Abandoned ireland


Rosmead House,

Co. West Meath.

Documenting our Heritage

Rosmead house was built in the early 1700s by the Wood family. A seven bay, three storey over basement house constructed of coursed rubble limestone with decorative string courses and lined with brick on the inside. The house had two principal entrances - the south eastern elevation with the breakfront and the south western elevation which originally was served by a tetrastyle entrance porch.

Admiral Hercules Robinson Senior married Frances Elizabeth Wood, daughter and heir of H.W. Wood and they lived at Rosmead until 1849. Their son, Hercules Junior left Ireland and in 1854 became President Administrator of the Government of Monserrat followed by many more important appointments. In 1896 he was made a baronet and chose the title ‘Baron of Rosmead’.

Lord Vaux of Harrowden took over Rosmead Estate and, in 1856, built an extension designed by the architect Sandham Symes.

Vicomte de la Bedoyere was then in possession of the farm in the early 1900s.

In 1940 the porch was removed together with the roof and the house has lain in ruins since.

The arch entrance gateway, known locally as ‘Smiling Bess’ was designed by Samuel Wolley in 1792. The gateway was originally at Glananea House, belonging to a Mr Smyth. Mr Smyth was known as ‘Smyth With the Gates’ until he sold his arch to his neighbour at Rosmead. After this Mr Smyth was renamed ‘Smyth Without the Gates’.

West Meath