The main entrance gates to Carrigglas Manor, County Longford. These were designed c.1795 for the estate’s then-owner Sir William Newcomen whose family owned one of Ireland’s most successful private banks. The gateway was part of a large scheme for Carriglas commissioned from James Gandon, of which only this and the interlinked stable and farmyards were actually built. Sir William’s son, Sir Thomas Gleadowe-Newcomen lacked his father’s acumen and when the bank collapsed in 1825 he shot himself. Carrigglas then passed into the ownership of a clever lawyer, Thomas Lefroy, today best-remembered as the possible object of Jane Austen’s amorous intentions. His descendants remained at Carrigglas until 2005 when the estate was sold to a property company called Thomas Kearns Developments which proceded to wreak havoc on the place, cutting down large swathes of ancient woodland and throwing up cheap housing before – like Sir Thomas Gleadowe-Newcomen – going bust. Three years ago Carrigglas was bought by a local company, Glennon Brothers, but since then little seems to have happened other than that the existing buildings around the estate have deteriorated further. Such is the case with the entrance, a triumphal arch flanked by low walls that conclude in a pair of lodges: stylistically it has many similarities with the entrances to the Four Courts in Dublin, also designed by Gandon. Unfortunately neglect in recent years means the ashlar blocks are beginning to shift, thereby putting the entire ensemble at risk. The structure is, of course, listed for protection.
Agree it is disgraceful what has been done to Carrigglas Manor. Coincidentally I only heard last night that the present owners are planning on renovating the entrance gates. Sadly it’s difficult to see how the remainder of the estate can ever be put right especially as I believe the contents of the house were sold during the receivership and are now presumably scattered to the four corners of the earth.
Readers west of the Shannon may be interested to know that the Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society will host a lecture on 7th September in No. 1 Pery Square at 8pm on Thomas Lefroy and Jane Austen, given by Sandra Lefroy. It will be up on igs.ie/events in the coming week.
I was referred to the below Facebook post which indicates that some work is being undertaken to secure the gate.
Thank you for forwarding this: that is encouraging news after what I saw there a month or so ago…
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