Brooklands

brooklands

Circa 1909

Brooklands was built in 1909 and it was once the property of the distinguished architect Percy Morgan Jury who also designed the house. This gorgeous building is mentioned in Buildings of County Antrim. The area of Dunmurry was once the home of many wealthy families.

Percy’s parents lived in a large property with a Gate Lodge just off the Lisburn Road in Belfast named ‘Brooklands’ and it was here that Percy was born in November 1875. After being privately educated until the age of 14 Percy attended Methodist College in Belfast where he started to show great artistic talent. On the 27th September 1896 Percy’s father William died in Belfast and is buried in Belfast City Cemetery along with his wife and four other family members. In 1900 Percy went into partnership alongside his school friend William Blackwood and their business ‘Blackwood and Jury’ was extremely successful with William looking after the business side of things and Percy providing the creative artistic flair.

Over the following years there were many commissions including banks, churches and houses on the Malone and Lisburn Roads but they are probably most recognised for design and architecture of The Mayfair Block and Castle Buildings in the centre of Belfast.

Percy married in 1902 and he and his wife lived in The Green, Dunmurry. He named his home ‘Brooklands’ after his childhood home.

In 1909 he designed and built a new house for his family in Upper Dunmurry Lane, which he also named ‘Brooklands’

The front door to the latest ‘Brooklands’ home is deep set in a Tudor arch and this theme is continued throughout the house. Built into the wall of the house, above the front door is a medieval stone window which Percy discovered in Athenry, Co Galway while on a trip to inspect the progress of work on a bank in the town. Above the door canopy, built flush with the wall, is a date stone with art-noveau script reading ‘Built by P.M.J. 1909’.

‘Brooklands’ has a large garden with terraced walks and vistas, which for its creator, was a continuing challenge and delight. Percy was a very keen gardener and loved painting watercolours.

Percy Morgan Jury died on the 25th April 1945 in Belfast.

Anne Primrose Jury, Percy’s daughter inherited her father’s artistic qualities. Her landscape paintings were very much sought after and many exhibitions of her work were held over the years.

In 1949 Anne sold ‘Brooklands’ but retained a cottage she had built for herself in the one acre garden. Anne died in 1995.

‘Brooklands’ then became the home of a distinguished wartime veteran, Lieutenant Colonel Rogers and his wife Dorothy. In 1970 Colonel Rogers died and a few years later his wife sold the property to Dr Pearce Donnelly, a practitioner on the Falls Road, Belfast.

In 1984 Dr Donnelly sold ‘Brooklands’ and it became the new temple for the Hare Krishna devotees and home for their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Madhava.

Many of the original features are still in place including the front door, window frames and beautiful fireplaces which are still working and used regularly. All the flooring is original as are the internal doors. In the hall is an original dresser that is still used today. What was once the Drawing Room is now the Temple Room and has a beautiful altar.

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