Lorn(e) House, Castletown

Lorn House in 1930 The original name was Lorn House - the use of Lorne is a later change though noted as such in the report of the death of Christian Cunningham nee Taubman in 1832.

The History of the site has been somewhat confused by a misinterpetation of a sale to Captain Fitzgerald of a much smaller plot to the south near the river(part of a series of sales around the Douglas Street periphery by the Taubmans - the land originally part of the Abbey estate was long held by the Taubman family. It is possible that it is built on the site of a keeill, though no visible remains have been noted. The 1863 O/S shows 'Site of Chapel' however the Manx Archaelogical Report (6th Report) comes to no definite conclusion noting that lintel graves have been discovered in the neighbourhood but possibly too far away to be linked.
Robert Cunninghame, son of Wm Cunninghame and Christian Taubman had the house built and lived there until Robert's early death in 1832,his widow died in 1834. The architect for these alterations was possibly Thomas Brine - much of the work bears a strong resemblence to his other work in Castletown. However in 1834 the house was empty following the deaths of Robert and Christian and available for rent to the new Lt Governor Colonel John Ready. The Lt Governor's previous lodging in Castle Rushen had been needed for extensions to the Courthouse. The political situation had also changed in that with the final sale by the Duke of Atholl there was no longer a Governor and presumeably the Lt Governor felt that better housing was appropriate to the change in status. It was the non-continuation of the lease to Governor Piggott in 1860 that started the move to Douglas.

From 1931 it was used as a Christian Endeavour holiday home.
Lorne House 1995 Since 1972 it has been used as the offices for an investment company who also altered the frontage. They have also restored several of the outbuildings - an annual 'open day' event allowed a limited public access. In 2007 Roy Tilleard, a local property developer, bought the house and restored it as a family residence


P.J.Hulme, Goverment Houses in the Isle of Man [1990] Douglas:The Manx Experience
J.R.Bruce, Manx Archaelogical Survey 6th Report 1966 1968 Douglas:Manx Museum and National Trust
Ronald Buchanan and Leighton Stowell, Notes on Lorne House, Castletown 2nd Ed 1995 Castletown: Lorne House Trust Ltd
Patricia Tutt Lorne House A Manx Survivor Lily Publications (ISBN 978-1-1899602-84-1) 2010
Johnathan Kewley "Review of Lorne House by P Tutt" The Antiquarian (newsletter IoMNH&ASoc No3 Autumn 2010 pp65/7

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001