Coollattin House, Shillelagh, Wicklow

  • Size

    6027 m²

  • Bedrooms

    15 beds



One of the finest country houses in Ireland, this detached five-bay two-storey over basement Georgian Mansion was built in 1804 for the Fitzwilliams by Architect John Carr of York. The house is finished with lined render with ashlar granite dressings. To the south front elevation there is a pedimented three-bay breakfront with a carved heraldic shield to the tympanum. To the west and rear there is a later service wing and a range of out buildings. The part-glazed front door has a radial fanlight and is set within a flat-headed opening. It is framed with two free-standing Tuscan order columns, which support a wide pediment. Window openings are flat-headed with six-over-six-timber sash frames; louvred external shutters were added c.1970. The hipped roof is finished with natural slate and cast-iron rainwater goods. The chimney stacks are rendered with corbelled caps and clay pots. The house is set within a large well-wooded demesne surrounded by Coollattin Golf course. The House is for sale standing on C21 acres of parklands.

Early history of Coollattin recounts that it was originally part of the ‘Lands of Cosha’, the hereditary lands of the Byrne family. It changed hands both peaceably and forcibly over the centuries, coming into the possession of Thomas Wentworth, First Earl of Strafford and Lord Deputy of Ireland under Charles 1.

Wentworth bought Coollattin in 1637 as part of his total holding of ten-thousand acres which he called ‘Fairwood’. The property which had extensive woodland was used by Wentworth as a deer park. Wentworth as Lord Deputy and as a kind of proto-land developer for the English exchequer reflect the relationship that existed between the two countries. Wentworths actions as Charles’ ‘ablest’ advisor made him one of the most unpopular men in England. Wentworths enemies eventually brought a charge of High Treason against him resulting in his execution at the Tower of London in 1641.
The Fitzwilliam family acquired the property through marriage in 1783. Under the Fitzwilliams in the 1830’s Coollattin was the largest single landholding in County Wicklow. The Coollattin Estate was 90,000 acres covering one-fifth of the county of Wicklow and home to 20,000 tenants.

Coollattin House as it stands today is the work of two architects; John Carr of York and William Dickie both of Yorkshire but from entirely different eras. Carr and the forth Earl Fitzwilliam were well acquainted – Fizwilliam owned a large amount of land in Yorkshire and Carr had worked with him before. Although not as grand as his other projects, Coollattin House has much in common with them in terms of general elements of the Carr style. Carr had a great fondness for external symmetry, often to the detriment of the layout of the rooms. The alterations made by William Dickie date from 1875 and have changed substantially the coherence of the house. He added a major servants’ wing to the back o the house and a porticoes entrance to the south of the house leading to a formal staircase.
In 1977 the house was sold with 3,300 acres by Lady Juliet de Chair for three million pounds to the Irish millionare Michael Brendan Cadogan and Pat Tatton, who were later bought out. Within a year Cadogan sold three quarters of a million pounds worth of the house contents in a private art deal. He sold off a further 1,000 acres o the land before selling the now considerably reduced estate and contents to Michael Stanley and Pat Tatton who had been involved in the origional sale.

The house was sold again in 1983, this time with only 63 acres of land to Mr and Mrs Magnus Taylor Wardrop from San Francisco for one hundred and sixty eight thousand pounds. Coollattin was put on the market again in 1995 when Coollattin Golf Club bought the house and sixty acres. This was done to extend the golf course to eighteen holes.

Wicklow County Council added Coollattin House to its ‘Record of Protected Structures’ following the passing of the Planning & Development Act, 2000.
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Coollattin House, Shillelagh, Wicklow

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