Newpark House and Demesne, Newpark, Ballymote, Co. Sligo

contact: Christopher & Dorothy-Ellen Kitchin

Tel: 087-3706869, 087-2894550

Listed Open Dates in 2021 but check in advance: March 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, May 10-16, 24-27, 31, June 1-17, Aug 14-22, Sept 7-8, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €7, OAP/student/group €5 

We visited Newpark House during Heritage Week, when we went on holidays to Sligo. We were delighted to discover that the owner, Christopher, is a cousin of Durcan O’Hara, with whom we were staying at Annaghmore in nearby Collooney.

Burke’s A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland tells us that Newpark was built for Robert King Duke (1770-1836), Justice of the Peace and Deputy Governor of Sligo, but the Historic Houses of Ireland website points out that he was only a boy of ten in 1780 when the house was built, so it was probably built for his father Robert (1732-1792). The Duke family descends from John Duke, who came to Sligo at the time of Oliver Cromwell and was granted land in Sligo in 1662. One can still see traces of their presence in the decorative plasterwork in the house. [1]

In 1910, the In 1910, the Duke family left Newpark, and it was purchased by Richard O’Hara, a younger son from nearby Annaghmore and Coopershill.

The house may have been designed by John Roberts of Waterford, who also may have designed Enniscoe in County Mayo, another house we visited during Heritage Week [2].

The house has a main rectangular block of three bays and two storeys, with a basement and dormer attic, built in 1780. The house was extended in the 1870s and lost some of its original features, but the original staircase remains.

A two-bay two-storey over basement wing was added around 1920.

The house is lime rendered with a tripartite entrance: a round-headed door-case flanked by narrow rectangular sidelights. There is another door in the front in the newer section of the house.

Two storey addition to the house.
The round-headed doorcase with side windows and fanlight.
Eaved roof rests on corbels, i.e. blocks projecting from the walls supporting the roof.
The Kitchens have recently received a grant to fix their gabled windows, which are on both sides of the house, and have decorative wooden bargeboards.
Gabled windows with decorative bargeboards, seen here above the later two storey addition.

The Historic Houses of Ireland website tells us that architect and writer Jeremy Williams observed of Newtown: “What strikes one is the harmony of the whole ensemble. Entrance gates and lodge, lime avenue, house, carriage-house, farm yard and partly walled demesne are all proportionate to each other and reveal the unpretentious lifestyle of a typical west of Ireland squireen, a rare survival today.” 

The gate lodge is available for hired accommodation. [3]

The entrance gates to Newpark.
My photograph of the picturesque gate lodge of Newpark – I did not realise it is much bigger than it looks from the side facing the driveway. You can see the lower storey in my photograph below.
Photograph taken from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, since I did not like to walk around the gate lodge, unsure if it had residents! In this photograph you can see the lovely arched window at the front.
The gate lodge is much larger than it looks from the photographs I took, since I did not walk around it. This photograph taken from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage shows that the side of the lodge away from the driveway has another storey, lower than that facing the driveway. This extension was built in about 1960 onto the original c. 1840 cottage. [4]
Entrance drive to Newpark.

Robert Duke (1732-1792) of Newtown married Lucinda Parke, daughter of William Parke of Dunally, County Sligo. The Parkes of Dunally were a branch of the Parkes who owned Parkes Castle in County Leitrim, which we also visited during Heritage Week.

Parkes Castle, County Leitrim, built in the early seventeenth century by Captain Robert Parke on the foundations on an old O’Rourke castle built by Brian O’Rourke, Prince of Breffne.

Robert King Duke (1770-1836) also married a Parke from Dunally, Anne. Newpark passed down through the family and it must have been his great-grandson, Roger Philip Duke (1874-1944), who sold Newpark.

Richard Edward O’Hara (1863-1948) who purchased Newpark in 1913 was the son of Charles William Cooper (1817-1898) of Coopershill, who took the name O’Hara when he inherited Annaghmore from his uncle, Charles King O’Hara (1784-1860) (the “King” may have been from Charles King O’Hara’s mother’s mother, whose maiden name was King). Charles William Cooper O’Hara married Anne Charlotte Streatfield, a wealthy heiress, and they lived in Annaghmore. They had many children, one of whom, Richard Edward O’Hara (1863-1948), purchased Newpark. He moved to Queensland, Australia, where he farmed, and married Ethel Fisken in 1911. They returned to live in Ireland and he purchased Newpark.

They had a daughter, Sheela, who married Finlay Kitchin, grandfather of the current owner, Christopher. Christopher’s parents moved out of Newpark only a few years ago to a house built on the property, yielding the house to their son and his wife, Dorothy-Ellen. Our week took a serendipitous turn when we learned that Dorothy-Ellen is the daughter of Mary White of The Old Rectory, Killedmond in Carlow, where we were going to be staying later that week! [5]

Dorothy and Christopher had arranged for a special event for Heritage Week, so Stephen and I purchased tickets for this: a nature talk and walk by Michael Bell of Naturelearn [6]. Christopher told us that the house would be open to visitors during the event.

Dorothy-Ellen in front of her home.
The gardens in front of the house.

Christopher greeted us and was kind enough to take time from his busy preparations for the Heritage Week event to give us a tour of the house. He pointed out that the geometrical plan is most unusual, and reminded the architectural historian Maurice Craig of a swastika, with four principal rooms of unequal size arranged around a small central hall. Another Section 482 property, Oakfield Park in County Donegal, also has this arrangement.

Front hall of Newpark, with “cobweb” fanlight.
The front hall of Newpark, with lovely plasterwork on ceiling: a decorative cornice and central ceiling rose feature.
The plasterwork on the front hall ceiling, of acanthus leaves and floral swags and a geometrical design.
Isaac Nicholson, b. 1840, a Kitchin ancestor.

The drawing room also has fine stucco work, with garlands and flowers and urns.

Above the fireplace the frieze of plasterwork has a shield with the arms of the Duke family, a chevron between three terns. The frieze also features the crest of the Dukes, a sword plunged in a plume of nine ostrich feathers. Robert O’Byrne points out that there is a cornet with plumes rising from it, and that this may represent the coat of arms of Lucinda Parke, wife of Robert Duke. [7]

The crest of the Dukes features in the cornice frieze, a sword plunged in a plume of nine ostrich feathers.

The other main reception room is the dining room.

Dorothy-Ellen took us downstairs to show us the basement, and the room in which she is creating a museum of the old things from the house.

All the heating is supplied by this passat boiler which Dorothy-Ellen showed us.

Dorothy and Christopher have converted their barns into a beautiful event space which they call the Juniper Barn. [8] They run it according to eco-conscious principals very like those of Dorothy-Ellen’s mother, a former Green party TD. We headed over to the barns to attend the nature talk.

The names of Christopher and Dorothy-Ellen’s children are carved in the swing.
I asked Christopher about the “S” shapes on the barns – they are part of the construction of the barn.
Barn with bellcote.
The beautiful interior of the barn, which is available for hire.
I was very impressed by the hanging plume pampas grass decorations, created by Dorothy-Ellen.

I was even impressed by the “decor” of the bathroom in the outbuildings, and especially like the stirrup incorporated into the chain of the cistern.

The animals and skulls brought by Michael Bell, including a huge vertebrae, and a dolphin skull.
A “death’s head” hawkmoth with what looks like a skull on its head. Michael Bell set up a moth catcher, and showed us the typical types of moths of the area.
Michael and his daughter brought us down to the lake to see what wildlife we could find. We saw different types of dragonflies, and he told us about the lonely swan, whose mate had died. I hope it won’t be lonely for long!

We then headed back to see the gardens around the house, including the herb garden and walled garden.

The herb garden, created by Christopher’s parents.
The walled garden contains a polytunnel.

[1] http://www.ihh.ie/index.cfm/houses/house/name/Newpark

[2] http://www.ihh.ie/index.cfm/houses/house/name/Newpark and see my entry about Enniscoe, County Mayo, https://irishhistorichouses.com/2021/11/25/enniscoe-house-gardens-castlehill-ballina-co-mayo/

[3] https://www.juniperbarn.ie/accommodation

[4] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/32403317/newpark-house-newpark-sligo

[5] https://irishhistorichouses.com/2020/07/16/the-old-rectory-killedmond-borris-co-carlow/

[6] https://www.naturelearn.com

[7] https://theirishaesthete.com/2019/01/30/frieze-it/

[8] https://www.juniperbarn.ie/venue

Enniscoe House & Gardens, Castlehill, Ballina, Co. Mayo

contact: Susan Kellett Tel: 096-31112 

www.enniscoe.com

(Tourist Accommodation Facility)

Listed open dates in 2022 but check in advance: April 1-Oct 31

Garden, April 1-Oct 31, weekdays 10am-5.30pm, weekends 1.30pm-5.30pm

Fee: garden & heritage centre adult €8, OAP €6, child/student €3, family 2 adults and 2 children €15

Enniscoe House, County Mayo.

We visited Enniscoe House in August, during Heritage Week. I was delighted that the owner, Susan Kellett, had heard of and likes my website! She gave us a lovely tour of her home, which she also runs as an upmarket guest house. One can stay in the beautiful bedrooms in the house where breakfast is provided and dinner is also an option, or in self-catering accommodation in converted stables.

Enniscoe house is a two storey house with a five bay entrance front, with a central window in the upper storey above the pedimented tripartite doorway. The doorway has Doric columns and pilasters, and sidelights. The side elevation has five bays. [1]

Side of the house.

Susan’s father inherited the property from his cousin, Mervyn Pratt (1873-1950). Mervyn’s grandfather, another Mervyn Pratt (1807-1890) married Madeline Eglantine Jackson, heiress, from Enniscoe. We came across Mervyn Pratt before, when we visited Cabra Castle. [2]

Mervyn and Madeline Eglantine’s daughter Louisa Catherine Hannah Pratt, the sister of Joseph, the second Mervyn’s father, married Thomas Rothwell from Rockfield, County Meath (which is currently for sale for €1.75 million [3]), and Susan’s father was their descendant. [4]

The view from Enniscoe House. The house is on the shore of Lough Conn. The horses are Connemara ponies – the land is leased to the National Parks and Wildlife, and they are keeping rare breeds such as Connemara ponies on the property. President Erskine Childers gave a herd of Connemara ponies to the state, and these ponies are related to them.

An informative booklet about Enniscoe which Susan gave me tells us that in ancient times, there was a castle at “Inniscoe,” one of the chief residences of the Kings of Hy-Fiachrach (who claimed descent from Fiachrae, brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages). The booklet tells us that traces of early earthworks can still be found. “Innis Cua” means the island of the hound. The O’Dowda, a Hy-Fiachrach family, ruled in the area and were famous for their greyhounds, which probably led to the Anglicised name Enniscoe. From the time of the Normans coming to Ireland, the land was fought over by the Bourkes, Barretts, Lynotts and Cusacks, and eventually owned by the Bourkes. At one stage Theobald Bourke, “Tibbot ne Long” (Theobald of the Ships), 1st Viscount of Mayo (1567-1629) owned the land around Enniscoe.

The information booklet tells us that the Patent Rolls of James I state that Enniscoe was possessed by the sons of John McOliverus Bourke in 1603 (this Patent Roll sounds like a great source of information! Copies are available in the National Library, and the information is gathered from 1603-1619). In the Strafford Inquisition of 1625, which gathered information about the landowners of County Mayo for Thomas Wentworth, the Earl of Strafford (who had plans for a Plantation), Richard Roe Bourke was recorded as having one third of the castle, town and lands of Enniscoe, and Thomas Roe Bourke had the other two thirds.

By 1641, the Bourkes no longer lived at Enniscoe. Susan’s booklet tells us that a Roger William Palmer owned the lands at one point – perhaps related to Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine (1634-1705), who was married to Barbara Villiers, who later became a favourite of King Charles II.

In the 1660s, a soldier in Cromwell’s army, Francis Jackson, was granted the lands at Enniscoe. This was confirmed by Charles II in 1669. He settled down to live in Ireland and to farm the land.

In the mid-eighteenth century George Jackson (1717-1789), great grandson of Francis, built a large farmhouse, using stones of the old castle of “Inniscoe” and oak trees recovered from nearby bogland. This house was a tall single gabled building of five bays, and it has been incorporated into the current house – Susan pointed out to us where the newer house joins to the old. George married Jane Cuffe, daughter of James Cuffe of Ballinrobe, County Mayo, and sister of James, the 1st and last Baron Tyrawley of County Mayo [of the second creation – the first creation of Baron Tyrawley was for Charles O’Hara in 1706].

A portrait of Jane Cuffe, daughter of James Cuffe of Ballinrobe, County Mayo, wife of George Jackson (1717-1789).

George Jackson’s son, George “Two” (as he is called by the family) (1761-1805), became a Member of Parliament for County Mayo in the Irish House of Commons, with the aid of Baron Tyrawley.

Colonel George Jackson, MP for County Mayo (George “Two”).

George Two expanded the house into what it is today. The old house was three storey but the new front was two storey. He built on two large reception rooms and a grand staircase. The architect Jeremy Williams attributes the design of the enlargement of the house to John Roberts (1712-1796) of Waterford, who also designed Christ Church Cathedral in Waterford, and may have built Moore Hall in County Mayo. [5] The stucco work in the Stairway Hall is similar to some in Deel Castle done in the 1790s, which is situated across the lake from Enniscoe, for James Cuffe, Baron Tyrawley.

James Cuffe bought the life interest of Deel Castle, which had also originally been a Bourke castle, from his uncle (the brother of his mother, Elizabeth Gore) Arthur Gore, 1st Earl of Arran. James Cuffe built a new house a short distance from the castle. Deel Castle reverted to the Earls of Arran after James Cuffe’s death, but is now a ruin, and the house was burnt in 1921 and not rebuilt. David Hicks has written about Deel Castle and the neighbouring house, Castle Gore, on his website. [6]

The large entrance hall of Enniscoe has a frieze of foliage, and Adamesque decoration in the centre of the ceiling.

The inside of the front door with its old locks.
Front Hall of Enniscoe, with beautiful stuccowork, and fishing rods on the walls.

The portrait in the Front Hall of the man in wonderful frilled pantaloons is an ancestor, Sir Audley Mervyn (about 1603-1675), Speaker in the Irish House of Commons. His parents Henry Mervyn and Christian Touchet purchased lands in County County Tyrone from Mervyn Touchet, the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven, which Audley Mervyn (who was named after the Touchet estate in Staffordshire, Audley) inherited. [7] The heads of Indian deer were shot by the brothers Audley and Mervyn Pratt while fighting with the British army in the early 1900s. The carved hall chairs picture the Bourke family crest of a chained cat; Susan’s mother was a Bourke from Heathfield House, Ballycastle, County Mayo. [8] The pike was caught in Lough Conn in 1896 and weighs 37 lbs!

Delicate stucco work in the ceiling rose in the front hall.
Fireplace in front hallway. The crest in the fireplace is the Nicholson crest, painted by a family member. Above the crest is a white horse, the crest of the Jackson family.

The front hall leads into the staircase hall, which is built on the exterior wall of the old house. The staircase hall has a frieze of urns and foliage and a glazed dome surrounded by foliage and oval medallions of classical figures.

The stairs, part of the newer build for George Jackson Two, nips across the doorway of the drawing room. Susan pointed out how one door – see in the photograph below, has a blocked off section in its height, as a result – compare it to the other door in the photograph below it.
The doorway height is lowered due to the way the staircase nips across it in the hallway.
The door on the other side of the drawing room, without the lowered height of the other door. The decorative overdoors were added later than the original carved timber surround, probably in the 1870s.
It’s hard to capture the wonderful curving sweep of the top-lit staircase in a photograph, with its lantern roof lined with beautiful neoclassical stucco work.

One can see the division between older original house and the newer part clearly. Behind the staircase hall is a lobby with a delicate interior fanlight opening onto the staircase of the earlier house.

The fanlight of the original doorcase to the older house, at the foot of the older staircase.

The Rising of 1798, which had been inspired by the French Revolution, came to Enniscoe, in the form of French soldiers under General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert, who landed at Killala in County Mayo on August 23, 1798. George Jackson was a Colonel in the North Mayo Militia and so would have opposed the 1798 Rebellion and the incoming French troops – although he was stationed further south as militia regiments were never stationed in their own county. The French soldiers stopped at the house at Enniscoe and Susan told us that the troops drank his wine, later declaring that it was “the only good wine in Ireland”! The scaffolding from the enlargement of the house was still lying in front of the house when the troops arrived and they used it for firewood for their campfire. George’s regiment were summoned back from the south, and Colonel Jackson was made Military Governor of the Crossmolina area. He was responsible for killing or imprisoning many of the defeated rebels in the surrounding countryside, and it is said that he lined the road from Crossmolina to Gortnor Abbey with severed heads on pikes. General Humbert and his troops were defeated by the British Army in the Battle of Ballinamuck. [9]

Susan’s mother, an artist, Patita Bourke, painted a scene famous from the 1798 Rebellion, when the French troops billeted themselves in the home of the Church of Ireland Bishop Joseph Stock of Killala (who wrote a memoir of the incident).

One result of the 1798 Rebellion was that the Irish Parliament was abolished by the Act of Union in 1800, which was supported by George Jackson. George was promoted to Colonel of the Carabineers, a dragoon in the British Army, and the position was inherited by his son, William.

