Historic wing rises from the ashes
THINGS are slowly but surely returning to normal at Russborough House after a fire ripped through the west wing in February of last year.
Extensive damage was caused to the Palladian style mansion and for the past 13 months extensive restoration works have been taking place.
The 15 large urns which used to adorn the house were reinstated in all their former glory on Wednesday having been worked upon by a stone mason to fix any damage caused by the blaze.
Indeed, progress is going so well, Eric Blatchford, Chief Executive of the Alfred Beit Foundation, feels the scaffolding will be removed in time for the start of the tourist season beginning in April.
‘80 per cent of the West Wing’s roof was damaged by the fire and that has now been completely restored. We actually managed to source slates from an old mid18th century church. The 15 urns are all back in place and are looking magnificent.
The West Wing restorations should all be complete by April.
‘We have had scaffolding up for 13 months now so we will all be delighted to see that removed as well,’ says Mr. Blatchford.
The West Wing will also be converted to create self catering accommodation for visitors under the stewardship of the Irish Landmark Trust.
The former home of Sir Alfred and Lady Beit has been described as ‘ the most beautiful house in Ireland’ by historian Mark BenceJones.
The house and its grounds are open to members of the public and details are available at the website www.russborough.ie.
Stone mason James Snell, Conservation & Restoration Ireland, hand carves and repairs the roof top urns.
A crane lifts one of the huge urns into place.
Urns on the West Wing.
Some of the urns in already place.
One of the specially-designed crates ready to be lifted into place.
The ornate ceilings are being gradually repaired.