• History of BH (1)
  • History of BH

History of The Bridge House

History of The Bridge House

Originally built by the Ormond’s with connections to Kilkenny Castle, the Bridge House is a terraced three-bay two-storey house, post-1763. Originally it formed part of a larger seven-bay two-storey over part-raised basement c.1600, with elliptical-headed carriageway to left. An elegantly composed house of national significance originally forming part of a larger composition rebuilt to designs prepared by Thomas Barnes in the mid eighteenth century incorporating the fabric of an early seventeenth-century house.

The features are many - running bond chimney stack, iron rainwater goods on rendered eaves, square-headed window openings with cut-limestone sills, and six-over-six timber sash windows having replacement two-over-two timber sash windows, pre-1850, to rear (south) elevation. Square-headed door opening approached by flight of six cut-limestone steps with limestone ashlar Doric doorcase, pre-1850. Timber panelled door having fanlight. Interior with timber panelled shutters to window openings. Road fronted with sections of wrought iron railings, pre-1850, to front on cut-limestone plinth having open work piers, and shared wrought iron double gates.

Evidence of the earlier range survives to the present day in the form of thick wall masses highlighting the archaeological significance of the site. Occupying an important site in the centre of Kilkenny the house is identified by characteristics including a finely carved shared doorcase representing a feature recurrent in the architectural heritage of the locality. The house presents an early aspect with some vital early features surviving intact including to the interior. The house remains of additional importance in the locality for the historic connections with George Matthews and Derby Egan together with an episode relating to the Civil War (1921-5) manifested in the form of bullet holes reputedly marking the wall fabric.

Neville Hotels bought the Bridge House in 2017 and it is now part of the footprint of the Kilkenny River Court Hotel. The House was badly damaged in a fire later that year. The Nevilles have made a significant investment in returning the building to its former glory whilst working with the Kilkenny County Council and the Heritage Council to maintain as many of the original features as possible.