William married Jane Louise Blair, daughter of Colonel William Blair of Scotland, and moved to England, and died young. He died in 1822 and his wife predeceased him in 1817 so their only daughter, Madeline Eglantine Jackson, was left an orphan at the age of six. She was raised by her aunt at Stephenstown in County Louth. Her mother’s sister was Catherine Eglantine Blair, who married Matthew Fortescue, whose father had built Stephenstown. They arranged a good marriage for Madeline when she turned 18, to a cousin of the family, Mervyn Pratt of Cabra Castle. They married in 1834.

Madeline and Mervyn settled in Enniscoe and Mervyn had the estate surveyed in order to set to work on an enormous scheme of draining land and building roads. The booklet Susan gave me tells us that during the famine, the Pratts did their best for those in the area and they gained a reputation for good management and fairness.

Patita painted a portrait of Madeline Jackson, based on the picture below.
Madeline Jackson.
Mervyn Pratt, husband of Madeline Jackson.
The Drawing Room has the original silk Adam design wallpaper, which has faded over the years from pale blue to mushroom pink.

There are two large reception rooms on the ground floor, as well as the dining room.

The intricately carved mirror over the fireplace in the drawing room is made of wood and was never gilded. Rosette-detailed cut-white marble Classical-style chimneypiece.
A beautiful dollhouse which Susan used to admire as a child; her mother made the furniture and even installed the electric light.
We liked this “conversation sofa.”

Madeline and Mervyn had five children. Their only son Joseph joined the army and served in India, and when he came home, took over the running of Enniscoe. He married his cousin Ina Hamilton of Cornacassa, County Monaghan (this house has been partly demolished. It was built around 1800 for Dacre Hamilton). [10]

Joseph Pratt was one of the first landlords to start selling his land to his tenants under the Wyndham Land Acts of 1903. Joseph and Ina did much to improve their estate, farming and creating the garden within the old walled garden. The Heritage Centre gives us an idea of what life on the farm was like for both the home owners and the many people employed on the estate. 

Joseph’s elder son Mervyn was injured in the wars and the younger Audley was killed in the First World War. The Heritage Centre located in the walled garden at Enniscoe displays a hippo skull which Audley brought home from Africa when he fought in the Boer War (1899-1902).

Major Mervyn lived all his life in Enniscoe, and was particularly interested in gardening and fishing. His rock garden and greenhouses were well-known. He never married, and left Enniscoe to his cousin Jack Nicholson, Susan’s father (Jack was a great-grandson of Madeline Jackson). Mervyn did not spend much time in Cabra Castle in County Cavan which he also inherited, and he left it to another cousin, Mervyn Sheppard.

Jack Nicholson married Patita Bourke, daughter of Captain Bertrim Bourke of Heathfield, County Mayo. In his blog, David Hicks tells us that Heathfield was purchased by the Land Commission and the family were allocated a farm at Beauparc, County Meath. He adds that former President of Ireland Mary Robinson was from the Bourke family of Heathfield.

The second drawing room of Enniscoe, with George “Two” over the fireplace.

Jack was a Professor of Veterinary Medicine, so I felt a bond with Susan, as my father, Desmond Baggot, was also a Professor of Veterinary Medicine! Jack was head of the Veterinary College of Ireland, so perhaps their paths crossed as my father was studying there at the time of my birth, before we moved to the United States where my father did his PhD in Ohio State University. Jack died in 1972 and Enniscoe house and lands passed to his children. In 1984 Susan Kellett took over the property from her brother.

The house is full of Patita’s creative and sometimes cheeky paintings.

This is an example of Patita’s creativity – she thought the original painting of the seascape was rather dull, so she painted the foreground of the girls on the balcony onto the original painting! The wallpaper in this bedroom is by David Skinner, who reproduces wallpaper from historic houses using scraps from the original.

The dining room was originally the library. The side nook was created by Susan’s parents. It has a simple early nineteenth century cornice of reeding and acanthus leaves.

Stephen and Susan in the dining room.
Cut-veined white marble Classical-style chimneypiece, and to the left, the dining nook added by Susan’s parents.
A painting by Patita of Heathfield House, her childhood home, of herself with her mother and sister Binki. Her father Bertrim Bourke was killed in the First World War and she paints him as a ghost in his military uniform.
A painting by Patita of Enniscoe and her family, painted in the 1950s.

Next we went up to the bedrooms. Susan’s son DJ and his wife Colette help to run the guest house. The main bedrooms open off the oval top-lit landing. They are classically proportioned large rooms with canopy or four poster beds, all with en suite bathrooms.

One of the bedrooms available for Bed & Breakfast.
This unusual piece of Victorian style furniture is original to the house.

The bedrooms are on slightly different levels, since the newer part is of two storeys built on to the original three storey.

The doorcase in one of the bedrooms of the older section of the house. The shouldered doorcase is distinct from the doorcases of the newer rooms. Not pictured here is an unusual latch on the door. The latch could be opened from the bed. Susan had never seen such a contraption before until she came across one in Hampton Court in London!
This staircase in the older section of the house leads to the attic. The maids would have slept upstairs and the butlers downstairs, to keep them apart. In the past, the Pratts would have employed many people in the house, in the gardens, in the stables, where there was a forge, and on the farm.
A view on to the stable yard.
The stable yard.

After our wonderful tour, we headed over to the walled garden and the North Mayo Heritage Centre, which also provides a genealogy service. [11] It is a member of the Irish Family History Foundation, which provides a country wide service through the website RootsIreland. North Mayo Heritage Centre covers the northern half of County Mayo, and the Centre in Ballinrobe covers the southern half.

There is mature woodland around Enniscoe that supports a diversity of plant, insect and animal species.

The door to the walled garden has this lovely horse carving, the crest of the Jackson family.

The walled garden was restored in 1996-9 under the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Programme. The head gardener at Enniscoe from 1872 to 1912 was William Gray, who moved to Enniscoe from St. Anne’s in Clontarf, where he had worked on Benjamin Lee Guinness’s estate. Much of the present ornamental garden is much as it was in William’s day.

Enniscoe, County Mayo, by Maria Levinge, oil on board. Part of the exhibition of paintings of walled gardens in 2021 in the Irish Georgian Society [12].

Storyboards from the Heritage Centre, including a picture of the booklet which Susan gave me which gave me much of my information.

[1] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/31303803/enniscoe-house-originally-inishcoe-house-prospect-co-mayo

[2] https://irishhistorichouses.com/2021/03/28/cabra-castle-kingscourt-county-cavan/

[3] https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/new-to-market/restored-1-75m-georgian-estate-in-co-meath-brought-into-the-21st-century-1.4630736

[4] http://thepeerage.com/

[5] https://www.dia.ie/architects/view/4559/ROBERTS%2C+JOHN+%5B1%5D#tab_works

Moore Hall, County Mayo, also attributed to John Roberts of Waterford. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

[6] http://davidhicksbook.blogspot.com/

[7] Dictionary of Irish Biography, which contains an informative piece on Audley Mervyn. https://www.dib.ie/biography/mervyn-sir-audley-a5803

[8] p. 151. Great Irish Houses. Forward by Desmond FitzGerald and Desmond Guinness. IMAGE Publications, 2008.

[9] Guy Beiner’s book entitled Remembering the Year of the French (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007) discusses folk history and how this French incursion and the 1798 Rebellion in Mayo is remembered.

[10] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/41400944/cornecassa-house-cornecassa-demesne-co-monaghan

[11] email: northmayo@gmail.com

www.northmayogenealogy.com

[12] https://irishhistorichouses.com/2021/09/24/an-exhibition-in-the-irish-georgian-society/

Markree Castle, Collooney, Co Sligo

Nicholas Ryan

Tel: 071-9167800

www.markreecastle.ie

Open: June, July, Aug, 12 noon-4pm

Fee: Free

Markree Castle hotel, 2021.
Castellated three-bay ashlar stone gate lodge, built around 1835 to the designs of Francis Goodwin (who also designed Lissadell in County Sligo). Central two-storey tower with integral carriage arch flanked by single-storey wings. Arched windows in the wings, and hood mouldings. [1] Unfortunately we did not find the other gate lodge entrance, reputed to be even more impressive.

During Heritage Week in 2021, Stephen and I went to County Sligo. We stayed in wonderful B&B accommodation in a historic house, Annaghmore, near Collooney, owned by the O’Haras, who have owned the estate in County Sligo for centuries.

Annaghmore, Colooney, County Sligo, where we stayed during Heritage Week 2021.

We learned that the O’Haras and the Coopers, who own Coopershill, another section 482 property which we visited during Heritage Week, are related, and Coopers also owned Markree Castle until very recently. In 1989, Charles Cooper, having worked in the hotel business all his life, came back to Markree to renovate the castle and run it as a hotel. In 2015, the Corscadden family purchased the castle and undertook further renovations. This is the same Corscadden family who own Cabra Castle in County Cavan, who so generously upgraded Stephen and me to the honeymoon suite when we stayed! The Corscaddens also own Ballyseede Castle hotel in Tralee, County Kerry (also section 482) and Bellingham Castle in County Louth, which is available as a venue for weddings and events, with accommodation. Unfortunately Markree Castle is too expensive for us to stay in, except perhaps as a very luxurious treat, but I contacted the hotel and we made a date for my visit. When we arrived, however, we were told that they were in the middle of an event and we were asked to return in an hour or two. We took the time to explore the outside, although we were unable to access the gardens, which seem to be only accessible through the castle.

The west side of the castle, which overlooks the car park.

We wandered across the Unsin River to the stable complex, which has also been renovated for rental accommodation. We learned later that this accommodation is not part of Markree Castle hotel. In Mark Bence-Jones’s entry in his A Guide to Irish Country Houses (published in 1988), he writes in the supplement that Edward Cooper and his wife moved into a new Georgian style house in the yard. The stables are now called Markree Homefarm Apartments and are available for rental accommodation. [2]

The Unshin River, which served in the past to partially moat the castle.
Entrance to stone stable yard, built 1771. Two storey house added in about 1990.
Markree Homefarm accommodation.

The castle replaced an earlier residence, which the Landed Estates website of National University of Ireland Galway tells us was called Mercury. [3] The first Cooper to own the property was Edward Cooper (died 1676), an officer in Lord Collooney Richard Coote’s regiment in Oliver Cromwell’s army. He was given the land at Markree, previously owned by the McDonaghs, as payment for his soldiering. He married the widow of an O’Brien killed by Cromwell’s army. She was called Mary “Rua” (Red Mary), and she probably married Cooper in order to protect her sons from the Cromwellians. According to the history board outside the castle, Red Mary and Edward Cooper lived first in Luimneach Castle (Luimneach is the Irish for Limerick), which one of her sons inherited, while the other inherited Markree. In his online blog, Patrick Comerford identifies Mary Rua’s husband as Conor O’Brien, and writes that it was Dromoland Castle that Mary Rua’s son inherited. [4] In the family tree on the information boards, Edward Cooper also married Margaret Mahon, from County Roscommon. This accords with The Peerage website, but according to that website, Arthur, Edward’s son who inherited Markree, was Margaret Mahon’s son and not the son of Red Mary. According to The Peerage, Edward’s son Richard lived in Knocklong, County Limerick. [5]

During the Williamite wars at the end of the 17th century, Markree Castle was occupied by the army of James II. The Coopers returned after William III’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The Coopers intermarried with other prominent local families, including the Cootes, Wynnes and Synges, and by the 1720s, Joshua Cooper (1694-1757) was one of the largest landowners in Co Sligo, with over 40,000 acres.

Arthur Cooper, who inherited Markree from his father Edward who fought in Cromwell’s army, had a daughter named Anne who married John Perceval (1700-1743) of Temple House in County Sligo, another Section 482 property, which unfortunately we did not get to visit this year. I hope to be able to visit next year! In 1881 Alexander Perceval of Temple House married Charlotte Jane O’Hara of Annaghmore, so the owners of our accommodation are cousins of the owners of Temple House. Furthermore, we visited two other Section 482 properties in Sligo during Heritage Week: Coopershill and Newpark, both of which are also owned by cousins of the O’Haras of Annaghmore!

An information board outside the hotel gives a history of Markree Castle.
According to this family tree on the information board outside Markree Castle, Edward Cooper married Maire Rua O’Brien and also Margaret Mahon.

It was Arthur’s great-great-grandson Joshua Edward Cooper (about 1759-1837) who built the castle in 1802 around an earlier structure. Arthur’s son Joshua (1694-1757) married Mary Bingham from Newbrook, County Mayo. His son, another Joshua (1730-1800), was MP for County Sligo and opposed the Act of Union, which abolished the Irish Parliament, so that Ireland was run by the Parliament in London. He married Alicia Synge, daughter and heiress of Edward Synge, Bishop of Elphin, and she brought him a large fortune. [6]

His son Joshua Edward Cooper (about 1759-1837) was also MP for County Sligo in the Irish House of Commons, and after the Act of Union he sat in the House of Commons in London until 1806. According to the Dictionary of Irish Biography, he replaced Catholic leaseholders with Protestants to acquire more voting power, which caused considerable resentment and which may have been the reason that his house was sacked in 1798 during the Rebellion. This may be why he commissioned Francis Johnston to enlarge Markree in 1802, to make it into a castle – it may have needed repair. We came across the work of Francis Johnston (1760-1829) when we visited Rokeby in County Louth. Johnston had been a pupil of the architect Thomas Cooley. At the time when he was commissioned by Joshua Edward Cooper, Johnston had been working on Townley Hall in County Louth, which I was lucky enough to visit recently during the annual Adams auction viewing that is held in the house. It has an amazing staircase and domed rotunda.

The impressive elegant staircase by Francis Johnston in Townley Hall, County Louth.
The impressive elegant staircase by Francis Johnston in Townley Hall, County Louth. My photographs could not capture the extent of its full sweep, captured in the photographs from Country Life magazine, below.
Image from Country Life. The spiral of the staircase in the central domed rotunda at Townley Hall. Pub Orig CL 23/07/1948 
Image Number: 
 535673  
Publication Date: 
 23/07/1948  

Johnston also Gothicized Tullynally Castle in County Westmeath, 1801-1806, and enlarged Killeen Castle in County Meath 1802-1813. He also designed Ballynegall House (1808-1816) in County Westmeath, sadly now just a ruin, and Ballycurry House, County Wicklow (1807), along with many ecclesiastical and civic buildings, including the General Post Office on O’Connell Street in Dublin, in 1814.

The castle is a stone twelve-bay, three-storey over raised basement mansion which contains parts of earlier houses. [7] The bays are easier to count at the back (i.e. the garden front) of the castle. According to Mark Bence-Jones, the original seventeenth century house was rebuilt in the eighteenth century as a three storey block, with a five bay front and a three bay breakfront, and a garden front of one bay on either side of a curved bow. The castle was enlarged in 1802 to a design by Francis Johnston, and then in 1866 enlarged again, to a design by James Maitland Wardrop of Edinburgh. I found it impossible to work out what part of the castle was built when, so I defer to Mark Bence-Jones:

In 1802, Joshua Cooper commissioned Francis Johnston to enlarge this house and transform it into a castle of the early, symmetrical kind. Johnston extended the front of the house to more than twice its original length to form a new garden front with a central curved and Irish battlemented tower; the end bay of the original front and the corresponding bay at the end of Johnston’s addition being raised to give the impression of square corner-towers. The entrance was in the adjoining front, where Johnston added a porch; the garden front, with its bow, was not altered as far as its plan went; but an office wing was built at one side of it, joined to it by a canted link. In 1866, the castle was further enlarged and remodelled by Lt-Col. E.H. Cooper, MP, to the design of Wardrop, of Edinburgh. The garden front bow was replaced by a massive battlemented and machiocolated square tower, increasing the side of the dining room; a new entrance was made at this side of the castle, under a porte-cochere at the end of a 2 storey wing with Gothic windows which was built jutting out from this front. Johnston’s porch was replaced by a 2 storey battlemented oriel, and mullioned windows to match were put in on this and the new entrance front. A Gothic chapel was built where Johnston’s office wing had been. [8]

The large square tower with two-storey square-profile oriel window, and on the west front, the two-storey canted bay window.
The garden front of Markree Castle, with its central curved bow. The ornamental doorway was added in 1896.
An old photograph on display inside the castle of the garden front.
Another old photograph of Markree (I assume) that is on display inside – I can’t work out what part of the old castle this is.
I think this photograph is of Cabra Castle, also owned by the Corscaddens.
I think this photograph is also of Cabra Castle, also owned by the Corscaddens.
The 1870 addition, “a new entrance was made at this side of the castle, under a porte-cochere at the end of a 2 storey wing with Gothic windows which was built jutting out from this front.This is next to another addition from this period, the large square tower with two-storey square-profile oriel window. To the side, or west front, is two-storey canted bay window.
The entrance door under the porte-cochere.

One enters through the arched doorway in the battlemented vaulted stone portico. The doorway leads to a straight flight of stone stairs leading up to the main floor, under an impressive vaulted ceiling.

The two storey wing with Gothic windows that was added by the architect Wardrop, leading to the porte-cochere.
The two storey wing with Gothic windows that was added by the architect Wardrop, leading to the porte-cochere.

Joshua Edward Cooper (1761-1837) became unwell and his brother Edward Synge Cooper (1762-1830) took over the running of the estate in Sligo and became MP for County Sligo in 1806. Joshua Edward Cooper and his wife Elizabeth Lindsay, daughter of Robert Lindsay, MP, from County Tyrone, had no children, so Edward Synge Cooper’s son, Edward Joshua Cooper (1798-1863), inherited Markree when Joshua Edward Cooper died in 1837. As well as serving in the House of Commons in the UK, Edward Joshua Cooper was an astronomer, who created Markree Observatory. He was influenced by childhood visits to the Armagh Observatory.

