As a photographer, I have met some very interesting people and been through many a closed door. Ballyfin is one of those places. In recent years it has been lovingly restored to it's previous glory. It is unlike any restoration I have witnessed, a testament to it's owners, an incredible achievement which has taken ten or more years.
Ballyfin is a very private and isolated house near Mountraith in Ireland. Not open to the general public, I have been privileged to have shot two fashion stories here in recent times. I am not able really to put in words the place itself, the tranquility, the interiors or the evident passing of time. The house and land are steeped in Irish history, the site of Ballyfin has been settled from ancient times and was ancestral home in succession to the O’Mores, the Crosbys, the Poles, the Wellesley-Poles – the family of the Duke of Wellington – and later the Cootes.
".....the tranquility, the interiors, the evident history.”
Unlike many old houses I have visited, the sheer scale of the place is unusual. The house itself was built almost two hundred years ago in the 1820’s by renowned Irish architects Sir Richard and William Morrison. You cannot but think of the creators as you admire the incredibly high ceilings throughout, the huge windows, the floating staircase or the attention to detail in the Library.
I have included a few photographs here to illustrate my visits, but they only represent a small feeling for the place. You must step through the Italian mosaic foyer or sit in the Gold Drawing Room to really get a sense of the place.
After many years of restoration Ballyfin reopened its doors in May 2011