Collon House on Ardee Street, Collon, County Louth, was built in 1740 in the Irish Longhouse style by Anthony Foster, father of John "Speaker" Foster, who was the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons until its dissolution in the Act of Union in 1800. Speaker John extended Collon House in the 1770s, adding on a ballroom, a master four poster bedroom, and second floor rooms for his children and their governess. These second floor rooms are accessed by a handsome half-turn stair with landings.
John Foster was born in 1740 and was MP for Dunleer from 1761 to 1768. He was MP for Louth from 1768 to 1821 when he was elevated to the Peerage as Baron Oriel of Ferrard in the County of Louth. He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1784 to 1785, becoming Speaker in 1785 until 1800.
Around 1780 John Foster built a lakeside garden folly near Collon called Oriel Temple and he left Collon House to move there. He was very influential in the rebuilding of the nearby Collon Church of Ireland in 1813 and many tablet memorials to the Foster family can still be seen there.
The remaining gardens of Collon House have been restored with appropriate period planting. The main house entrance overlooks a sunken box parterre with topiary and an intricate design layout. In the ornamental garden there is a box edged herbaceous border leading to a classical Greek style summer house.
Collon House, in the centre of Collon village, is 57km from Dublin City centre, 50km from Dublin Airport and 120km from Belfast.
Only 10 minutes drive from Collon House is 12th century Mellifont Abbey. Why not pop along and explore these ancient ruins.