Remnant of the Observatory at Markree. Photograph from the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Edward Joshua Cooper (1798-1863) had no son, only daughters, so his nephew Edward Henry Cooper (1827-1902), son of his brother Richard Wordsworth Cooper (1801-1850), inherited Markree. When he inherited, he then put his stamp on the castle by having it further enlarged (the Wardrop enlargement).

The large square tower with two-storey square-profile oriel window, next to the porte-cochere.
The mullioned arched window in the porte-cochere with Gothic tracery and hood moulding, and the glass ceiling in the upper storey.
The top-lit drawing room inside the porte-cochere.
On the west front, the two-storey canted bay window.
The garden, past the two storey canted bay window on the west front.

Wardrop also added the Gothic chapel.

The stained glass window of the Gothic chapel added by Wardrop, and beyond that, the two storey porte-cochere.
The Gothic chapel has a lovely external stone staircase up to it.

At the top of the vaulted entrance staircase one can go through to the main reception, or to the left, to the chapel.

The east side of the castle.

Edward Henry Cooper (1827-1902) was an Irish officer in the British Army, and a Conservative politician in the House of Commons in the UK. He was defeated in the 1868 election by the Liberal candidate Denis Maurice O’Conor from Clonalis in County Roscommon (another section 482 property still owned by its original family). When he died, Markree was inherited by his grandson Bryan Ricco Cooper (1884-1930), who was born in Simla in India. He was an MP for South Country Dublin (1910) at Westminster, and was involved in the Gallipoli landings during World War I. During the Irish Civil War in the 1920s, Markree Castle was occupied briefly by the Irish Free State army. Bryan Ricco Cooper was elected to Dail Eireann after Independence. He sold much of the estate’s land but continued to live at Markree.

The Castle stood empty and derelict for several years after World War II, and featured on the front cover of The Vanishing Country Houses of Ireland in 1988, illustrating the decay of many great houses at the time. Charles Philip Cooper, a grandson of Bryan Ricco, who had worked in the hotel industry, converted Markree into a hotel in 1989.

The reception hall is surrounded by a carved wooden gallery and contains a Victorian double staircase of oak, lit by a heraldic stained glass window illustrating the family tree with portraits of ancestors and monarchs.

The hotel reception, in the corner under the heavy wooden gallery.
Top left, King John, middle top, King Henry VIII, top right, Queen Elizabeth I. Bottom left, Bryan Cooper, middle, William Cooper, and Sir Richard of Bingham on bottom right.

According to Mark Bence-Jones, the great top-lit galleried hall with a timbered roof is located where Johnston’s staircase used to be.

It was hard to capture it all in photographs, there were so many details!

A long library divided by pairs of grey marble Ionic columns has been formed out of Johnston’s entrance.

The large drawing room in Johnston’s round-faced tower in the middle of the garden front, and the ante-room adjoining it, which are now the dining room, were redecorated between 1837 and 1863 by Edward Joshua Cooper, MP, in an ornate Louis Quatorze style, with much gilding and “well-fed” putti in high relief supporting cartouches and trailing swags of flowers and fruits.

We were prevented from fully entering the dining room as staff were preparing it for the next event so I took a photograph from a booklet displaying the room.

Unfortunately nobody could explain the fabric of the building and its stages of renovation and enlargement and the manager was unable to identify the portraits on the walls. However, we asked to see inside a bedroom, and were taken down to the basement to see the honeymoon suite. The basement is the oldest part of the castle.

The honeymoon or bridal suite.
The honeymoon or bridal suite.
The honeymoon or bridal suite.

[1] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/32402632/markree-castle-markree-demesne-sligo

[2] http://www.markreehomefarm.ie

[3] http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/property-list.jsp?letter=M

[4] http://www.patrickcomerford.com/search/label/castles

[5] http://thepeerage.com/p37382.htm#i373817

[6] Dictionary of Irish Biography, https://www.dib.ie/biography/cooper-joshua-a2017

[7] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/32402620/markree-castle-markree-demesne-sligo

[8] p. 201. Mark Bence-Jones. A Guide to Irish Country Houses. Originally published as Burke’s Guide to Country Houses volume 1 Ireland by Burke’s Peerage Ltd. 1978; Revised edition 1988 Constable and Company Ltd, London.

Stradbally Hall, Stradbally, Co. Laois

contact: Thomas Cosby

Tel: 086-8519272

www.stradballyhall.ie

Listed Open dates in 2021 but check due to Covid restrictions: May 1-31, June 1-9, Aug 15-23, Oct 1-14, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €10, OAP/ student €5, child free

Thomas Cosby kindly agreed to show us his home, Stradbally Hall, in June, despite ongoing Covid restrictions. This year (2021) Section 482 houses are not required to be open to the public due to the dangers of the Covid virus.

Many people have heard of Stradbally nowadays as it is the venue for Electric Picnic. Being the venue for a festival brings in much-needed finances for some of the big houses in Ireland. Stradbally is owned by the same family for whom it was built, and it is magnificent. I can only imagine how hard it is to maintain. Like many of the owners who inherit their big houses, Thomas farms his land.

Mark Bence-Jones tells us in his  A Guide to Irish Country Houses that a house was built at Stradbally in 1699 for Lt-Col Dudley Cosby (1662-1729). [1] This house, however, was demolished by the grandson of Lt-Col. Dudley, another Dudley (Alexander Sydney) Cosby, 1stand last Lord Sydney of Leix and Baron of Stradbally, in 1768, and a new house was built in 1772, on what was regarded to be a healthier site. It is a nine bay, two storey over basement house. The stone walls of the original house gardens are now the walled garden.

The 1740s painting of Stradbally with the previous (1699) house in the centre. This hangs in the Billiard Room where Thomas brought us first, and used the painting to illustrate the history of his family.

The second (1772) house was enlarged in 1866-69, designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, of Lanyon, Lynn & Lanyon, to form the house which we see today. Lanyon, Lynn & Lanyon also designed Castle Leslie, which we visited – another Section 482 property which is now a hotel. [2]

The entrance gates to Stradbally Hall.

Lt-Col. Dudley Cosby was not the first Cosby to live in Ireland. The Cosby, or Cosbie, family, came to Ireland around 1538, during the reign of Queen Mary (i.e. “Bloody Mary,” the eldest daughter of King Henry VIII, called “Bloody” as she used bloody means to defend the Catholic faith). General Francis Cosby (1510-1580) was an active defender of the Pale in Ireland, the area around Dublin controlled by the British crown,  and in 1562 he was granted the site of the Abbey of Stradbally. [3] Francis Cosby married the daughter of the Lord Protector of England, Edward Seymour, the 1st Duke of Somerset. Lord Seymour was the brother of Jane Seymour, wife of Henry VIII. Due to the struggles for power within the court of Henry VIII, Lord Seymour was executed. Francis Cosby came to Ireland at this time. The Abbey, which had been disestablished in Henry VIII’s time (i.e. was taken from the Catholic church and no longer served as an Abbey) became Francis Cosby’s residence, and part of it still exist in the town of Stradbally in a building still called “the Abbey.”

General Francis Cosby died in battle, at the age of seventy, in the battle of Glenmalure in Wicklow, in 1580. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander. Alexander and his son, Francis, continued to fight, engaged in perpetual battle, Major E.A.S. Cosby tells us, with the O’Moores, who had originally controlled the land in the area. In 1596 Anthony O’Moore sent to demand a passage over Stradbally Bridge. Alexander understood this to be a challenge, so he refused passage, and prepared to fight once again, along with his son Francis. That day both Alexander and Francis Cosby were killed, leaving Francis’s nine week old son, William, to inherit. Parts of Stradbally Bridge still exist.

Along the drive to the house.

William died at a young age and so his uncle, Richard, inherited the Stradbally estate. Richard challenged the O’Moores to a further fight to avenge his father, and this time he won. Having won one battle each, the fighting seems to have subsided. Richard married Elizabeth Pigott, daughter of the neighbour Robert Pigott of Dysart.

It was Richard’s great-grandson, Lt-Col. Dudley Cosby (1662-1729) who built the house at Stradbally pictured in the 1740 painting. His grandson of the same name, Dudley Alexander Sydney Cosby (1732-1774), served as Ambassador to the Court of Denmark, and for his services, was created Lord Sydney of Leix and Baron of Stradbally, in 1768. When serving as Ambassador to Denmark he helped to arrange the marriage of King George III’s sister to the son of the King of Denmark. It was an unsuccessful marriage and she left her husband for the Prime Minister of Denmark! Despite the lack of success of the marriage he helped to arrange, Dudley Cosby was elevated to the peerage. He married Lady Isabella St Lawrence, daughter of Thomas St Lawrence, 1st Earl of Howth (who lived in Howth Castle – the castle only recently passed out of ownership of the St. Lawrence family). 

I was lucky to be able to see Howth Castle (pictured here) this year when I went to the preview for the sale of the books in its library.

The overseer  for the building of the new house built in 1772 for Dudley Cosby, Lord Sydney was Arthur Roberts (stated on a plaque which reads: “Built by Dudley, Lord Sydney, 1772, Arthur Roberts, overseer.”)  The Historic Houses of Ireland website tells us that Dudley died before the house was finished, and his successor Admiral Phillips had to sell 5000 acres to finance the completion. [4]

Dudley Lord Sydney died soon after his marriage, and did not have any children. The estate passed to his nephew, son of his brother Alexander, Admiral Phillips Cosby. Phillips’s father, Alexander, was Lieutenant Governor of Annapolis Royal in the United States, and Alexander’s brother William was Governor of New York. William’s daughter Elizabeth Cosby married Lord Augustus Fitzroy and her son, Augustus Henry Fitzroy (the 3rd Duke of Grafton), became Prime Minister of England in 1767.

Phillips was born in the United States and was active in the Navy, in which he continued to serve after inheriting Stradbally Hall. He served on the British side in the American War of Independence. He collected many paintings, as discussed in Stradbally’s webpage. 

View from the front of the house.

Admiral Phillips had no children, so the estate passed to Thomas Cosby (d. 1798), to his son Thomas (d. 1832), to his son Thomas Phillips, and on down to his nephew Colonel Robert Cosby (1837-1920), son of Sydney Cosby who had married the daughter and co-heir of Robert Ashworth of Shirley House, Twickenham (his brother Wellesley Pole Cosby had married the other daughter and co-heir). 

Colonel Robert Cosby then employed Charles Lanyon (in 1866) to enlarge the house, remodelling it in an Italianate style. He inherited a fortune, and built houses in the nearby village of Stradbally, following in the footsteps of his forebears who had also sought to develop the village.

Stradbally passed to his son, also in the military, Captain Dudley Cosby (1862-1923), and to his son, Major Ashworth Cosby (1898-1984). Major Ashworth married Enid Elizabeth Hamilton from nearby Roundwood, County Laois. 

Roundwood House, County Laois, photograph from the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

It was Major Ashworth’s grandson, Thomas, who showed us around the house. Thomas’s young son joined us in the Billiard room to look at the old painting of Stradbally, and asked a few intelligent questions, so he is learning the history of his home also!

Mark Bence-Jones tells us that Lanyon added a new entrance front, which was advanced from the old front wall so that the house became three rooms deep instead of two. This front has an impressive single-storey balustraded Doric portico leading up a flight of stone steps to the front door. On either side of the portico are a group of three round-headed windows, and beyond those on either side, a two-bay block projecting forward. 

The upper storey windows are what Bence-Jones describes as “camber-headed” (he defines camber-headed windows as a window of which the head is in the form of a shallow convex curve). [5]

The house was given a high-pitched eaved roof on a bracket cornice. 

After our tour of the house, we walked around to the back of the house as I wanted to see what Bence-Jones had described: “On the garden front, Lanyon left the two three sided bows, but filled in the recessed centre with a giant pedimented three arch loggia.” It is impressive! According to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, this was originally the front of the house, but when the three arches were added, so was the Doric portico on what is now the entrance front, so this impressive two storey over basement treble arch was never intended, it seems, as an entry to a front door! [6]

The impressive garden front of the house with its “giant pedimented three arch loggia.”

The arches extend into shallow barrel-vaults with well-executed coffering. The door into the garden has an arched pediment over it on brackets. [7]

The side of the house has a bow in the centre, and rectangular windows with entablatures on console-brackets over them. 

The other end of the house is a slightly lower two storey over basement “bachelor’s wing” (this may have been used for visiting single gentlemen.)

The “bachelor’s wing” viewed from the garden front.

Pole Cosby (b. 1703), son of the first Lt-Col Dudley Cosby, wrote an autobiography. [8] His return from a Grand Tour of Europe is pictured in the 1740 painting in the Billiard Room. He says that his father married and set up house at Stradbally. He built the first big house on the estate, with some help from his wife’s dowry. He created gardens and kept racehorses, which, however, his father-in-law did not like and in fact paid him £100 not to keep them, which Lt-Col Dudley did not strictly observe! His wife, Sarah Pole, Pole Cosby’s mother, was from nearby Ballyfin, now a luxury hotel.

Ballyfin hotel, Photo by Tony Pleavin, 2018. [9]

Dudley Cosby overstretched his finances, however, and he had to go into the Army, purchasing a Captain’s Commission in a Regiment. He leased out Stradbally, and his wife returned to Ballyfin while he was fighting abroad. Her father died but she continued to live with her brother in Ballyfin in the winter and in his house in Queens Street, Dublin, in the summer, for five years. The children were sent to board with a family for schooling and to learn French. 

After five years, Dudley and his wife Sarah moved to London “for cheapness” and then to York. They returned to Stradbally in 1714 in better financial circumstances and he continued to do up the house and garden. Pole Cosby’s autobiography is very detailed and he writes of the places in which he lived and of his father’s battles in the military, then of his own schooling, listing all of his schoolmates. He also discusses family finances in detail. He writes that his father financed himself at first by marrying Miss Ann Owens daughter of Sir Andrew Owens of the City of Dublin and “with her he got £1500,” then in 1699 he married Sarah Pole and “got with her £2000.” He paid £300 for his Captain Commission and had to pay £100 to for his brother Alexander for not finishing his apprenticeship (this was the Alexander who moved to the U.S. along with his brother William). 

Pole Cosby went to university in Leyden in Holland, as did several of his Irish cousins. There he was studious and abstemious, he tells us. He travelled while in Europe and was introduced by Lord Townsend to King George I and his son Frederick Prince of Wales. He visited a monastery of Irish priests in Prague and argued with them about religion – they told him he was a heretic and would be damned, but when not talking of religion he says they got along very well!

Pole’s son was the second Dudley, who built the new (current) house, whose successor was Phillips Cosby his uncle. 

But let us go around to the front again. The sides of the Doric portico hold niches.

I love the little doors at either side of the Doric portico.

Two small doors either side of the portico, with segmental pediments surmounted by urns.

In the Doric portico is a round-headed door opening and timber panelled double door with overpanel.

The door leads into an entrance hall with a vaulted ceiling and a flight of steps up to the level of the principal storey. 

This figure is in the front hall, and looks like something from the prow of a ship. Perhaps she is from one of Admiral Phillips Cosby’s ships.

We went first to the billiard room on our right (the newer, Lanyon designed part of the house) to see the large painting of old Stradbally. From the billiard room you have a good view of the beautiful cut-stone farm buildings.

 The dining room. 

The three reception rooms on the garden front: the dining room, saloon  and drawing room remain much as they were before the Lanyon renovation, with late-Georgian plasterwork. 

I admired the beautiful lamp shade over the dining table, and the plasterwork ceiling, which the National Inventory describes as “Adamesque” (ie. like the work of William Adams and his sons, most famous of whom are Robert and James). Andrew Tierney in his Buildings of Ireland describes the frieze of swags “framing calyxes and paterae”, and a “guttae cornice.” Patera is a round or oval ornament in shallow relief, and calyxes are the whorls of a plant that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a bud. A guttae is one part of a post-and-lintel structure.

The ceiling centrepiece is of acanthus, anthemion and circles of laurel interweaving around a ribbon-and-reed moulding.

In the dining room are portraits of the Third Earl of Mornington, who was the elder brother of the Duke of Wellington (their grandfather, the 1st Baron of Mornington, was born Richard Colley, and he inherited from his cousin and took the name Wesley, which was later changed to Wellesley. His sister Anne Colley married William Pole, of the Poles of Ballyfin); Captain Thomas Cosby of the Royal Horse Guards; and of Emily and Marie Ashworth by Sir Thomas Laurence (Sydney Cosby, son of Thomas who inherited Stradbally from Phillips Cosby, married Emily Ashworth from Twickenham). Elsewhere in the house, are portraits of Dudley Cosby Lord Sydney; the Prime Minister Augustus Henry Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of Grafton; and George Earl of Halifax (William Cosby who was the Governor of New York married Grace Montagu, sister of the 1st Earl of Halifax).

The ceiling centrepiece is of acanthus, anthemion (i.e. honeysuckle flower) and circles of laurel interweaving around a ribbon-and-reed moulding. [10]

From the Dining Room we went into the Saloon. 

The stuccowork is carefully coloured with pale blue and salmon red, and there is paintwork on the ceiling:

The next room had a ceiling that took my breath away. It has a delicate band of acanthus fronds and an outer band of husks. Andrew Tierney describes also the gilded rinceau freize, in his Buildings of Ireland: Central Leinster. This is a frieze of leafy scrolls branching alternately to left and right. The walls have a Victorian paper in a gilt diamond pattern.

