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Boru House, Mulgrave Street, Blackboy Road, Limerick, Limerick City
21519001
Façade
Reg. No.21519001
Date1880 - 1885
Previous NameN/A
Townland
CountyLimerick City
Coordinates158624, 156478
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL
RatingRegional
Original Usehouse
In Use Asunknown
Additional Useoffice
 
Description
Detached six-bay two-storey polychrome red brick building, built in 1880, with a single-bay two-storey gabled entrance breakfront to the middle third bay, which is surmounted by a limestone arm holding a sword, the emblem of the O'Brien family crest, and a three-sided canted bay window to west. Pitched artificial slate roof with red tiled courses and terracotta ridge tiles. Red brick chimneystacks with modillion cornices and plain clay pots. Replacement uPVC rainwater goods. Limestone fractables to side elevation gables with render flaunching to above. Red brick faced façade, laid in English garden wall bond with limestone ashlar platpands having profiled detailing to window reveals, and vitrified brick stretcher courses returning around window arches. In raised lettering to limestone platbands of gable breakfront: Boru House A.D. 1880. Unpainted rendered gabled side elevations. Dog-tooth eaves course. Pointed arch window openings to ground and square-headed to first floor level, with red brick arches, flush canted limestone sills, and one-over-one timber sash windows with upper sash of ground floor openings following arch. Cylinder glass and ogee horns to each. Pointed arched door opening, with limestone steps and threshold, red brick arch, stop-chamfered red brick reveals, with limestone bands, and original notch-detailed raised and fielded panelled timber door leaf, with original furniture. Cylinder glass overlights above nail-head enriched timber lintel. Front site enclosed from road by red brick wall with limestone coping surmounted by cast-iron railings. Two pedestrian gates hanging from cast-iron rail posts. Red brick carriage arch adjoining neighbouring house, and attached to red brick front site screen wall, is located to west of house, and is distinguished by a ashlar limestone block-and-start reveals, and elliptical red brick arch, with vitrified brick course, and limestone name plaque overhead to gabled tympanum reading: M.O'BRIEN. Double-leaf plank timber gates with cast-iron panelling and wrought-iron hinges. Additional vehicular access to east with sheet metal gate attached to rebuild pebbledash rendered boundary wall. Stable buildings to rear site, which was not accessed.

Appraisal

This large family house of the prosperous O'Brien family was built in 1880. The builder was Michael O'Brien. The use of polychrome brickwork in conjunction with stonework and the coursing of the eaves brickwork is all typical of the closing decades of the nineteenth century. There is something quite non-domestic in the character of this house, which may also have functioned as the head quarters of the family business in the horse trade. The Irish novelist Kate O'Brien (1897-1974), among whose work (much of which was banned by the state), famously includes: The Land of Spices. She was one of ten children born of Tom O'Brien and Catherine Thornhill and lived in this house.
 
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