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The Southwell Gift Houses, The Mall, Kinsale, County Cork
20851154
Front (east) elevation
Reg. No.20851154
Date1680 - 1685
Previous NameN/A
TownlandDROMDERRIG
CountyCounty Cork
Coordinates163930, 50106
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL HISTORICAL SOCIAL
RatingRegional
Original Usealmshouse
In Use Asalmshouse
 
Description
Detached three-bay two-storey house, dated 1682, having red brick porch to front (east) elevation and lean-to addition to rear (west). Pitched slate roof with red brick chimneystacks and cast-iron rainwater goods. Rendered walls. Square-headed window openings throughout with stone sills. Four-pane timber framed windows with pivoting and fixed quarry glazed window panes to first floor of front elevation. Timber framed windows to ground floor of front elevation with quarry glazed cast-iron casement windows. Timber framed quarry glazed cast-iron casement windows to rear (west) elevation. Square-headed door opening with timber battened door to front elevation within porch. Square-headed door opening with replacement glazed timber door to rear elevation. Pitched slate roof to porch with red brick walls, having pilasters, cornice and consoles. Surmounted by pediment with square-headed recess having chamfered surround carrying limestone crest and date plaque. Limestone stepped approach. Set within own grounds with garden and courtyard. Rubble limestone retaining walls to front of courtyard with carved and channelled limestone gate piers surmounted by classical urns with wrought-iron gates and rubble limestone steps.

Appraisal

These almshouses were built in 1682 by Sir Robert Southwell a prominent figure and benefactor within Kinsale. The houses were originally given to widows of protestant tradesmen. They were later restored between 1965 and 1970 and given to elderly people within Kinsale. This structure is known as the supervisor's house and is set apart from the rest of the complex by its central location, higher placement and two-storey scale. It forms part of a complex set around a courtyard with an excellent wrought-iron gate with gate piers marking the entrance. The house retains much of its original form and slate roof. The fine red brick pedimented porch contains a plaque displaying the Southwell family crest and the date of construction. Holding a prominent position overlooking the harbour and town this complex makes a positive contribution to the character of the streetscape
 
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