On the Ball I


Now marooned on a bend in the riverside Ring Road of Drogheda, County Louth, this was formerly the entrance to the Ballsgrove estate. Dating from 1804 and taking the form of a triumphal arch, the limestone carriage arch is flanked by narrow pedestrian gates separated from above oval niches above by a Greek key impost course. In the tympanum of the pediment is the Ball family coat of arms. George Ball was responsible for erecting this entrance but it was his grandfather, also called George Ball, who built Ballsgrove, sometimes also called The Grove (altho’ a plaque in the wall here calls it The Ball). The latter was also responsible for laying out fine terraced gardens, which were sometimes open to the public. In 1752 Mrs Delany visited the site and reported in a letter, ‘You wind up a very steep hill (which otherwise would be insurmountable) planted with trees – some in walks, others in groves, so that part of it looks like a thick wood – on the top is a long level walk with old trees on each side of it, and at the end a pretty, clean house and spruce garden full of flowers, which belongs to Mr Ball, who is so obliging to the town as to permit that fine walk to be a public one, and it is the Mall of Drogheda. The view from it is surprisingly beautiful. At the foot of this fine hill winds the River Boyne.’ All a far cry from present circumstances here.

4 comments on “On the Ball I

  1. On Exmoor the word ‘Ball’ designates a rounded hill. I can’t find the origin of this usage though.
    I know of Humber’s Ball and Ferny Ball and I expect there are others.

  2. Emma Richey says:

    Has the house survived? or any of the gardens?

  3. Deborah Sena says:

    Just FYI on nice conversions/reuse. Just found an Old Courthouse converted to apartments, Watters Estate Agents
    €120,000
    1 Old Court House, Market Square, Collon, Co. Louth

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