1740 – Belvedere, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Originally built in 1740 as a hunting lodge for Robert Rochfort, 1st Earl of Belvedere by architect Richard Cassels, one of Ireland’s foremost Palladian architects. Not very large, but it is architecturally significant because of its unusual Diocletian windows and interior plasterwork. When the Earl decided to use Belvedere as his principal residence, he employed Barthelemij Cramillion who was a French Stuccadore, to execute the Rococo plasterwork ceilings which are among the most exquisite in the country.
The estate and house was sold to Westmeath County Council in 1982 for £250,000. The house has been fully restored and the grounds are well maintained, attracting some 160,000 visitors annually. The landscaped demesne boasts the largest and most spectacular folly and spite wall in the country, The Jealous Wall, built to block off the view of his estranged brother George Rochfort’s house nearby.