While much excitement – and publicity – was generated by a house contents sale conducted by Mealy’s Auctioneers at Lotabeg, Cork for some of us the building proved as interesting as what it held. Dating from c.1800 Lotabeg is a relatively late work by Abraham Hargrave, an English-born architect who appears to have come to Ireland in 1791 to supervise the construction of St Patrick’s Bridge over the river Lee in Cork. He then stayed on and was responsible for work on a number of other country houses in the vicinity, including Fota and Castle Hyde, in both cases making alterations/additions to the original structure. Lotabeg on the other hand is entirely by Hargrave, its most notable feature being the large bow on the north-facing seven-bay entrance front. Behind this lies the house’s finest internal space: an immense circular domed entrance hall, around the walls of which snakes a cantilevered timber staircase up to the first floor gallery with access to a series of bedrooms.