The late eighteenth century doorways of the original 1770s house remain.

The ballroom, as Bence-Jones calls it, now the library, one of the additional rooms formed 1866-69, extends into the bow at the end of the house. It has a ceiling decorated with panels of early C19 pictorial paper in grissaille, i.e. painting using a palette of greys, or “gris” in French. There is a pink egg and dart and dentil cornice around the ceiling, and patterning similarly painted in the ceiling rose.

Above and below, grissaille painting on the library ceiling. The paintings are of French origin and depict the story of Cupid and Psyche. [11]
The library extends into the bow.

Back to the front of the house, is the study, on the other side of the front hall from the billiards room.

In his book The Lost Houses of Ireland, Randal MacDonnell identifies the portrait over the fireplace as that of Colonel Cosby.

Amazing as the house is so far, the best is yet to come: the front hall leads to the stairwell. The former entrance hall, which keeps its eighteenth century chimneypiece, was made by Lanyon into a central top-lit staircase hall. The staircase is of Victorian oak joinery and leads up to a long picture gallery. This occupies the centre of the house, and is sixty feet in length and twenty in breadth, and is surmounted by an elaborate coffered and ornamented barrel-vaulted ceiling with glass roof  of panels set in steel frame. 

The gallery is flanked by narrow passages from which open the bedrooms. At the western end is a small lobby separated from the main portion by two pink marble Corinthian pillars, above which is an architrave decorated with a bold design in stucco.

After seeing the house, we went outside to wander around the gardens. The garden front looks on to Italianate gardens, laid out in 1867 by Maurice Armour.

There are also lovely walks around, of which we didn’t properly avail – we must have been tired!

There’s a lake on the property, and tennis court. 

The stable complex matches the house, and was also designed by Lanyon, Lynn & Lanyon. 

Inside the stable courtyard is a pretty little building, a well house with blind recessed arches and raised ornamental panels:

View of the bachelor’s wing from the stable courtyard, and below, the farmyard bell.

[1] p. 265. Mark Bence-Jones. A Guide to Irish Country Houses (originally published as Burke’s Guide to Country Houses volume 1 Ireland by Burke’s Peerage Ltd. 1978); Revised edition 1988 Constable and Company Ltd, London.

[2] https://irishhistorichouses.com/2020/08/07/castle-leslie-glaslough-county-monaghan/

[3] see the Stradbally Hall website, and the history of the house, written by Major E.A.S. Cosby in 1951. https://www.stradballyhall.ie/history/

[4] https://www.ihh.ie/index.cfm/houses/house/name/Stradbally%20Hall

[5] https://irishhistorichouses.com/2020/04/18/architectural-definitions/

[6] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/12900432/stradbally-hall-stradbally-demesne-stradbally-stradbally-co-laois

[7] p. 598. Tierney, Andrew. The Buildings of Ireland: Central Leinster. Kildare, Laois and Offaly. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2019.

[8] Autobiography of Pole-Cosby of Stradbally, Queen’s County  (1703-1766) originally published in the Journal of the Co Kildare Archæological Society and Surrounding Districts, Vol V, 1906-1908. 
https://www.ornaverum.org/reference/pdf/183.pdf

[9] https://www.irelandscontentpool.com/en/media-assets/media/52026  

[10] p. 600. Tierney, Andrew. The Buildings of Ireland: Central Leinster. Kildare, Laois and Offaly. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2019.

[11] see https://theirishaesthete.com/2020/02/22/dancing-on-the-ceiling/

for more information about these pictures.

Salthill Garden, Salthill House, Mountcharles, County Donegal

contact: Elizabeth Temple

Tel:  087-7988078, 074-9735014

www.donegalgardens.com

Listed Open Dates in 2021: May 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, June 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26, July 1-3, 5-9, 12-24, 26-31, Aug 2-7, 9-22, 26-28, 30-31, Sept 1-3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-30, 2pm- 6pm

Fee: adult/OAP/student €5, child under 10 years €2, over 10 years €3  

Views of the garden – on the right hand picture, you can see the garden behind the outbuildings, with just grass and the greenhouse. On the left hand side, you can see the garden developing.

In July 2021, Stephen and I dropped in to Salthill Garden on our way up to visit his mum in Donegal. Salthill Garden is just outside Donegal town. The gardens are listed in the Revenue Section 482 list, but the house is not, although the house was built in approximately 1770 and might have been designed by Thomas Ivory (1732 – 1786), who built the beautiful Blackhall Place in Dublin, which now houses the Law Society.

Blackhall Place, Dublin, designed by Thomas Ivory, who may have designed Salthill House in Donegal.

Salthill House was the house for Agent to Conyngham family of The Hall, Mountcharles. The Conynghams of Slane Castle are descendants of the Conynghams of Mountcharles. [1]

Salthill House, image from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
The view of the back of Salthill House.
The Hall, Mountcharles, built for the Conynghams in approximately 1750, photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The Conynghams lived in Donegal possibly as early as 1660, when Albert Conyngham purchased land there. [2] The first Conyngham to move to Ireland was Alexander (1610-1660), who joined the clergy and was appointed in 1611 to be the first Protestant minister of Enver and Killymard, County Donegal. [3] He was appointed to the deanery of Raphoe in Donegal in 1630. His son Albert lived at Mountcharles. It was Albert’s son Henry (1664-1705), a military man who also served as MP for County Donegal, who moved to Slane Castle in County Meath. I thought the Mountcharles was named after a Charles Conyngham, but since there are no Charles’s in the early Conynghams of Mountcharles, I believe Mountcharles may have been named in honour of King Charles of England.

The impressive ruins of the Bishops Palace, Raphoe, County Donegal, built in ca. 1636 by John Leslie, Bishop of Raphoe, who married Catherine, the daughter of Alexander Conyngham, Dean of Raphoe. Bishop John Leslie is the ancestor of the Leslies of Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, another Section 482 property that we have visited. [4]

The gardens are a great achievement, recreating a flourishing walled garden. It is a good example of a walled garden that has been brought back to life to provide fruits and vegetables for the home owners, as well as flowers, and a place of beauty and tranquility for any visitor. There is an information centre but it and the toilet facilities were closed due to the Covid pandemic. There is a cafe nearby at the nearby Salthill Pier, the Salthill Cabin.

Russian kale, chard, courgettes, black kale and peas thriving.

Slane Castle was originally owned by the Flemings, who became Lords of Slane. The Fleming estates were forfeited in 1641 (after a rebellious uprising), from William 14th Baron Slane and his son Charles, 15th Baron Slane, but restored to them in 1663 (after the Restoration of Charles II to the throne, who restored land to those who were loyal to the monarchy through the time of Cromwell and the Parliamentarians). The 15th Baron had left Ireland after his land was confiscated and fought in Louis XIVth’s French army, and died in 1661. It was his brother Randall Fleming the 16th Baron Slane who was restored to his estate under the Act of Settlement and Distribution. [5] However, the Flemings’ land was forfeited again, in 1688, with the coming to the throne of William III. It was in 1703 that Henry Conyngham purchased land in Slane.

The Greenhouse.

Henry Conyngham’s son Henry (1705-1781) was created 1st Earl Conyngham of Mountcharles, County Donegal but he died without issue. His sister Mary married Francis Burton and their son Francis Pierpoint Burton took the name of Conyngham and became 2nd Baron Conyngham of Mountcharles. The Conynghams were one of the largest landowners in Donegal: by 1876 the third Marquess Conyngham (George Henry, 1825-1882; the 3rd Baron became the 1st Marquess) and the wider family owned four separate estates in the county amounting to over 122,300 acres of land, as well as extensive landholdings in Clare (centred around Kilkee) and Meath (centred around Slane), and in Kent in the south-east of England.

The Conyngham’s agent’s house was called Salthill because the area was known in Irish as Tamhnach an tSalainn (‘the Field of Salt’). The anglicization of this is “Tawnyfallon,” as Salthill was also known. The fields along the coast flooded and when they dried, the salt could be collected. This provided an income for the locals and for the Conynghams.

Salthill House was the residence for Hugh Montgomery, Esq. according to the 1777 – 83 Taylor and Skinner map of the area [6]. There is a record of the renewal of a lease on ‘Tawnyfallon, otherwise Salthill’ from Henry Conyngham (1st Marquess) to a Francis Montgomery in 1824 (Conyngham Papers). The National Inventory adds that Salthill was the home of a Leonard Cornwall, Esq., in 1838 (marriage record) and 1846 (Slater’s Directory), and a Robert Russell in 1857 – c. 1881 (latter date in Slater’s Directory). The Hall, belonging to the Conynghams, was sold after World War II by the 6th Marquess.

The walled garden of Salthill House was built around 1800. [7] The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage tells us that the walls are constructed of coursed rubble and random rubble stone masonry, and that the South-east wall abuts main outbuilding to the rear of the house.

More recently, the house was the home of John and Nancy McCaffrey until the early 1980s, when it was purchased by Lynn Temple of Magees, the manufacturers and promoters of Donegal Tweed, and his wife Elizabeth. The Irish Historic Houses website describes the work that the current owner, Elizabeth Temple, has carried out in the garden:

During the last thirty years Elizabeth has re-created the walled garden, which is sheltered by the house and yards, slowly and patiently. She complimented the original gravel paths with hedges and grass paths to provide additional structure, and concentrated on plants that thrive in this northernly environment. The result is an authentic country house walled garden, skilfully planted with a combination of perennials and shrubs, interspersed with vegetables, herbs and fruit trees…the gravel avenue, curved sweep and yards are skilfully raked into swirling curvilinear patterns that recall the abstract la Tène ornamentation that influenced Irish early Christian art. [see 6]

We were greeted at the gate by Elizabeth Temple. I asked her about the curvilinear patterns mentioned in the Historic Houses of Ireland website, but instead she explained that she likes to plant in such a way that there are several layers to see, of graduated heights, in each direction you look. There were several visitors that day so we did not get to chat as much as I may have wished but the day was a little rainy also, so we did not linger for as long as the gardens deserve. We shall have to visit again!

[1] See my entry about Slane Castle, County Meath: https://irishhistorichouses.com/2019/07/19/slane-castle-county-meath/

[2] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/40847025/the-hall-hall-demesne-mountcharles-co-donegal

[3] http://lordbelmontinnorthernireland.blogspot.com/2017/11/slane-castle.html

[4] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/40833005/church-of-ireland-bishops-palace-raphoe-demesne-raphoe-donegal

and see my entry on Castle Leslie, https://irishhistorichouses.com/2020/08/07/castle-leslie-glaslough-county-monaghan/

[5] http://slanehistoryandarchaeologysociety.com/index.php/famous-people/13-the-flemings-and-the-conynghams by Terry Tench, ‘Fleming and Conyngham of Slane’ in Ríocht na Midhe, vol. VII, no.2, 1982-83.

[6] https://www.ihh.ie/index.cfm/houses/house/name/Salthill%20House

[7] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/40909939/salthill-house-salthill-demesne-donegal

An exhibition in the Irish Georgian Society

High Summer, Burtown House and Gardens, County Kildare, oil on canvas, by Lesley Fennell.

Today an exhibition opened in the City Assemby House in South William Street in Dublin, the home of the Irish Georgian Society, of paintings of walled gardens of Ireland. The exhibition coincides with a television documentary about walled gardens airing this Sunday on RTE. There will also be a conference in May 2022 about the Irish country house garden, along with another exhibition, and a book edited by Finola O’Kane-Crimmins on the same subject.

https://www.igs.ie/updates/article/igs-year-of-the-country-house-garden

Burtown Gardens, which I visited this summer with Stephen and our friend Gary – the house is listed in Section 482 so we’ll be visiting it again at some point. It is the home of the artist Lesley Fennell.

The exhibition features the work of four artists, all owners of big houses: Lesley Fennell of Burtown, County Kildare; Andrea Jameson of Tourin, County Waterford; Alison Rosse of Birr Castle, County Offaly; and Maria Levinge of Clohamon, County Wexford. All of the houses but the last are on the Section 482 listing this year.

Many walled gardens are pictured, and I was delighted to recognise some.

Enniscoe, County Mayo, by Maria Levinge. Oil on board. We visited Enniscoe this year and had a wonderful tour with owner Susan Kellett, who brought history to life as if she had been present, such as when she told us of the 1798 visit of French soldiers to the house.
Maria Levinge’s painting captures the pink Enniscoe House in the background of her painting.
The walled garden of Enniscoe House, which contains a museum. As the house is also on the Section 482 list, I’ll be writing about it soon.

I will be invigilating the exhibition on Wednesday 29th September 10:00 – 1:30, along with some other dates, and was there today. The launch was last night, and I was delighted that some of the artists dropped in today while I was there.

Robert O’Byrne curated the exhibition and introduced the invigilators to the work. During the year the Georgian Society ran a programme of interviews with the artists, by Robert O’Byrne, and these are available to watch at the exhibition.

My photographs, taken on my phone rather than with my Canon camera, do not do justice to the paintings.

The Formal Gardens, Birr Castle, by Alison Rosse.

We visited Birr Castle in 2019 and I took the same view as that painted above!

The Formal Gardens were designed by Anne, Countess of Rosse, on her marriage in 1935, in the form of a monastic cloister, complete with windows, cut into the hornbeam hedge.

According to the small catalogue, which is available for purchase, there are about 8,000 walled gardens in Ireland! The exhibition features about thirty different walled gardens, some public and some private.

Lissadell, County Sligo, by Maria Levinge. Oil on board. We drove right up to the gates of Lissadell last month but unfortunately it is not open to the public this year due to Covid, so we will have to visit another time!

Many Section 482 houses featured in this blog have walled gardens. Most recently, I wrote about Killineer in County Louth, which is not in this exhibition. Barmeath, also in Louth, and Cappoquin in County Waterford, are included, as well as Lodge Park and Larchill in Kildare, both of which are listed in Section 482 and which I have yet to visit.

I like this one by Maria Levinge of the garden at IMMA, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, as it also pictures the relatively newly built apartments in the background, which I often pass on my way to the Memorial Gardens.

I think Robert Wilson-Wright was digging the pond featured in Lesley Fennell’s painting of Coolcarrigan, on the day that we visited!

The Pond at Coolcarrigan, County Kildare, by Lesley Fennell. Oil on canvas.
Coolcarrigan, County Kildare, September 2019.

I didn’t realise that the splendid greenhouse at Woodstock, County Kilkenny, which we visited last month, is not the original Turner-built one, but a reproduction of it.

The greenhouse at Woodstock, County Kilkenny.
The Turner conservatory at Woodstock, County Kilkenny by Lesley Fennell. Oil on canvas.

I particularly liked the painting that Andrea Jameson did of herself struggling to paint “en pleine aire” in the wind in her garden in Tourin.

Andrea Jameson painting in her garden at Tourin, self-portrait. Oil on canvas.

The painters paint their own gardens, and each others’. Gardens featured which are open to the public include Lismore Castle in Waterford, Altamont in Carlow, Kilmacurragh in County Wicklow, Heywood in County Laois (my father remembers seeing the fire which burnt down the house!), Doneraile in County Cork, and Russborough, which I didn’t know has a walled garden.

Adamnan Lodge, Birr, County Offaly by Alison Rosse. Oil on board.
Red Geranium, Greenhouse, Tourin, by Andrea Jameson. Oil on canvas.

Some of the gardens are in Northern Ireland, such as at Glenarm and Crom Castle.

Stephen and I have been lucky enough to visit many walled gardens in our explorations of Section 482 properties, and have many more still to visit. We toured rather extensively around Ireland during Heritage Week this year and I have lots to write that I hope to publish soon!

Killineer House, County Louth

Drogheda, Co. Louth

Charles & Eithne Carroll

Tel: 041-9838563, 086-2323783

www.killineerhouse.ie

Open dates in 2021 but check due to Covid-19 restrictions: Feb 1-20, May 1-15, June 1-10, Aug 14-28, 9am-1pm

Fee: house: €4, garden €6

Stephen and I visited Killineer on Saturday June 9th, one of our first houses to visit once Covid restrictions eased. I like the drive up along the M1 motorway, over the Mary McAleese bridge. The house has entrance gates.

My trusty little car leaving Killineer after our visit.
The gate lodge, also built in 1836. It has the same Majolica style medallion as on the farm buildings behind the house.

The house is a Regency house, that is, of the Classical style built shortly after the period in England when George IV was Prince Regent (1811-1820, when King George III was ill). Like many Regency houses, it has a stucco facade and columns framing the front door, with a Doric single-storey portico.

The house was built for a local businessman, George Harpur, who made his fortune in trade, dealing in salt and timber. He would have availed of the nearby port to bring in his salt, and timber from Canada. Salt was used to preserve meats and was a precious commodity. Harper married Louisa Ball in 1835, daughter of George Ball (1755-1842) of Ballsgrove, County Louth, and his wife Sarah Webber. 

Ballsgrove, County Louth, built in 1734, photograph from the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Killineer house was completed in 1836. The front, of two storeys, has six bays on top and a Doric single-storey portico flanked by two bays on either side. The corners have double-height pilasters. The house has a basement and the back is of three storeys. The sides are of three bays, with entablatures over the ground floor windows.

Side of the house, with the original French door, and the farm buildings in the background.

Harpur surrounded the house with seventeen acres of garden, creating terraces and a lake which on the site of an earlier rough pond. A house already stood on the property, the remains of which are in the walled garden behind the current house.

