History

image description

Woodstock House was built in 1745-47 for Sir William Fownes by the architect Francis Bindon. It has a rusticated front facade and is unusual in being built around a small central court. The decorative emphasis of the house was focused upon the front facade. In 1804-06 flanking wings were added to designs by William Robertson. The service yards either side were added at the same time. Both the main house and the wings were built of stone with brick lining inside. The basement vaulting was, unusually, also of brick. Only parts of the east and west walls of the centre block and parts of the wings had no internal brick lining. Like many early 18th century Irish country houses, the decorative emphasis of the building was focused upon the front facade. The five bay garden frontage is much plainer though a very decorative iron staircase was added in the 1850″s by Richard Turner, the famous iron master.

image description

The main house was burnt in 1922 after the building had been occupied by “Black and Tan’ troops. The east wing apparently was not burnt and remained occupied for some years subsequently. The house is now in an unstable condition,having been in a ruinous state for approximately eighty years. Due to its constant exposure to weathering there has been considerable decay of the fabric and undermining of the structural stability of parts of the building. The central bay of the front facade collapsed in March 2001 during a storm which has left the building now even more unstable and extremely dangerous. (Works are now underway to protect the building from further deterioration

Proposed Conservation Works

It is proposed thai the conservation works to Woodstock House, to be carried out on a phased basis,will provide for its stabilisation and preservation as a ruin. Ultimately it is recommended that there should be public access to the interior of the building to enable a full appreciation of the gardens. This access may be limited and controlled, depending upon the extent of conservation/restoration works carried out. In principle, the phases of conservation building works are as follows:

Phase One: Emergency works to make structure safe to work on. This involves:

  1. Digital/photographic survey of front and garden facades to provide dimensional photographic record and measured elevations. This will be carried out prior to any dismantling works.
  2. Careful dismantling of loose fabric of the front (collapsed ( facade to a level where the remaining wall is stable and safe.