In 1833, the Rt. Hon. Charles Brownlow commissioned the building of his family home, Brownlow House, in his grand country estate in Lurgan. The house, known locally as ‘The Castle’, is built from Scottish sandstone and was designed by the famous Edinburgh architect, William Henry Playfair.
Brownlow House was designed and built as a ‘Calendar House’. Four wings, one for each season of the year. Seven external doors, one for each day of the week. Twelve external corners, one for each month of the year. Fifty-two chimneys, one for each week of the year; and finally three hundred and sixty-five rooms, one for each day of the year.
The second Lord Lurgan owned a famous race dog called Master McGrath, who was born and raised in the grounds of Brownlow House. Master McGrath is the only dog to win the Waterloo Cup three times; to commemorate this event a statue was made of the famous greyhound and today is located in Lurgan town centre.
Brownlow House played its role in the World Wars and particularly in WW2 as it became a base for American troops. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (who later became President Eisenhower of the USA) visited Brownlow House and from here helped plan the famous D-Day landings – you can find more of this history in our museum “Brownlow HQ”.
Tragically in 1996 Brownlow House experienced an extensive fire destroying the interior of almost half the house. However, with expert historian input, great attention to detail and an investment of £5 million, Brownlow House was restored to its former glory and has become the much beloved venue it is today.
In the early 1900s, Brownlow House was sold by the Brownlow family to the Lurgan District of the Orange Order who continue to own and run the building today.