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Kevinsfort House is a classically proportioned Georgian Regency house within the borough of Sligo. It is conveniently located less than one mile west and within easy walking distance of the centre of Sligo Town.
Kevinsfort House is a three bay, two storey over basement Palladian style stone house within the borough, west of Sligo Town. It was built in 1820 by Captain George Dodwell on land bought from the Wynnes of Hazelwood. Dodwell was a successful land agent for various landlords in the area, most notably the Gore-Booths of Lissadell.
The facade of the house is cut and dressed limestone with a pedimented portico with ionic columns and doric pilasters. It is orientated east/west and the morning sunshine penetrates deeply towards the rear of the house. The inner hall is also lit by a one and a half storey rotunda headed sash window opening to the south. The inner hall space continues up the half cantilevered and half free standing staircase to the first floor and up to the dome recessed into the roof space. The house has six bedrooms, three reception rooms, two bathrooms with original Victorian lavatories, baths and plumbing still in working order. The original kitchen in the basement still contains an early model cast iron range.
Very few structural changes have been made to Kevinsfort House over the past two hundred years. Aside from an upgraded heating system, the only real exception is the extension housing a more modern kitchen to the rear of the house over the basement. Other than these allowances towards modern living needs, living in Kevinsfort House today is not at all removed from the experience of a couple of hundred years ago. Minus the servants, of course.
Dodwell's heirs sold Kevinsfort House in 1923 to C.J Bentley, a racehorse owner. His one notable achievement was the mare "Ballinode", known as "the Sligo mare". She was the first mare to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the second annual running of the event in 1925, a record she would hold for the next three decades. An image of the horse prepared by local artist Patricia Curran is picked out in original cobbles in the bell yard, the renovated stable yard to the rear of Kevinsfort House.
The Condon family bought Kevinsfort House and surrounding lands in 1936 and built up a modern dairy production facility serving the people of Sligo and further afield with bottled pasturised milk, cream and ice cream. The dairy also distributed milk bottles and aluminium bottle caps to small milk suppliers throughout the western half of Ireland. Today Kevinsfort House is enclosed by a modern housing estate but still preserves its setting in the landscape, looking out over a large garden and green area beyond.
The house will open on selected days throughout 2013. June 4th until 8th, 11th until 15th, 18th until 22nd and 25th until 29th. July 2nd until 6th, 9th until 13th, 16th until 20th, 23th until 27th and 30th until 31st. August 1st until 3rd, 6th until 10th, 13th until 25th, from 10am until 2pm.
To avoided disappointment please telephone for more information on visiting arrangements, etc. Group tours welcome by appointment.