Builder Plans to Breathe Life Into Historic Elsinore Lodge

Sligo Weekender, Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The son of a former hotel owner in Rosses Point has put forward radical plans for one of the village’s oldest houses.
The historic Elsinore Lodge, seat of the Middleton family and the summer home for William and Jack Yeats, is the subject of a planning application which would see the ruined house restored.
The application, dated February 3 and signed by Patrick McCarthy, details the conservation of Elsinore Lodge, which is a protected structure under the current Sligo County Development Plan.
The conservation would include the partial demolition and subsequent extension to the rear and the provision of three residential units, two 2-bed units in the existing house and one in the coach house to the rear.
The work to the rear would include a two storey bedroom and utility extension and the conversion of a ruined conservatory at the side gable of the house.
On the conservation side, the developer has planned the general repair of historic fabric, reinstatement of roof and collapsed external walls, removal of internal wall at ground floor level and provision of new windows and doors to match original
There would be new internal partitions erected and new services, such as electricity, sewerage and water, added.
The McCarthy family, owners of the Yeats Country Hotel after the Ryan Hotel Group sold it in the 80s, sold the hotel to Brian McEniff in the mid 90s, but the sale did not include the grounds and building of Elsinore Lodge, which the family held on to.
Many proposals have been put forward at a local level for the house over the past 50 years, but a continued lack of repair or restoration work has seen the building fall into a decrepit state.
Any proposed restoration work would meet with stiff opposition from local residents if it is not carried out properly.
There may also be question marks over restoring the house for use as a residential property, especially if more than one residence is planned.
Elsinore Lodge was the family home of Henry Middleton, uncle to Jack and William Yeats. The house features prominently in the works of both men, but its history extends back beyond the Middleton occupation.
The house was first used by a smuggler called John Black who had a lucrative trade in smuggling items off ships entering Sligo Harbour.
Traditionally heavily laden ships would have to be ‘lightened’ of some cargo in Rosses Point before making their way up the narrow channel.
It is believed an underground tunnel still leads from Elsinore Lodge to Dead Man’s Point, where the ships docked.