Newbridge House in Donabate often the venue for elaborate dinner parties had a kitchen equipped with modern utensils.
Newbridge House, a Georgian mansion in Donabate, north County Dublin was the residence of Charles Cobbe (1686-1785) who arrived in Ireland from Hampshire to take up the role of chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Charles Paulet.
His successful career in the Anglican Church saw him take the role of Archbishop of Dublin in 1743 and he commissioned a Georgian era villa as his County Dublin residence, which commenced in 1747.
Charles Cobbe's son Thomas inherited the house in 1755 and together with his wife Lady Elizabeth (Betty) Beresford they extended and decorated the house. From their elegant home they entertained with lavish eight course dinners. Volunteer tour guide Tom O’Shea describes their social life as,
The kitchen, the engine room of the house, was equipped with modern utensils such as a vegetable chopper, hot plates and a duck meat press. Visitors can also see the ingenious Georgian era mouse trap which kept the kitchen rodent-free.
After dinner guests were invited to the Red Drawing Room, where they could admire the Cobbe family’s art collection, play cards and listen to music played on the piano and harp,
There would always have been music here.
The house was still used as a family home and maintained until the mid 1920s until it passed to Tommy Cobbe, the last member of the family to live here.
Over the years it fell into disrepair and was sold to Dublin County Council following Tommy Cobbe’s death in 1984. The Cobbe family gifted the demense (approximately 370 acres in total) to the council for public use.
Intensive restoration work on Newbridge House commenced in 1985 by Dublin County Council who have since opened it to the public and according to Tom O’Shea,
They did a fantastic job in bringing it back, in such a short time.
An 'Evening Extra’ report broadcast on 23 November 1987. The reporter is Ingrid Miley.