DescriptionDetached multiple-bay two- and three- storey over basement limestone mansion, built c. 1731, occupied by Wynne family for two- hundred years, lay empty from c. 1923-1930, the estate except house sold to Land Commission and State Forestry Department c. 1937, occupied by Irish Army c. 1943, house purchased by Department of Health c. 1947 for use as psychiatric hospital c. 1947, bought by Italian manufacturing company c. 1969 and incorporated into factory complex, and lain in poor condition since c. 1987.
Hazelwood House’s HistoryThe house, which originally stood in a wooded estate of 15,000 acres, was designed by architect Richard Cassels c.1730 for Lt-Gen. Owen Wynne, a descendant of the Welsh Wynne family from Merioneth. On his death in 1737, the estate passed to his nephew, also Owen Wynne (1686- 1755) who was an Army officer. He was succeeded by his son, a third Owen, who was High Sheriff of Sligo for 1723 and 1745. The house then passed to the latter's son, a fourth Owen (died 1789), who was an M.P. for County Sligo in the Irish Parliament and an Irish Privy Councillor. His eldest son, a fifth Owen (1755–1841), inherited the house on his death and was also an M.P. for County Sligo in the Irish Parliament and High Sheriff. He was followed by his son, John Arthur Wynne (1801–1865), MP for Sligo Borough and High Sheriff for 1840, and John Arthur's son, a sixth Owen (1843–1910), High Sheriff for 1874. The sixth Owen Wynne was the last Wynne to occupy Hazelwood House and died without a male heir in 1910. His daughter Murial and her husband Philip Dudley Percival then occupied the house, selling off the livestock and machinery until they left Hazelwood in 1923. The house then stood empty until 1930, when a retired tea planter named Berridge lived there, carrying out repairs and renovations before the house and lands were sold to the Land Commission and the State Forestry Department in 1937. In c.1943 the house was occupied by the Irish Army and after the war sold to the Department of Health for use as a psychiatric hospital. In c.1969 it was sold again to the Italian manufacturing company SNIA S.p.A. to use as part of a nylon yarn factory complex which they built to the rear of the house. The factory closed in 1983 and was acquired in 1987 by the South Korean company Saehan Media, who produced video tapes on the site until 2005. The property was sold in April 2006 for €7-€10 million to a local consortium, Foresthaze Developments, who applied in 2007 for permission to develop the site. The application was refused by Sligo County Council and the owners served with a notice to improve the fabric of the building to ensure its preservation. Empty since 1987 the house itself is now boarded.
The WynnesThe first occupant of Hazelwood House was Lieutenant General Owen Wynne 1664-1737, third son of Owen Wynne Senior of Lurganboy, County Leitrim and formerly of the Bala Estate of the Gwynnes in the old county of Merionith in Wales, now known as the larger county of Gwynedd.Hazelwood House was designed by German architect John Cassels and built in 1722 of cut and polished limestone, in an Italian style, with a four storey facade and two lateral curving wings. The Hall door is reached by climbing a flight of stone steps leading onto a spacious platform which offers fine scenic views of the mountains of Leitrim and of North County Sligo. The estate consisted of 900 acres of arable land of which 80 acres were under tillage, 130 acres were meadow and the remaining 690 aces were for grazing. A further 600 acres were of forestry.
APPRAISALBuilt by architect Richard Castle for OwenWynne, this exquisite, but progressively brutalised house superbly located in mature woodland on the banks of the Garavoge River, is one of County Sligo's most neglected treasures. It is a splendid and imposing example of the Palladian-style. In spite of abject neglect and inappropriate alteration, it is testimony to the quality of the building that it has survived relatively intact. An abundance of fine stonework attests to the high quality craftsmanship employed in its construction and pays tribute to those whose vision was responsible for its conception. In addition to its very high quality architectural value the house is important both socially and historically.
