Pictured here is the remains of Arch Hall, a once grand house that stands near the small town of Wilkinstown, County Meath.
The house's design is attributed to by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce and was built in the 1730's. Pearce was a hugely influential architect in Ireland at the time, and Arch Hall is the remains of a Vanbrughs castle design, quite a rarity in Ireland. Pearce heavily influenced Richard Cassells, another renowned architect of many of Irelands surviving great houses.
In its heyday, the house was an impressive sight. It was nine bays wide at the front and stood three stories over basement. At each end of the front façade were two conical tower giving its castle like appearance, in the center was a rounded bay containing the entrance door to the main hall leading off to lavish reception rooms. The exterior of the house saw great renovation in the 1800's with the windows of the upper level being remodeled with a Romanesque design and Italian sills, and conical roofs being added to the turrets at each end giving the house the appearance of a French Chateaux. It is reported that one room of the house was furnished entirely in gold, from the paint on the walls to the furniture and picture frames.
The house gained its name from the arch that stood on the grounds, now in a field nearby. Also in Vanbrugh style, the great arch was flanked by two obelisks and with a romantic rustic pinnacle.
Two Chilean pine trees were planted on either side of the arch to celebrate the birth of two boys to the Garnett family who lived here. One of the trees still survives in memory of the boy who was killed in World War 1, while the other has faded and died.
Legends say that the boys father returned to Arch Hall after travelling abroad, but went blind and soon died having stolen the eye from an Indian God in a shrine.
Today, the ruin is little more than a shell of its former self and is really only a facade, but fragments of plaster cling to the walls and a shallow dome on one tower still shows delicate egg and dart mouldings. The landscaped grounds are long gone with the lake which was once a feature filled in and the land now used for grazing animals. The remains of the house itself is today used as a pheasant coop by the current owner.
No doubt it will not be long before these barely standing remains are gone forever, like so many great Irish houses.
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
tyro (20494) 2013-10-15 11:34
As always, you have given us a very interesting and comprehensive note about this place as well as a very fine photograph by way of illustration.
The warm low-angled light, either in early morning or late evening, has illuminated the remains of this magnificent building beautifully and brought out all the lovely late summer colours and the textures in the ancient stonework.
Lovely light and colours, good composition, perfect exposure and exquisite details and sharpness.
fabbs99 (16167) 2013-10-15 12:27
This is a great shot with the HELP of the dilapidated Arch Hall.Superb presentation, very sharp shot with an excellent light and POV. Very pleasant colors.TFS.
EstudioChispa (1924) 2013-10-15 12:45
The fine Golden Hour light shows off this ruin to great advantage! It was only after I started wondering about the dangers to visitors did I look for (and find) the barrier fence.
Noel, this idea has probably already occurred to you, but if it hasn't, let me suggest it strongly. Either in paper or as a eBook (the former might benefit from some Fáilte Ireland money, the latter could be spun out much cheaper, with or without official imprimatur) you have been building the most excellent guide to the sites of Old (and new) Ireland. Not sure if this money is all gone, but maybe there's more where that came from. Send 'em an application! You've already got beautiful illustrative fotos with concise and accurate information; all that's left is to put pins on a map.
Just ruminating today... :-)
pajaran (52106) 2013-10-15 12:48
Interesantan tekst o staroj kuci, sa datim podacima i istorijom ...
Dobar trenutak snimka, lepo pokazana rusevina.
Dobar rad i kontrast, lepe boje.
Ostala je rusevina i uspomene.
Prijatno vece i sve najbolje.
An interesting article about the old house, with the given data and history ...
A good time recording, beautifully demonstrated ruins.
Good work and contrast, beautiful colors.
She stayed rubble and memories.
Good evening and all the best.
Fis2 (85599) 2013-10-15 13:08
I like it.
Excellent light and colors.
Photo has climate.
mesutilgim (84442) 2013-10-15 13:46
Hello dear Noel,
Very nice architectorial capture with an amazing warm light and very nice cloudy sky as background.
Many interesting notes makes your entry a perfect TE job.
TFS and best regards
carlo62 (32911) 2013-10-15 14:42
possiamo anche chiamarti "il signore delle rovine", vista la tua predilezione e la tua bravura nello scoprirle e nel fotografarle.
Questa mi sembra un'architettura molto bella ed elegante, ciò che rimane lo mostra ampiamente.
Bella la luce calda che illumina la porta/finestra della torre centrale.
ourania (31137) 2013-10-15 14:48
this picture is very interesting and its appeal grows the longer we view it and the more we compare this sight with the building's aspect during its glory days. You've captured great details and dramatic lighting alternations. The shades and shadows are so captivating and befiting to the theme that the delicious light and colours look strange next to them. There's drama and sadness as the remains seem to be swallowed up by the vegetation of the natural scenery. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a good night,
Romano46 (18454) 2013-10-15 15:35
queste rovine irlandesi mi piacciono infinitamente.
