The Pigeon House, Westmeath, Ireland

‘The Pigeon House’ is one of the few remaining buildings left on the old Hancock Temple Estate near Glasson, Co. Westmeath. The lands surrounding Glasson were granted to William Hancock during the Cromwellian Plantations, he built the now sadly demolished Waterstown House and walled orchards. Richard Castle who designed the house is also known for being the architect of Leinster House and the Rotunda in Dublin to name but a few. Waterstown House was built in during the first half of the 18th century and was dismantled in the early 1900s, the main gates can now be seen at Longford Cathedral. The beautiful Pigeon House was built to serve two purposes, firstly as a ornate landmark, and also during the winter when it was difficult to get access to fresh meat the pigeons housed there would be slaughtered to insure a fresh supply of meat. I didn’t have chance to check out the remnants of the walled garden on my trip, or try and find the entrance to an underground tunnel that runs from the estate to the village but I shall make it back there someday for another look!

GPS; 53.46613, -7.8623

10 thoughts on “The Pigeon House, Westmeath, Ireland

  1. Went up there today to see this little gem. The fireplace must have been an addition at some point later than the build date. I imagine it was converted for human use as perhaps a men’s den or drying room. Originally had four open arches. Therefore oculus was also an addition.

  2. Hello,, Liked your photo and info. Jane Butler Bryan (my great aunt) lived at Waterston House when she was married to Hon Arthur Ernest Harris Temple until her death in 1891. She was my grandmother Lucinds Butler Bryan”s aunt, sister of my great grandfather Fergus Butler Bryan. I am daughter of William Kerr, son of Lucinda Kerr (nee Butler Bryan) my grandmother. I hope to go back to Ireland to see the sad ruins of Waterston House. I have also found photos on Athlone Society site. Thank you

    • Thanks for your contribution. It is sad that so little remains of the house and I do hope you get to visit. That remaining wall I think really serves as a reminder of how spectacular the building must have been. If I recall correctly the walled garden is still partially in use and I think that’s why I didn’t pop in to visit!

      • Hi Ken,
        I will e-mail you with details of my family tree discovered so far.
        Regards, Sheila

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