Viewmount House is a most impressive 17th century period house set in magnificent grounds and gardens in countryside surroundings, yet with easy access to the town centre, train station and national motorway network.
The house is approached through a bell-mouthed walled, private entrance, flanked by limestone piers and cast-iron gates, via a sweeping hardcore driveway which is lined with ancient Horse Chestnut and Lime trees. A three-bay, three-storey house dating from circa 1750 and remodelled circa 1860, it is both a striking and imposing property. The main house extends to about 4,574 sq ft and includes two reception rooms, plus a kitchen (where breakfast is prepared) on the ground floor. On the first floor is an impressive drawing room/library which is used for hosting larger parties of guests and the master bedroom suite which includes a bathroom and sitting room. There are four further bedrooms with en suite bathrooms on the second floor. Off the main reception are self-contained private living quarters, comprising an open-plan kitchen/sitting room and a bedroom suite.
An adjoining wing (added in 2008) extends to about 5,005 sq ft and features four bedroom suites and two family rooms, and one wheelchair accessible room.
While the accommodation has been extended and adapted since its original construction, the house has been beautifully maintained with many notable period features retained. These include hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, architraves, decorative fireplaces, sash and case windows, cornices and ceiling roses. Notable external features include rendered quoins and Doric style pilasters.
Viewmount House opened to the public as a guesthouse in 1998. The property was further extended (seven additional bedrooms) and refurbished in 2008, to incorporate a boutique restaurant and established a very successful and multi-award winning 12-bedroom guesthouse, wedding venue and restaurant business.
A key element of Viewmount House is the established and award-winning VM Restaurant, set in a renovated stable block and adjoining the wing extension. This boutique restaurant (with seating for up to 80 guests) opened in 2008.
An open reception and bar area appropriately link the main house and the restaurant. VM has featured on the popular RTE series The Restaurant and is renowned for its fine dining and customer experience. Internal features include exposed stone walls and timber beams. There is a private dining area/party room (with seating for up to 35 guests). In addition to a commercial kitchen there are various stores, a staff changing room and toilets.
A characterful two-storey building is situated to the side of the main house. It presently comprises multi-function stores, kitchen and WC and is believed to have formerly provided residential accommodation.
The stunning and tranquil gardens are a particular feature, offering year-round interest with a wide range of planting. The garden arrangement, mostly set to the rear of the house, overlooks County Longford Golf Course. It is a blissful oasis which has been carefully designed and laid out by the current owners. Yew and Laurel hedging divide the gardens into arranged sections (Jamsey’s garden, Japanese garden, zen garden, blue garden, white garden, knot garden, orchard and the vegetable and herb garden) with paths linking each.
Jamsey’s garden is home to a statue of Jamsey which was firstly erected in Banba Square, Nenagh in 1931. The statue was intended to commemorate local heroes from the War of Independence. It was removed and placed into storage from 1955 until 2012, when the current owners purchased it and moved Jamsey to its new home at Viewmount House.
The Japanese garden is a main focal point of interest for all visitors to Viewmount House, an area for peaceful reflection and meditation. There is a Japanese Tea House surrounded by water and three ponds with Koi.
A kitchen garden is arranged in a circular shape with a seating pavilion in the centre and overlooked by statues of the four seasons. There is also a green house and a poly tunnel which is of great benefit to the restaurant at Viewmount House.
Further notable features of the garden include herbaceous borders, fishpond and a patio to the rear of the house with a rockery.
In total, the private grounds extend to about 3.5 acres of extensive mature woodland grounds and pleasure gardens. A car park is accessed via a separate driveway which is situated to the north east boundary of the property, providing additional parking.
The original part of Viewmount House is believed to have been constructed around 1620 by Lord Francis Aungier, 1st Baron of Longford. Aungier served as a Commissioner of the Plantations of Munster in 1616, and Longford in 1620. It is likely that he built Viewmount House prior to Longford Castle, to administer the Longford estate. He purchased the lands of the White Friars Monastery in Dublin where he lived. It was home to the Cuffe family during the first half of the eighteenth century.
In the mid-1700s, Viewmount was converted to its present Georgian style by Thomas Packenham (later Baron Longford). Packenham inherited Viewmount House when he married Elizabeth Cuffe, a grandniece of Lord Aungier. It is believed that Viewmount was never lived in by the Packenham family but was occupied by their agent. The Pakenhams established a military site in Longford Castle. It was also used as a Church of Ireland charter school between circa 1753 to 1826.
It was then occupied by Harry McCann, a famed gardener and later, in the early 1900s, the Chief Justice, Jack O’Farrell. The present owners purchased Viewmount House in 1989 from the Johnston family who resided there for 60 years.
Viewmount House is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book, a collection of the finest guest houses and restaurants in the country. Recent awards include the following: Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice Hotels with Gardens 2020, John and Sally McKenna Best Places to Stay 2019, Hot Press Magazine 200 Best Places to Eat in Ireland 2019, Good Hotel Guide César Award Best Irish Hotel Winner 2018, Georgina Campbell Guide Hospitality Hero Award 2018, One Fab Day Best 100 Wedding Venues 2018, Georgina Campbell Guide Country House of the Year 2017.
More information can be found on www.viewmounthouse.com.