Hazelwood House is an 18th-century Palladian style country house located in a 70 acre demesne in Calry parish 2 miles south-east of Sligo town in north-west Ireland. It consists of a 5-bay by 3-bay main block in 3-storeys with 2-storey wings on either side connected to the main block by single- storey quadrants. The building is constructed of limestone ashlar with slate roofs
Three-bay three-storey over basement main house thee bays deep, five-bay single-storey quadrants to east and west sides curving forwards to, three-bay two-storey wings each three-bays deep, three-storey flat-roofed fire escape c1970 to the North East of the house, three-bay two three-bays deep, three-storey flat-roofed fire escape c1970 to the North East of the house, three-bay two storey house, three-bay two-storey south-west wing c. 1870 attached to south of west elevation of main house, various single- and two-storey buildings c. 1870 to south of west wing and west of main house. Hipped slate roofs, lead ridge and hip cappings, ashlar corbelled chimneystacks, lead-lined parapet gutters to main house, half-round cast-iron gutters on eaves corbel course to wings, cast-iron downpipes. Ashlar walling to north elevation main house and quadrant wings; uncoursed rubble walling to east, south and west elevations main house; ruled-and-lined smooth-rendered walling to wings; plain rusticated quoins to south elevation and ground floor north elevation main house; moulded plinth, first floor platband and sill course, plain frieze, modillion cornice and parapet blocking course to main house; tooled ashlar quoins to wings. Square-headed window openings to main house; Gibbs surrounds to ground floor, eared architraves to first floor, kneed and eared architraves to second floor; north elevation with first floor central aedicule with Ionic columns and pilasters and round-headed niches flanking window with swag in niche over set within archivolt, second floor with recessed circular niches flanking central window; south elevation with first floor central Venetian window with Doric pilastered aedicules flanking window with archivolt containing cartouche over; painted two-over- two timber sash windows c.1900. Round-headed openings to quadrant wings set in pilastered arcade, openings blocked-up, circular spherical recesses in frieze over each opening. Square-headed window openings to wings, Gibbs surrounds to ground floor, plain ashlar surrounds to first floor, openings blocked-up. Pedimented entrance doorcase to north elevation, main house; Gibbs surrounds to square-headed entrance door opening flanked by square-headed windows, cartouche in tympanum; timber panelled door c. 1970 with painted timber flanking pilasters, moulded transom, round-headed plain-glazed fanlight in archivolt; windows blocked-up; stone approach steps with flanking ashlar walls terminating in pedestals surmounted by urns. Venetian doorcase to south elevation, main house; central door opening with archivolt with keystone flanked by square- headed sidelights with Gibbs surrounds; painted timber panelled double doors c. 1900, glazed three-pane overlight, plain-glazed sidelights; stone staircase over basement area, flanked by giant consoles. Interior with room off hall with cross-vaulted ceiling with decorative plaster enrichments; dentilled cornice; fluted Ionic pilasters flanking doorcase with consoles, cornice and overdoor all heavily enriched. Two-storey stable block ranges to east; hipped slate roofs to north range, pitched slate roof to south range, clay ridge and hip tiles, half-round cast-iron gutters on eaves corbel courses; uncoursed rubble limestone walling; square-headed window openings, moulded ashlar surrounds to main openings, brick dressings to secondary openings; segmental-headed carriage openings to north and south ranges, ashlar dressings; elliptically-headed openings to south range, brick dressings. Situated in parkland, now in use as industrial premises, factory complex to south, approximately three-kilometres from Sligo town, Garavogue River to the west.
Hazelwood was the venue for numerous sporting and leisure events through the years, with yacht racing taking place on Lough Gill throughout the 19th Century. Polo was another popular sport on the Hazelwood Estate as was shooting, horse racing and rowing. Owen Wynne died in 1737, leaving the estate to his nephew Owen Wynne 1686-1755 who joined the army at the age of 20, bought a company two years later and served several years in Flanders. He married Catherine Ffolliott, daughter of Col. John Ffolliott. John, the M.P. for CountyCavan, was created Baron Farnham in the Irish peerage in 1756. Owen went on to be the elected M.P. for County Sligo in the Irish Parliament, becoming an Irish Privy Councillor in 1756, thus earning himself the title of Right Honourable. He died in 1789 leaving six sons and three daughters.The Hazelwood Estates were then inherited by his eldest son, also called Owen (1755–1841) who, one year later, married Lady Sarah Elizabeth Cole, the eldest daughter of the first Earl of Enniskillen, having two sons and two daughters. Owen entered the Irish Parliament in 1778 as member for Co. Sligo whilst at the same time his father was member for the Borough. Owen was a notable agricultural pioneer, intent on bringing the benefits of the English agrarian revolution to Ireland. Owen was twice the High Sheriff for County Sligo during his fathers lifetime. John Arthur Wynne (1801–65) succeeded to the family estates in 1841 after the death of his father. He married Lady Anne Butler, second daughter of the first Marquess of Ormonde, who forebears were distinquished in Irish history, coming from their Kilkenny Castle stronghold.
