Two country houses, both in County Meath and both now hotels. Today, Bellinter which dates from c.1750 and was designed by Richard Castle for brewer and M.P. John Preston, whose son would become first (and last) Baron Tara. Since Castle died in 1751, he is unlikely to have overseen the work, which is vigorous but somewhat unsophisticated in execution, as demonstrated by the ceiling of the ground floor saloon. Its exuberant baroque plasterwork looks indebted to the Lafranchini brothers but probably executed by lesser hands.
Is there any trade mark on the work?
Thank you for getting in touch. No, at the time it was not usual for craftsmen to leave their names on work, therefore one must rely on stylistic similarities to guess who might have been responsible…
I often look to historic hotel websites to view these ‘survivors’, but sadly and kind of oddly, most have very sketchy (at best!) information on the history of the building. Why stay at a historic location and not know its history? I suspect some if it is the old ruling class-landlord prejudice- admire the building, but not the people who built it. Thanks for the details.