THERE have been Warings living at Waringstown House ever since it was built in the seventeenth century. The first Waring came to Ulster from Lancashire, fleeing the persecution of Queen Mary.
It was the grandson of this pioneer who introduced linen manufacture to the district. He brought artisans from Holland to help to establish the industry and it may be that the rather Dutch air of this house can be attributed to the influence of some of these Dutchmen.
Waringstown House fronts the main road between Banbridge and Lurgan. The facade is typically early Renaissance in that its most symmetrical. There is a very gay air about the house due chiefly to its wonderful coral colour. Built of enormous stones and mud, then covered with stucco and washed with this glorious soft pink, the house presents a challenge to some of our grey, modern cities.
Although the facade is so formal, a more human and boisterous type of architecture is revealed when the house is viewed from the garden.
A jolly Dutch gable is thrown up here and a bowed window juts out there. It is as if a joyous country lady had put on a stately countenance for a Court occasion, but could not suppress her roguish dimples. Indeed the house puts one in mind of a lady whose dress shows a beautiful sense of colour, for even the slates, grape blue, have taken on a hint of rose through the years. The clean lines of the windows are outlined in white, sharp against the coral of the house, and to heighten the effect of all this colour, an age-darkened yew hedge is set against the house
Succeeding generations of Warings have left their mark upon the place. Dean Waring of Lurgan wrought most beautiful carvings on the Irish oak of the hall and staircase. Some of the Dean's work is also to be seen in the lovely Jacobean church, built very near to the house on land given by the family. Pulpit, roof and pillars of local oak are wonderfully and lovingly carved with fruit, leaves and flowers. Over the family pew, Dean Waring carved a stork, the family crest. This lovely work is surely a most beautiful memorial of him, an unsung Ulster Grinling Gibbons.
Next week – Galgorm Castle.
Belfast Telegraph, 8th April 1953