Better Treatment

After the rather sad spectacle of the O’Callaghan Mausoleum shown here last week (see Shabby Treatment « The Irish Aesthete) here is another building associated with the same family: a former shooting lodge at Glengarra, County Tipperary. It was constructed for Cornelius O’Callaghan, first Viscount Lismore, who also commissioned the now-demolished Shanbally Castle, completed in 1819. Since the latter was designed by John Nash, it is often proposed that this architect was also responsible for the Tudoresque lodge, which presumably dates from around the same period: in 1837 Samuel Lewis noted that ‘his Lordship has lately erected a lodge, a structure of much beauty in the glen of the Galtees.’ In the late 1930s, the building was leased to the Irish Youth Hostel Association An Óige who used it as accommodation for visitors until 2012. It then sat empty for several years and suffered the inevitable vandalism but in 2015 a local group, the Burncourt Community Council, undertook to rescue the lodge and restore it as an amenity for the area. It now serves as location for a variety of activities.

5 comments on “Better Treatment

  1. Lawrie says:

    what is the interior arrangement of rooms?

  2. Vincent Delany says:

    Surely it is the responsibility of a building owner to maintain it? Am I wrong? Who owns it?

  3. Tony Harpur says:

    A gem of a building!

  4. Niall MacCaughey says:

    This is a beautiful building, and much larger than one might expect from the photo. We used to refer to the room on the right with the curved wall as the Salon, for want of a better description. It is circular with a beautifully domed ceiling. There are two doors to the room, one to the entrance hall and one to a bedroom; both are curved to match the walls.

    Until around 2009 the building was lit by gas, but one night an elderly American lady was staying at the hostel and fell in the poorly lit corridor. She sued, the insurance company intervened and declared that, if the lighting were not improved, they would withdraw cover. I was asked to develop a lighting system for this off-grid property.

    I designed a 12V system using LED downlighters and some compact fluorescents. There was a small hut at the back where we installed a battery charger and some deep-discharge batteries. Unfortunately the surrounding tree cover made solar panels impractical, but there was a generator that was run for an hour daily to refill the water tanks and this provided enough power to charge the batteries. In the salon I installed concealed LED strips to illuminate the dome, with a floor lamp for reading.

    While the generator was noisy, smelly and certainly not ideal, it was a solution that worked, and we were very proud of the result. It was very painful to read about the vandalism and dereliction, but very gratifying to know that the building has been saved.

  5. Deborah T. Sena says:

    I was just reading the story about the destruction of the house, and we are indeed lucky they let the lodge stand! You can find pictures of the main house which shows it being in the same style and, therefore, likely the lodge is thought to be built at the same time. But historically, wasn’t often the case that a lodge and its type of function receded the building of the house?

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