Coolcarrigan, is an attractive house of three bays and two stories in the late Georgian style, built in the 1830s by Robert Mackay Wilson on a large estate in County Kildare to the designs of an unknown architect. The façade has hooded mouldings over the upper windows and a simple parapet, while the central bay is emphasised by a pair of pilasters and a typical late Georgian door-case with a fanlight and sidelights. Curved screen walls, ending in tall piers, project outwards from the entrance front and disguise the considerable extensions at the rear.
The tree-lined avenue has a splendid display of spring bulbs and the superb 20-acre garden has a wonderful collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs inspired by Sir Harold Hillier, the great twentieth century plantsman and collector. The early plantings are now in full maturity and have been carefully augmented by the present owners, while the elaborate 1900s greenhouse in the walled garden has just been authentically restored.
Within the demesne is an important small Church of Ireland church, consecrated in 1885 and built in the Hiberno-Romanesque Revival style, with a Round Tower and a High Cross. Its design derives from the 12th century Temple Finghin at Clonmacnoise on the River Shannon in County Offaly. The interior has frescoes in Gaelic script, specially chosen by Dr. Douglas Hyde, first President of Ireland and a close family friend, while the very good stained glass windows, dedicated to various members of the family, are also in the Celtic Revival style. This tiny complex, surrounded by trees and a dry moat, is the most complete example of the Celtic Revival style in Ireland and makes an attractive eye-catcher from the house and avenue.
Robert Wilson's daughter Georgina, who inherited Coolcarrigan, married Sir Almroth Wright, an eminent physician and a colleague of Alexander Fleming, who worked on the development of vaccination, discovered the cure for typhoid and warned that antibiotics would eventually lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria. The playwright George Bernard Shaw was his close friend and Sir Colenso Ridgeon in hIs play ‘The Doctor’s Dilemma’ is based upon Sir Almroth.
Their descendants, the Wilson-Wright family, still live at Coolcarrigan, and are the fifth generation to live in the house.
Address & ContactCoolcarrigan, Coill Dubh, Naas, Kildare
t: +353 45 863524/7
f: +353 45 847998
Available as a Film Location
Houses and Garden
Individual House Visits
Groups by Arrangement
Individual Garden Visitors
Special family celebrations
Meetings or receptions
August 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.
September 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26.
October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
9am to 1pm
Open at other times by prior arrangement
Open all year round to groups (15 minimum) by prior arrangement.
Tea, coffee and lunch can be arranged for groups, by prior arrangement only