Ardbraccan House, Navan, Co.Meath
This large Palladian house is one of the finest examples anywhere in Ireland. Originally the location of the residence of the Bishop of Meath for over a thousand years, in 1734 Bishop Arthur Price decided to replace the decaying mansion with a new Georgian residence. It was designed by the acclaimed German architect Richard Cassels and was the inspiration for many other notable Irish buildings, including Leinster House and Carton House.
Initially the two wings of the house were built before the the main four bay two story block was completed in the 1770’s by Bishop Maxwell. In the late 1990’s the house was bought by David Maher, who invested large sums to completely restore the mansion. The house was derelict and hadn’t been lived in for approximately 20 years. An extensive restoration project began, which started with the repairs to the roofs of all the outbuildings. Luckily, a lot of the roof structure on the main house was sound, with only sections requiring replacement.
All new heating, plumbing and electrical had to be installed throughout. Extensive plasterwork internally and externally had to be done. All new joinery includes fixing up some windows and replacing others. All internal joinery was very labour intensive.
Lead valleys and slates were all newly constructed and the house was newly painted from top to bottom.
In 2002 the restoration of Ardbraccan House won the An Taisce best restoration of a private dwelling award and it was opened to the public.