Queste proposte oggi sono tra le più belle per la perfetta unione tra la pietra e la vegetazione che poco alla volte se ne sta impossesando.
Eccellente anche la luce che le illumina che colpisce con raggi dorati sia le mura che il prato dando un colore fantastico al paesaggio.
Ciao e buona notte
jcpix (13662) 2013-10-15 17:47
This must have really been something else at its pinnacle, even the remains give a good sense of its majestic design and size. Your notes have helped create what it once was, my minds eye can certainly envision this as quite an impressive and grand estate. It may be left to wither away, but your photo keeps alive the beauty once held...we can still obtain a good sense of its grandeur.
What really gets me here is the light, that golden hue visible through the empty window spaces into the interior and along the curve of the turret to the left is amazing...not to mention the soft touch it gives to the foreground landscape. It feels like the long lost past is being aided by Mother Nature for you to capture the atmosphere and help it continue on.
With one of the rooms covered in gold, I can't help but wonder...Donald Trump must have been around even back then, did he have a part in the construction/decoration? :) Lesson noted as well, do not take anything from an Indian God!! Enjoy the day ahead.
SnapRJW (31201) 2013-10-15 22:41
Hello Noel - What super light you had here, it has breathed such life into your shot and shows off the architecture beautifully. I think the house must have been something very special in its day but here it still shows off something of its beauty. A very lovely subject and a shot that benefits from the light and your very good management. Have a fine day Rosemary
COSTANTINO (55564) 2013-10-15 22:42
your notes are very useful about
this house s design
the shot looks like a movie
scenery from a movie thriller
welldone and wellseen
delpeoples (53009) 2013-10-15 23:10
Dia duit dear Noel
You chose a perfect time to be shooting this ruin, the golden light has made the photo. That's not to say that the ruins aren't mesmerising, but the light has once again taken this from just being a documentary image to something extremely artistic and compelling. The last sentence in your excellent note makes me a little sad, but that's life and progress I suppose. When you win the lottery, another thing to spend your hard-won cash on: save the Irish Manor House, and Save the Irish Pub. I'm thinking of running my own political party Save The Aussie Pub as I recently saw yet another old tiled beauty become the "drama faculty" of a Presbyterian Ladies College :(
Have a beautiful day
lousat (76982) 2013-10-16 1:11
Hi Noel,great choice of moment,this light make the difference,creating a very nice effect between the ruins,a beautiful architechture and a nice imposing perspective,perfect details and colors as usual.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
timecapturer (48840) 2013-10-16 6:17
this place looks magical. Love old ruins like this so atmospheric and strangely beautiful. Full of intrigue and fascination and you have captured it so wonderfully in this shot. Shame you cannot get inside it and sense the ambience. Stunning imagery!
serp2000 (40042) 2013-10-16 6:25
when I see similar ruins I just want to reconstructing these old castles. )) Anyway it is very picturesque ruins. I see you have got so wet climate, so the trees grow on the stones too.
Good choice of PoV with the low sunset lights.
Kugart (1778) 2013-10-16 8:21
What a grand house this must have been in its day. From your extensive description I can almost visualise what it was like. The owners certainly indulged themselves in the finer things in life with their gold room and lavish furnishings. Your picture has exquisite light and I love the way it lights up the inner wall which can be seen through the central window. Nice angle Noel which shows the entire facade against a beautiful blue sky and evidence of nature taking over.
All the best
danos (86805) 2013-10-16 9:40
a very nice presentation of the ruins of the house with the existence of the trees to are higher from the remaining wall of the Arch hall.The warm afternoon light as falling on the wall make the image even more effective, with the blue sky to makes the scene even more beautiful.
marabu61 (8385) 2013-10-16 11:42
Once again you amaze me with your deep knowledge about all the grand houses and monuments in your country. This hall looks quite impressive while the greenery on either side overspilling creates an amazing effect. Love the warm afternoon light too.
have a great day
macjake (56656) 2013-10-16 12:01
so how many abandoned buildings does Ireland have exactly????
With your photos alone you could probably put out a published book!!
another ugly beauty subject here.
can't get enough of these.
and again, trying to imagine what this looked like in its prime is fun and every image coming to my mind is probably wrong.
cool note too, well done as always
cornejo (31579) 2013-10-16 12:35
Hi Noel, very good picture of these interesting ruins beautifully adorned by nature, very well composed and captured in this beautiful and interesting picture, with good sharpness, light and color. Very good job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good night and happy rest of week.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
Sonata11 (33251) 2013-10-16 12:52
very beautiful capture these beautiful ruin. Wonderfully framed and presentation. Perfectly well done with fantastic colors, sharpness, clarity, fantastic POV.
I like it. Tfs, Barbara
Gigidusud (15891) 2013-10-16 14:19
Beautiful picture of the ruins with a splendid light and nice framing. I like the contrasts of light and colors. Well done!
photoray (12231) 2013-10-16 17:40
I am attracted to both your view of Arch Hall and historical note.
