Moore Hall is a truly beautiful place, hidden away on the shores of Lough Carra in County Mayo. The house is believed to have been designed by the architect John Roberts some time between 1792 and 1800. It was built for George Moore, a wine-merchant and entrepreneur. He became wealthy through the wine and brandy trade in Alicante, Spain, after leaving Ireland during the harsh years of the Penal Laws. When those laws were relaxed at the end of the 18th century, George Moore returned to Ireland where he used his wealth to purchase a large estate of some 12,000 acres, and commissioned this elegant house to be his home. The house was designed in a symmetrical neo-Classical style. If you look above the windows in the central projecting part of the front (directly up near the top from the colonnaded doorway), you can see an inscription with the family motto – FORTIS CADERE NON POTEST – A Brave Man May Fall But Cannot Yield.
The interior of Moore Hall had 35 rooms over three storeys. It housed a fine oak-panelled dining room, an elegant drawing room decorated to neo-Classical taste with delicate Italianate plasterwork, and a summer drawing room with large windows that overlooked the calm waters of Lough Carra. The house had a nursery and private chapel, wine cellars, servants quarters and a tunnel that discreetly connected the house to the kitchen garden and farmyard. The Moores of Moore Hall also invested in an extensive library, full of rare and important books, including a manuscript copy of the Annals of the Four Masters. Sadly, all of this would be lost a little over a century later.
Today Moore Hall is a wonderful and atmospheric spot to enjoy a walk and a picnic. The local community have been working with stakeholders like Mayo County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to bring life back to this wonderful place. They have raised funding for the conservation of features like the walled garden, as well as establishing new trails and interpretation around the grounds, and facilities like a carpark, toilets and a small playground. Making it an even more rewarding place to visit for all the family.
For the story of the Moore family, and how this elegant house became a hollow ruin, please continue reading below.
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