Ardrum House
by Madge Ahern
Stacks Image 2941
Ardrum House was built in the 1770’s using local sandstone and limestone and was a huge Georgian mansion. It had 365 windows, one for each day of the year, a huge courtyard of half an acre in area. There were also large pleasure grounds with lake, shrubbery, lawns, outhouses, stables and a farmyard. The lake was situated to the north of the house, but was drained and no longer exists. The bridge at the head of the lake is still in use and is called Lady’s Bridge. There were five entrances to Ardrum, four with gate lodges.
In its heyday, many New Years Eve Balls were held in Ardrum. The gentry attending would have included many of the Lords and Ladies of other huge estates in Munster such as Lord and Lady Bandon of Kenmare. Lanterns were hung from the branches of the trees lining the avenue to Ardrum to guide the visitors to the ball.
The house was extremely damp - a lot of the family died of damp-related diseases and on medical advice the family vacated the house and built Blarney House.
The steps leading to the main entrance of Blarney House came from Ardrum as did the fireplace which can still be seen.
The Muskerry Railway Line ran through Ardrum Estate from 1880 to 1934. George Colthurst supported the railway line financially.
Over half the Ardrum Estate of 592 acreas is forestry to this day, the other half being divided into three farms. The wall surrounding the Ardrum Estate is 12 feet high and is visible on the left on the road from Cloghroe to Ballyanly. Attached to Ardrum House by a tunnel were Ardrum Courts which was a defensive mansion where local people were tried for such offences as thieving, poaching and fighting.