Externally it just looked horrible. It had been used as a turkey rearing house for a number of years so still had chicken wire on some of the windows. As I have said before, this site faces into the Atlantic ocean and even being 20 kms from the sea, it is sited on a hill and gets the full force of the wind as well as briney rain blown in from the waves. So the house is typically south facing – when on the roof I had a fabulous view of the Saltee Islands, and as the decades have passed so has the lime whitewash, which was done each year, and losing that protection the lime mortar also.
Some of the holes were so deep in the walls that I could wriggle my arm in as far as my elbow. Another issue that greatly concerned me was the bowing at the front of the house – upstairs inside it was very noticeable so I called Ed Byrne who supplies lime and has a long list of qualifications and huge experience in restorations to my humble ruin for his expert opinion on whether it was worth restoring.
He has a similar vintage house that he restored and said the bow was within limits but I needed to fix the roof quickly and stop water entering causing the walls to collapse. The roof also ties all the walls together and provides strength. The floor upstairs was also gone so further weakening the structure.