The Main House

Dromana House, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford had an exciting time during the wars of the 1640s. Its owner, Gerald Fitzgerald, sided with the English as he had been brought up a Protestant. However, his wife, Mabel Digby, sympathised with the Irish rebels. As a result between 1640 and 1645 Dromana House had been besieged numerous times by the English and the Irish army. After all these sieges Dromana was quite ruinous and was not rebuilt until the end of the 17th century.

In 1721 Earl Grandison did much to transform the Dromana estate, planting many thousands of trees, introducing the linen industry, and building the village of Villierstown. A vignette on a demesne map of 1751 shows a U-shaped house, its entrance front dominated by a Jacobean doorcase (as it is today), with projecting wings to form the U.

In 1782, Lord Grandison's planned and started huge additions to the house of but they were not finished in his lifetime. The Georgian extensions were not stone-dressed and finished until the 1820s when Henry Villiers-Stuart completed the additions. Henry also erected the amazing Hindu-Gothic gate lodge at the entrance to the estate - the only Irish example of the Brighton Pavilion style. The dormer first storey of the entire 17th-century part of the house was not raised to its present height until 1843-1846. The great bow-sided, Georgian ballroom or drawing room may not have been fitted up internally until 1858.

The exigencies of Irish country house life in the mid 20th century took their toll on Dromana, and in 1964 the large Georgian section was demolished, leaving only the 17th-century house on its mediaeval foundations.

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