Seen from the shore of Lough Derravaragh: Coolure, County Westmeath. The house dates from c.1785 following the marriage of Captain (later Admiral) Thomas Pakenham to Louisa Staples. The couple immediately embarked on building their new home and when Lady Louisa Conolly, who had brought up the motherless Louisa Staples (her husband’s niece) at Castletown, County Kildare came to visit, she wrote, ‘The Coolure House is in vast forwardness, and a sweet pretty thing it will be. Tom Pakenham and Louisa seem equally engaged about it, though in different lines. He minds the farm only, and leaves the house, plantation and gardening entirely to her. But both agree in loving the place and wishing to spend their lives there.’ As indeed they duly did, further extending the house in the early 1820s presumably to accommodate their substantial family (Louisa Pakenham had fifteen children). The building’s finest external feature is the tripartite cut limestone Doric doorcase, with sidelights and spoked fanlight beneath a pediment.
Just happened to be in Coole and Castlepollard at the weekend and drove around the back of Coolure and Tullynally. Beautiful landscape with some very interesting architecture. Have a look at The Annals of Westmeath by James Woods for backround knowledge. I’m off to read up on Maria Edgeworth.
Aesthete, you have the most wonderful eye – and Ireland is wonderfully beautiful!
Please carry on forever –
Thank you, most kind and encouraging!
15 children!! What a woman!
Hi My name is Neil Fox. I used to live and work there when it was an activity centre.
I currently look after the Facebook page for the house if you are looking for some stories or photos please contact me at any time.
Thank you for getting in touch. I will of course make contact if seeking additional information of the kind you can provide, and thank you for the kind offer.