Before turning Horetown House into a wedding venue, Kate White ran a number of other hospitality and catering businesses, and also trained as an interior designer. Along with her brother Tom, Kate helped to restore the house and turn it into a beautiful wedding venue using her talent for interior design. She sourced all of the antique furniture, commissioned glass makers to create chandeliers and a local curtain makers and upholsterers to create the luxurious and homely interiors that give Hortown its welcoming atmosphere.
Niamh White has been involved in the restoration and the family business at Horetown House since the early days. With a background in fine art and years of experience working in hospitality, Niamh brings artistic flair and meticulous attention to detail to weddings and events at Horetown House. She sources all of the decor and styling props, making most by hand and is always on the look out for the next gorgeous trend in weddings. Niamh oversees the planning of each wedding and works with couples to create their itineraries and has a love of excel sheets and questionnaires.
A Brief History About The House
Horetown House was built in 1692. The house you visit today contains part of the original 17th century structure combined with architectural cues of a 19th century Victorian residence. Horetown House has always been a landmark in the local area and is one of Wexford’s famous country houses with a rich and varied history. From what we know, the house was built by the Goff family, with William Goff of Horetown being one of the signatories on the death warrant for King Charles 1. In the 1700s the house passed to Jacob and Elizabeth Goff, whose daughter Dinah Goff wrote a very famous account of the family’s experience during the 1798 Rebellion. During this period, Horetown House was in the heart of rebel country though it’s believed that the Goff family were held in high esteem by the local people. Yet the stairs in the present house bears a mark on the handrail where one of the rebels slashed at the wooden stairs in the main hall of the house with his sabre, taking a deep slice out of the timber.
In the 1800s the house passed to a nephew of the Goff family called Strangman Davis, who was very interested in photography. He produced the very first photographs of County Wexford. His photographs show Horetown House, the gardens, family members and guests. In 1918, the house was sold to a Major Lakin who had served in the Boer War and the Great War, and so ended the tenure of the Goff family at Horetown House. Tragedy struck when his wife Lady Fitzgerald of Johnstown Castle was killed when thrown from her horse while hunting. Major Lakin had the horse shot and built the Lakin Wing in Wexford General Hospital in memory of his wife.
Horetown House was bought by the Young family in 1961, who owned it until 2004. The Youngs opened Horetown House to the public for the first time as a guesthouse, restaurant and equestrian centre. The Youngs were responsible for introducing the sport of polocrosse to Ireland and the Equestrian Centre at Horetown became the headquarters of the sport in Ireland.
Kate and Niamh are now the custodians of this historic house and are deeply invested in maintaining the authenticity of the house and its grounds. Having restored the houses lead roof and the original sash windows over the Spring they are now looking forward to developing the gardens and restoring the Blossom Grove and developing a cut flower garden to supply their couples with homegrown flowers.