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Things to see and do at Springhill

Stone tower among trees at sawpit hill
Built around 1731, the stone tower was originally a corn mill | © National Trust / Paul Canning

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

Take a guided tour of Springhill House led by one of our experienced tour guides. Discover captivating stories about the family and servants who once called Springhill House their home. House tours do not need to be booked in advance.

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 Gun Room at Springhill house, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
The Gun Room at Springhill | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The Library

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.

Drawing Room

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.

The Drawing Room of 17th-century 'Planter' house, Springhill, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
The Drawing Room at Springhill | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Dining Room

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.

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The Well Read bookshop

You'll find the second-hand bookshop at Springhill is a great place to steal away some quiet time during a visit.

We have a large selection of fiction and a wide variety of non-fiction including cookery, gardening, history, travel and much more. We also have a lovely children’s corner.

The bookshop at Springhill has been in operation since the 1980’s. The shop is run and cared for entirely by volunteers. A large group of regular customers and contributors have been established. The money raised is used for various projects across the property. Most recently the rejuvenation of the shell house wall in the Dutch Garden, as well as the restoration of dining room chairs in the main house.

Funding conservation

The books are simply priced and generally our suggested donation is £1 for paperback and £2 for hardbacks. All profits from the sale of books go towards our conservation projects across the Springhill estate.

Donate your old books

Without the donation of books; paperbacks, hardbacks, fiction, non-fiction and children's books, we wouldn't be able to keep the shelves stacked and shop going.

If you'd like to donate some books, please give our main office a call on 028 86 748 210 or email to arrange to drop them off, or simply bring them with you on your next visit to Springhill and our welcome staff in Visitor Reception will be happy to help.

The Entrance Front of Springhill, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland showing both pavillions and part of the garden at sunset

Discover more at Springhill

Find out when Springhill is open, how to get here, things to see and do and more.

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Restoring the Shell House at Springhill 

Find out how we're restoring Springhill's iconic shell house to its former glory, thanks to charitable fundraising through our supporters.

Volunteer gardener working to clear growth and debris from the top of a wall with help from a young volunteer at Springhill, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Volunteering at Springhill 

Discover volunteering opportunities at Springhill and learn about what volunteering involves.

Staff cleaning items at Springhill

Our work at Springhill 

Take a look at some of the important conservation work that takes place every day at Springhill to look after this special place.

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Houses and buildings 

Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about their histories and plan your next visit.

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Houses and buildings in Northern Ireland 

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.

Visitors walking in the grounds at Springhill, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Springhill beech walk 

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.

DistanceMiles: 0.25 (km: 0.4)