A Mere Shell

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Above is a photograph taken some time ago of Cloverhill, County Cavan. The original house was built by a branch of the Saunderson family in 1758 but then extended from 1799 onwards to a design by Francis Johnston. It is his work which can be seen here: a two-storey, three bay house with east-facing breakfront entrance bay focussed on a pedimented Ionic portico: on the south side was a bow with Wyatt windows. In 1958 the property was sold by a descendant of the original owners and has since been allowed to fall into ruin. As can be seen below, it is now a roofless shell, the portico seemingly removed more than two decades ago and moved to a house in County Wexford.

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14 comments on “A Mere Shell

  1. Joe Vanek says:

    One of the saddest and most disturbing photographs I have seen in all your formidable posts.

  2. Teresa Burke says:

    I really enjoy your site so much…what a treasure trove of amazing information and history. .. when l see all those ruins scattered throughout the countryside. . I always think ..if only those walls could talk. ..thank you so much again… wonderful.

  3. Anna says:

    I see the house is rated as being of national interest by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage…..a sad state for such an architecturally significant house by one of our leading architects.

  4. Leanne Lane says:

    I live in Canada, my family having moved here in the 1800’s. Being from the “new world” I have always admired the respect that Ireland had for it’s heritage buildings, as nothing is allowed to grow old here. Older buildings are simply destroyed and replaced and forgotten. So it makes me particularly sad to see the same sentiment prevailing in Ireland -and I am sure in Scotland as well ( we do not discuss England even though we are still unfortunately living in it’s shadow).
    Thank you for the information that you post. I am 70 years old now, but I swear I will visit Ireland before I leave this earth!
    Leanne (Leannach) Lane (O’Liathain )

  5. Roy McCarthy says:

    Like Joe said ^^ those ‘before and after’ pics are incredibly sad – nicely portrayed once again.

  6. Nan says:

    This is just heartbreaking. I’ve never seen anything like it. All that green covering the house. This would make a good photo for a preservation society to use for an appeal to people to start saving their heritage.

  7. James Canning says:

    One can only feel sick, and sad.

  8. James Canning says:

    Those interested in the Sauderson (or Sanderson) family can consult Burke’s LANDED GENTRY (1899), p. 402 (“Sanderson of Cloverhill”).

  9. Natasha says:

    Please could you let me know if this is the same estate owned by the Parkers in more recent years. I had a conversation with a relative at a funeral this week who said our family used to own the Cloverhill Estate in Cavan. I would love to know more of our history and whether we have any connection to this old building.

    • Thank you for getting in touch and apologies for not responding sooner due to the fact that I have been travelling for much of the past week. I am afraid I do not know who has owned this estate in more recent years but I am sure if you made contact with the county librarian (always a useful resource for local history) you would be able to find out more.

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