To What Purpose?

Located on a rise in the woods at Meares Court, County Westmeath stands the remains of – what? Most of the buildings on the estate date from c.1760, although the core of the main residence incorporates a much older tower house. This structure is presumably later, its interior accessed via an arched door leading into a space lit by a pair of similarly substantial arched windows that offer views over the landscape. The remains of a summer house perhaps?

8 comments on “To What Purpose?

  1. korhomme says:

    Could be a summer house, somewhere for the ladies to retreat to to ‘take tea’, or perhaps a reading room/library. Was there really an upper floor, as the window over the door suggests?

    Do the windows overlook anything, a view? South facing?

  2. My instinct is a folly/tea house/destination for an afternoon walk: it looks south-west and the land drops in front…

  3. Peter Davidson says:

    It seems a little plain for a folly — it’s very like some of the plainest chapels on Scottish estates, but perhaps that wouldn’t work for Ireland?

    • Hmm, those kind of free-standing chapels are a rarity in Ireland, and unlikely in this instance. It has been rather neglected (and then more recently overhauled) so the present appearance may not reflect how the building once looked…

  4. Peter says:

    I think that the niche opposite the entrance is the key to its original use. The stonework around the niche looks original as well.

  5. Deborah Sena says:

    After reading this I went online to read more about Meares Court and found a real estate listing for it that states, ” Constructed in the mid 1700’s, Mearescourt House is one of the few Georgian properties in County Westmeath.” Thought that statement was a little severe? Do they mean extant or available?

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