Description of the Ballinvirick House
Ballinvirick is a townland near Askeaton in County Limerick. Ballinvirick House is
situated on one side of the road in its own substantial grounds.
The main entrance gates are limestone, the plan form is convex inward curve of solid
limestone ashlar, there are cast iron entrance gates flanked by piers and wicket gates
on either side. The piers have articulated quoins and a cornice. The wicket gate are
limestone post and beam.
The road into the property cuts through a planted wood of mainly deciduous trees.
There is a large stone walled enclosure to the west of the house, on the right as you
approach the house. This enclosure appears to have been an enclosed orchard on the
map. There is a formal garden to the east of the house.
The house is orientated roughly north south, there is a parkland view to the south,
which has been cleared of trees (visible on the 1840 OS)
and there is a stable building
immediately behind the house which creates a courtyard to the rear. There are further
stables to the north of the house approximately 300 metres from the courtyard. These
buildings do not appear on the 1840 OS
but do appear to be nineteenth century. They
have recently been converted into dwellings.
Description of Ballinvirick House
Ballinvirick House is an early nineteenth century detached house. It is a five-bay,
two-storey with a substantial return building. There is also a single storey chamfered
bay window to the east side of the house overlooking the formal garden. The house as
has been discussed was probably an addition to an earlier eighteenth century
farmhouse which now forms the return building.
The plan form of the main house is tripartite, with two chimney-stacks placed
internally on the dividing walls. There is a large entrance hall, which accesses
principal rooms on either side and a stairs to the rear. On first floor there is no
significant landing and the room immediately over the ground floor entrance hall has
been subdivided into ensuite bathroom and bedroom. It is very likely that originally
there was a large open landing lit to the front by the two centrally placed windows on
first floor. The overall plan of the house forms a T shape with the nineteenth century
building at right angles to that of the older farmhouse which forms a return building to
the main house. (see building phases)
. The original stairs is located to the rear of the
plan and two storey flat roofed extension has been added to the rear of the stairs.
The roof is hipped with natural slate finish. building. There are cast iron gutters and
down-pipes. The chimneys are centrally placed and are brick. There are square
mouldings to both chimneys. There is some evidence that the roof has been either
raised or that the top of the walls have been rebuilt. There is a clear line of
construction at the head level of the first floor windows. It is conceivable that the roof
was raised and that the return building to the rear (which is eighteenth century) also
had its roof raised at this time.
The walls are formed of limestone rubble. The house has been rendered with a
modern cementitous render.
Ground Floor - Nine over six timber sash windows with cut limestone cills are not
original and there is anecdoctal evidence that these were replaced during a nineteen
eighties restoration project. The windows are operated by springs on nylon parting
beads and weights and ropes are missing. There are intact timber panelled shutters to
all sash windows which are original. Externally, there are no projecting plaster reveals
to the windows, Architraves and window indents extend to floor level but have been
infilled with radiators and cover panels First Floor - Six over six timber sash windows
with cut limestone cills as on ground floor these are replicas. There are intact timber
panelled shutters to all sash windows, which are original. Architraves and window indents
extend to floor level.
The is a two storey return building connecting to one side (the north west) of the
house. The return building has a hipped roof with natural slates. The ridge and eaves
level of the return roof is the same as that of the main house. This building was
probably the earliest building on the site and was most likely a farmhouse facing east
west. The chimney breast is almost 1.5 metres thick which is massive compared to the
chimney breast of the main building (500mm to 600mm). The return as it stands at
present has certainly had its roof raised to match that of the main house (note the
heads of windows on first floor is much lower than the eaves). A servant stairs has
also been added.
Internal doors are painted timber six panelled doors with intact frames and
architraves. Most of the original ironmongery has been replaced. The doors between
the two main reception rooms and hall on ground floor level have double central
styles and appear as double doors. The door to the stairs at the rear of the entrance hall
has a round headed fanlight.
The original staircase in the main (nineteenth century) building is intact from ground
to first floor. It is a painted timber open string staircase with painted square timber
balusters and a mahogany handrail.
There are simple run in-situ cornices in the principal rooms on ground and first floor.
Most of the ceilings also appear to be original. The entrance hall on ground floor has
a decorated ceiling as well as a more significant cornice. The ceiing is decorated with
a large moulded oval of vine leaves surrounding a central rosette. The leaves appear to
have been moulded in-situ and are not simply plant on embellishments. The cornice is
moulded and run in –situ, there are oak leaf and acorn motifs at higher level on the ceiling
and a hanging garland motif on the walls. Detail on the cornice appears to be embellishment
directly applied to the in-situ plaster.
Fireplaces in some rooms have been replaced probably in the nineteen sixies
with painted brick fireplaces. The fireplace in one room is a small classical late
Georgian fireplace in dark coloured limestone and is original.
Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment
Conor Hourigan B Arch Sc MUBC