THE RESTORATION OF WESTPORT HOUSE
Phase one of the restoration of Westport House commenced earlier this year and is expected to be completed in Autumn 2021. It will see much needed conservation work carried out to the Georgian-era home to help prepare it for the larger €75m development project announced in June.
Westport House is a protected structure, and the product of at least 5 different architects over a period of almost 200 years making it a building of National significance. This significance is both architectural and social, and the building is held with great affection in Co. Mayo and across Ireland.
The importance of this phase of works is the need to arrest any further damage to the building and to bring Westport House back to its original splendour and protect its significance for the future years.
In this phase of the works at Westport House, the focus is on restoring the external shell of the house and by that we mean ensuring that the building is ‘wind and water tight’ to avoid any future ingress of water into the building which has been causing damage to the house.
Working with grade 1 conservation architects, Consarc Design, and Careys Construction, the key areas of work are:
- Repairs to the roof and the chimneys both of the main roof and the North wing
- Repairing the stonework, pointing and render to each façade
- Repairing, and in some cases replacing, the windows across all parts of the house
- Dealing with rot and timber decay in the South wing
- Restoring the terraces and decorative balustrades and Summer House around the exterior of the house
- Minor repairs will be carried out internally in this phase, but conservation and protection measures will be put in place to protect the unique plasterwork and the Chinese wall paper during the works
This package of works will address all areas of current defects to the external fabric of the building. The works will be carried out by experienced crafts/ trades people with the relevant skills to ensure the work is executed out to the highest conservation standards. This will give the building a sustainable future.
The works in this phase have been planned for through detailed surveys and research to ensure the correct methodologies are being proposed and to address the current defects properly, to give long term, conservation led, solutions. Key trades which will be involved in this phase will be roofing repairs, lead work, stonework repairs and pointing. Experts in lime render will be employed for all external render repairs and for the restoration of the decorative concrete balustrades and terrace that surround the west of the house. Specialist joinery company will undertake all works to the windows to ensure the unique character of the house is preserved and enhanced.
With so much interest in the restoration works, we asked the project’s Specialist Conservation Architect and Director of Consarc Design Group to talk us through it. With thanks to Bronagh Lynch of @consarc_design for this interview.
Stay tuned to our blog for more details on the restoration project that will protect Westport House for generations to come.