- Middleton Park House
Middleton Park House is an Irish historic residence built in 1850 in a Georgian style in Castletown-Geoghegan, County Westmeath. After many years of disrepair, it was finally restored to its former glory in mid 2007. It is now open to the public as a commercial entity specialising in corporate events and private weddings as well as a fine dining restaurant, the Silver Room.
Situated atop a gentle hill on a kilometre-long avenue, looking towards Lough Ennell and across to Belvedere House, another former home to the Rochfort-Boyd family, Middleton Park House was built by George Boyd-Rochfort in 1850. He commissioned George Papworth, Architect and President of the Royal Academy, to design and oversee the building of the House. Drawings of part of the interior were exhibited by Mr Papworth during the Royal Hibernian Annual Exhibition of 1850. Only the very best craftsmen and materials were used in the building and it is a testimony to those craftsmen and materials that Middleton Park House has stood the test of time since then.
The House is a fine example of early Victorian architecture favouring the classic Georgian style over the gothic style evident in other houses of that era. Acclaimed features of the House are its under-floor heating system, stone bifurcated staircase leading to the Gallery Landing and three story high atrium lantern located in the Main Hall.
Middleton Park House also boasts one of only a few Richard Turner conservatories to be found in Ireland. This magnificent example of Turner’s genius and period use of ironwork is often used as the ideal setting to entertain and impress guests.
The house was host to a number of celebrities in the 1930s and 1940s and local families will recall exciting stories of stunning Rita Hayworth (second wife of Ali Khan, son of Aga Khan III and father of the reigning Aga Khan IV) walking from Middleton Park House to the now disused train station at Castletown Geoghegan.
The House and estate remained in the Boyd-Rochfort family until the early 1960s when it was sold. Since then it has seen many owners, the most colourful of whom was international gambler extraordinaire Barney Curley who famously raffled the House in 1986.
Today, this Georgian-style country mansion is the venue of choice for couples seeking a private and exclusive wedding venue that is still within striking distance of Dublin and the major midlands towns. It is also successfully used by discerning families wishing to celebrate first communions, confirmations and other family occasions; and the sound of children's laughter in the Games Room on a Sunday is a welcome reminder of the traditional parties held for local children that were once a feature of this grand house in days gone by.
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