Completed between 1769 and 1771and built for for the Earl of Bective, Thomas Taylour, Headfort House was designed by the renowned Irish architect, George Semple, and constructed from Ardbraccan limestone. It was designed in a severe unadorned neoclassical style with an impressive scale and position. The interior contains a magnificent suite of six state rooms designed by the influential Scottish architect Robert Adam. Headfort is the only intact Adam interior in Ireland.
Recent and ongoing renovation funded by the World Monument Fund and the Headfort Trust ensures that this will be preserved for future generations. Much of the original furniture, which was also designed by Adam to complement his lofty interiors, is still in place. Some items were recently bought by the state, with a view to their being displayed in the house eventually. These items, including pier glasses and tables, are undergoing restoration in Kilkenny Castle, as part of an ongoing exhibition of Irish Furniture. The school uses the main house and one of the wings and, to this day, is still surrounded by spacious grounds. Sadly the furnishings from the magnificent Chinese Drawing
Room have long since gone.
The estate formerly stretched from Kells to Virginia. The land found its way into the Headfort family as a result of the Down Survey, being granted to Thomas Taylour, first Earl of Bective, as a result of his helping Sir William Petty in that.