2015-2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner It was built in 1750 as a home for Thomas Cooley, a local barrister and Member of Parliament, and was originally named Seamount. Viscount Hugh Gough, a Limerick man who had a distinguished career in the British Army, renamed the house St. Helens when he bought it in 1851. A subsequent owner, Sir John Nutting, made important changes, facing the exterior of the mansion with Portland stone and lavishly enriching the interior with walls, pillars and floors of Carrara marble. At the time, the house was said to be one of the most beautiful in Ireland, and much of Sir Johns legacy remains, including the magnificent Ballroom. At the entrance to the hotel stands a specially commissioned water feature, Continuum, by the renowned sculptress Linda Brunker. Spectacularly reflecting the lush interior of St. Helens House, it is inspired by three basic elements of life - nature, space and the passing of time.