The Chalet at Ard na Gaoithe reaches completion

We are pleased to see the Chalet at the Ard na Gaoithe recreation area near Long, County Mayo reach completion.

It’s been an interesting restoration/renovation/reconstruction project, below is a bit of the history and some photographs of the end result:

In 1908, Lord Ardilaun had the Chalet erected on the grounds of Ashford Castle for his wife. It was there that she sometimes entertained and organized tea parties. Lord Ardilaun died in 1915 and a year later his wife had an Obelisk erected near the Chalet in his memory. She was obviously heartbroken as the inscription on the memorial reads ‘Nothing remains for me any longer [‘Rien ne m’est plus; Plus ne m’est rien’] – Anything that does remain means nothing’.

The Chalet was reconstructed over the years and the intention was to retain the original parts and then reconstruct a more modern, maintenance free, version in the same style and scale. The Chalet had fallen into disrepair over the years where it had been vandalised and became unstable due to the timbers rotting.

Below is a photograph of the original Chalet:

Below is how the Chalet looked in disrepair before our interventions:

The Chalet as it was prior to our interventions

The plan that was guided by our Conservation Report was to maintain the same form and similar materials as the existing but without the use of thatch which would be a fire hazard prone to vandalism. We then used a more contemporary palette of materials whilst maintaining the original roof, chimney and fireplaces internally. Below you can see a slide show of images of the end result:

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