Killineer is a classical Regency house of white stucco, built just north of Drogheda in County Louth, by a local businessman, George Harpur, who had made a fortune in the salt trade. Harpur surrounded the house, which was completed in 1836, with seventeen acres of gardens which still survive today. The principal facade is of six bays, with a central single storey Doric porch and formal three-bay fronts to either side. The interior has an interesting layout, with a hexagonal entrance hall, while an imperial staircase leads from the inner hall to the top-lit landing above.
The main rooms, halls and landing have elegant late-Regency plasterwork and some unusual joinery, and the ante-room behind the drawing room has an elaborate plaster ceiling with a figure of Justice in high relief. Harpur demolished a smaller house from the 1750s, leaving just one room, which became a potting shed at the top of the walled garden where it retains the remnants of its plaster panelled interior.
The gardens include an extensive laurel lawn beneath the deciduous woodland canopy which surrounds the approaches, while the formal Italianate terraces below the house lead on to the centrepiece of the gardens, a large man-made lake. A classical summerhouse lies to one side, beside an attractive wrought iron bridge. Both are contemporary with the house and share many similar details.
This area of the garden is home to an abundance of damp-loving plants, including a collection of candelabra primulas which have spread themselves along the lake shore.
Behind the house is a working garden of an acre and a half, laid out as a traditional walled kitchen garden with twin herbaceous borders, vegetable plots, fruit trees and a glazed nectarine house that stretches along one wall and contains peaches, nectarines and apricots.
Unfortunately, no information exists about the designer of the house or gardens because Harpur, who died in 1888, left no next-of-kin. Over the next fifty years the estate changed hands with remarkable frequency and the building records were lost. The house passed through four unrelated families, including the Montgomerys of nearby Beaulieu, before it was purchased by James Carroll in 1938.
Killineer was for many years the home of James Carroll’s daughter, Grace, and passed to his nephew, Charles, upon her death. Charles lives there today with his wife Eithne, maintaining both house and garden to an exemplary standard.
Address & ContactKillineer House, Drogheda, Louth
t: +353 41 9838563
Available as a Film Location
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July 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29.
9am to 1pm