Drum, Co Monaghan
In 2019 Co Monaghan local Paul McPhillips and his wife Judith Caffrey, from Co Offaly, bought Anderson’s pub shop on the quiet main street of Drum only miles from the border. With a purchase price of just €43,000, it left them with a budget of €250,000 to restore half of it as their home. At some future point they hoped to convert the rest of the building into a cafe and accommodation to let out but have the challenges of the first phase chastened their ambitions?
The Great House Revival returns with a whole new generation of budding restorers and ruinous wrecks. This year’s lineup reflects social media’s fascination with restoration: the cast are younger and their planned finishes are all the more contemporary and hashtag-happy. Projects range from a hulking ivy-covered mill in Co Louth and a castle on the verge of collapse in Co Wexford, to a house inherited from Nana, complete with her psychedelic furnishings, in Co Laois. Also featured is a barn in Co Galway, a Victorian villa on the banks of the Lee in Co Cork and a pub on the border in Co Monaghan. The homeowners face two years of construction shutdowns, lockdown-pregnancies and cost hikes but battle through to create six utterly original homes.