The remains of the previous house built at Killineer, now in use as a tool shed. One can still see remains of the panelled walls and dentil cornice inside. [1]

The earlier house, now located in the walled garden behind the house, may have been built by George Pentland (1770-1834), who owned the property before Harpur, before he moved to Blackhall in 1815, which was begun in approximately 1790 by a fellow solicitor, Philip Pendleton. [2] Before that, the land was owned by Thomas Taylour of Headfort House, County Meath.

Black Hall, County Louth. Picture from the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Casey and Rowan (1993) suggest that the house is in a ‘style greatly reminiscent of Francis Johnston.’ 
Headfort House, County Meath, photograph by A.E. Henson, from Country Life, volume LXXIX, published 21/03/1936The house was built in the early 1770s by Irish architect George Semple with the interiors designed by Robert Adam. [3]

The Harpurs had no children and the house was sold, probably after George Harpur died in 1888. Unfortunately, any record of the plans for the house or garden have been lost, so neither the architect nor the creator of the garden has been identified.

The house passed through several owners until the present family, including Robert Ussher, and the Montgomery family of Beaulieu, County Louth. Richard Thomas Montgomery (1813-1890) of Beaulieu had a son, Richard Johnston Montgomery, who lived in Killineer house when he was High Sheriff of County Louth in 1910. Perhaps he lived at Killineer until he inherited Beaulieu. He married Maud Helena Collingwood Robinson of Rokeby Hall, another Section 482 property in Louth. 

Beaulieu, County Louth [see my blog entry].
Rokeby, County Louth [see my blog entry].

James Carroll, ancestor of the current owner, purchased the house in 1938. He was the grandson of Patrick James Carroll, a tobacco manufacturer from Dundalk. James’s daughter Grace lived in Killineer all of her life and never married. She died in 1999, and the house passed to her cousin, the current owner. 

According to her obituary in the Irish Times, Grace became involved with the Order of Malta, of which her father had been president. She was the first woman in this country to be appointed Dame Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion, Sovereign Military Hospitaller, Order of Malta. This was in recognition of her work and fundraising for those with disabilities in Drogheda. She was instrumental in helping fund The Village, a training centre for those with special needs, built in the former Presentation Convent. [4]

She maintained the gardens laid out by George Harpur, and they were featured in Country Life in 1998. We enjoyed a wander in the lovely gardens after the owner Charles Carroll gave us a tour inside.

The view of the gardens from the front of the house.

The house has an impressive octagonal entry hall, with niches and busts on plinths. It has four doors that look as if they lead off the hall, but two are only for symmetry and do not open. The house itself has a classical layout of four rooms plus the hall on the ground floor, a basement, and the bedrooms above. It has an “imperial” staircase – a staircase which bifurcates into two. A lovely stained glass window of browns, blues and yellows, made by Edward Lowe  of Dublin who also did the windows in Collon’s Church of Ireland, has the Carroll coat of arms in the middle. [5] Below the stairs, in a door, is another stained glass window, with a knight with a lion, which might also have been installed by the Carrolls.

The back of the house, with the stained glass window that lights the stairs.

The Carrolls are an ancient Irish family that can be traced back to the Carrolls of Oriel. Oriel was an area of Ireland. Donogh O’Carroll, King of Oriel, died in 1168 AD and the Carrolls of Oriel are his descendants. Patrick Carroll of Culcredan, County Louth, was born in 1600. The Carrolls of Killineer branch off from the main line of “the O’Carroll Oriel” after this Patrick Carroll. [6] [7]

We entered the dining room first and sat down under a portrait of Grace to hear a little about the history of the house. The windows are French doors, and the room is panelled. It originally had a ceiling with a seascape of Neptune, but unfortunately the house was left empty for two years before the Carrolls purchased it and the ceiling was ruined. The ceiling now features a “very attractive bold circle of plasterwork in the centre of the ceiling,” as Mark Bence-Jones describes it. [8]

The plasterwork in the house is impressive. There are about five layers of cornice patterns around the ceiling in the study, such as ovals and egg-and-dart, and the rooms have wood-like plaster panelled walls. The rooms are decorated in a French empire style of gilt and a deep rose colour. Charles pointed out that some of the plasterwork over the doors may have been added later, as it is a little too ornate and does not quite fit with the rest of the plasterwork. 

The fourth room on the ground floor has been divided in two, probably after the house was built. The pattern around the ceiling continues in both rooms, and features griffons and centaurs and is coloured wine red, pale blue and pink. An unusual sculpted ceiling depicts the figure of Justice, doves, and a figure with a lyre. 

A summer-house in the garden is designed to mirror the architecture of the house, and was probably also built by George Harpur.

It has windows and French doors on each side, and inside, it has plaster coving and niches.

The reeded doorcases with corner blocks carved with rosettes match the doorcases inside the main house.

The wrought iron bridge onto an island in the man-made lake is also contemporary with the house. [9]

Stretching from the house, the garden is terraced. It leads down through a canopy to a laurel maze and lawn laid out in an astragal pattern, to the lake, where a swan was guarding a nest. The lakes, created by George Harpur, are lined with a special yellow clay, which is very fine and hard, so it holds in the water particularly well. Yellow clay is impermeable and can be used to prevent damp in houses.

The astragal shaped lawn.
Woodland walk, below the lake, and the wild garden nearby.
Eighteenth century gates which were originally located on an estate belonging to the Jocelyn family, Earls of Roden.
The lily pond.

Behind the house lies the walled garden from the original house at Killineer. It is still in active use today producing fruits and vegetables. It has a glasshouse in which apricot, peach and nectarine trees grow, and an apiary that houses bees who pollinate the plants. 

Entrance to the walled garden.

The attractive farm buildings are off-limits to visitors due to dangerous farm machinery.

The lush gardens were a treat after months of lockdown in Dublin. They were so peaceful, such an oasis from the everyday bustle. They remind us to stop, linger, and appreciate.

[1] https://theirishaesthete.com/2016/06/13/in-the-good-old-summertime/

Robert O’Byrne notes that: A century earlier the land here had been granted by the local corporation on a 999-year lease to Sir Thomas Taylor, whose family lived at Headfort, County Meath. It then passed to the Pentlands whose main residence was to the immediate east at Blackhall. At some date in the 18th century a house was built on the property: it appears on early maps but little now remains other than one room which still retains sections of plaster panelling. Located to the rear of the walled garden, this space now serves as a toolshed. 

[2] See https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/13902207/black-hall-co-louth 

and the Killineer House & Gardens website.

It’s interesting that George Pentland’s son, George Henry Pentland (1800-1882), married Sophia Mabella Montgomery, of Beaulieu, since after George Harpur died, Killineer was owned by one of the Montgomery family from Beaulieu.

See:

http://www.termonfeckinhistory.ie/pentlands_of_blackhall_34.html 

George Henry Pentland (1800-1882) married twice, once to Rebecca Brabazon and secondly to Sophia Mabella Montgomery, daughter of Rev. Alexander and Margaret Johnston. George Henry Pentland lived at Black Hall, Co Louth, as did his father George Pentland (1770-1834).  

[3] https://www.countrylifeimages.co.uk/Image.aspx?id=e3bd0c95-193a-4aad-8e06-f9d2165c4e5b&rd=2|headfort||1|20|18|150 

[4] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/grand-generous-lady-of-the-old-school-1.252377 

[5] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/building-of-the-month/collon-church-collon-church-street-collon-td-collon-county-louth/

The church was erected thanks to the Foster family of Collon, County Louth and of Glyde Court, whom we came across in their association with Cabra Castle in County Cavan.

[6] http://www.carrolloforiel.com/the-ocarroll-oriel/

[7] http://www.thepeerage.com/p36339.htm#i363390

[8] Mark Bence-Jones. A Guide to Irish Country Houses (originally published as Burke’s Guide to Country Houses volume 1 Ireland by Burke’s Peerage Ltd. 1978); Revised edition 1988 Constable and Company Ltd, London.

[9] https://www.ihh.ie/index.cfm/houses/house/name/Killineer%20House

Too busy!

I have four hats: my pharmacist/vaccinator “hat,” my blogger hat, my farmer hat (see the photo of my harvest from yesterday) and my landlady hat! I am so busy at the moment, as my tenants left the apartment so I have been doing that up before renting out again (see my first ever tiling work). I only manage a terraced house and a two bedroom flat, but it keeps me so busy, I can only imagine what it is like to have to maintain a Big House! So my blogger hat has taken a back seat for awhile, despite having managed to visit a few Section 482 properties since lockdown lifted. Here is a taster of what is to come, when I finally get the time to write my blogs…the beautiful gardens of Killineer House in County Louth, and the astounding upper gallery of Stradbally Hall in County Laois.

Stradbally Hall, County Laois.
Gardens at Killineer House, County Louth.
My abundant allotment harvest from 7th July 2021: broad beans, broccoli, red currants, strawberries, a courgette, rhubarb, Toscana de Nero kale, grand big beetroot, and not pictured, a few peas and about six lovely large onions!
I’ve been doing up the flat, and tried my hand at tiling! Here is the result. If you know anyone who’d like to rent a two bedroom flat in Donnybrook, send me a message! It’s on the pricey side at €2100 per month, but it has two double bedrooms (one with a king size bed, other has a regular double bed), a back patio that gets the sun, and a parking space.

Mount Usher Gardens, Ashford, Co. Wicklow

Caitriona Mc Weeney

Tel: 0404-49672

www.mountushergardens.ie

Open: all year 10am-6pm

Address: Ashford, Co. Wicklow, A67 VW22
Tel:
+353 (0)404 49672

E-mail: 
mountusher-gardens@avoca.com

Situated:
GPS: N53-00497 W006-06.403 el 18m
Ashford village, Exit 15/16 off main Dublin – Rosslare M11. 30km south of Dublin.

Open:
Mount Usher Gardens open daily all year: 10am – 5pm (Last admission 4pm) Please check for Winter closing time.

Admission:
Adults €8, Senior Citizens €7, Students €7,
Children 4 – 16 €4, under 4yrs FREE.
Groups (15 or more): Adults €7, Senior Citizens €6, Mixed Group €6.50
Guided Tours: €60.00 (Advance booking required). A Guided Tour takes approximately 90 minutes.

Facilities:
Avoca Cafe, Food Hall, Shopping Courtyard, Toilets, Parking, Wheelchair access (limited). No dogs and no picnics.

Guided Tours:
€60.00 (Advance booking required).

Best time to Visit:
Any time

Before we were allowed to visit Section 482 houses, due to Covid 19 restrictions, we were allowed to visit gardens. Accompanied by our friends Owenroe, Deirdre, Dario and Niamh, Stephen and I headed to Wicklow one sunny Sunday in May. We had wonderful weather for the day, as you can see from my photographs. Before entering the gardens, there are some shops and a cafe.

Mount Usher is open all year to visitors. There is a house, but that is not part of the Section 482 listing, unfortunately! It looks idyllic, set in its lush gardens. Mark Bence-Jones calls it a “simple double bow-fronted house,” [1] and the National Inventory tells us it was built in 1922, and that there is a long two-storey house built in the 1990s to the rear of the house. [2] The gardens cover 23 acres, along the Vartry River.

One enters through the gift shop, a branch of Avoca. Inside, there is a small museum which tells the story of the gardens and its creators. Everything looked so beautiful that we could not resist picking up a hand cream for Stephen’s mother.

The area was named after the Ussher family. John Ussher (1646-1745) is mentioned in The Peerage website as living in Mount Ussher, County Wicklow. His father William Ussher is listed as living in Portrane, Dublin and “Castle of Grange, County Wicklow.” John’s son Christopher, born around 1690, was Secretary of the Linen Board – the later occupants of Mount Ussher, or Mount Usher, as it is now spelled, the Walpoles, were also in the Linen trade. Christopher Ussher inherited land in Galway which he passed to his heirs, and in Ussher Memoirs, compiled by Reverend William Ball Wright in 1889, there is no further mention of Mount Ussher. [3]

The museum tells us that Edward Walpole (1798-1878), a successful Dublin businessman, enjoyed walking in Wicklow, and he stayed in a hotel on weekends to indulge his passion. The Walpole family was involved in linen manufacturing. Thomas Simmons started a linen business in Bride Street in Dublin in 1766, and through mergers and a marriage it grew into Walpole Brothers Limited by 1866. Coincidentally, in 1816 the business moved to Suffolk Street in Dublin and occupied what is now Avoca Shop and Cafe on that street. Mount Usher had originally been a “tuck mill” where local people brought their home spun and woven cloth to be finished. This may be how Edward Walpole came across this location. He took over the lease of Mount Usher in 1868 and began to develop his garden, with the help of his sons. Seven years later he transferred the land to his sons: Thomas, George, William White and Edward. William White and George also continued in the Linen business, and developed their shop into a Gentlemen’s Outfitters. Their younger brother Edward joined the business and expanded to London.

The Walpoles were Quakers. They came originally from the settlement in Mountrath, County Laois – the National Library of Ireland contains documents relating to the Walpoles and their business [4]. The Quakers in Ireland website tells us why Quakers were successful in business:

Why were Friends successful in this way? Modern business has become so competitive, and the profit motive so pervasive, that it is hard to imagine the strong influence their religious convictions exerted on them. They simply believed it was right to offer a good product for a fixed, and reasonable, price. They believed in honesty and integrity in all their dealings. A simple life-style, and not over-extending themselves financially, allowed them to build up their resources. Strict rules governing business methods for members meant that they were increasingly trusted with money, and some became bankers. Various laws, including those related to swearing oaths, prevented Friends from attending university and joining the professions for a couple of centuries, so they put their energies into business instead. Friends were good employers, and this led to a loyal workforce.

Also, and importantly, the structure of The Society of Friends from its earliest days, with a system of representatives from Meetings regularly visiting other Meetings, often in other parts of the country, created a network of relationships between like minded individuals and families. It was natural, therefore, that they would hear about, support, participate in and emulate each other’s ventures. [5]

The brothers acquired more land to add to their garden, adding weirs and bridges. Edward and George were influenced by William Robinson, who has been called “the father of English gardening.”

William Robinson (1838-1935) was born in Ireland. His first job was in Curraghmore, County Waterford. He progressed to become the foreman gardener in Ballykilcavan, County Laois, employed by Sir Hunt Johnson-Walsh. In 1862 Robinson found employment at the Royal Botanic Society’s garden at Regent’s Park in England. He resigned four years later in order to further his knowledge of gardening, and to write. He travelled in France and later more widely in Europe and the United States, and published books on horticulture. His most important work is The English Flower Garden (1883). [6] The Robinsonian style of gardening is to work with nature, as opposed to imposing order.

Walks and woods were added to the property as more land was acquired. The family also owned a house called Windsor Lodge in Monkstown in Dublin. Mount Usher passed to Edward Horace Walpole, the son of Edward Walpole (1837-1917) and Elizabeth Harvey Pim [perhaps his parents were fans of the writer, Horace, or Horatio, Walpole (1717-1797), who most famously wrote the Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto and who also embraced the Gothic style in his home, Strawberry Hill in southwest London – or perhaps they were related]. For over fifty years, Edward Horace enlarged and improved the garden, with the help of his head gardener, Charles Fox. Rare varieties of plants from China, Japan, the Himalayas, Chile, New Zealand and North America were added.

Edward Horace Walpole married Alice Dorothy Scanlan from Nottingham in 1912 in the Friends Meeting House (Quaker) in Nottingham. [7] His son Robert Basil Walpole sold Mount Usher.

In 1980 Madelaine Jay purchased the property, and she continued the garden following organic methods. The garden now covers twenty acres and has over 5000 plant species. It is now leased to Avoca.

Former gate lodge, now in use as a house, built in about 1905.

What a great discovery it is to find this amazing garden! I can’t wait to return.

In the meantime, we have been able to begin to visit houses again listed for the Revenue 482. We visited another Quaker home, that of the Fennells of Burtown, County Kildare. More on that soon!

[1] Mark Bence-Jones. A Guide to Irish Country Houses (originally published as Burke’s Guide to Country Houses volume 1 Ireland by Burke’s Peerage Ltd. 1978); Revised edition 1988, Constable and Company Ltd, London.

[2] https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/16402510/mountusher-house-mountusher-ashford-co-wicklow

[3] https://archive.org/stream/usshermemoirsorg00wrig/usshermemoirsorg00wrig_djvu.txt

[4] http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000834470 and http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000829943

[5] https://quakers-in-ireland.ie/history/quaker-businesses/

[6] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

[7] https://www.youwho.ie/walpole.html 

2021 Section 482 List

The list of properties for 2021 has finally been published! Here it is – not too different from last year, though there are a few new places, and a few have been removed since last year.

List of approved buildings/gardens open to the public in 2021 

Section 482 Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 

Due to COVID restrictions properties may not be open as advertised, please check with the property owner before arranging a visit to any of the properties listed. 

Carlow 

Borris House

Borris, Co. Carlow
Morgan Kavanagh
Tel: 087-2454791
www.borrishouse.com
Open: Feb 2-7, 9-14, 16-21, 27-28, June 1-3, 8-10, 15-16, 22-24, 29-30, July 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-21, 27-29, Aug 3-5, 10-12, 14-22, 24-26, 31, Sept 1-2, 12 noon -5pm Fee: adult €10, child €5, OAP/student €8, 

Borris House, County Carlow
Borris House, County Carlow. Photograph from Country Life.

