Benvarden Gardens


Name: Benvarden Gardens
Location: Ballymoney
County: Antrim
Total Cost: £ 18,185.00
Axis: AXIS 3 : North East Region
Telephone: 02820741331


Specialist restoration painting of a victorian bridge on the Benvarden estate spanning the River Bush.


Hugh Montgomery owns a large country estate just outside Bushmills which has been in his family since the 1630's. Although the main acreage of the estate is currently rented out in conacre, there are still eighty acres of broadleaf woodland which are maintained and used for commercial purposes. The estate is open to the public for three months of the year from June until the end of August with the main attraction being the two acre walled garden, cobbled stable yard and tea room. The estate also contains a 120 foot Victorian bridge which spans the river Bush and is one of only a few bridges in Ireland designed using cast iron girders with open spandrels.


Mr Montgomery applied to Axis 3 through North East Region for grant assistance to enable him to sand blast and repaint the Victorian bridge. The four sandstone abutments, on which the bridge sits, have recently been re-pointed and repainting the bridge would allow restoration to its original look and allow the estate to use it as a feature. As the bridge has considerable heritage merit and also due to its positioning over the River Bush, Hugh had to bring in a team of specialised restoration painters to erect scaffolding across the river, sandblast the bridge and repaint it all using chemical free products.

Items funded:

  • Scaffolding costs,
  • water blasting 
  • repainting of metal work