Questions, Questions

After Monday’s post about Quartertown House, County Cork and its links to a nearby mill, here is the decidedly quirky exterior of Millbrook, County Kildare. The house was built in the 1770s by John Greene and, as the name indicates, stood adjacent to a mill and millrace off the river Griese: the mill which stood in a yard immediately behind the building was, alas, demolished in the last century. The facade of Millbrook suggests the house is of two storeys-over-basement, but in fact there is a third, attic floor, only visible when one goes around to the south side as the building is taller at the back than at the front. Note how the millrace flows immediately past the house, a most unusual arrangement (is there any other example in Ireland?) but apparently successful since there is no problem with damp inside. Also, the front section of the house is taken up by a large, two-storey bow, but there is no equivalent at the opposite end which has a flat wall. And then, returning to the facade, the window arrangement is also peculiar, the four to the right being equally spaced apart, but that to the left disposed some distance from the others. All of which begs the question; might Millbrook originally have been a four-bay building, one room deep, much enlarged by John Greene when he took on the property in the 1770s? 

7 comments on “Questions, Questions

  1. Anne Kearney Farrelly says:

    Thank you for this interesting article. Is there any history available re the construction ? I have seen houses in the UK built into water but this is the first I’ve come across here.

  2. What a lovely looking and interesting house! The first question is, is it occupied and lived in? Then, if it is not – one would need deep pockets as well as a love of historic properties to attempt restoration! You present no photo’s of the interior, which suggests that it is lived in if only part of it?

  3. Stephen Barker says:

    Was the house the site of an earlier mill, before the mill that has since been demolished was built. As you say it is unusual to have the house next to the mill race. The house looks an attractive building.

  4. Martin Rafter says:

    Hi, one of the Mill Houses (Grennan Mill), in Thomastown has the mill race running along its gable and into the mill next to it,

Leave a Reply