This section carries a brief description of the house. Considerable renovations have taken place, thanks to the activities of the Headfort Trust under the energetic leadership of Dick Blakiston Houston, an old boy and father of six children to have passed through Headfort. What has been achieved is breathtaking.
Over two hundred years old and built for the Earl of Bective, Headfort House was designed by the renowned Irish architect George Semple, and constructed from Ardbraccan limestone. Its magnificent exterior is matched by an equally impressive interior, designed by the influential Scottish architect Robert Adam. Headfort is the only intact Adam interior in Ireland. Recent and ongoing renovation ensures that this will be preserved for future generations.
Much of the original furniture, which was also designed by Adam to complement his lofty interiors, is still in place. Some items were recently bought by the state, with a view to their being displayed in the house eventually. These items, including pier glasses and tables, are undergoing restoration in Kilkenny Castle, as part of an ongoing exhibition of Irish Furniture. The school uses the main house and one of the wings and, to this day, is still surrounded by spacious grounds. Sadly the furnishings from the magnificent Chinese Drawing Room have long since gone.
The Eating Parlour (Ballroom)
This is the largest of the principal rooms, quite comfortably accommodating about 150 people seated. As well as the ceiling, the walls of the Eating Parlour also show Adam decorations. The room itself was formed from four smaller rooms, two from the floor above, where there are blocked windows visible on the south front of the house. The extra space thus created was used to form a high coved ceiling with three square centre panels. There are also paired chimney pieces sculpted in white marble. Quite a few of Adam’s intentions for the house were frustrated, but not so in the Ballroom where there are some wall decorations in the form of foliage, vases and ornamental urns. The room is finely proportioned (a double cube) and easy on the eye. It contains some of the original furniture – tables and mirrors. The vast majority of the Headfort family portraits are still in place and have been renovated. The room was magnificently restored in 2010 thanks to the generosity of Irish Georgian Society, which chose the Headfort Ballroom as its 50th anniversary project.