Lisburn was redeveloped after a disastrous fire in 1707 under the ownership of Lord Hertford. His successors took less interest in the town: the 4th Marquess of Hertford, who died in 1870, only visited the town once but built up in Paris the enormous collection of art and furniture that forms the present-day Wallace Collection in London.
However his successor Sir Richard Wallace (probably an illegitimate son) devoted much of his energy to the town between 1873 and his death in 1890, building many fine houses and developing new estates of villas.
In 1885 Wallace gave the ground now known as Wallace Park to the town commissioners as a ‘Public Park and Recreation Ground for the Inhabitants of the said Town of Lisburn’. The two lodges, one at each end of the park, were built at that time to designs by John McHenry, and later sympathetically extended, probably by GP & RH Bell. The park is linear in form with an avenue of trees linking the two lodges.
Both lodges lay empty from about 1990, and when the Magheralave Lodge was burnt out in 2000 Hearth was able to acquire both lodges from Lisburn City Council. The restoration of the lodges as houses has helped to revive the park and the Council has since invested in new lighting and other schemes. Following this project, Hearth became involved in other initiatives in Lisburn, with a representative sitting on its Historic Quarter committee and in drawing up a Conservation Guide for the area. We were also pleased to be able to assist the in the formation of the Lisburn Buildings Preservation Trust which triggered the restoration of 18th century houses in the Bridge Street Townscape Heritage Initiative.