Errisbeg House sits on secluded land of three acres of rambling and enchanting gardens that harmonise with the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. The house was originally built as a two storey hunting lodge in 1875 by Jospeh Clogherty of Roundstone. An extension to the house was built in 1901 by Joseph’s son Patrick Clogherty. There is some debate as to which part of the house was built first and has earned the nickname of the “Architects Folly’. There is a single storey kitchen and small dwelling area with a magnificent chimneystack on the east side. To the north is a grand three storeys, Georgian style, to the south an unusual two storey, with an upstairs balcony, which is strangely, in the style of a late 19th Century large American house.
Perhaps the exciting tale of its architect and builder, Joseph Clogherty, can shed some light as to why a little bit of Texas style should be re-created in Connemara. Joseph Clogherty was a student of Architect, so with five of his friends he went to America sometime between 1836 and 1840, where he and his friends had many adventures, including being caught up in the troubles in Texas at that time.
It is alleged that Joseph became General George Custer’s right-hand man as his sergeant and in one of Custer’s many battles he and his friends where holed-up in a house fighting against cattle rustlers, his five friends where killed and Joseph swore that if he got out alive, he would return to Ireland and build a house similar to the one his friends had died in, as a memorial to them and to the memory of their adventures with Custer.
In 1932, Richard’s Grand mother, Eileen 5th Duchess de Stacpoole (Nee Palmer of Glenloe Abbey, Galway) leased Errisbeg House on a 60 year lease from a Mary Hanley (Nee Clogherty) of Cashel. The house was her holiday home until 1965 and the death of her husband George 5th Duke de Stacpoole after which the de Stacpoole family home “Tobertynan” between Trim and Rathmolyn, county Meath had to be sold owing to the land crises 1970.
The widowed Duchess made Errisbeg her permanent home and vowed that she would never cross the Shannon again, which until her dying day in 1989, Eileen never did. Richard the 7th Duke de Stacpoole purchased the freehold of the property soon after his Grand Mother’s death and has dedicated many years of painstaking restoring the house and the 2.9 acres of garden to their former glory. Inside the house the ceiling mouldings (Hand Made) had deteriorated quite considerably of which they are now slowly being restored as well as all the decorative glass panels in the doors. There is a magnificent eighteen stair hand carved Oak staircase. One of the out houses, i.e. the stables has been renovated retaining the original features such as the hand made moulded feed troughs and cast Iron stall partitions, made in Belfast It is now known as the Stable Gallery.
Since 2004 the house is now a protected structure by Galway County Council.