The Munster Blackwater is a famous salmon river that rises in the mountains of County Kerry and flows east through Cork and Waterford before turning southwards to enter the sea near Youghal. Downstream from Mallow the banks are lined with country houses and their wooded demesnes, and at times the river appears to pass directly from one estate to the next. Salterbridge, which has been jokingly described as in the ‘Regency Picturesque’ style, is the last country house before the town of Cappoquin, where the river meets the incoming tide and turns towards the sea.
The original house at Salterbridge was built by Richard Musgrave in about 1750, on land acquired from the Lismore Castle estate. His daughter Janet, who had married Anthony Chearnley from nearby Affane, inherited the property and it remained in the ownership of the Chearnley family until 1947. Anthony’s brother, Samuel (1717 - 1746) is famous for his amazing book of fanciful and innovative architectural designs, entitled Miscelanea Structura Curiosa, which has been preserved in manuscript at Birr Castle in County Offaly (q.v.) and recently reprinted.
The house, which forms three sides of an enclosed courtyard, was extended and substantially rebuilt in the eighteen forties, and was radically altered later in the century when it assumed the appearance seen today, with a three bay central block and recessed single bay wings to either side. There is clear evidence of two dates; the courtyard arch shows the date 1849, while 1884 is carved into the oak panels in the hall.
The yellow rendered facade has three bays of wide Wyatt windows on the upper storey but the large ground floor windows are divided by wooden mullions. There is an elaborate limestone cornice and the windows are separated by tall limestone pilasters, which are repeated at the corners in lieu of quoins. The recessed wings have overhanging eaves instead of a cornice and oriel windows on the ground floor, which match the elaborately glazed porch.
Externally, Salterbridge, which retains a profusion of early glass that gives a wonderful shimmering effect, appears to be far earlier in date than is actually the case. The interior is more conventionally Victorian, with a fine suite of large interconnecting rooms and an impressive bifurcating wooden staircase. The demesne contains a fine early nineteenth century stable block, a good brick farm yard, a particularly fine classical gate lodge and many mature specimen trees. The current owners, Philip and Susie Wingfield have created a superb garden, which they maintain in impeccable order.
Address & ContactSalterbridge, Salterbridge House, Cappoquin, Waterford
t: +353 58 54952
Houses and Garden
Individual House Visits
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Open Heritage Week
August 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.
Open to groups by advance arrangement only please.
Closed Saturdays and Sundays in March