Lady Anne Butler bore four children before her death 11yrs after marrying John Arthur Wynne. In 1843, as the famine was becoming more severe, John Arthur Wynne lowered the rents for his tenents. The following year he applied to the Office of Public Works for a grant to improve the navigable channel betweeno the port of Sligo. However this application was refused, so Wynne had the work of deepening the channel and making it more direct, completed by means of public subscription, this would have been of great benefit to the safe departure of ships full of emigrants heading for America and Canada. Like other landlords, Wynne paid for the passage of emigrants, with surviving accounts showing he had paid the local Midleton & Pollexfen Shipping Company £364 for 81 passages. He had also paid another local businessman Peter O'Connor £126, 15 shillings for similar deeds, the destination in each case being Quebec in Canada.Three years after the extension of the Midland Great Western Railway from Longford to Sligo was completed in 1862, John Arthur Wynne died leaving his son Owen to become one of the promoters and one of the first directors of the Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway which ran from Sligo to Enniskillen.
Owen Wynne (1843–1910) succeeded to the family estates in 1865 aged 23, marrying Stella Fanny, the youngest daughter of Sir Robert Gore-Booth of Lissadell, four years later. Stella Fanny Wynne was accidentally killed on 27 February 1887. The accident occurred whilst Stella, who was driving her pheaton, (a light four wheeled carriage drawn by a single horse) on a journey to visit Captain Peel's house in Newtownmanor, when the horse bolted on a downhill section after the front wheels came off the pheaton. Stella and her companion Miss McClintock were thrown from the carriage leaving Miss McClintock uninjured, however Stella hit her head against a rock gatepost, leaving her with a fractured skull, dying of her injuries two days later.Lucy was the daughter of Owen Wynne of Lurganboy, Co. Leitrim. They had three sons John, Owen (who went on to succeed his father in the family estate) and John, and two daughters Lucy and Hannah. Owen went on to become High Sheriff of Co.Sligo in 1723 and again in 1745 and High Sheriff of Co. Leitrim in 1724, dying 1755 aged 79.Hazelwood House was then inherited by his second son The Right Honourable Owen Wynne in 1754. Owen married Anne Maxwell whose brother wen Wynne in his youth had served as a lieutenant in the 61st Foot Regiment, as well as following in the family tradition of being High Sheriff of County Sligo in 1875 and of County Leitrim in 1881. Owen Wynne died in 1910 at the age of 67 and with no male heir to take over the estates, so too came the end of the Wynne's occupation of Hazelwood House. After the death of Owen Wynne in 1910, Owen's daughter Murial and her husband Philip Dudley Percival lived in Hazelwood House, selling off the livestock and machinery until they left Hazelwood House in 1923. From 1923 until 1930 Hazelwood House remained empty, after which a retired tea planter named Mr Berridge lived in the house, carrying out repairs and renovations until the house and lands were sold to the Land Commission and the State Forestry Department in 1937. During the Second World War and until 1946, Hazelwood House was occupied by the Irish Army after which the Land Commission put the house up for sale. Under the terms of the sale however, the buyer was to demolish the house, level the site and remove all the materials. Three days before the auction was due to be held, the offer was withdrawn, a decision welcomed loudly by The Sligo Champion newspaper, who printed a scathing attack on the Land Commission. Later in the same year (1946) Hazelwood House was sold to Saint Columba's Mental Hospital who spent some £4000 repairing the building, using it for a number of years as a home for mental patients.In 1969 an Italian company called Snia bought Hazelwood House and built a factory to the rear (South) of the house. Snia had employed up to 500 people producing nylon yarn. Like many businesses during the recession of the early 1980s, Snia hit on hard times and the factory closed down in 1983. Four years later in 1987 the factory and Hazelwood House were sold to the South Korean company Saehan Media who produced video tapes until 2005, when, due to a downturn in business as a result of the digital revolution, Saehan Media too closed down with the loss of over 150 jobs. While, quite traditional in many areas, successive family heads were keen to embrace the new technology of their day. local legend has it that Hazelwood House is haunted, not as one might expect by the spirit of Owen the Last but by his wife, Stella Fanny