Ballinderry Park Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
From your first view between the trees on the avenue, Ballinderry Park looks just like a perfectly proportioned Palladian dolls’ house. Over the last few years, George and Susan Gossip have restored this early Georgian house near the dramatic ruin of Kilconnell Friary. The result is authentic, comfortable and bright–filled with antique furniture, china and objects. There are books and pictures everywhere, which makes a stay in Ballinderry especially interesting and relaxing. They are both fond of food and wine – and love to share it with their guests. George is an accomplished cook with a particular interest for game.
The house was built on the lands of Kilconnell Friary, a monastery of the Franciscan order whose slender mediaeval church tower closes the vista from the avenue. In the 1950s Ballinderry Park was abandoned and its farmland subdivided. For a period the curved gravel sweep in front of the hall door was used for making silage by a local farmer and it is miraculous that the house survived at all. Five years ago, Susie and George Gossip bought the house and the remaining land, and together they have rescued it from advanced dereliction and restored it lovingly and authentically. Now it provides luxurious country house accommodation without compromising its historic character.
Inside, many of the rooms are panelled in the early Georgian style. They are painted in bold colours and furnished with pictures, antique furniture, china, and books, and the whole house is filled with light. The bedrooms all have comfortable beds, crisp linen and wonderful views over the surrounding parkland.
The owners both love their food and wine. George is an accomplished cook, particularly interested in preparing and cooking game, and they buy most of their meat, fish and vegetables from the local farmer’s market.
Just three miles north of the N6 and seven miles west of the market town of Ballinasloe, Ballinderry Park is 35 miles from Galway (and Galway Races) and 100 miles from Dublin. The area is peaceful but accessible (the nearest junction with the new motorway to Dublin will be less than four miles away) and the sky is dark at night.
Surrounded by unspoilt nature, Ballinderry Park is in a wonderful area for country sports, with fly fishing for brown trout in many nearby rivers and lakes, coarse fishing on the River Suck, and foxhunting with several local packs in winter. It is also ideal for walking, sightseeing and golf. The famous Ballinasloe horse fair takes place nearby every October, the abbey churches at Clontuskert and Kilconnell are well worth a visit, while Clonmacnoise, Clonfert Cathedral and many other monastic sites along the River Shannon are within easy reach.