Categories of Special Interest
Archaeological, Architectural, Artistic, Historical
In Use As
1500 - 1870
Freestanding four-bay mausoleum and mortuary chapel, built 1867, abutting and incorporating a single-bay two-storey rubble limestone tower house, on square-plan, to the west, built c.1500 and altered c.1867 with addition of a battlemented parapet. Steeply pitched roof to later structure with flagstone covering having ashlar limestone kneeler stones/fractables, moulded ashlar limestone eaves course and a moulded ashlar ridge course to roof apex with finial block to east gable. Coursed square rubble limestone walls with extensive detailing. Including clasping corners buttresses and a chamfered ashlar plinth. Ogee-headed lancet window openings, set in flush ashlar limestone surrounds, to nave (north and south) having cast-iron bars. Pointed-arched doorcase to west having scrolled ashlar limestone surround and timber boarded double-doors with chevron pattern. Sandstone memorial above doorcase, dated 1680, commemorating the Nugent Family. Number of monuments and memorials to the interior, of main medieval and post medieval date, most commemorating the Nugent Family. Memorial dated 1616 reads 'last hermit of Fore, Patrick Begley'. Set back from road on side of a steep hill overlooking Fore Abbey to the west. Site is enclosed by a battlemented rubble limestone wall with ashlar coping and a projecting string course. Dressed limestone gate piers to west having iron gates.
This building has been used as a mausoleum by the Nugent Family since 1680 but it owes its present form to an extensive and expensive makeover by Pugin and Ashlin, a renowned architectural firm of international standing, in 1867. This nineteenth century work uses extensive Gothic detailing for ceremonial effect and skillfully incorporates the fabric of the earlier tower house, built c.1500. It is thought by a number of sources that George Ashlin (1837-1921) may have sole responsibility for the designs of this structure. Indeed, Ashlin designed the Roman Catholic church at nearby Delvin (15308006), also under the patronage of the Nugent Family in 1873, and therefore has professional ties with the family and the North Westmeath area. The interesting collection of finely carved memorial monuments to the interior is of historic and artistic merit. This structure should be viewed as an important element in a very rich historical, architectural and archaeological landscape at Fore.