Evidence of how the richest of the Enniskillen colonists lived is found about a mile southeast of the town centre at Castle Coole, designed by James Wyatt and completed in 1798 as the lakeside home of the Earls of Belmore. A perfect Palladian-fronted building of silver Portland stone, the mansion is part of a huge seven-hundred-acre estate, whose beautiful landscaped grounds feature an impressive avenue of stately oak trees and a wealth of woodland walks. Inside, the house features scagliola columns, exquisite plasterwork, a cantilevered staircase, a state bedroom decorated for George IV (who didn’t actually come – the room was never subsequently used), Hogarth prints and an elegant library boasting Regency furnishings and fireplaces. The informative guided tour is well worth taking.
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