Innovation and restoration are the guiding principles of the team at Ballilogue. We consider carefully how best to protect the special eco system that exists here for all to enjoy, not just guests privately at one or all the houses but the shared experience with birds, bees, bats, wild fowl, frogs, rabbits and hares, honouring the past and creating a special and private home from home. Respecting the cluster of neighbours farming close by and the solitude that makes for tranquility, the birdsong and the havens for nature in the orchard, fields, hedgerow, ponds and those nesting in crevices of the hamlet stone walls and old barns.
The Cottage, part of the Meaney family's home, farm and series of barns dates back long before the great famine. The Ballilogue farmhouse with it's granite cills, corner stones, tongue and groove roof timbers and ornate folded shutters was built in 1824 and the series of linear barns, so much a feature of Irish vernacular architecture were built in 1800. As part of the extensive and innovative restoration since 1999 the team has carefully considered the existing materials used over centuries at Ballilogue while also retaining Mrs. Meaney's Cottage. The team has documented the Meaney home history though census records, framing photographs of those who lived in Ballilogue, leaving intact the wallpaper, artifacts and traditional rooms and fireplace as an authentic and original experience of Irish rural life.
We learnt from past generations by retaining the solid Kilkenny stone structures of all the buildings which traditionally kept the houses cool in summer and retained heat in winter. In addition, the architect added insulated glass doors and galvanised roof lights to flood the spaces with light and heat. The south facing glass atrium, high above and connected to the walled garden, an architectural gem not only captures light and heat in it's elevated position but in the clever use of low impact lighting ensures it becomes the perfect observatory for star gazing at night.
The Ballilogue team have introduced wood burning stoves, utilizing wood from the fallen apple and oak trees, to minimise the impact on the environment while still having oil central heating throughout, used sparingly, as an occasional option to support the natural stoves but ensure comfort and warmth. Upgrading interior and roof insulation that does not effect the fabric of the stone structures or blue banger slate roofs are on-going projects to minimise heat loss and fuel usage.
Surrounding the Hamlet are the roads, bohereens and lanes of Ballilogue with their traditional gates, stone pillars, old barns and the hedgerows in holly, blackthorn and beech with views across the Kilkenny countryside. In the Hamlet itself, trees have been planted in clusters. River birch, Holm Oak, Bamboo, Eucalyptus, the exciting Wild Meadow garden project and the Orchard of old Irish and English apple, pears and figs. The fruit garden has raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, rhubarb, herbs and vegetables used by the Ballilogue chefs for jams, chutneys and preserves in addition to providing the ingredients for the feasts prepared for guests of friends, families and colleagues booking Ballilogue privately for their get-togethers and celebrations. As well as produce for shop and kitchen, the value to bird and wildlife and the eco system is so important to us in encouraging diversity. We even use the honey harvested from local bees!
In the fruit and vegetable garden too is one of our many compost areas in the hamlet. We encourage all our guests to partner with us in re-cycling the food, packaging and bottle waste by seperating it after use. The team take care of the rest. Similarly with our run off water from rainfall, we try to re-use and re-cycle even in the running of taps, the amount of laundry and the type of cleaners and detergants we use, being mindful of the impact on our eco system. A plan is in place to re-open and test the traditional wells for water that traditionally were a feature of the Ballilogue Hamlet as can be seen with the stone lined well at Mrs. M's Cottage. It's a small step, an on-going process of minimising our footprint and impact on the environment to preserve and enhance for future generations visiting Ireland and Ballilogue.
It's a consideration also in the choice of Irish organic seaweed toiletries, high quality natural cotton bed linen and towelling as well as the Celtic craft designer-makers who's talent, craft and handwork is part of the curated Ballilogue interiors and the Design/Craft Shop in the Old Piggery.
TV and WiFi are part of our connected and modern lives but we too enjoy leaving spaces that allow for reflection, quiet and the appreciation of the symphony of bird song that enriches and astonishes at times in Ballilogue.
The neighbours are as much Ballilogue as we are and we respect their privacy and livelihoods while learning from their experience and love of this tranquil part of the south Kilkenny countryside. From that land and the sea close by come the fresh fish and carefully selected produce used for dining by our chefs at Ballilogue.
We welcome you to Ballilogue and would like you to be a part too of our passion in enhancing the tradition and diversity of our lovely part of Ireland.