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Irish Country House Architecture – Online lectures


This autumn the Irish Georgian Society, in association with the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates, University of Maynooth, Ireland, will deliver an on-line autumn lecture series, Irish Country House Architecture.

Russborough, photographer Stephen Farrell

Irish Country House Architecture will provide an overview of the evolution of the architecture of Ireland’s finest country houses.  Over nine consecutive weeks, drawing on new research and insights, academics and authors will chart the stylistic development of Ireland’s country houses, while explaining who commissioned, designed and built these houses that arguably form the most impressive building typology of Ireland’s architectural heritage.

Commencing with the 17th century Jacobean country house with a focus on Portumna, Rathfarnham and Jigginstown, the lectures will continue weekly on a chronological and stylistic basis, examining the post-Restoration country houses of Beaulieu House, Stackallan, Mount Ievers Court, Eyre Court, Damer House, Doneraile and Kilmacurragh. The arrival of Palladian style to Ireland will be dealt with through two lectures: the early Palladian house illustrated by Castletown, Bellamont Forest, Stillorgan Park, Summerhill and Castle Hume, and the later-Palladian country houses of Belvedere, Carton, Powerscourt, Russborough, Kilshannig and Castletown Cox.  Next the neo-Classical country house will be examined with the exemplars of Abbeyleix, Castle Coole, Curraghmore, Westport, and Headfort.  The Regency era country house will follow with two dedicated lectures; the Gothic Revival regency country houses of Slane Castle, Charleville Castle, Birr Castle, Tullynally, Lough Cutra, Knockdrin and Killeen Castle; and the classical Italianate Regency country houses expressed at Lyons, Mount Stewart, Fota, Lissadell and Barons Court.  The last of the styles to be examined will be the Tudor-Revival country houses of the Victorian era with a focus on Lough Fea House, Crom Castle, Carrigglas Manor, Kilruddery and Castle Leslie.

The series will conclude with an appraisal of the fate of the Irish country house in the 21st century, the fortunate houses restored, such as Capard and Doneraile or in the process of conservation, like Dromdiah and Knockatrina, and those now vulnerable, compromised or ruinous, sadly seen at Vernon Mount and Belcamp.

The latter case studies reinforcing the importance and need for the work the Irish Georgian Society undertakes in promoting and protecting Ireland’s architectural heritage through its grants, awards, advocacy, planning and educational work, as well as key role that the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates achieves in enhancing public appreciation of Ireland’s historic properties by supporting education, research and scholarly publications.

Russborough, Drawing Room

Lectures commence at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 6th October and run for nine consecutive Tuesdays, until Tuesday 1st December 2020.

To view the full programme of on-line lectures and book go to the website of the Irish Georgian Society

Lectures cost 10 euro per lecture or 80 euro for the discounted whole course booking rate.

Lectures are delivered through Zoom.

Subscribers will be sent a password protected link by 6.30 pm on the evening of each lecture.  The lectures can be watched for seven days from the date of the delivery of the talk, after which time the link will expire.

About the Irish Georgian Society 

The Irish Georgian Society is a membership organisation whose purpose is to promote awareness and the protection of Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. These aims are achieved through the activities of its membership and through its conservation and education programmes. Founded in 1958 by the Hon. Desmond Guinness and Mariga Guinness, the Society has an international membership of 2,400.  The current President is Sir David Davies.

About the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates

The Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates (CSHIHE) sits within the Department of History at Maynooth University.  Established in 2003, it aims to secure and enhance public appreciation of historic properties by supporting education, research and scholarly publication.

In addition to promoting research into historic houses, their estates and families, third-level educational initiatives have included the development of undergraduate modules on the social, political, economic and cultural history of Irish country houses, their architectural evolution, their material culture and the creation (and destruction) of their surrounding landscapes.

It is a unique public-private venture, supported by the Office of Public Works as well as a number of private benefactors. The founder and director of the CSHIHE is Professor Terence Dooley.

For further information contact: Emmeline Henderson