about what volunteering involves.
Take a look at some of the important conservation work that takes place every day at Springhill to look after this special place.
Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about what makes these places so special and plan your visit.
There’s so much to take in when exploring the houses and buildings across Northern Ireland including dramatic clifftop views at Mussenden Temple and an historic costume collection at Springhill.
Enjoy a stroll on a historic path leading up to an 18th-century tower through an avenue of beech trees, once a favourite route for the generations that lived at Springhill.