Major boost for Freshford and Kilkenny

Kilkenny Exclusive - Over 70 new jobs on way as work to start on new hotel in Freshford

Freshford period home to become a five star hotel

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

Email:

sean.keane@kilkennypeople.ie

New five star hotel

Uppercourt Manor

A new, five star hotel planned for Freshford, bringing over 70 full-time jobs and held up because of legitimate planning issues, is set to go ahead immediately.
Developer Sylvia Harrison has received planning permission to changes needed to change Uppercourt Manor into a high class resort.
It will be transformed into a luxury place to stay with function rooms, conference facilities as well as a health and spa centre.
With a total gross floor area of 5,084 square metres on a site measuring 12.9 ha, it will boast 71 bedrooms, some of which has already been completed.
The permission will allow for the private Catholic chapel next to the main house to be turned into a function room with a bar and kitchen.
The former dormitory at what was a boy's boarding school will be turned into 49 bedrooms with two staff apartments.
There will be alterations, internal construction and a single storey extension with a single storey link corridor to the main house which will receive a new entrance foyer.
The rear extension will comprise of a reception and toilet block and the replacement of the felt flat roof to a pitched slate roof with ridge glazing.
Cllr Mick McCarthy has been working hard behind the scenes to help with the progression of the project and he is hopeful that the serious work on the hotel will start in the next five weeks.
“This is great news for the area with new jobs coming,” he said.
History
Uppercourt Manor stands on the site of the Bishop's Palace built in 1225.
In 1553 a Protestant Bishop, John Bale, was sent to live there. The Shee family took over the Manor and lived there for 100 years. In 1653 one of Cromwell's soldiers, Sir George Askew was given Uppercourt in settlement of the debt. The present house was designed by John Roberts and built in 1798 by Sir William de Mont-Morency.
The Eyre family gave the house its ornate oratory and stayed until 1918 when the Maher brothers bought it.
The Mill Hill Fathers bought it in 1932 and it became a secondary school. In 1989 Uppercourt was sold and used for the storage and restoration of antique furniture. It was sold 13 years ago and a massive restoration undertaken. It was bought in 2015 by Ms Harrison.