Delight as lost Milford House chandeliers are found and restored

The chandeliers in situ in the Drawing room in 1938 during the time of Manor House School

The lost chandeliers from the Drawing Room of Milford House have returned after being lost for almost forty years. They are now on display in the Drawing Room of 3 Victoria Street which displays the collections from Milford House.

Stephen McManus the curator of Milford Buildings Preservation Trust the charity which owns Milford House collection explains that " for seventeen years the Trust searched for these chandeliers and have appealed on television, radio and in the newspaper with no response" In fact it was thanks to an article which appeared in the Ulster Gazette about a chandeliers whose acquisition was part funded by Northern Ireland Museums Council that the chandeliers were found. Milford House was home to Manor House Special Care from 1966 to 1994. Lois Nesbitt a former Assistant Matron at Manor House Special Care contacted Stephen McManus to say she had three of the four chandeliers from Milford House. She had seen them at Tower Hill Hospital (where they had been removed to in the 1970s) and bought them.

Stephen McManus reveals the fascinating story behind the chandeliers. "There were four cut glass and brass chandeliers by Everard & Co of Lewisham that where installed in the Drawing Room of Milford House in 1898 by Robert Garmany McCrum as part of his never ending building work to the house. Milford House is the former seat of the McCrum family one of Ulster's leading linen manufacturing dynasties and is famous as the first private residence in Ireland to be lit with hydroelectricity.As such they are the earliest electric chandeliers in Ireland. They survived the 1930 auction and are listed as being in the Drawing Room in the 1940 inventory of contents of Manor House School. We have photographs of them in the room but at some point they were removed by the hospital authorities. When Mrs. Nesbitt contacted me they were in storage in a farm shed a few miles from Milford. We had searched far and wide for them".

The chandeliers were generously purchased by a benefactor who has given them on permanent loan to the Milford House Collection until such times as the Trust can purchase them. The restoration which included regilding and rewiring was generously funded by Northern Ireland Museums Council who contributed £800 and the Trust gave an additional £100. Restoration took over eight months and they are no in full working order.

The Trust says the chandeliers are breathtaking and will prove to be star attraction for visitors. The Trust is continuing to search for the lost contents of Milford House and is appealing to anyone who knows anything of their whereabouts to please contact the Trust on 02837525467 or email: