The family’s links with the Orange Order go back to its beginning. In 1797, just two years after the Order was formed, William Brownlow, uncle of the First Lord Lurgan, gave permission for the first ever Orange parade in what is now Lurgan Park.
It was Charles Brownlow, the first Lord Lurgan, who commissioned Brownlow House and developed the 350-acre demesne that, as Lurgan Park, is now Northern Ireland’s largest public park. Designed by William Henry Playfair in the then fashionable Elizabethan style, and considered one of Ireland’s finest houses, it was completed in 1833.
In the library and by the great staircase you will learn about the world’s most remarkable greyhound, considered one of the finest racers ever. Owned by the second Lord Lurgan, Master McGrath was even presented to Queen Victoria, who had expressed a desire to meet ‘the most famous dog of all time’.
During the Second World War, Brownlow House was the headquarters for US troops in Northern Ireland. As part of the tour you will visit the room where General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces and later 34th President of the United States, stayed for two nights, when he arrived to oversee preparations for the D Day landings in 1944. From the window here you can see the beautiful grounds of Lurgan Park and its famous manmade lake. General Eisenhower would also have seen many dozens of tin huts, home to the hundreds of US soldiers based here.