Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Historical, Social
Saint Joseph's Convent of Mercy
In Use As
1860 - 1865
Detached six-bay two-storey over basement Classical-style house, built 1861 - 1864, with single-storey prostyle tetrastyle flat-roofed Ionic portico to centre, single-bay two-storey flat-roofed linking bay to north with two-bay two-storey terminating pavilion block having three-bay two-storey elevation to north incorporating single-bay two-storey breakfront, single-bay single-storey flat-roofed linking bay to south having four-bay single-storey barrel-roofed wing (originally conservatory) with single-bay single-storey bowed elevation to south, and seven-bay two-storey Garden elevation to east. Converted to use as convent, 1901, with wing to south remodelled to accommodate use as chapel, and single-bay single-storey flat-roofed projecting bay added to centre Garden (east) elevation having three-bay single-storey flat-roofed flanking open arcades. Mostly refenestrated, c.1985. Part refenestrated, c.2000. Hipped slate roofs behind parapets with clay ridge tiles, rendered chimney stacks, and concealed cast-iron rainwater goods. Flat roofs to linking bays not visible behind parapets. Barrel-vaulted copper-clad roof to wing to south (half-domed to bowed elevation) behind parapet with copper vent. Flat roofs to projecting bay and to arcade to Garden (east) elevation not visible behind parapets. Painted rendered walls with channelling to ground floor, ruled and lined to first floor, full-height corner pilasters, fielded frieze, moulded cornice, and blocking course to parapets. Painted rendered walls to wing to south with channelling, panelled pilasters, plain frieze, and moulded cornice having blocking course to parapet. Square-headed window openings with moulded rendered sills (forming sill courses (on advanced aprons to first floor)), and rendered dressings including moulded shouldered surrounds having entablatures to ground floor on consoles. Replacement aluminium casement windows, c.1985. Square-headed window openings to wing to south with rendered sills, and moulded surrounds. Replacement uPVC casement windows, c.2000. Pseudo-three-centre-arched openings under prostyle tetrastyle flat-roofed Ionic portico (having frieze, moulded cornice, and balustraded parapet) with moulded rendered sills, shouldered surrounds, timber panelled door with overpanel, 1/1 timber sash flanking windows, and cut-stone plaque over. Set back from road in own extensive grounds with tarmacadam forecourt, and landscaped formal garden to east incorporating shallow terraces with series of flights of cut-stone steps having cut-stone parapets leading to circular pond.
An imposing Classical-style mansion, also known as Portlaw House, built to designs prepared by John Skipton Mulvaney (1813 – 1871) for the industrialist George Pim Malcomson (n. d.). The house shares stylistic attributes that are common to a number of Malcomson properties, including a bow-ended wing that features at Mayfield House (22803035/WD-08-03-35), and Villa Marina, Dock Road, Dunmore East (22817021/WD-27-17-21). Subsequently converted to use as a convent, the composition retains its original form and massing, together with some important original features and materials. The rendered detailing throughout remains substantially intact, and enhances the architectural design distinction of the composition. However, the replacement fittings to the majority of the openings do not enhance the visual appeal of the building. Set in extensive grounds of landscape design interest, the building forms a prominent landmark on the approach road into Portlaw from the north.