Ballynegall House (sometimes spelled "Ballynagall") was a large country house in Ballynagall townland, County Westmeath, Ireland. In Irish Baile na nGall translates to “The Town of the Foreigners” which may be a reference to the Anglo-Norman invaders who occupied the area.
Its gutting and fall into ruins was said to be one of great architectural losses in Ireland.
Creation and country house
The house was built between around 1808 and was considered one of the finest regency houses in Westmeath.[by whom?] It was built by Francis Johnston, one of the most famous architects of his day who was also responsible for the General Post Office and the Irish Houses of Parliament, now the Bank of Ireland building in College Green both in Dublin.
It was originally built for James Gibbons and remained in the Gibbons name until 1846. It then passed by marriage to the Smyth family where it remained until the early 1960s.
Fall into ruins
The last owner Michael Hawkesworth Smyth sold the house with several hundred acres of good farming land for about £12,000 (even then a small amount). It changed hands until in 1981 many of the fine architectural pieces were gutted and sold (the fireplace alone was reported sold for £6,000) the house became a ruin. Many of the items from the house are still in existence today in other buildings: the fine portico found a new home at the entrance to the K Club, Straffan, County Kildare, and the Turner conservatory at the La Serre restaurant on the Lyons estate, Celbridge, County Kildare.
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