This is one of the ‘dodging posts’ that I mentioned recently and it’s doing its best to slither away again but I’m taking it by the scruff of the neck with a harsh determination.
It relates to a place in the West of Co. Waterford, called The Towers at Ballysaggartmore and I think I have found it very difficult to write because it is largely about facade and I don’t like facade very much.
The Towers, which are two ornate gate lodges, are located high up in a woodland a few miles from the lovely town of Lismore. They are about as unexpected as it gets and are said to have been built around 1834 by an Anglo-Irish landlord, Arthur Keily-Ussher, as a prelude to an extravagant mansion that Keily-Ussher never built because he ran out of money building the two amazing gate lodges.
Keily-Ussher had a demense of approximately 8,000 acres and part of that included a large but plain family residence, Ballysaggartmore House, which was destroyed by arson during the Civil War in Ireland in the early 1920s.
So, The Towers, which are hauntingly beautiful, are basically architectural follies that lead nowhere.
Over the years, I have found myself drawn back to the place and never cease to be awe-stricken that such grandeur stands way up a woodland path. Here’s how The Towers looked the last time I saw them back in September.
29 thoughts on “The Towers ~ A Haunting Place of Dreams”
Hmm. . . sort of magical and a bit creepy all at once. Reminds me of somewhere I used to live on Dartmoor.
Hi Hariod, that just about sums it up. I’d love to know a bit about the place on Dartmoor. Spent a few days there hostelling back in my wilder days!
I have walked in these woods and seen the towers , isn’t it a shame that some magnificent house or castle was never built, to do them justice.
Hello Joan, lovely to hear from you and delighted that you’ve been to The Towers. I suppose the house that was envisioned was just beyond the beyonds in terms of cost, given that these are only the gates!
Lovely photos Jean!
Thanks very much, Sue. Glad you like them. I must have taken about 200! You know the drill.
I do… I brought 4000 back…
I don’t have Java on my old laptop but the story sounds relaly interesting.
Paul, can you send me your email address to email@example.com and I’ll send you on a few of the photos. You’ve gotta see them!
I’m glad you managed to take this one by the scruff of its neck and share it with us Jean – I love the towers, very atmospheric.
Thanks Andrea, they’re atmospheric alright! I think that’s half the reason I had such problems writing about the place.
Amazing photos… look at the architecture! Gorgeous.
Hi Coco, thanks for writing. Yes, the architecture is pretty amazing and the photos don’t do it justice.
I love this so much yet I find those gates spooky I feel if I past through them I might never be seen again .<3 xx
Hi Willow, I was up there in the dark one evening and it was pretty spooky. However, the last day when it was bright and sunny, it had a whole different feel about it.
Somehow the photos even in the sun I feel an eerie unease.
Thank you for sharing Jean.
Embrace the folly of the extravagant English in those times eh?!?
Oh, I’m more than happy to embrace it, Val, except not on a dark wintery night!
I love the photos! And how the towers and the surrounding nature have aged together.
Hi Letizia. You’re quite right about the lovely woodland and I’m glad to report that great efforts are being made to ensure that the whole area around The Towers is being very well maintained.
I can see why you call the towers a haunting place of dreams. It’s amazing that someone would put so much money and effort into building such elaborate towers and then running out of money before building the mansion. Something (perhaps several things) seems wrong with his priorities.
Sheryl, story has it that the notions of grandeur were driven by a desire on his wife’s behalf to keep up with/outdo her sister who lived in some super-super place.
Wow – well done. I’m glad you didn’t let this one ‘slither away’
Thanks Sandy. Still not entirely sure why it proved so elusive.
Though incomplete, the architecture is beautiful with its ornate detailing. It would make a nice stroll, whilst the mind wanders through rather mysterious “what if” undertones 🙂 ♥ ❤
Jackie, The Towers are beyond breathtaking even when you know what’s coming. The walk is quite long so it is even hard to imagine what the completed house and estate might have been like.
It must be an amazing spot to walk! Too bad it never got built. Yet even in its unfinished state and with all that history, it’s a great teaser to ignite people’s imaginations 🙂 ♥ ❤
Gorgeous Jean. Strangely I was chatting to my friend who lives in Cork city only yesterday. She and her bloke had just been for a day out in the car and she was telling me all about Lismore Castle. ‘The Towers’ must be close by. Co Waterford is indeed full of wonders.
Hi Roy, that’s a coincidence! Yes, The Towers are about 3/4 miles from Lismore.
Co. Waterford sure has wonders!