Abandoned ireland


Windgate House,

County Wicklow

Documenting our Heritage

Windgate House was built by the Morris family in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The Morres, Morris or Morrice family had been in the area since at least 1669. Lewis recorded in his 1837 Topographical Dictionary, that a seat called Rathdown, a short distant east of Windgate, was occupied by W. Morris, Esq.

In 1870, it is recorded that John Morris, of Windgate House, owned 462 acres of land.

The 1901 census lists the occupants of the eighteen rooms of the house as William George Morris, aged 49, Landed Proprietor, his wife Caroline, aged 44 and their daughter Olive, aged 19. They had a house staff of three: Elizabeth Myres, aged 21, Cook; Rhoda Batton, aged 18, Parlour Maid and Stephen Vance, aged 20, Coachman. The Morris family and all staff list their religion as Church of Ireland.

William Morris died in March 1909 and about a month later, on the 27th April 1909, the entire contents of the house were sold by auction. The sale details list an 'Important Sale of Superior Household Furniture Mirrors, Pictures, Books, China &c. Horse, Jennet, Carriages, Harness, Saddlery, Farm Carts & Harness, Farm Implements'

By 1911, the house was occupied by the Land Agent, Cecil Ernest Vandeleur, aged 54 and his wife, Gertrude aged 46. They had a house staff of three: Susan Eggleston, aged 37, Cook; Kate Reilly, aged 40, Parlour Maid and Sarah Bradley, aged 26, House Maid. 

At this time the Windgate House estate is listed as comprising the main house, a stables, two coach houses, a harness room, a cow house, a calf house, a piggery, fowl house and a shed.

Cecil Vandeleur was a member of the Vandeleur family, of Cragbeg, Kilkeedy, Limerick and had formerly lived at Spring Mount, Mallow, County Cork.

Windgate House changed hands a few more times over the course of the twentieth century.

In 2001, the house and fifty acres, were advertised for sale for £1.75 million. The sale notice lists that the house comprised 4,500 sq ft of accommodation and had many original period features. The property also included extensive stable and coach house accommodation, a walled garden and woodland walks with glorious views. The house and outhouses, however, apparently all needed extensive refurbishment.

The house was subsequently abandoned. The roof leaked and the house structure began to fail; vandals and thieves then turned it into a ruin.

This article is the copyright of Tarquin Blake, Abandoned Ireland, and may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Co. Wicklow