1874 – Hilton Park, Clones, Co. Monaghan
Originally known as Maddenton, Hilton Park was redesigned by William Hague (primarily a catholic church architect) in 1874. Originally it may have been rebuilt after a fire in 1804 by Francis Johnston. The house is a large 2 storey over basement which was excavated in 1874 making the original ground floor a piano nobile and necessitating a new entrance hall leading to an arcaded staircase that meets the original Georgian staircase on the first floor. At the same time, the parapet and window pediments were added as was an impressive Ionic porte-cochère with coupled columns in the centre. Drawings for the executed features of Hague’s design exist including an ornate bay and dome for the garden front. As built the garden front relies on the rusticated stonework at ground level and the pedimented windows to counteract booth the austerity of the stonework an the grandeur of the main façade. As it in the view from the lake below is of a large house with well laid out gardens – with Hague’s additions it may in the words of one commentator ‘would have given the houses the semblance of a vast hotel to overwhelm the lake below’.
An unusual and perhaps unique feature is the cast iron structure in the rear yard. Known as ‘the ride’ it was built by a previous owner to allow him to observe the breaking -in of horses with getting wet in poor weather conditions. Another interesting feature is the vast tower over a gateway into the farm yard to the rear of the house.
Hilton Park is now part of the ‘Hidden Ireland’ network of houses accepting guests.