Polar explorer’s birthplace goes on the market

Church Square, Banbridge.
Church Square, Banbridge.

The former home of Banbridge-born polar explorer Francis Crozier has gone onto the market.

Avonmore House, a three-storey, mid-terrace building in Church Square, was built around 1791 and it was here that the explorer was born - the 11th of 13 children and fifth son of attorney-at-law George Crozier.

Crozier made six major journeys to the Arctic and Antarctic during the 19th century and disappeared 170 years ago in a hazardous search to find the North West Passage.

Estate agents advertised the Avonmore House property inviting offers in the region of £250,000.

Councillor Glenn Barr said: “It’s a beautiful building in that part of town.

“I think it would be nice to see it used for something which marks its history, somewhere where people could go to visit and maybe learn more about Crozier - though obviously that will be up to the new buyers.

“There have been other houses of famous people made into museums, but I don’t know how viable that would be. The main thing is that the history of the place is preserved.”

On the ABC council website’s built heritage page they describe the property as “a three-storey house with basement, stuccoed, with the ground floor rusticated.

“The main doorcase has a grand entrance situated at the head of a fine flight of steps with good railings.

‘In the tympanum over the door is a lunette of the sleeping Venus with Cupid, a tree and urn.

“The house is the former home of George Crozier, prominent solicitor, agent for the Earl of Moira and father of Captain Crozier.

“This fine building housed the council offices for a while and now ironically houses offices which include a solicitors.”

The property overlooks Seapatrick Parish Church and the Crozier Monument.

With just over 2,400 sq ft, it also has a generous basement and yard to the rear.

It has been occupied by numerous office occupiers over the last number of years though may be suitable for alternative uses.

A Blue Plaque on the wall of the building pays tribute to Captian Francis Crozier.