The End is Nigh

What still stands of Duleek House, County Meath. The limestone-fronted façade of the building was added c.1750 to a residence probably half a century older, as can be seen by a side-view below. If not designed by Richard Castle the front section was certainly much influenced by him, and the tripartite doorcase is very similar to that of the last surviving 18th century house on Dublin’s O’Connell Street (no. 42).

The interior featured an entrance hall with three arched openings to the rear providing access to the staircase and reception rooms with neo-classical plasterwork. When surveyed for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Duleek House was still intact and occupied. Since then it has deteriorated into the present dangerous condition and appears unlikely to survive much longer. The building is of course listed for protection.


11 comments on “The End is Nigh

  1. It’s a shame to see a beautiful building like this in such a state!

  2. Patrick says:

    The state cannot buy and restore every single house such as this . However the ownerous planning laws prevent the public getting involved and until this is changed sad stories such as this are perennial .

    • Dear Patrick, You are – as ever – right: the state cannot, and should not buy and restore every single house such as this. On the other hand, the state has passed legislation requiring that historic buildings, once listed for protection and preservation, should enjoy special status and that local authorities should therefore ensure owners keep such properties in reasonable condition. If neither national nor local government is prepared to enforce legislation on the statute books then it serves no purpose, should be removed and we ought to acknowledge that we have no concern for the long-term future of our architectural heritage.

  3. James Canning says:

    How very sad.

  4. A sad end. Yet another.

  5. Larry says:

    I used to pass that house on a regular basis. Deeply saddened to see it in this state. Thanks for sharing

  6. George Gossip says:

    When I first saw Duleek it was, to quote Maurice Craig, “in indifferent occupation”. More recently it has been abandoned. The problem is one of enforcement or, more correctly, of the lack of enforcement. The Local Authority has the power to rescue the house and bill the owner. Sadly, it will not act for fear of spending money that may never be recovered.

  7. Carina Mount Charles says:

    That is my dream house!
    Can’t believe it’s been abandoned. ☹

  8. Tony Sexton says:

    Idly wondering what had become of the place where I had a celebratory dinner with family and friends on my graduation in 1978 (I had pheasant, very tough), I was shocked to see its present condition. How extraordinary that it has not been bought and restored by one of the many who have benefited from Ireland’s rise in fortunes. Unless someone was reluctant to sell and unwilling to spend money on it in the meantime.

  9. Tony Sexton says:

    I just noticed that the original post is an old one, and the house appears to have been saved – a happy ending at last!

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