Huntington Castle 

Clonegal, Co. Carlow
Postal address: Huntington Castle, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
Alexander Durdin Robertson
Tel: 053-9377160
www.huntingtoncastle.com

Open: Feb 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, Mar 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, Apr 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, May 1-31, June 1-30, July 1-31, Aug 1-31, Sept 1-30, Oct 2-3, 9-10, 16- 17, 23-24, Nov 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, Dec 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 11am-5pm
Fee: house/garden, adult/student €9, garden only €6, OAP house/garden €8, garden only €5, child house /garden €6, garden only €3, group and family discounts available 

Huntington Castle, County Carlow.

The Old Rectory 

Killedmond, Borris, Co. Carlow.
Mary White
Tel: 087-2707189 

https://www.blackstairsecotrails.ie/ 

Open: July 1-31, Aug 1-31, 9am-1pm Fee: adult €10, OAP/student €6, child free 

Old Rectory, Killedmond, County Carlow.

The Old Rectory Lorum

Kilgreaney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow

Bobbie Smith
Tel: 059-9775282
www.lorum.com 

(Tourist Accommodation Facility) 

Open: Feb 14-November 30 

Old Rectory Lorum, County Carlow. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Cavan 

Cabra Castle (Hotel) 

Kingscourt, Co. Cavan
Howard Corscadden.
Tel: 042-9667030
www.cabracastle.com
Open: all year, except Dec 24, 25, 26, 11am-12 midnight Fee: Free 

Corravahan House & Gardens 

Corravahan, Drung, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan Ian Elliott
Tel: 087-9772224
www.corravahan.com 

Open: Jan 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Feb 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, Mar 1-2, 8-9, May 4- 5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-26, 30-31, June 1-4, Aug 14-31, Sept 1-2, 9am-1pm, Sundays 2pm- 6pm
Fee: adult €10, OAP/student/child €5 

Corravahan, County Cavan.

Clare 

Barntick House 

Clarecastle Co. Clare
Ciaran Murphy
Tel: 086-1701060
Open: May 1-31, Aug 1-31, 5pm-9pm
Fee: adult/student €5, child/OAP free, group discount available 

Loughnane’s 

Main Street, Feakle, Co. Clare
Billy Loughnane
Tel: 086-2565012
www.eastclarehostels.com
Open: June 2-July 31, Wed-Sun, Aug 1, 4-8, 11-22, 25-29, 2pm-6pm Fee: Free 

Newtown Castle

Newtown, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare Mary Hawkes- Greene
Tel: 065-7077200 

www.newtowncastle.com 

Open: Jan 4-May 31, Mon-Fri, June 1-30 Mon-Sat, July 1-Aug 31 daily, Sept 1-Dec 17 Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm
Fee: Free 

Newtown Castle, County Clare. Photograph from National Library of Ireland.
Newtown Castle, County Clare. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Cork 

Ashton Grove

Ballingohig, Knockraha, Co. Cork
Gerald McGreal
Tel: 087-2400831
Open: Mar 1-12, May 4-31, June 1-3, 14-25, July 17-18, 31, Aug 14-22, Wednesdays 2pm-6pm, Tues, weekends & National Heritage Week, 8am-12 noon 

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €3 

Bantry House & Garden

Bantry, Co. Cork
Julie Shelswell-White
Tel: 027-50047
www.bantryhouse.com
Open: Apr 1-Oct 31, 10am-5pm
Fee: adult €11, OAP/student €8.50, child €6, groups over 8-20, €8 per person, groups 21+ €7 per person 

Bantry House,County Cork. photograph from Tourism Ireland.

Blarney Castle & Rock Close

Blarney, Co. Cork
C. Colthurst
Tel: 021- 4385252
www.blarneycastle.ie
Open: all year except Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, Jan-Mar, Mon-Sat, 9am- sundown, Sun, 9am-6pm, Apr-May, 9am-6pm, June-Aug, Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm, Sun, 9am-6pm, Sept, Mon-Sat, 9am-6.30pm, Sun, 9am-6pm,
Oct, Nov, Dec daily 9am-6pm,
Fee: adult €18, OAP/student €15, child €10, family and season passes 

Blarney Castle, County Cork. photograph from Tourism Ireland.

Blarney House & Gardens

Blarney, Co. Cork
C. Colthurst
Tel 021- 4385252
www.blarneycastle.ie
Open: June 1- Aug 31, Mon-Sat, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 10am-3pm Fee: adult €10, OAP/student €7, concession joint with castle

Blarney House, County Cork. Photograph from National Library of Ireland.

 Burton Park 

Churchtown, Mallow, Co. Cork Paul Doherty
Tel: 022-59955
www.slieile.ie 

Open: May 8-July 7, Mon-Sat closed Bank Holidays, Aug 14-22, 11am-3pm Fee: adult/child/OAP/student €9 

Burton Park, County Cork. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Brideweir House 

Conna, Co. Cork
Ronan Fox
Tel: 025-36386
Open: Jan 1-Dec 24, 11am-4pm
Fee: adult €10, child/student €5, OAP free 

Brideweir, County Cork. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Creagh House

Main Street, Doneraile, Co. Cork Michael O’Sullivan
Tel: 022-24433 

(Tourist Accommodation Facility) 

Open: April-Sept
Public tours of house all year 

Drishane Castle & Gardens 

Drishanemore, Millstreet Town, Co. Cork Thomas Duggan
Tel: 087-2464878, 029-71008 

www.millstreet.ie 

Open: June 1-Sept 30, Mon-Sat, (Jan-May, Oct-Dec Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm by appointment only) National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 9am-5pm
Fee: adult €5, OAP/student free, child free when accompanied by adult 

Drishane Castle. Photograph from the National Library of Ireland.
Drishane Castle, County Cork. Photograph from the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Drishane House 

Castleownshend, Co. Cork

Thomas Somerville
Tel: 028-36126, 083-574589

 www.drishane.com 

Open: May 1-20, Aug 14-22, Sept 13-23, Oct 1-20, 11am-3pm Fee: adult €10, OAP €8, student/child €6 

Drishane House, County Cork

Dún Na Séad Castle 

Baltimore, Co. Cork
Donna O’Driscoll
Tel: 087-7374592
www.baltimorecastle.ie
Open: March 1-Oct 31, 11am-6pm
Fee: adult/OAP/student €5, child under 12 free 

Baltimore Castle, County Cork.

Garrettstown House 

Garrettstown, Kinsale, Co. Cork
Denis Mawe
Tel: 021-4778156 

www.garrettstownhouse.com
Open: May 15-Sept 10, 12 noon-5pm
Fee: adult/OAP/student/other concessions €5, child €3 

Garrettstown House, County Cork. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Kilcascan Castle 

Ballineen, Co. Cork
Alison Bailey
Tel: 023-8847200 

Open: Aug 1-31, Sept 1-30, 9.30am-1.30pm Fee: Free 

Kilcascan Castle, County Cork. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Kilshannig House 

Rathcormac, Co. Cork
Hugo Merry
Tel: 025-36124
Open: May 1-31, June 1-30, July 1-31, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 8.30am- 2.30pm, 

Fee: adult €10, child/student €8.50, group discount by arrangements 

Kilshannig, County Cork.
Kilshanning House, County Cork.

4 Mulgrave Place, 

No 4 Mulgrave Road, Cork City
Trevor Leacy
Tel: 087-2808302
Open: May 1-Sept 30, closed Sundays, National Heritage Week, August 14-22, weekdays and National Heritage Week, 11am-4pm, Saturdays 11am-3pm 

Fee: adult €4, OAP/student/child €2, family €7 (2+2) 

Riverstown House

Riverstown, Glanmire, Co. Cork
Denis/Rita Dooley
Tel: 021- 4821205
Open: May 5-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, June 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26, July 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31, Aug 5-7, 12-22, 26-28, Sept 2-4, 2pm-6pm 

Fee: adult €8, OAP/student €5 

Riverstown House, County Cork. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Woodford Bourne Warehouse 

Sheares Street, Cork
Edward Nicholson
Tel: 021-4273000
www.woodfordbournewarehouse.com
Open: all year except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, 1pm-11pm Fee: Free 

Donegal 

Cavanacor House 

Ballindrait, Lifford, Co. Donegal Joanna O’Kane
Tel: 074-9141143, 085-8165428 

www.cavanacorgallery.ie 

Open: Feb 1-20, May 1-31, Aug 14-22, 1pm-5pm Fee: adult €8, OAP/student/child €6 

Cavanacor, County Donegal. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Oakfield Park

Oakfield Demesne, Raphoe, Co. Donegal

David Fisher- Estate Manager
Tel: 074-91773068 

www.oakfieldpark.com 

Open: Apr 1-4, 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-30, May 1-2, 5-9, 12-16, 19-23, 26-30, 12 noon-6pm, June 1-30, July 1-31, Aug 1-31, 11am-6pm, Sept 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, 29-30, 12 noon-6pm, Dec 1-5, 8-12, 15-23, Dec 1-17, weekdays, 4pm-10pm, weekends, 12noon-10pm, Dec 18-23, 12 noon-10pm 

Fee: adult €9, child €6, family and annual passes available 

Oakfield Park, County Donegal. Photograph from Country Life magazine.

Portnason House 

Portnason, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
Madge Sharkey
Tel: 086-3846843
Open: Jan 18-22, 25-29, Feb 1-5, 8-12, Aug 14-30, Sept 1-17, 20-23, 27-28, Nov 15- 19, 22-26, Dec 1-3 6-10, 13-14, 9am-1pm 

Fee: adult €8, OAP/student/child €5 

Portnason House, County Donegal. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Salthill Garden

Salthill House, Mountcharles, Co. Donegal

Elizabeth Temple
Tel: 087-7088078, 074-9735014 

www.donegalgardens.com 

Open: May 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, June 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26, July 1-3, 5-9, 12-24, 26-31, Aug 2-7, 9-22, 26-28, 30-31, Sept 1-3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-30, 2pm- 6pm
Fee: adult/OAP/student €5, child under 10 years €2, over 10 years €3 

Salthill House Gardens, County Donegal. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Dublin City 

Bewley’s 

78-79 Grafton Street/234 Johnson’s Court, Dublin 2 Peter O’ Callaghan
Tel 087-7179367
www.bewleys.com 

Open: all year except Christmas Day, 11am-7pm Fee: Free 

Bewleys Cafe, Dublin. Photograph from Tourism Ireland.

Hibernian/National Irish Bank 

23-27 College Green, Dublin 2
Dan O’Sullivan
Tel: 01-6755100
www.clarendonproperties.ie
Open: all year, except Dec 25, Wed-Fri 9.30am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm, Sat, Mon, Tue, 9.30-7pm 

Fee: Free 

11 North Great George’s Street 

Dublin 1
John Aboud
Tel: 087-7983099
www.number11dublin.ie
Open: March 8-13, May 10-15, June 7-12, July 5-10, Aug 2-7, 14-22, Sept 6-12, Oct 4-9, Nov 8-11,15-18, 1pm-5 pm
Fee: adult €7, students/OAP €3, child free under 12years 

Number 11 North Great Georges Street, Dublin.

81 North King Street 

Smithfield, Dublin 7
James Kelly
Tel: 086-8597275
Open: Apr 1-3, 5-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-30, May 1, June 1-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-26, 28- 30, July 1-3, 5-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-31, Aug 2-7, 9-28, 30-31, Mon-Fri, 9am- 4.30pm, Sat, 12.30pm-4.30pm 

Fee: Free 

The Odeon (formerly the Old Harcourt Street Railway Station) 

57 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2

Mary Lacey
Tel: 01-6727690 

www.odeon.ie 

Open: May- Dec, 12 noon to midnight, closed Sundays Fee: Free 

Harcourt Street Station, now The Odeon, Dublin. Photograph from National Library of Ireland.

Powerscourt Townhouse Centre 

59 South William Street, Dublin 2
Mary Larkin
Tel: 01-6717000
www.powerscourtcentre.ie
Open: all year except New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day, & Bank Holidays, Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm, Thurs, 10am-8pm, Sundays, 12 noon-6pm 

Fee: Free 

Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin.

10 South Frederick Street 

Dublin 2
Joe Hogan
Tel: 087-2430334
Open: Jan 1-24, May 1, 3-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-27, Aug 14-22, 2pm-6pm Fee: Free 

The Church 

Junction of Mary’s Street/Jervis Street, Dublin 1 Ann French
Tel: 087-2245726
www.thechurch.ie 

Open: Feb 1- Dec 24, 27-31, 11am-11 pm Fee: Free 

County Dublin 

Clonskeagh Castle 

80 Whitebean Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14

Fergus Armstrong
Tel: 089-4091645, 086-2428540 

www.clonskeaghcastle.com

Open: Feb 6-9, Mar 6-9, Apr 6-9, May 1-8, June 1-8, July 1-8, August 14-22, Sept 1- 8, Nov 6-9, Dec 6-9, 2pm-6pm
Fee: adult €6, child/OAP/student €3 

Colganstown House 

Hazelhatch Road, Newcastle, Co. Dublin
Lynne Savage Jones
Tel: 087-2206222
Open: Apr 12-18, May 6-28, June 10-12, Aug 14-27, Nov 1-13, weekdays 2pm-6pm, weekends 9am-1pm 

Fee: adult/OAP €10, student/child free 

Colganstown, County Dublin.

Fahanmura

2 Knocksina, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Philip Harvey
Tel: Philip, 087-2463865, Paul, 086-3694379
www.fahanmura.ie
Open: March 15-28, Apr 5-10, May 6-14, June 14-20, July 5-10, Aug 14-22, Sept 11- 19, 9am-1pm
Fee: adult €5, student €2, OAP/child free 

Fahanmura, Dublin. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Farm Complex

Toberburr Road, Killeek, St Margaret’s, Co. Dublin
David Doran
Tel: 086-3821304
OpenFeb 13-22, March 20-29, May 1-3, 10-16, June 18-27, Aug 14-23, Sept 18-27, 2pm-6pm 

Fee: adult €6, student/OAP/child €5 

“Geragh” 

Sandycove Point, Sandycove, Co. Dublin
Gráinne Casey
Tel: 01-2804884
Open: Jan 28-29, Feb 1-5, 8-12, 15-22, May 4-31, Aug 14-22, Sept 1-3, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €7, OAP €4, student €2, child free 

Geragh Haus, Dublin. Photograph by William Murphy, flickr creative commons.

Knocknagin House 

Delvin Bridge, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin Richard Berney
Tel: 087-2847797
Open: July 1-31, Aug 1-29, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult/OAP/child/student €5 

Knocknagin House, County Dublin. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The Old Glebe 

Upper Main Street, Newcastle, Co. Dublin
Hugh F. Kerins, Martin Connelly
Tel: Frank 087-2588356, Martin 087-6686996
Open: May 1-31, June 1-30, Mon- Sat, Aug 14-22, 10am-2pm, 4 tours daily during National Heritage Week, 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, tour approx. 45 minutes 

Fee: Free, voluntary contributions only in 2021 due to Covid-19. Proceeds to charity 

The Old Glebe, County Dublin.

Martello Tower

Portrane, Co. Dublin
Terry Prone
Tel: 01-6449700
Open: March 6-Sept 26, Sat & Sun, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €5, student €4, OAP €1 

Martello Tower, Portrane, County Dublin. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Meander 

Westminister Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18,
Ruth O’Herlihy,
Tel: 087-2163623
Open: Jan 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, May 1, 4-8, 10-11, 17-22, June 8-12, 14-19, 21- 26, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm 

Fee: adult €5, OAP/child/student €2 

Meander, County Dublin. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Primrose Hill 

Very Top of Primrose Lane, Lucan, Co. Dublin
Robin Hall
Tel: 01-6280373
Open: Feb 1-28, June 1-30, July 1-23, Aug 14-22, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult/OAP €6, child free 

Primrose Hill, Lucan, County Dublin.

St. George’s

St. George’s Avenue, Killiney, Co. Dublin

Robert McQuillan
Tel: 087-2567718
Open: July 1-31, Aug 1-31, 9am-1pm 

Fee: adult €5 OAP/student/child €3.50 

Tibradden House 

Mutton Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Selina Guinness
Tel: 01-4957483 

www.selinaguinness.com 

Open: Jan 14-17, 23-24, 28-29, Feb 4-7, 11-12, 19-21, 26-28, May 3-13,16, 18-20, 23-27, June 2-4, 8-10, 14-16, 19-20, Aug 14-22, weekdays 2.30pm-6.30pm, weekends 10.30am-2.30pm
Fee: adult/OAP €8 student €5, child free, Members of An Taisce the The Irish Georgian Society (with membership card) €5 

Tibradden House, County Dublin. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Galway 

Castle Ellen House

http://www.castleellen.ie/

Open: April 4-7,11-15,18-22, 25-29, May 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, 30-31, June 1-3, 6- 10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-30, July 1, 4-8, 11-16, 18-22, 25-29, Aug 1-5, 8-12, 14-26, 29- 31, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 12 noon-4pm
Fee: Free 

Castle Ellen House, County Galway. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Claregalway Castle

Claregalway, Co. Galway
Eamonn O’ Donoghue
Tel: 091-799666

www.claregalwaycastle.com

Open: June-Sept, Thursday-Sunday, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 12 noon- 4pm 

Fee: adult €6, student/OAP/child €4 

Lisdonagh House

Caherlistrane, Co. Galway
John & Finola Cooke
Tel: 093-31163 

www.lisdonagh.com

(Tourist Accommodation Facility) Open: May 1-Oct 31 

Fee: Free 

Lisdonagh House, County Galway. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The Grammer School 

College Road, Galway
Terry Fahy
www.yeatscollege.ie
Tel: 091-533500
Open: May 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, June 12-13, July 1-31, Aug 1-23, 9am-5pm

Fee: adult/OAP/student €5, child under 12 free 

Oranmore Castle 

Oranmore, Co. Galway

Leonie Phinn 

www.oranmorecastle.com 

Tel: 086-6003160 

Open: April 1-20, May 13-22, June 8-18, Aug 14-23, Sept 8-17, 12 noon-4pm

Fee: adult €10, child €5 

Oranmore Castle, County Galway. Photograph by Johanna, flickr creative commons.

