Coopershill

Open to pre-booked groups (minimum 6) Open for overnight accommodation with dinner Cultural activities or events Available for weddings Available for functions or corporate events Available as a film location

Coopershill, Riverstown, Sligo, Ireland

t: +353 71 91 65108
e: ohara@coopershill.com
w: http://www.coopershill.com

The House

Until the middle of the 18th century, Arthur Cooper and his wife Sarah lived in a 16th century fortified house on the river Unsin, near the pretty village of Riverstown. The story goes that in the early 1750s they engaged an architect, placed two buckets of gold sovereigns on the ground to cover the expenses, and instructed him to build a suitable house on a nearby hill. The house was to be named Cooper’s Hill to perpetuate the family name.

Reputedly, when the last guinea was spent the walls had scarcely risen above ground level and Cooper was forced to sell land to complete the building. Clearly it took some time to raise the necessary sum since the work did not conclude for a further twenty years. Coopershill consists of a ground floor and two upper storeys over a basement, and the Knight of Glin attributes the design to Francis Bindon of Ennis.

Probably as a result of its long gestation, the finished building is rather dated in appearance, especially the exterior, which harks back to the style of the 1740s and 50s. The house is built of crisply cut limestone ashlar with three formal fronts (two of which are virtually identical), a profusion of finely detailed blocked rustication around the doors and windows, and a handsome cornice.

The façades are of five bays, with the windows grouped together towards the centre of the building and a round-headed, tripartite door case. Overhead is a Venetian window while the upper floor has a simpler arrangement with a central window flanked by slimmer sidelights. The interior, with original chimneypieces and good woodwork, is later in style. The service staircase is of stone while, unusually in a country house of this size, the fine principal staircase is constructed of wood. There is fine decorative plasterwork of the 1770s, especially over the main staircase, while the tripartite arrangement at the entrance is repeated at the inner end of the hall where a central door-case, directly opposite the front door, is surmounted by a fanlight and pediment, and has deep niches to either side.

In 1810 Arthur and Sarah’s son, Arthur Brooke Cooper married Jane O’Hara, daughter of Charles O’Hara from nearby Annaghmore, the head of an important Gaelic family long resident in County Sligo. In 1860 their son, another Charles, inherited Annaghmore from his uncle and assumed the O’Hara name and arms. In turn his eldest son inherited the O’Hara estates while the second son inherited Coopershill, and his descendants still live there today, the 7th generation to live in the house.

Coopershill is chiefly remarkable for quality of its execution and for the fact that it has never been altered or extended.

Information

Open to pre-booked groups (minimum 6)

Open for overnight accommodation with dinner

Cultural activities or events

Available for weddings

Available for functions or corporate events

Available as a film location

Opening Hours