Located near Kiltegan, Co Wicklow, Humewood is a large Victorian Gothic castle designed in 1867 by architect William White (1825-1900)
It was acquired by John and Leslie Malone in 2012, with the intention of engaging in a full restoration project to make Humewood their home in Ireland. Their intention echoed exactly William White’s description in his paper to the RIBA in 1869. “The house is built, not as a permanent residence for the proprietor, or it would have been on a far different scale, but only as an occasional resort in the summer recess, or the shooting season”
Rediscovering artisan craftspeople.
Following an initial period for research and the recording of all aspects of each of the buildings on the estate, a team of specialist contractors, craftspeople and artisans was assembled to carry out the restoration work to the highest conservation standards. It included masonry repairs and pointing, restoration of all external windows and doors, repair to all roofs and valleys, the introduction of replacement electrical and heating systems, and the restoration of clocks, hoists and other mechanisms. Throughout an almost three-year timeframe these craftspeople worked as a team to return the castle and the other estate buildings to their original condition. Many young apprentices were the beneficiaries of unique experiences and learning opportunities.
In order to be in a position to carry out a scholarly and faithful restoration, it became necessary to unlock the genetic code of the building, listen to its heartbeat, to the echoes of generations of its occupants, to feel its spirit and hear its voice. To achieve this, the greatest asset is time; time to study and examine thoroughly all aspects of the building, and time to give careful consideration to restoration solutions, and the methodologies necessary to achieve them. Humewood Castle’s restoration was most fortunate in the depth of understanding and generosity of the owners in this regard. The rebirth of Humewood was achieved, its splendour restored, a vision realised.