Signal Tower & Lighthouse 

Eochaill, Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co. Galway Michael Mullen
Tel: 087-2470900

www.aranislands.ie 

Open: April 1- October 31, 9am-5pm.
Fee: adult €2.50, child €1.50, family €5, group rates depending on numbers 

Woodville House Dovecote & Walls of Walled Garden 

Craughwell, Co. Galway
Margarita and Michael Donoghue
Tel: 087-9069191

www.woodvillewalledgarden.com

Open: Jan 29-31, Feb 1-28, Apr 1-13, 11am- 4.30pm, June 1, 6-8, 13-15, 21-22, 27- 29, July 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 31, Aug 1-2, 6-8, 13-22, 27-29, Sept 4-5, 11am-5pm Fee: adult/OAP €6, child €3, student, €5, family €20, guided tours €10 

Woodville Dovecote, County Galway. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Kerry 

Ballyseede Castle

Ballyseede, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Marnie Corscadden
Tel: 066-7125799 

www.ballyseedecastle.com 

Open: Mar 1-Dec 21, 28-31 Fee: Free 

Ballyseede Castle, County Kerry. Photograph from flickr creative commons, by Keith Robinson, 2015.

Derreen Gardens

Lauragh, Tuosist, Kenmare, Co. Kerry

John Daly
Tel: 087-1325665 

www.derreengarden.com 

Open: all year, 10am-6pm
Fee: adult/OAP/student €8, child €3, family ticket €20 (adults and all children & 2 maps) 

Kells Bay House & Garden 

Kells, Caherciveen, Co Kerry

Billy Alexander
Tel: 066-9477975 

www.kellsbay.ie 

William Alexander
Open: Feb-Dec 9.30am-dusk
Fee: adult €8.50, child €6, family €26 (2 adults + 3 children under 17 years) 

Tarbert House

Tarbert, Co. Kerry
Ursula Leslie
Tel: 068-36198, 087-2917301
Open: May, June, July, Aug, 2pm-4pm Fee: adult/OAP €5, student €2, child free 

Tarbert House, County Kerry. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Kildare 

Blackhall Castle 

Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare
Jeffrey & Naomi White
Tel: 045-485244, 087-6532297
Open: May 1-31, Aug 14-22, Sept 1-15, Dec 1-20, 2pm-6pm Fee: Free 

Blackhall Castle, County Kildare.

Burtown House and Garden

Athy, Co. Kildare
James Fennell
Tel: 086-2631485
www.burtownhouse.ie
Open: May 5-8, 12-15, 19-22, 26-29, June 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-26, 30, July 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-24, 28-31, August 4-7, 11-31, Sept 1-2, 9am-12 noon 

Fee: adult €10, OAP/child€6, student €5 

Burtown House, County Kildare.

Coolcarrigan House & Gardens 

Coolcarrigan, Coill Dubh, Naas, Co. Kildare

Robert Wilson-Wright
Tel: 086-2580439
www.coolcarrigan.ie 

Open: Feb 1-5, 8-12, Mar 8-12, April 19-23, May 10-14, 17-21, Aug 4-10, 14-29, Sept 4-10, 9am-1pm
Fee: adult €8, OAP/student €5, child free 

Coolcarrigan, County Kildare.

Farmersvale House 

Badgerhill, Kill, Co. Kildare
Patricia Orr
Tel: 086-2552661
Open: Jan 18-31, Feb 1-6, July 23-31, Aug 1-31, 9.30am-1.30pm
Fee: adult €5, student/child/OAP €3, (Irish Georgian Society members free) 

Farmersvale House, County Kildare. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Griesemount House

Ballitore
Co Kildare
Katharine Bulbulia
Tel: 087-2414556
www.griesemounthouse.ie
Open: April 19-23, 26-30, May 10-21, 17-21, 24-28, June 16-20, 23-30, July 5-9, 12- 16, 19-23, Aug 14-22, 10am-2pm
Fee: adult €6, OAP/student €5, child €3 

Harristown House 

Brannockstown, Co. Kildare
Hubert Beaumont
Tel: 087-2588775
www.harristownhouse.ie
Open: Jan 11-15, 18-22, Feb 8-12, 15-19, May 4-28, June 7-11, Aug 14-22, Sept 6-10, 9am-1pm 

Fee: adult/OAP/student €10, child €5 

Harristown House, County Kildare

Kildrought House 

Celbridge Village, Co. Kildare
June Stuart
Tel: 01-6271206, 087-6168651
Open: Jan 1-20, May 18-26, Aug 11-31,10am-2pm
Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €3, child under 5 years free, school groups €2 per head 

Kildrought House. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Larch Hill

Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Michael De Las Casas Tel: 087-2213038 

www.larchill.ie

Open: May 1-14, 17-21, 24-31, June 1-11, 15-18, 22-25, 29-30, Aug 14-29, 10am- 2pm
Fee: adult/ OAP/student €8, child €5, under 4 years free 

Larchill, County Kildare. Photograph from Country Life.
Larchill, County Kildare. Photograph from Country Life.

Leixlip Castle 

Leixlip, Co. Kildare
Penelope Guinness
Tel: 01-6244430
Open: Feb 1-5, 8-12, Mar 1-5, 8-12, May 11-14, 17-23, June 14-18, 21-27, Aug 14- 22, Sept 6-12, 9am-1pm 

Fee: adult €8, OAP/student/child €4, concessions no charge for school groups 

Leixlip Castle, County Kildare.
Leixlip Castle, County Kildare.

Moone Abbey House & Tower 

Moone Abbey, Moone, Co. Kildare
Jennifer Matuschka
Tel: 087-6900138
Open: May 1-30, Aug 14-22, Sept 1-30, 12 noon- 4pm

Fee: adult €8, OAP/student/child €4 

Moone Abbey, County Kildare.
Moone Abbey, County Kildare.

Moyglare Glebe 

Moyglare, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Joan Hayden
Tel: 01-8722238
Open: Jan 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, May 1-31, Aug 14-22, Sept 4-7, 8.30am-12.30pm

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €3 

Steam Museum Lodge Park Heritage Centre July 10

Lodge Park, Straffan, Co. Kildare Robert C Guinness
Tel: 01-6288412 

www.steam-museum.com 

Open: May 1-3, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, June 4-7, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, July 2-4, 9- 11,16-18, 23-25, 30-31, Aug 1-2, 6-8, 13-22, 27-29, Sept 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, 2pm-6pm,
Fee: adult €7.50, OAP/child €5, student engineering free with card, 

family €20, (2 adults + 2 children) 

Kilkenny 

Aylwardstown House 

Glenmore, Co. Kilkenny
Nicholas Kelly
Tel: 051-880464, 087-2567866
Open: Aug 1-31, Sept 1-30, 9am-5pm

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student €3, child free 

Aylwardstown House, County Kilkenny. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Ballybur Castle 

Ballybur Upper, Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny

Mhairi Gray
Tel: 086-1919099
www.ballyburcastle.com 

Open: May 1-10, June 10-30, Aug 14-24, Sept 1-20, 2pm-6pm Fee: Free 

Ballybur Castle, County Kilkenny. flickr creative commons by Andrew Holmes
Inside Ballybur Castle, County Kilkenny. flickr creative commons by Andrew Holmes

Ballysallagh House

Johnswell, Co. Kilkenny
Geralyn & Kieran White
Tel: 087-2906621, 086-2322105
www.ihh.ie
Open: Feb 1-20, May 1-31, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm Fee: adult €5, OAP/student/child €2.50 

Ballysallagh House, County Kilkenny. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Creamery House 

Castlecomer Co. Kilkenny
John Comerford
Tel: 087-918444
Open: May 21- Sept 26 Friday, Saturday, and Sundays, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 12 noon-5pm 

Fee: adult/OAP €5, child/student €3 

Creamery House, County Kilkenny. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Kilfane Glen & Waterfall

Kilfane, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

Susan Mosse
Tel: 056-7727105
www.kilfane.com 

Open: July 1-31, Aug 1-31, 11am -6pm
Fee: adult €7, OAP/student €6.50, child €6, family €20 

Kilfane Waterfall, County Kilkenny, photo by irishfireside on flickr creative commons

Kilkenny Design Centre 

Castle Yard, Kilkenny

Joseph O’ Keeffe
Tel: 064-6623331 

www.kilkennydesign.com 

Open: all year,10am-7pm Fee: Free 

Kilkenny Castle stables, Kilkenny Design, County Kilkenny.

Shankill Castle 

Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny
Geoffrey Cope,
Tel: 087-2437125
www.shankillcastle.com
Open: Apr 2-Oct 31, Thurs-Sunday, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22

Fee: house & gardens, adult €10, OAP/student/child 

gardens, adult €5 OAP/student /child €4 

Shankill Castle gateway, County Kilkenny. photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Tybroughney Castle

Piltown, Co. Kilkenny
Louis Dowley
Tel: 087-2313106
Open: June 1-30, July 1-31, Mon- Fri, Aug 1-31, 9am-5pm

Fee: adult €2, student/ OAP/child free 

Tybroughney Castle, County Kilkenny. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Laois 

Ballaghmore Castle

Borris in Ossory, Co. Laois
Grace Pym
Tel: 0505-21453
www.castleballaghmore.com
Open: all year, 9.30am-6pm
Fee: adult €5, child/OAP €3, student free, family of 4, €10

 

Ballaghmore Castle, County Laois. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Stradbally Hall 

Stradbally, Co. Laois
Thomas Cosby
Tel: 086-8519272
www.stradballyhall.ie
Open: May 1-31, June 1-9, Aug 14-22, Oct 1-14, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €10, OAP/ student €5, child free 

Stradbally Hall, County Laois. photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Leitrim 

Manorhamilton Castle (Ruin) 

Castle St, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim

Anthony Daly
Tel: 086-2502593 

Open: Jan 7-Dec 21, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, closed Sat & Sun, 10am- 5pm
Fee: adult €5, child free 

Manorhamilton Castle, County Leitrim. Photograph by Keith Ewing, flickr creative commons.

The Station House 

Brocagh Lower, Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim
Ann White
Tel: 087-1016063
Open: Aug 1-31, Sept 1-30, Mon- Fri, 6pm-10pm, Sat & Sun, and Bank Holidays 9am-1pm 

Fee: Free 

Limerick 

Ash Hill

Kilmallock, Co. Limerick
Simon and Nicole Johnson
Tel: 063-98035
www.ashhill.com
(Tourist Accommodation Facility)
Open: Jan 15-Oct 31, Nov 1-29, Dec 1-15, 9am-4pm

Fee: adult/student €5, child/OAP free 

Ash Hill, County Limerick. photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Glebe House 

Holycross, Bruff, Co. Limerick
Kate Hayes and Colum McCarthy
Tel: 087-6487556
Open: Jan 4-29, May 10-28, Aug 13-22, Sept 13-24, Mon-Fri, 5.30pm-9.30pm, Sat- Sun, 8am-12 noon 

Fee: Free 

Bruff Glebe House, County Limerick. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Glenville House

Glenville, Ardagh, Co. Limerick
Owen O’Neill
Tel: 086-2541435
Open: Apr 3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-30, May 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-26, Aug 14-22, Sept 1-4, 7-11, 14-17, 9.30am-1.30pm 

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student €3, child free 

Glenville House, County Limerick. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Kilpeacon House 

Crecora, Co. Limerick
Donie & Mary Costello
Tel: 087-9852462
Open: May 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, June 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, July 3-4, 10- 11, 17-18, 24-25, Aug 1, 7-8, 14-22, 28-29, Sept 1-20, 10am-2pm 

Fee: €8 

Kilpeacon House, County Limerick. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Odellville House 

Ballingarry, Co. Limerick
Aisling Frawley
Tel: 085-8895125
www.odellville.simplesite.com
Open: May 1-31, June 1-30, July 1-30, Aug 1-31, 10am-2pm

Fee: adult €8, student/OAP/child €4 

Odellville House, County Limerick. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Mount Trenchard House and Garden 

Foynes, Co. Limerick
Frieda Keane Carmody
Tel: 087-2220692
Open: May, June, July, Sept, weekdays, Aug 1-31, daily, 10am-5pm
Fee: adult €8, OAP €6, child/student €4, groups between 10-20, €6 per person 

The Turret 

Ryanes, Ballyingarry, Co. Limerick
Donal Mc Goey
Tel: 086-2432174
Open: May, June, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 12 noon-5pm

Fee: adult €5, OAP/child/student/ concession €2 

The Turret, County Limerick. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The Old Rectory

Rathkeale, Co. Limerick
John Roche
Tel: 087-8269123
Open: May 1-Nov 28, Saturday and Sundays, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 10am-2pm 

Fee: adult €8, child/OAP/student €3 

Longford 

Moorhill House 

Castlenugent, Lisryan, Co. Longford

Michael O’Donnell
Tel: 047-81952
Open: Aug 1-31, Sept 1-29, 9.30am-1.30pm

Fee: adult/OAP/student/child €8 

Moorhill House, County Longford. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Louth 

Barmeath Castle 

Dunleer, Drogheda, Co. Louth
Bryan Bellew
Tel: 041-6851205
Open: May 1-31, June 1-9, Aug 14-22, Oct 1-20, 9am-1pm Fee: adult /OAP/student €5, child free 

Barmeath Castle, County Louth

Killineer House & Garden

Drogheda, Co. Louth
Charles & Eithne Carroll
Tel: 086-2323783, 041-9838563,
www.killineerhouse.ie
Open: Feb 1-20, May 1-15, June 1-10, Aug 14-28, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult/OAP/child/student, house: €4, garden €6 

Killineer House, County Louth. photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Rokeby Hall 

Grangebellew, Co. Louth

Jean Young
Tel: 086-8644228 

www.rokeby.ie 

Open: May 1-31, Mon-Sat, Aug 14-22, Sept 1-30, Mon-Sat, 10am-2pm Fee: adult/OAP €7, child/student €5 

Rokeby, County Louth.

Mayo 

Brookhill House

Brookhill, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
Patricia and John Noone
Tel: 094-9371348, 087-3690499, 086-2459832
Open: Jan 13-20, Apr 13-20, May 18-24, June 8-14, July 13-19, Aug 1-23, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €6, student €3, OAP/child/ wheelchair free 

Brookhill House, County Mayo. Picture from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Enniscoe House & Gardens

Castlehill, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Susan Kellett
Tel: 096-31112 

www.enniscoe.com

(Tourist Accommodation Facility)
Open: April 1-Oct 31
Open: garden, April 1-Oct 31, 10am-5pm,
Fee: garden & heritage centre adult €8, OAP €6, child/student €3, family 2 adults and 2 children €15, tour of house €5 per adult, free two days National Heritage Week 

Enniscoe House, County Mayo. Photograph from Tourism Ireland.

 Old Coastguard Station 

Rosmoney, Westport, Co. Mayo
James Cahill
Tel: 094-9025500
www.jamescahill.com/coastguardstation.html
Open: July 1-Sept 9 closed Sundays, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 11am-4pm Fee: €1 

Old Coastguard Station, County Mayo. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Prizon House

Prizon North, Balla, Co. Mayo.
Tom O’Connor
Tel: 087-9032133
Open: May 1-31, Aug 1-31, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €10, student/OAP/child free 

Prizon House, County Mayo. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Meath 

Beau Parc House

Beau Parc, Navan, Co. Meath
Emer Mooney
Tel: 041-9824163
Open: Mar 1-20, May 1-31, Aug 14-22, 10am-2 pm

Fee: adult €10, OAP/student/child €8 

Cillghrian Glebe now known as Boyne House Slane 

Chapel Street, Slane, Co. Meath
Alan Haugh
Tel: 041-9884444
www.boynehouseslane.ie
Open: all year, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm Fee: Free 

Dardistown Castle 

Dardistown, Julianstown, Co. Meath

Lizanne Allen
Tel: 086 -2774271 

www.dardistowncastle.ie 

Open: Jan 9-31, Feb 11-21, May 15-21, Aug 14-31, Sept 1-30, 10am-2pm

Fee: adult €6, student/OAP €5, child free 

Dardistown Castle, County Meath.

Dunsany Castle

Dunsany, Co. Meath
Randall Plunkett
Tel: 046-9025169
www.dunsany.com
Open: July 3-31, Aug 1-31, Sept 1-4,10am-4pm
Fee: adult 18years + €15, weekends €20, OAP/student €5, child free 

Dunsany Castle, County Meath.

Gravelmount House 

Castletown, Kilpatrick, Navan, Co. Meath
Brian McKenna
Tel: 087-2520523
Open: Jan 1-13, May 10-30, June 1-20, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €3 

Hamwood House

Dunboyne, Co. Meath
Charles Hamilton
Tel: 086-3722701
www.hamwood.ie
Open: Apr 2-Sept 26, Fri-Sun, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 10am-7pm

Fee: adult/OAP/student €10, including 2km trail and café, child under 12 free 

Hamwood House, County Meath. Photograph from Country Life.

