Sligo will have a new Distillery following the news that Hazelwood House, the 18th century Palladian style country house, is to be turned into a whiskey distillery and visitor centre. There is a factory behind the house, which will either be converted or demolished.
According to the Sligo Champion, the new buyer, David Raethorne and a group of investors, plan to turn the 18th century house into a major tourism business in the North West of Ireland. A sort of Powerscourt house meets the Guinness Storehouse combination perhaps.
I think its good news, especially as they plan on renovating Hazelwood House, which was designed by Richard Cassels, who designed Leinster House. Sligo needs more attractions like this, especially an indoor tourist attraction, for those rainy days. I think it will appeal to different markets, those who like distilleries and those interested in Big Houses and history. I’m sure the lands will be cleaned up and there will be walks as well. Its a big undertaking, but hopefully the Lough Gill company, will restore Hazelwood House back to its former glory.