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Turlough Park, Turlough, County Mayo
31307009
Representative view of country house.
Reg. No.31307009
Date1860 - 1870
Previous NameN/A
TownlandGORTNAFOLLA
CountyCounty Mayo
Coordinates120624, 293382
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL SOCIAL TECHNICAL
RatingNational
Original Usecountry house
In Use Asmuseum/gallery
 
Description
Detached three-bay (two-bay deep) two-storey double-pile country house with dormer attic, built 1863-7; dated 1865, on a square plan centred on single-bay single-storey gabled projecting open porch to ground floor; four-bay two-storey rear (north) elevation. Occupied, 1911. Vacant, 1923-36. Sold, 1991. Restored, 1999-2001, to accommodate alternative use. Hipped double-pile (M-profile) slate roof centred on gablets to window openings to dormer attic with rolled lead ridges, tuck pointed snecked limestone chamfered chimney stacks having lichen-covered cut-limestone capping, trefoil-detail decorative timber bargeboards to gablets on consoles with cast-iron "Fleur-de-Lys" finials to apexes, and embedded rainwater goods in dragged cut-limestone chamfered "cornice" on dragged cut-limestone "Cavetto" consoles retaining cast-iron ogee hoppers and square profile downpipes with trefoil-detailed straps. Dragged limestone ashlar-banded tuck pointed snecked limestone walls on dragged cut-limestone chamfered plinth with bull nose-detailed drag edged dragged hammered limestone flush quoins to corners. Segmental-headed central door opening approached by flight of three cut-Portland Stone steps with drag edged dragged cut-limestone surround having bull nose-detailed reveals framing glazed timber panelled double doors. Cusped flanking window openings on dragged cut-limestone chamfered sill course with drag edged dragged cut-limestone surrounds having chamfered reveals framing fixed-pane fittings having stained glass margins centred on lattice glazing bars. Cusped window opening in tripartite arrangement (first floor) with dragged cut-limestone chamfered sill, and polished pink marble Corinthian colonette mullions supporting drag edged dragged cut-limestone voussoirs having chamfered reveals framing fixed-pane fittings having stained glass margins centred on leaded stained glass panels. Square-headed window openings (ground floor) with dragged cut-limestone chamfered sill course, and drag edged dragged hammered limestone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals framing one-over-one timber sash windows. Square-headed window openings in bipartite arrangement (first floor) with dragged cut-limestone chamfered sill course, dragged cut-limestone Corinthian colonette mullions, and drag edged dragged hammered limestone block-and-start surrounds having engaged colonette-detailed reveals framing one-over-one timber sash windows. Square-headed window openings in bipartite arrangement to rear (north) elevation with dragged cut-limestone chamfered sill courses, dragged cut-limestone Corinthian colonette mullions, and drag edged dragged hammered limestone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals (ground floor) or engaged colonette-detailed reveals (first floor) framing one-over-one timber sash windows. Interior restored, 1999-2001, including (ground floor): double-height hall on a square plan with polished Portland Stone flagged floor, carved timber surrounds to door openings framing timber panelled doors, cantilevered staircase on a dog leg plan with wrought iron-detailed cast-iron balusters supporting carved timber banister terminating in volutes, stained glass window to half-landing, carved timber surrounds to door openings to landing framing timber panelled door, and diagonal timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled ceiling in carved timber frame on carved timber cornice; library (south-west) retaining carved timber surrounds to door openings framing timber panelled doors with carved timber surrounds to window openings framing timber panelled reveals on panelled risers, foliate-detailed timber bookcases centred on cut-veined black marble Classical-style chimneypiece, and diagonal timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled ceiling in carved timber frame on foliate-detailed cornice; drawing room (north-west) retaining carved timber surrounds to door openings framing timber panelled doors with carved timber surrounds to window openings framing timber panelled shutters on panelled risers, and diagonal timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled ceiling in carved timber framing on nail head-detailed carved timber cornice; dining room (north-east) retaining carved timber surrounds to door openings framing timber panelled doors with carved timber surrounds to window openings framing timber panelled shutters on panelled risers, and decorative plasterwork cornice to ceiling centred on decorative plasterwork ceiling rose; study (south-east) retaining carved timber surround to door opening framing timber panelled door with carved timber surround to window opening framing timber panelled shutters on panelled risers; and carved timber surrounds to door openings to remainder framing timber panelled doors with carved timber surrounds to window openings framing timber panelled shutters on panelled risers. Set in landscaped grounds. Additional photography by James Fraher

Appraisal

A country house erected to a design by Sir Thomas Newenham Deane (1827-99) of Upper Merrion Street, Dublin, representing an important component of the mid nineteenth-century domestic built heritage of County Mayo with the architectural value of the composition, one reviving motifs devised by Benjamin Woodward (1815-61), confirmed by such attributes as the deliberate alignment maximising on scenic vistas overlooking terraced lawns and an artificial lake with Turlough Round Tower [MA070-144002-] as a picturesque eye-catcher in the near distance; the compact near-square plan form centred on a tripartite frontispiece (cf. Glandore (1858), Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin); the construction in a banded deep grey limestone offset by sheer dressings not only demonstrating good quality workmanship, but also compounding a sober two-tone palette (cf. Brownsbarn House (1857-64), County Kilkenny); the diminishing in scale of the openings on each floor producing a graduated visual impression with the principal "apartments" defined by elegant bipartite glazing patterns; and the miniature gablets embellishing a high pitched "Châteauesque" roofline (cf. Saint Ann's Schools (1857-8; demolished 1978), Molesworth Street, Dublin). Having been well maintained, the elementary form and massing survive intact together with substantial quantities of the original fabric, both to the exterior and to the interior where contemporary joinery; heraldic stained glass; restrained chimneypieces; and decorative plasterwork enrichments, all highlight the considerable artistic potential of the composition: meanwhile, a cantilevered staircase, 'ingeniously contrived to pass over the front door so that its half-landing is a glazed Venetian loggia' (Williams 1994, 303-4), pinpoints the engineering or technical dexterity of the country house. Furthermore, an adjoining stable complex (see 31307010); a reconstructed glasshouse (see 31307011); the eighteenth-century Turlough House (see 31307012); and a nearby gate lodge (see 31307014), all continue to contribute positively to the group and setting values of an estate having historic connections with the FitzGerald family including Charles Lionel FitzGerald JP DL (1833-1902), 'Justice of the Peace [and] Deputy Lieutenant for County Mayo' (NA 1901); Charles Lionel Wingfield FitzGerald (1841-1905), 'late of Winterton Hall Hythe County of Hants and of Turlough Park Castlebar County Mayo' (Calendars of Wills and Administrations 1905, 149); and Desmond Gerald FitzGerald JP DL (1863-1950), one-time High Sheriff of County Mayo (fl. 1909).
 
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