Killeen Mill

Clavinstown, Drumree, Co. Meath Dermot Kealy
Tel: 086-2619979
(Tourists Accommodation Facility) 

Open: April- Sept 

Killeen Mill, County Meath. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Loughcrew House 

Loughcrew, Old Castle, Co. Meath

Emily Naper
Tel: 049-8541356
(Tourist Accommodation Facility

Open: April- Sept 

www.loughcrew.com 

Garden: Mar 18-Sept 30 daily, 10am-5pm, Aug & Sept, 11am-4pm Fee: adult €7, OAP/student €5, child €3.50, group concessions 

Loughcrew 22nd May 2010
Loughcrew, County Meath, 22nd May 2010.

Moyglare House 

Moyglare, Co. Meath
Postal address Maynooth Co. Kildare
Angela Alexander
Tel: 086-0537291
www.moyglaremanor.ie
Open: Jan 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, May 1-21, 24-28, 31, June 1-3, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm
Fee: adult €7.50, OAP/student/child €5 

Moyglare House, County Meath.

Slane Castle

Slane, Co. Meath
Alex Conyngham
Tel: 041-9884477
www.slanecastle.ie
Open: April 19-29, May 2-20, 23-27, 31, June 1-3, 7-10, Aug 14-22, Sept 29-30, Oct 1-2, 4-7, Sundays 12 noon-5pm, Monday – Saturday 11am-3pm 

Fee: adult €14, OAP/student €12.50, child €8.40 

Slane Castle, County Meath.

St. Mary’s Abbey 

High Street, Trim, Co. Meath
Peter Higgins
Tel: 087-2057176
Open: Jan 25-29, Feb 22-26, Mar 8-12, Apr 12-16, May 24-30, June 21-27, July 19- 25, Aug 14-22, Sept 13-17, 20-24, 2pm-6pm 

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student/child €2 

St. Mary’s Abbey, County Meath. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The Former Parochial House

Slane, Co. Meath
Alan Haugh
Tel: 087-2566998
Open: May 1-Dec 22, Mon-Sat, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm

Fee: adult 5, child/ OAP/student €3 

Swainstown House 

Kilmessan, Co. Meath
Caroline Preston
Tel: 086-2577939
Open: Mar 1-2, 4-5, April 5-6, 8-9, May 3-9, June 7-13, July 5-11, Aug 14-22, Sept 13-17, 20-24, Oct 4-5, 7-8, Nov 1-2, 4-5, Dec 6-7, 9-10, 11am-3pm 

Fee: adult €8, child €1, OAP/student €3 

Swainstown, County Meath.

Tankardstown House 

Rathkenny, Slane, Co. Meath

Brian Conroy
Tel: 087-2888925 

www.tankardstown.ie 

Open: all year including National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 9am-1pm Fee: Free 

Tankardstown, County Meath.

Monaghan 

Castle Leslie 

Glaslough, Co. Monaghan
Samantha Leslie
Tel: 047-88091
www.castleleslie.com
(Tourist Accommodation Facility)
Open: all year, National Heritage Week, events August 14-22 Fee: Free

Castle Leslie, County Monaghan.
Castle Leslie, County Monaghan.

 Hilton Park House

Clones, Co. Monaghan
Fred Madden
Tel 047-56007
www.hiltonpark.ie
(Tourist Accommodation Facility) Open: April- Sept 

House and garden tours available for groups, May, July, Aug, Sept, Monday-Friday, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, June 1-4, 10-14, 17-21, 24-29, 12 noon-4pm Fee: adult €10, OAP/student €6, child free 

Hilton Park, County Monaghan. Photograph from Tourism Ireland.

Mullan Village and Mill 

Mullan, Emyvale, Co. Monaghan

Michael Treanor
Tel: 047-81135 

www.mullanvillage.com 

Open: Aug 1-31, Sept 1-30, 2pm-6.30pm Fee: €6 

Offaly 

Birr Castle 

Birr, Co. Offaly

Alicia Clements Tel: 057-9120056 

www.birrcastle.com

Open: May 1-Aug 31, Mon-Sat, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, closed Aug 1, 8, 29,10am-2pm
Fee: adult €20, castle €10, garden €10, groups €15 per head, garden €7.50, castle €7.50 

Birr Castle, County Offaly.

Ballybrittan Castle 

Ballybrittan, Edenderry, Co. Offaly
Rosemarie
Tel: 087-2469802
Open: Jan 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 23-24, 30-31, Feb 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, Mar 6-7,13- 14, 20-21, 27-28, May 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, June 12-13,19-20, 26-27, July 3-4,10- 11,17-18, 24-25, 31, Aug 14-22, Sept 4-14, 2pm-6pm. 

Fee: free – except in case of large groups a fee of €5 p.p.

 Ballindoolin House 

Edenderry, Co. Offaly
Rudolf Prosoroff
Tel: 00436765570097
Open: April 6-8, 12-15, 19-22, 26-29, May 1-6, 8-13, 15-20, 24-27, 31, June 1-3, 7- 10, 14-17, 21-24, 28-30, Aug 14-22, 10am-2pm 

Fee: adult €10, student /OAP/child €5 

Boland’s Lock 

Cappincur, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Martin O’Rourke
Tel: 086-2594914
Open: July 1-31, Aug 1-31, 12 noon-4pm

Fee: adult €2, OAP/student /family €5 

Boland’s Lock, County Offaly. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Corolanty House

Shinrone, Birr, Co. Offaly
Siobhan Webb
Tel: 086-1209984
Open: Jan, Feb, July, Aug, Sept, daily 2pm-6pm Fee: Free 

Corolanty House, County Offaly. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Crotty Church 

Castle Street, Birr, Co. Offaly Brendan Garry
Tel: 086-8236452 

Open: all year, 9am-5pm 

Fee: Free 

Gloster House

Brosna, Birr, Co. Offaly
Tom & Mary Alexander
Tel: 087-2342135
Open: Feb 1-26, Mon-Fri, May 1-31, Aug 14-22, 9am-1.30pm

Fee: adult/student/child/OAP €7 

Gloster House, County Offaly. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

High Street House 

High Street, Tullamore, Co. Offaly

George Ross
Tel: 086-3831992 

www.no6highstreet.com 

Open: Jan 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, May 1-18, Aug 14-22, Sept 1-24, 9.30am-1.30pm

Fee: adult/student €5, OAP €4, child under 12 free 

Loughton 

Moneygall, Birr, Co. Offaly
Michael Lyons
Tel: 089-4319150
www.loughtonhouse.com
Open: May 11-16, 18-23, 25-30, June 1-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27, 29-30, Aug 1, 3-8, 10- 22, 11am-3.30pm 

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student €4, child €3 (under 12 free), family (2 adults & 2 children over 12) € 15 

Loughton House, County Offaly.

Springfield House 

Mount Lucas, Daingean, Tullamore, Co. Offaly Muireann Noonan
Tel: 087-2204569
www.springfieldhouse.ie 

Open: Jan 1-14, 1pm-5pm, May 14-16, 24-28, July 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, Aug 7-29, 2pm- 6pm, Dec 26-31, 1pm-5pm
Fee: Free 

The Maltings

Castle Street, Birr, Co. Offaly

Eoin Garry
Tel: 086-3286277 

www.canbe.ie 

(Tourist Accommodation Facility

Open: April 1-Dec 31 

The Maltings, County Offaly. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Roscommon 

Castlecoote House

Castlecoote, Co. Roscommon

Kevin Finnerty

Tel: 087-2587537

 www.castlecootehouse.com 

(Tourist Accommodation Facility)

Open: May-Oct 

Garden-guided tours, 2pm-6pm Fee: €5, €2 per car 

Castlecoote House, County Roscommon. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Clonalis House 

Castlerea, Co. Roscommon
Pyers O’Conor Nash
Tel: 094-9620014, 087-3371667
(Tourist Accommodation Facility)
April 1-October 1
www.clonalis.com
Open: Jun 1-Aug 31, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 11am-5pm, last tour 3.45pm, tours by appointment
Fee: adult €10, OAP/student €8, child €5, under 7 years free, group rates can be arranged 

Clonalis, County Roscommon.

King House

Main Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon Eimear Dowd
Tel: 090-6637369 

www.visitkinghouse.ie

Open: April 16-Sept 24, Tue-Sun, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 11am-5pm

Fee: adult €7, OAP/student /child €5, 10% group discounts 

King House, County Roscommon. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Shannonbridge Fortifications 

Shannonbridge, Athlone, Co. Roscommon

Fergal Moran
Tel: 085-1345582 

www.shannonbridgefortifications.ie 

Open: May 1-Sept 30, 11am-5pm 

Fee: Free 

Shannonbridge Fortifications, County Roscommon. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Strokestown Park House

Strokestown Park House, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon

Ciarán
Tel: 01-8748030
www.strokestownpark.ie 

Open: Jan 2-Dec 20, Jan, Feb, Mar 1-16, Nov, Dec,10.30am-4pm, March 17-Oct 31, 10.30am-5.30pm,
Fee: adult €14, €12.50, €9.25, OAP/student €12.50, child €6, family €29, groups €11.50 

Strokestown Park, County Roscommon. Photograph from Tourism Ireland.

Sligo 

Coopershill House

Riverstown, Co. Sligo
Simon O’Hara
Tel: 071-9165108 

www.coopershill.com
(Tourist Accommodation Facility) 

Open: April-Sept 

Tues- Sat, 11am-5pm
Fee: adult/child/OAP/student €5 

Coopershill House, Sligo. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Lissadell House & Gardens

Lissadell, Ballinfull, Co. Sligo

Edward Walsh
Tel: 087-2550969 

www.lissadell.com 

Open: June-Sept 10.30am-6pm
Fee: adult €14, child €7, OAP €12, concessions family 

Lissadell House and Gardens County Sligo Ireland. Photograph from Tourism Ireland.

Markree Castle

Collooney
Co Sligo
Nicholas Ryan
Tel: 071-9167800 

www.markreecastle.ie
Open: June, July, Aug, 12 noon-4pm Fee: Free 

Markree Castle, County Sligo. photograph by Tom Keenan, creative commons flickr.

Newpark House and Demesne

Newpark, Ballymote, Co. Sligo
Christopher & Dorothy-Ellen Kitchin
Tel: 087-3706869, 087-2894550
Open: March 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, May 10-16, 24-27, 31, June 1-17, Aug 14-22, Sept 7-8, 9am-1pm
Fee: adult €7, OAP/student/group €5 

Newpark House, County Sligo. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Rathcarrick House

Rathcarrick, Strandhill Road, Co. Sligo
Michael Sweeney
Tel: 071-9128417
Open: June, July, Aug, Tue-Sat, National Heritage Week Aug 14-22, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student/child free

Rathcarrick House, County Sligo. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Temple House

Ballymote, Co. Sligo
Roderick and Helena Perceval

Tel:071-9183329, 087-9976045 

www.templehouse.ie
(Tourist Accommodation Facility) 

Open: April 1-October 31 

Temple House, County Sligo. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Tipperary 

Beechwood House

Ballbrunoge, Cullen, Co. Tipperary
Maura & Patrick McCormack
Tel: 083-1486736
Open: Jan 4-8, 18-22, Feb 1-5, 8-12, May 1-3, 14-17, 21-24, June 11-14, 18-21, Aug 14-22, Sept 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 10.15am-2.15pm 

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student €2, child free, fees donated to charity 

Beechwood House, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Clashleigh House 

Clogheen, Co. Tipperary
Elizabeth O’Callaghan
Tel: 086-8185334
Open: April 1-May 27, Tues & Thurs, June 1-29, Tue, Thurs, Sat & Sun, Aug 14-22, Sept 2-Oct 28, Tues & Thurs, 9am-1pm 

Fee: adult €8, OAP/student/child €4 

Clashleigh House, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Cloughjordan House

Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary
Sarah Baker
Tel: 085-2503344
www.cloughjordanhouse.com
Open: May 4-29, Sept 6-30, Oct 4-30 excluding Sundays, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 9.30am-1.30pm 

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student/child €5 

Cloughjordan House, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Fancroft Mill 

Fancroft, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Marcus & Irene Sweeney
Tel: 0505-31484, 087-9263300 

www.fancroft.ie

Open: May 6-27, June 9-30, Aug 14-22, Sept 15-22, 10am-2pm
Fee: adult €8, OAP/student €6, child free under 5 years, adult supervision essential, group rates available 

Fancroft Mill, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Grenane House 

Tipperary, Co. Tipperary
Philippa Mansergh-Wallace
Tel: 062-52484
Open: May & Sept, Mon-Sat, Aug 14-22, 2pm-6pm, closed Saturday, Sept 18

Fee: adult €8, student/OAP €6, group rates available 

Greenane House, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. I assume this is the house that is 482, despite the difference in spelling!

Killenure Castle 

Dundrum
Co Tipperary
Eavaun Carmody
Tel: 087-6402664
www.killenure.com
Open: May 11-31, June 1-30, Aug 14-22, 10.30am-2.30pm

Fee: adult €8, child /OAP/student €6, group concessions 

Killenure Castle, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Lismacue House

Bansha, Co. Tipperary
Katherine Nicholson
Tel: 062-54106
www.lismacue.com
(Tourist Accommodation Facility) 

Open: Mar 17-Oct 31 

Lismacue House, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Redwood Castle 

Redwood, Lorrha, Nenagh, North Tipperary

Redwood is off the Birr/Portumna Rd

Coleesa Egan
Tel: 087-7479566 

www.redwoodcastleireland.com

Open: June 8-23, 29-30, July 1-16, 19-29, Aug 1-27, 29-31, Sept 1-2, 2pm-6pm

Fee: adult €10, OAP/student/child €5 

Redwood Castle, County Tipperary, photograph by discover lough derg on flickr creative commons.

The Rectory

Cashel Road, Cahir, Co. Tipperary

Richard & Josephine Fahey 

Tel: 087-2601994

(Tourist Accommodation Facility

Open: May 1-Oct 31 

The Rectory, Cahir. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Silversprings House 

Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Jim Gilligan
Tel: 086-2539187
Open: May 1-31, June 1-30, Aug 14-22, 12 noon-4pm

Fee: adult €5, OAP/student €3, child free 

Silversprings House, County Tipperary. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Waterford 

Ballynatray Estate 

Co. Waterford
Postal address: Glendine, Youghal, Co. Cork

Katherine Gordon
Tel: 086-1701832
www.ballynatray.com
Open: April 1-Sept 30, 12 noon- 4pm
Fee: adult €6, child OAP/student €3 

Ballynatray House, County Waterford. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Cappagh House (Old and New)

Cappagh
Dungarvan
Co Waterford
Charles and Claire Chavasse
Tel: 087-8290860, 086-8387420
www.cappaghhouse.ie
Open: April, June, & August, Wednesday & Thursday, May & September Wednesday Thursday & Saturday, National Heritage Week, August 14-22, 9.30am-1.30pm
Fee: adult/OAP/student/€5, child under 12 free 

Cappagh House, County Waterford. Photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Cappoquin House & Gardens 

Cappoquin, Co. Waterford
Sir Charles Keane
Tel: 058-54290, July 087-6704180
www.cappoquinhouseandgardens.com
Open: July 20-24, 26-31, Aug 2-7, 9-28, 30, Sept 1-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-25, 27-30, 9am-1pm
Gardens open all year, 9am-6pm, closed Sundays
Fee: house/garden €15, garden only €6 

Cappoquin House, County Waterford.

Curraghmore House 

Portlaw, Co. Waterford
Vanessa Behal
Tel: 051-387101
www.curraghmorehouse.ie
Open: May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Thurs-Sun and Bank Holidays, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22,10am-4pm 

Fee: adult/OAP/student, house/garden/shell house tour €20, house €15, garden & shell house €12, garden €7, child under12 years free 

Curraghmore, County Waterford.

Dromana House 

Cappoquin, Co. Waterford
Barbara Grubb
Tel: 086-8186305
www.dromanahouse.com
Open: May 1-8, 22-31, June 1-30, July 1-10, Aug 14-22, 2pm-6pm
Fee: adult/OAP/student, house €10, garden: adult/OAP/student €6, child under 12 free, groups of 10 or more house/garden €12, garden €5, house €9, 

Dromana, County Waterford.

Salterbridge House & Garden 

Salterbridge, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford
Philip Wingfield
Tel: 086-8223005
www.salterbridgehouseandgarden.com
Open: Mar 22-26, Apr 6-9, 12-16, 19-23, 26-30, May 3-7, 10-31, Aug 14-22, 9am- 1pm 

Fee: adult house/garden €10, house or garden only €5, child/student half price, OAP free 

Salterbridge, County Waterford.

The Presentation Convent 

Waterford Healthpark, Slievekeel Road,Waterford

Michelle O’ Brien
www.rowecreavin.ie
Tel: 051-370057 

Open: Jan 1-Dec 31, excluding Bank Holidays and Sundays, Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm, Sat, 10am-2pm, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22
Fee: Free 

Presentation Convent, County Waterford. photograph from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Tourin House & Gardens 

Tourin, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford

Kristin Jameson
Tel: 086-8113841
www.tourin.ie 

Open: April 1-Sept 30, Tue-Sat, National Heritage Week, Aug 14-22, 1pm-5pm

Fee: adult €6, OAP/student €3, child free.