Though its foundations were set in the 1600s, Annesbrook House was primarily built in the mid-eighteenth century as a simple Georgian structure. In 1821 however, owner Henry Smith commissioned an impressive portico and a Georgian-Gothic “banqueting room” in preparation for a visit from King George IV who was touring Ireland and staying with his mistress, Lady Conyngham, at nearby Slane Castle. Much to Smith’s chagrin, the King never saw the banqueting room for, upon arrival at the house, he preferred to dine outdoors.
By 2001 water ingress from an impaired roof structure had damaged the magnificent plasterwork in the banqueting room and immediate attention was required. The owners approached the Irish Georgian Society for restoration funding, to which the Society responded with a grant of IRP ₤13,000 between 2001-2002, covering twenty-percent of the total project costs.
Brief description of project:
The Society’s grant funded the repair of plaster and timber laths in the banqueting room, the re-fitting of the stone fireplace, and redecorating the walls and joinery in select historical colours. Roof repairs to stop water ingress included stripping back existing slates, fitting new timber battens, repairing all parapet gutters, flashings, and downpipes, and re-fitting remaining slates.
The house is a fine rendered mid-Georgian building of two storeys and three bays. The front elevation possesses a two-storey, pedimented portico with fluted, Ionic columns. An impressive, rusticated fanlight surmounts the entrance doorway and the ground floor windows are topped with relieving arches. A single-storey wing extends to the left of the main house which contains the banqueting room and both sections of the house possess a hipped roof concealed behind a parapet.