Buildings at Risk
Hazelwood House, Co. Sligo
Hazelwood House is a most important Palladian mansion which sits on a peninsula in Co. Sligo. The house was constructed in the 1730’s to the designs of Richard Castle (1695-1751), architect of Leinster House, Powerscourt House and Westport House. The house comprises a central block of three storeys over basement flanked by two curved wings and was occupied by the Wynne family from the early 18th century until the 1920’s. After this time the house played host to various occupants including a retired tea planter and the army until, after the Second World War, it was faced with imminent demolition. Fortunately, the house was saved and again experienced a variety of roles that have succeeded in preserving the house till this day.
Hazelwood House is currently facing an uncertain future. Though the main building was re-roofed some years ago this did not address the needs of an historic building of its scale and importance. The house, particularly the wings, continues to experience water ingress that inevitably will lead to major structural faulting if left unaddressed. Furthermore, given that the house is no longer in use, it is susceptible to further gradual decay brought about by poor ventilation and the lack of adequate heating.
This house is certainly one of the most important architectural structures not only in Sligo but in the northwest as a whole. It is a building of international importance that has survived against the odds. Unfortunately, the building has been compromised by the construction of an industrial unit to the rear but, ultimately, this is reversible and should not impede its preservation. To retain its contribution to the heritage of Sligo a use must be found for Hazelwood that allows for the implementation of an effective conservation/management plan.
The Society believes that the future of this internationally important building must be preserved and that it could play a strong role as a core educational/tourist amenity for the northwest as a whole.
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