Over dinner at Ashbrooke House, the very neoclassical dower house of the very neoclassical Colebrooke Park, the notable Fermanagh architect Richard Pierce remarks that, “Of course, William Farrell designed Regency gothic buildings too. St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Monaghan is an example of his Regency gothic work.” Stylistically versatile, in other words.
Next to the triumphal arch is Colebrooke Park’s principal gatelodge. Kimmitt Dean gives it a mixed review in Gatelodges of Ulster, 1994: ‘In stuccoed brickwork with its fair share of Tuscan pilasters rather a poor relation of the chaste example at Ely Lodge. Single storey building on a T plan, its three bay front elevation dominated by a bow shaped hall projection. With its high ceilings and entablatured parapet concealing a hipped roof, it is truly an ungainly design. All the openings have classical surrounds but inexplicably the front door head does not line up with the rest. To compound an already unworthy design the pair of chimney stacks rise together diagonally in the most incongruous Picturesque manner. These chimneys are located at the junction of the back return and the main block, a favourite ploy of Farrell’s which he first employed in the two lodges for Ely Lodge…’
Stylistically eclectic, in other words. With a bulbous porch bursting forward to enthusiastically greet guests, this microcosmic mansion has a Grecian air save for the jolly Tudorbethan chimneys which met with Emmett’s consternation. Batty and delicious, Colebrooke Park Triumphal Arch Lodge is now an Irish Landmark Trust holiday home. John O’Connell – architect of among many other things the Montalto restoration, The Carriage Rooms and The Wallace Collection – calls it, “A very special holiday let.” And then some. The gatelodges of nearby Ely Lodge might still be there but the main house suffered a rather ignominious fate. It was blown up in 1870 to ensure the 4th Marquess of Ely’s 21st birthday went with a bang (demolition for structural reasons was the alternative less amusing excuse).