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Capella Castlemartyr House, Castlemartyr, County Cork
20825002
Front (north) elevation.
Reg. No.20825002
Date1720 - 1740
Previous NameN/A
TownlandCASTLEMARTYR
CountyCounty Cork
Coordinates195724, 73169
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL SOCIAL
RatingRegional
Original Usecountry house
In Use Ashotel
 
Description
Detached twenty-five-bay two-storey former country house, built c. 1730, enlarged and remodelled, 1764-71, various subsequent alterations, later used as convent and school, now in use as hotel. Comprising five-bay recessed central block with integral pedimented portico to front (north) elevation having ashlar Doric columns and rendered pediment, flanked by six-bay block to west and seven-bay block to east, with projecting three-bay and four-bay terminating blocks. Full-height bow and balustrated colonnade comprising paired ashlar Doric columns with rendered entablature to rear. Sprocketed hipped slate roofs with dressed limestone chimneystacks, cast-iron rainwater goods and render frieze and cornice. Lined-and-ruled rendered walls with rusticated limestone pilasters. Square-headed openings with cut limestone sills and six-over-six pane timber sliding sash windows, those to ground floor of bays flanking central portico having tripartite six-over-six pane flanked by two-over-two pane windows. Square-headed openings to front elevation with carved limestone Gibbsian surrounds, cornices and timber panelled doors. Carved limestone balustrade to front of main entrance. Retains interior features.

Appraisal

House is unusual in plan and elevation owing to alterations running over three centuries. Exceptionally wide front façade having rarity of three entrances. Variation in roof line adds interest to the façade, as too do well-executed pilasters and pediments. Built by Henry Boyle, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, Ist Earl of Shannon, it was enlarged and remodelled in 1764-71 by the second Earl. The Ballroom completed in 1771, was described as one of finest rooms in Ireland by Arthur Young. Intricate and well crafted Rococo plasterwork adds much decorative interest to interior and is attributed to the Franchini brothers. Continues to have strong influence on local village.
 
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