Townley Hall: From the beautiful to the sublime

Phase II Completion

DERMOT CONWAY visits Townley Hall to see for himself how much has changed since the completion of Phase Two of the building's renovation

We are delighted to announce the successful completion of Phase II of the refurbishment and extension works at Townley Hall. Phase II builds on the successful completion of Phase I, which involved the restoration and refurbishment of the kitchen wing, an annex to the main house, derelict since the 1950s.


Many of you who have attended recent residentials at Townley Hall will have already seen how impressive this latest development is, in terms of design, craftsmanship and quality of finish. And how levels of comfort, safety and convenience for all visitors have been significantly enhanced. It seems to add an entirely new visual and aesthetic dimension to the house.

Phase II of the project has now delivered the following features:

  • The Phase I development now has its permanent roof which is fully insulated and covered in a natural zinc finish. The zinc was selected to complement the ashlar limestone of the main building as well as for its renowned durability and suitability for fine detailing. The overall design was the result of a prolonged and detailed analysis covering both future requirements and the sensitive integration of the new works into the heritage fabric of the main building. Planning approval was granted following a consultation process that involved Louth County Council, the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, the Irish Georgian Society and An Taisce.
  • A new lift and stairs has been installed, serving levels between the basement and the first floor. The lift is also suitable for wheelchair users. A wheelchair-accessible WC has been installed on the ground floor on the landing outside the Own Room.
  • A new entrance has been installed on the north façade. The entrance makes use of an historic opening which was previously blocked up, and now enables easy access from the northside driveway directly into the new lift and stair core. It also allows the extension to function independently from the main house when required.
  • Within the attic, a space has been created to accommodate five double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. This will be the forthcoming Phase III and the culmination of the project.
  • At basement level — in front of the lift door — is a new lobby. This lobby is built on the footprint of a recessed loggia that existed previously. A glass screen has been installed to allow appreciation of the Doric columns, from the inside, once again.


Very special thanks are extended to our architects Michael and Victoria Kavanagh, our QS Basil Conroy and our builders Cleary Doyle. They have delivered an outstanding project, all in accordance with best practice and defined conservation principles. Unforeseen challenges were met head on as the complexities of Phase II unfolded.

For practical reasons some works were completed at this time which were originally intended for Phase III, all to ensure we had a completed look as against an unfinished or intermediate appearance.

In conclusion, we again wish to acknowledge with gratitude the very generous support and encouragement of school students throughout the years which has made all this work possible.

To view images of the project, please scroll down:

For more information on the history of Townley Hall, please visit the website: