Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social
1799 - 1815
Attached five-bay three-storey hotel, extant 1815, on a T-shaped plan centred on (single-storey) prostyle distyle Doric portico to ground floor with six-bay two-storey "bas-relief" recessed wings. Closed, 2006. For sale, 2010. Now disused. Pitched slate roofs with clay ridge tiles terminating in rendered, ruled and lined chimney stacks having shallow stringcourses below capping supporting terracotta or yellow terracotta pots, and cast-iron rainwater goods on roughcast cut-limestone eaves retaining cast-iron downpipes. Roughcast walls to front (south) elevation on drag edged tooled cut-limestone plinth with drag edged rusticated cut-limestone quoins to corners; rendered, ruled and lined surface finish (remainder). Segmental-headed central door opening behind (single-storey) prostyle distyle Doric portico with dragged cut-limestone columns having responsive pilasters supporting iron-covered cornice on encased frieze, and drag edged dragged cut-limestone doorcase with monolithic pilasters supporting "Cyma Recta" or "Cyma Reversa" cornice on consoles framing timber panelled double doors having fanlight. Square-headed window openings with drag edged dragged cut-limestone sills, and concealed dressings framing replacement six-over-six timber sash windows. Series of six segmental-headed openings (wings) with shallow sills, and drag edged tooled cut-limestone block-and-start archivolts centred on drag edged tooled cut-limestone keystones framing replacement three-over-three timber sash windows. Square-headed window openings (first floor) with drag edged dragged cut-limestone sills, and concealed dressings framing replacement six-over-six timber sash windows. Interior including (ground floor): central vestibule; entrance hall-cum-staircase hall retaining carved timber surrounds to door openings framing timber panelled doors, staircase on a dog leg plan with balusters supporting banister terminating in volute, carved timber surrounds to door openings to landings framing timber panelled doors, and decorative plasterwork cornices to ceilings; and carved timber surrounds to door openings to remainder framing timber panelled doors with timber panelled shutters to window openings. Street fronted with concrete footpath to front.
An hotel representing an integral component of the built heritage of Westport with the architectural value of the composition, a 'singularly large and noble establishment…built and furnished at the private expense of [Howe Peter Browne (1788-1845), second Marquess of Sligo]' (Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1846 III, 521), confirmed by such attributes as the pseudo-Palladian plan form centred on a pillared portico not only demonstrating good quality workmanship, but also recalling the customs official's house (extant 1838) in Westport Quay (see 31211041); and the diminishing in scale of the openings on each floor producing a graduated visual impression. Having been well maintained, the elementary form and massing survive intact together with substantial quantities of the original or sympathetically replicated fabric, both to the exterior and to the interior where contemporary joinery; Classical-style chimneypieces; and decorative plasterwork enrichments, all highlight the artistic potential of the composition. Furthermore, an adjacent coach house-cum-stable outbuilding (extant 1838) continues to contribute positively to the group and setting values of an hotel making a pleasing visual statement overlooking the canalised Westport or Carrowbeg River.