Moore Hall, Co. Mayo
In the middle of a conifer forest that was planted after the house was abandoned, this magnificent ruin is now ‘out of time’; a perfect image of the encapsulated past. It was built for the family of Moore, who collected Moore’s Melodies in the nineteenth century.
What is fascinating about this house now is that although it is ruined from the point-of-view of human inhabitation, a rare species of bat has found it just perfect. There are no estate agents to tell them where to live (or not) but the vaulted cellars of this house are sufficiently massive to maintain a relatively constant temperature through the winter, and hence have become a hibernating roost for Lesser Horseshoe Bats.
No architect thought of their needs when the building was designed, its just a happy accident. But when things last a long time – even when they’re ruins – they get re-used. Maybe not by humans, but nature abhors a vacuum.
So our old places get to be valuable for multiple reasons. That is what enriches our world, the way it grows old. But it needs to grow old to find these layers of fascinating stuff grow up around it.
For the modern human visitor there is a lovely walk through the woods, and the nearby shores of Lough Carra. The building is dangerous, and the basements are closed off especially so visitors can’t go in. But the symmetrical, classical architecture of a Big house can be enjoyed from the clearing that surrounds the building.