With the Gates

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The triumphal arch marking the entrance to Rosmead, County Westmeath. Its design attributed to English architect Samuel Woolley and dating from the mid-1790s, the arch is of limestone embellished with Coade stone ornamentation, now badly weathered: the design once also included urns and statuary but this has all long-since gone. The arch was originally erected at Glananea some seven miles away in the same county. The latter property had been built by Ralph Smyth, whose family owned several estates in the area, and who called his property Ralphsdale. Having had the arch erected, he came to be known locally as ‘Smyth with the Gates.’ Tiring of the nickname he disposed of the arch to its present home, only to find himself given the new title ‘Smyth without the Gates.’ Ironically, while Rosmead is now just a shell Glananea still stands, so perhaps it would have been better for the arch to have remained there.

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7 comments on “With the Gates

  1. It looks a bit odd, with the low, plain demesne wall, but it is lovely, actually.

  2. Ahh ‘Smiling Bess’ a childhood favourite!

  3. Finola says:

    Now called the Gates without Smyth

  4. geraldine boyle says:

    Been to see these gates and they are amazing!

  5. Always called Smiling Bess locally. It was supposed to be because Elizabeth I adorns the top of the arch.

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