Irish Georgian Society

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Conservation Ballinderry House

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Historical background:

Ballinderry House was built circa 1743 for Mary Pearson, wife of Garret Tyrell. However, the interior rococo plasterwork dates to the 1760s. During the 1798 rebellion the home was damaged by rebels with much of its contents burned. A series of alterations and additions took place in the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, such as the addition of accommodation to the rear of the house and the replacement of many Georgian window subdivisions with larger Victorian panes of glass.

In 2004 Alan and Eleanor Cox, descendants of the original owners, applied to the Irish Georgian Society for funding to offset the cost of their large programme of repairs and restorations. As the front, stone steps were in poor condition and suffering from the decay of their supporting arch, the Society donated €5,000 toward their restoration which covered over twenty-five percent of the project costs.

Brief description of project:

Paul Arnold Architects oversaw the repair programme, including removing the steps to examine the state of the arch underneath and repairing it with a combination of red “Curragh” bricks and lime plaster. Most of the original steps were then re-laid and made good. The iron railings were reinstated as the final element. The house’s overall programme of repairs has been completed, including restoring/replacing rainwater goods, repointing and window repairs, and it is now a wonderful testament to the storied history of Co. Kildare.

Architectural description:

The house is a three-bay, two-storey structure over a basement. Timber sash casement windows with square headed openings are to the piano nobile and first floor, with a Venetian window in the central bay of the first floor. Stone steps lead to the main entrance doorway which is flanked by Doric columns and surmounted by a fanlight and broken pediment. Two-over-two sash sidelights flank the entrance. Corner quoins bookend rendered stone walls beneath a hipped, slate roof with clay ridge tiles. The basement level possesses a cut-stone string course. The classical, country house is a very attractive feature in the manicured landscape and it retains much of its original features. As a substantial mid-Georgian home it works in conjunction with its outbuildings to form an intact mid-eighteenth century farm of regional significance.