Gate lodge, or gatelodge, seems me to be an Irish term for what we, over here, would just call a Lodge. In amongst the majority of what I could only call dross (although there was one excellent shelf of local (in the sense of Northern Irish) books [see photos below]) in the Library at The Barbican, an Irish Landmark Trust property on the coast of Antrim in Northern Ireland, I found a most interesting book. “The Gate Lodges of Ulster : a gazetteer” by J A K Dean; Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1994. The book came about as a result of research carried out by Dean 30 years earlier. Another look at the topic during the early 1990s revealed much demolition and decay had occurred and a comprehensive renewal of study lead to the publication of the gazetteer. I’m wondering whether a similar study has been carried out in the South – a much greater project. Gate lodges had much to teach about developing awareness and ambitions of their patrons, and the changing skills of builders and architects. There’s a huge variety- from vernacular tradition to architectural sophistication yet they had a single simple purpose – to house the gatekeeper and his family. The Gazetteer is a fascinating study of individual gate lodges. Here I’ve abstracted details from the book and added my photos.
Gate Lodge at Castle Coole – Weir’s Bridge Lodge
Built c1880 i.e. after the Weir’s Bridge was built to carry the Enniskillen-Florence Court-Belcoo line of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway. It’s a fine building in the Lombardie style [sic]. Built from the highest quality ashlar sandstone with immaculately carved detailing. Single-storey on a T-plan. It has a raised stepped platform to form a “porte-cochere” with semi-circular headed arches.
Gate Lodges – Castle Coole Twin Lodges
These were even recorded as being dilapidated in 1834. They not even mentioned on OS maps until 1857. Now they’re presented as Georgian Gothick. Built so close together a family carriage could hardly pass through. The chimney stacks have now been lost. Armar Lowry-Corry (1st earl of Belmore) the builder died in 1802 and his son Somerset had an energetic building programme for 40 years. He built up a lasting relationship with architect Sir Richard Morrison.
Single gate Lodge at Castle Coole
Gate Lodge at Crom
The main entrance lodge at Crom was built in 1838 by Edward Blore, architect. Blore was responsible for many other buildings on the Crom Estate. It’s an irregular Tudor picturesque cottage on one and a half storeys. Dean’s book also contains interior plans. It has two main gables and pretty serrated bargeboards plus finialed hipknobs. On Wikipedia I found that a Hip-knob, in architecture, is the finial on the hip of a roof, between the barge-boards of a gable. The small gabled hall/porch has the only remaining lattice panes.
Gate Lodge at Springhill
The Gate Lodge at the National Trust property Springhill in County Londonderry is now the secondhand bookshop. It stands at the original main entrance (which is now now the exit) and was built not long after George Lenox-Conyngham succeeded to the property in 1788. It is the sole survivor of a pair of Georgian Gothick porters’ lodges. Their gables faced each other across the avenue entrance. It is a simple rectangular two roomed structure, has steeply pitched gables with a wide door opening and a minuscule lancet opening above to light a bed loft.
The Well Read Bookshop
The Glenarm Barbican
Built in 1824, the Barbican’s architect was William Vitruvius Morrison. Dean writes : “Beloved of photographers and Victorian illustrators for its dramatic architecture and romantic setting. Approached across a two-arched bridge spanning the Glenarm River the Barbican is a three-storey castellated gatehouse. An ancient sandstone coat of arms was inserted.” This had originally graced the front of the castle when it had been built by the first earl in 1636, while the other side of The Barbican was also given a commemorative plaque: THIS GATEWAY WAS BUILT AND THE CASTLE RESTORED BY EDMUND M’DONNELL, ESQUIRE, AND HIS WIFE ANNE KATHERINE, IN HER OWN RIGHT COUNTESS OF ANTRIM AND VISCOUNTESS DUNLUCE A.D. 1825. Attached to one side is the two-storey porter’s accommodation – one up and one down.
Rear of the Barbican
The Barbican Bookshelf
Aren’t these interesting! Gate houses are something I never even thought about before. Than you for making me notice them!
How lovely to hear from you, Diana! Yes, interesting indeed. I always notice them but never gave them a lot of thought. It was marvellous to actually stay in two whilst on my trip.
Fascinating to focus on this lesser, yet integral part of country estates. Would love to know how many books you bought from the NT shop!
Thank you, Fran. I bought just three and they are all by DEStevenson and I’ve offered them to a friend.
Hi Barbara What an interesting post. Are you still in Ireland? I was intrigued by the term ‘hip knob’ and would question its definition. I don’t think it should apply to a gable finial but only where hip rafters join a ridge which is a more complex junction than that where a ridge joins a gable. I have looked at one or two other sources but haven’t found anything more conclusive yet. Take care Martin x
Sent from my iPad
Hi Mart, no I arrived home on 31st, a week after you, but have had wifi problems here at home and not sorted until Monday. Well, I did point out that it was a definition proposed on Wikipedia whose information is not entirely to be relied upon. x
An interesting post, as always, Barbara. I guess I usually pass the lodge without a second look when visiting a “grand” house, but your post has made me think I should be more observant in future.
By the way, in Lancashire, the word “lodge” can also mean a small reservoir associated with a mill to provide water for the steam engine and other purposes (when we had mills and when they were run on steam power!)
Thank you, Mick. I await your observations.
I’d never heard of your definition so I guess it’s that border between Yorkshire and Lancashire that’s kept it out of my hearing ;-).
[…] year I wrote about the Gate Lodges of Ulster and selected a few that I had come across during my brief, but very enjoyable, stay in the Six […]