And it reminds me of too many historical structures in America, demolished in the name of "development".
A prime example occurred in my home town - the classical ornate 1920s Whittier theater designed in Spanish mission style was bull dozed to make way for a Walgreens Drug Store. I have decided to boycott Walgreens.
nikkitta (14852) 2013-10-16 18:32
Finally sun and blue sky and vegetation on the very old ruins, this ones I am afraid will fall in any moment
Like the sun inside and the spaces of the windows where the sky is seen
As always a well written and interesting note
Just read what Russ suggest you, quite agree with him...
And your answer..., don't agree at all, just make an effort and for some time try to concentrated in these remains of the pass, may be you find someone or society to take care of the buildings
mirosu (13882) 2013-10-17 0:21
I was a bit silent during past days (without Internet-lot of traveling); just yesterday I came back from my Kerala trip, and it was excellent. My silence is broken. I've already started post photos from this trip.
Thanks for very interesting introduction note.
You have posted very nice photo in superb warm, late afternoon light.
The view up is clever. The composition is well chosen, with excellent combination of light and shadows and nice focusing. I like the nice blue sky color because it contrasts nicely with the darker foreground.
Well done. Have a nice day.
krzychu30 (15498) 2013-10-17 2:16
I think I´m not the first one,who´s delighted by this soft and warm light-it really creates the whole ambience of the scene.Second thing is the way it affects the color scheme of th eimage and how nicely it helps you to bring out the textures of the old walls.
Sure,such ruins have still its own,unique charm,but it would be great to see them in whole their glory again,am I right?
Magnificent presentation of this beautiful place!
Have a good day my friend!
Silvio1953 (122353) 2013-10-18 6:56
Ciao Noel, great view of fantastic ruines, superb sky, excellent clarity, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
abmdsudi (43594) 2013-10-18 9:48
An extremely calming composition which certainly stands out in the afternoon light and everything concentrates on the sad looking ruins and sense of isolation. this excels in my eyes it looks to me as if the building has grown organically that have appeared down the years. The details, colors and balance lighting are always the attraction as displayed here. Great work, Congrats, TFS
omid266 (4842) 2013-10-19 20:53
In the Name of God - Allah Almighty **
Hello dear Noel ,
An wonderful and marvellous , Beautiful foto you
shared us ,
Really i would wish to Visit and Travel to Ireland ,
Thanks for this good work !
* Wis and Pray for PEACE !! ****
Omid from I.R.I
Miguel82 (23461) 2013-10-20 7:15
Dear Noël, hope you'll like today's picture there is a message for you! That ancient castle looks full of stories and legends and you explain it well in your photo comment. Beautiful afternoon light and golden color, a barrier was erected to protect the monument against intrusion and maybe open air defacation, who knows? Trees and climbing plants grown inside of the castle making it more mysterious, all the best, good sunday afternoon
mkamionka (30636) 2013-10-21 6:57
you have several new attractive uploads in your gallery it was hard to pick only one... Very attractive structure here. I like how he house is attacked by the vegetation. Interesting light as well.
Very well done,
Highmountains (2255) 2013-10-22 22:03
Patches of bright golden sunlight over the soft gray colours of brickwork in ruins ... The creepers covering up portions of the walls, the barren space of where there was once stately doors and pretty windows, and the fencing almost like match sticks unable to keep the marauding forces of nature. The blue sky with wooly white clouds make for an excellent background.
Beautiful photograph and a moving note.
These need to be documented. Thanks.
adores (37153) 2013-10-25 14:11
Another fantastic ruin! The plants growing inside give a very special atmosphere. Hard to imagine how beautiful it was in the old days. I see it is now surrounded by a fence. I like this pov! You must have lots os places like this over there! We have lots of them also, specially now, with the crisis!
brianmcc (6181) 2013-10-31 12:30
this is a cracking looking ruins. the building is so full of character, even in such a ruined state. you have framed this well. i love the colours with the sunlight resting on the sides of the walls and the lovely blue sky.
Cricri (106371) 2013-11-02 0:36
Je suis tombé sur cette image qui est magnifique accompagné d'une notre très intéressante, j'aime l'effet de la lumière sur ces vielles ruines que la végétation recouvre, bonne netteté, cadrage et le moment choisi
SWEETFREEDOM (22730) 2013-11-03 8:01
reading your descriptions one can really imagine what it was in its heyday.
good light and natural colors.
ikeharel (57290) 2013-11-17 7:38
Good evening Noel,
Learning about ruins one can get the feel of history unfolding through the picture, and the note written.
Fabulous golden light made it look as a fire burning inside, maybe this was the reason for abandoning the place. Climber plants cover the old edifice, and added charm to the old walls.
Intrigung place, well shown and a superb contrast to blue sky.
Have a nice week ahead,