The Elmfield Estate has a long and colourful history of evolving buildings and families who have lived there. The earliest ordnance survey maps show a dwelling house and stable buildings in the existing courtyard area, part of which is thought to date back to 1700s. With the arrival of industry along the river Bann, a Georgian house was built circa 1830, followed soon after by a larger Victorian Sottish Baronial style structure. The house that exists today was constructed around 1860 by architect William Spence as a grand statement to the wealth of the linen mill owners, reflected in the name change to Elmfield Castle. The estate became a prominent linen baron home, firstly housing the Dixon family who established Gilford Mill, and subsequently the Uprichard family who made Elmfield their principle residence until the 1940s.
During WWII, a prisoner of war camp was setup on the estate to house Italian and German prisoners. The physical remnants of this facility remained untouched for years but it also left many stories—of prisoners crawling under barbed wire fences to either make their great escape, or to play cards and drink whiskey with local farmers. Following the end of the war, the estate experienced a 20-year period during which the house lay unoccupied. This episode led to an almost derelict estate, with trees growing through the roof of the house and the gardens being overtaken by the wild.
Rescued by the Shaw family in 1958, Derek and Ann Shaw then spent many years restoring Elmfield Estate in its entirety—the house, gardens, and the farm. Today, the estate once again boasts a magnificent Scottish Baronial style house and courtyards set in 100 acres of stunningly landscaped grounds.
We offer tours for groups on a pre-booked basis. If you are interested in booking a heritage tour please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 28 3883 2400.