The 10th Earl carried out an extensive reconstruction of Killruddery House between 1820 and 1830. Architects Richard and William Vitruvius Morrison were instructed to build a Tudor Revival mansion, incorporating the original low-level 17th mansion.
The new house took on the shape of an irregular quadrangle, enclosing a central courtyard. The interior still includes elaborate chimney-pieces by Giacinto Micali, crimson silk damask from Spitalfields, stained glass by John Milner, a domed ceiling by Henry Popje and the wonderful drawing room ceiling by Simon Gilligan who worked for Popje. Popje had received an apprenticeship in Stucco work from the Lafranchini brothers.
The Clock Tower in the forecourt houses a water clock designed and constructed by Normand, the 13th Earl of Meath. The pendulum is powered by a jet of water, truly a free pendulum. The project was finally completed in 1909.
If you think that the Estate looks familiar, that’s because it’s a popular location for many well known movies and TV mini-series including My Left Foot, Far & Away, Angela’s Ashes, The Tudors and Camelot.
Although the Earls of Meath have been resident at Killruddery since 1618, the present house dates from the 1820. When the 14th Earl and his Countess took up residence after World War II they found the house had a severe infestation of dry rot. In the early 1950’s under the guidance of the architect Claude Phillimore they demolished a third of the house and a new formal entrance was constructed.
Thankfully they were able to retain the key elements of the Morrisons’ original architecture and interiors. To help visitors gain a further insight into the wealth of the history of Killruddery House guided tours are available during July, August and September daily from 1pm – 4pm and also by appointment for groups throughout the year.