Usher conducting contents auction at Dowdstown House
Oliver Usher is conducting an auction on 29th February at Dowdstown House, Dalgan Park, Navan on behalf of The Columban Fathers. The property is for sale and the contents are now coming under the hammer.
The Columban Fathers, originating from Shrule in Co Galway, took ownership of Dowdstown House and Estate in 1927 for the purpose of establishing a new headquarters and constructing a new seminary.
It is thought that the origins of Dowdstown go back to the High Kings of Tara, following which the property was controlled by local chieftains who built a church on the lands.
The Dowdstown Estate was bought by Thomas Taylor, a retired British general, at the end of the 18th century. Thomas, who had fought in the battle of Waterloo with the Duke of Wellington, is said to have planted the trees in the grounds to represent the position of forces immediately prior to the battle.
Other families such as the Hayes, the Stuarts, the Watts and the Singletons are thought to have resided at Dowdstown Estate at various times.
Following the arrival of the Columban Fathers, in addition to the construction of the main seminary building on the estate (then renamed Dalgan Park) they also commissioned the construction of a new office building; the 'Far East' in 1929. This building is positioned immediately to the north of Dowdstown House. Publication, administration and support services were moved to this new building. Due to increased demand for further office space, a later addition was made in the late 1940s/early 1950s - this is the wing to the left of the main door of the 'Far East' when viewed form the forecourt today.
The original house is the two storey section on the left when viewed from the forecourt.
This is currently the most used portion of the house, offering counselling rooms, ancillary office accommodation, kitchen, toilets and storage rooms on the ground floor and bedrooms on the first floor.
There is access to a courtyard. Wall depth is significant throughout and most rooms are accessed from a single spine corridor which runs at the rear of both ground and first floor. The majority of rooms provide an open fireplace and period fixtures and fittings. This section of the property has a number of independent entrances away from the main entrance, which is provided from the main reception hall.
The sale also includes the contents of The Holy Faith Convent, Celbridge, Co Kildare. The convent which is now closed, began in 1878, with five sisters and foundress Margret Aylward. With the support of the local parish priest and Cardinal Paul Cullen she opened the school and survived without state assistance until 1917 when it became part of the National Schools System.
Included in the lots are a Victorian mahogany four door breakfront bookkcase, estimate €2,000 - €3,000; a pair of Victorian mahogany turnover leaf games tales, estimate €1,200-€1,500; a Georgian hall table, €800 - €1,100; William IVã€€ serving table, €700 -1,000; mahogany hunt table, 7' 10", €1,000 -1,400; 19th century mahogany extension table, xtension Table €1,200 - 1,600; a Georgian mahogany brass dial grandfather clock, €2,500 - 3,600 (BLUNDELL Dublin).
The sale also contains pine kitchen tables, captains chairs, Belfast sinks, office desks, chests of drawers, sideboards, wardrobes, stacking chairs, beds and bedding, bookcases, occasional tables and many other lots.
Viewing is Thursday 27th February from 12 noon to 7pm; Friday 28th February from 12 noon - 7pm and morning of sale from 9.30am.