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Castle Garde, County Limerick
21901517
Front elevation.
Reg. No.21901517
Date1830 - 1850
Previous NameCastlegarde
TownlandCASTLEGARDE
CountyCounty Limerick
Coordinates179239, 149501
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC ARCHAEOLOGICAL HISTORICAL
RatingNational
Original Usecountry house
In Use Ascountry house
 
Description
Attached four-bay one-and-half storey country house, c. 1840, having central projecting tower. House attached to five-storey square-plan tower house, built c. 1198. Attached bawn wall enclosing site, with limestone arch gateway and lodge to south-west corner. Pitched slate roofs with lead ridging, stepped crenellations to house with cut eaves course and dentils. Rubble limestone walls with roughly dressed quoins having battered base to tower. Dressed limestone walls to house with cut plinth, carved face to central tower. Square-headed openings with mixed timber sliding sash and fixed timber windows to tower, some having geometrical tracery. Round-headed windows to first floor of house under label mouldings having one-over-one pane timber sliding sash windows, four light opening to ground floor under hoodmoulding having replacement uPVC window. Square-headed openings to eastern end of front elevation having timber sliding sash windows. Pointed arch door opening to tower having cut limestone surround and timber and glazed door. Pointed arch opening to central projecting tower of house comprising double-leaf timber panelled door under hoodmoulding. Flight of limestone steps to front of house. Entrance arch and lodge comprising pointed arch within dressed limestone walls with cut stringcourse and capping to parapet. Cross loops to wall. Carved gargle to parapet on south-west elevation. Three carved limestone statues depicting three goddesses, Bacchus, Mars and goddess Athene entwined in a fish to north-east elevation. Adjoing gate lodge comprising circular-plan tower having dressed limestone walls with crenellated battlements supported on cut corbels. Square-headed window opening under label moulding to north-east elevation, loop windows to south-west elevation under hoodmouldings all having lattic glazing. Rubble limestone bawn walls with crenellations punctuated by carved towers enclosing site.

Appraisal

This complex, originally built by the O'Briens, is an unusual feature within the landscape and a significant architectural and archaeological site. The multiple-phase construction is evident in the differing stonework and design between the main house and the tower, both showing evidence of craftsmanship and fine construction. The castle was restored in the early 1800s by Waller O'Grady, to a design of the architects James and George Richard Pain. Waller O'Grady was the son of Standish O'Grady. Artistic interest is in evidence in the 1800s features which attempt to mirror the medieval origins of the earlier structure. The coherence of design of the complex contributes to the significance, and offers many notable features and forms such as the circular keep, square-plan tower, crenellated parapets, label mouldings and cross loop openings. The carved statues, inside the gate house, are particularly fine and unusual features, representing Bacchus, Venus and Athene. The stone head to the main door represents Brian Boru.
 
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