Friday, 4 September 2015

Lisadell - a house with a past.

As well as visiting Lisadell Parish Church on Monday I visited Lisadell House. It is a rather austere limestone edifice. Its literary and artistic associations along with the, "terrible beauty," of Constance Gore-Booth aka Countess Markevitch are I suppose the pulling factors for its tourist traffic. I have to say that I would have preferred to have visited the property knowing that it was still owned by the Gore-Booth family. Unfortunately the ninth baronet decided to , "sell up," and it is now owned by two SC's from Dublin, The 2004 sale price of circa €3.5m for the mansion and 400 acres does not seem at all unreasonable.

Clearly a considerable sum has been spent in renovating the house and the stable yard but the result leans somewhat to a theme park result. I cannot but think that the now owners have profit to the forefront of their minds rather than preservation. That said maybe in today's economic environment the former is a prerequisite of the latter.

The house was constructed between 1830 and 1835 to the designs of Francis Goodwin. It is a nine bay two storey over basement dwelling with a three bay pedimented central projection forming a porte-cochere to the north. The southern aspect looks over Sligo Bay. The former croquet lawn is no longer present nor are the immediate flower beds. The haha remains but a former pond is now devoid of water. The walled alpine garden which is next the shore is well maintained and deserving of inspection and contemplation. The two acre kitchen garden requires years of effort before it attains a standard worthy of inspection.


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