Abandoned ireland

 

Arch Hall,

Co. Meath.

Documenting our Heritage

Arch Hall was built in the 1730s in Vanbrugh’s castle style, the design is attributed to Sir Edward Lovett Pearce. Pearce, is acknowledged to be the most influential architect in Ireland in the early part of the eighteenth century.


Originally a nine-bay entrance front, three stories, with cylindrical turret-like bows at each end and a broader three-bay semicircular bow at the centre of the facade.


All that survives today is the facade and some remains of the front rooms built over a brick vaulted basement. The main structural walls are constructed of hand made red brick with lime mortar joints.


The facade was remodelled in the nineteenth century, being rendered and Romanesque windows and Italianate sills added to the attic storey. The curved ends were given conical roofs such that they resembled the round towers of a French chateau.


Before it was destroyed, one of the rooms was reputed to be made entirely in gold, from the paint on the walls to the furniture and picture frames.


The landscaped setting of the house originally featured a large lake to the south west of the house.


The grand arch in a field south of the house, designed also in the Vanbrugh manner gives Arch Hall its name. Two Chilean pine trees were planted, one each side of the arch to celebrate the birth of twin boys to the Garnett family. One of the trees still survives in memory of one of the twins who was killed during World War I. The other tree has withered and died, the second son returned from the war deranged from the horrors he had seen. Later the boys father returned home from travelling abroad, he went blind and died after stealing the eye from an Indian god in a shrine.


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