Enniscoe House

Enniscoe stands in the shadow of the Nephin mountain on the wooded shores of Lough Conn, just a few miles south of Crossmolina in County Mayo. At a glance the house appears to be a late Georgian building in a restrained classical style but it contains a far earlier structure. The original house was a typical tall, narrow gable-ended building of the 1740s, just one room deep and of three storeys over a basement. In the 1790s a fashionable new house was, quite literally, wrapped around the earlier building which can still be easily identified today. 

Francis Jackson, an officer in Cromwell’s army, was granted land here in the 1650s. At first he lived in Crossmolina Castle but later built a house beside Lough Conn. His great-grandson George built the 1740s house and his son, another George, always known as George Two, its successor.

The present building, which has been attributed to the Waterford architect ‘Honest John’ Roberts, who is also believed to have designed Moore Hall on the shores of Lough Cara, was nearing completion when it was occupied and damaged during the French invasion of 1798, now usually referred to in Mayo as 'The Year of the French'. Afterwards the house was repaired and completed, and the beauties of the park and demesne were enhanced by an ambitious planting scheme which can be identified in a painting by James Arthur O’Connor.

Today Enniscoe is a square, two-storey house of five bays, with three formal fronts. While externally plain it contains some elegant late-Georgian plasterwork and a very beautiful elliptical staircase leading to an oval landing above. The very large principal rooms have decorated cornices but are otherwise relatively plain. Early silk wallpaper survives in the drawing room, though the pale blue ground has now faded to a uniform mushroom pink.

George Two’s granddaughter Madeline married her cousin Mervyn Pratt from Cabra Castle in County Cavan. They inherited the estate in the 1830s, restored the neglected house and created an important garden. Their son Joseph and his wife Ina continued the work but luckily there was not enough money for further alterations so the house is largely unchanged today.

Their bachelor son Mervyn, who had been badly wounded in the Great War, lived alone at Enniscoe. After his mother’s death the house was merely maintained, while the garden became his life’s work. On Mervyn’s death in 1950, his cousin Jack Nicholson inherited and today Enniscoe is the home of his daughter Susan Kellett along with her son DJ and his family.

 

Address & Contact

Enniscoe House, Castlehill, Ballina, Mayo

t: +353 96 31112

f: +353 96 31773

e: mail@enniscoe.com

w: www.enniscoe.com

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