Spring Garden House (Frankford House) and Farmyard on 1.7 acres with an adjacent 7.4 acres of Agricultural Land located at Kilcormac Co. Offaly.
Leahy Midland Auctioneers & BER Assessors are delighted to bring to the market this iconic property famously known as Spring Garden House (Frankford House) and farmyard on 1.7 acres with an adjacent 7.4 acres of Agricultural Land located at Kilcormac Co. Offaly.
The Spring Garden House and Farmyard is a notably complete complex evolving over the late Georgian and Victorian period, with most fabric and finishes intact. It is a good example of a modest gentleman’s farm house with attached dispensary and farm complex, located on the fringe of the village core.
The attached farmyard is a good example of a courtyard complex of outbuildings, which has some
fine examples of stone masonry, reflective of the importance of farming activity to the occupants
and within the surrounding area. The physical characteristics of the buildings are reflective of the
changes in building fashions and technology which span the late Georgian to the later Victorian
The main house shows evidence of at least two phases of rebuilding or remodelling, although the
late Georgian core appears to be intact. It is representative of the simple architecture of County
Offaly, in the form of a plain symmetrical box with hipped roof, clipped eaves and modest
adornments confined to a timber rope moulding around the door. The rope moulding is usual in the
regional context, although examples of the type are seen elsewhere.
The house has connections with the Stoney family, a prosperous landowning Protestant family, who
were significant landlords in the area. Although the Kilcormac Stoneys were something of an outlier
within the wider Stoney genealogy, Spring Garden House is an example of the wider economic
structure of rural Irish society in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is also representative of
the role of the Irish Land Commission in the first part of the twentieth century.
The configuration of the house and annexe are indicative of the late nineteenth century mix of uses
of the house as a combined residence and dispensary while under the ownership of the former
Deputy Surgeon General Andrew Acres Stoney, who operated as a local doctor after his retirement.
The house therefore had an important community and social function.
The farm, associated walled garden and well are indicative of the self-sufficiency which was
embedded in prosperous nineteenth-century Irish farm dwellings. The spread of uses listed in
primary documentation gives insight as to the working of a substantial, if modest, gentleman’s farm.
Interior finishes, fittings and fixtures are significant in terms of the phasing and development of the
house, and the work of artisan craftspeople in the nineteenth century. The mural and graffiti are significant aspects of the interior of the house. The mural is reflective of the farming concerns of the Stoney family, how they viewed themselves and their connection with the surrounding land. The graffiti tells of a later phase of the history of the house, social and political context, and the concerns of subsequent owners.
The complex has present-day significance as a substantial vacant site in close proximity to the town
of Kilcormac, comprised of high-quality historic buildings and land, which may contribute to the
quality and amenity of the built environment.
There are associations with military heritage as well as links to national and international
engineering heritage. Although commensurate with its status, the house also tells an interesting
story of the women who were associated with it, particularly Anne Dunne and the women in the
wider Stoney family.