Magherintemple: From Dream to Reality

by Anne Casement In 1874, John Casement (1825-1902) and his wife, Charlotte nḗe Miller (1836-1909) built a splendid new home for themselves on land his family owned in North Antrim. John’s family already had a house here, known as Churchfield House, a modest, two-storey building, probably built in the mid-18th century which members of hisContinue reading “Magherintemple: From Dream to Reality”

‘Clear It’: a personal reflection on the restoration of the walled garden at Barmeath

by Bru Bellew ‘Clear it’. These two words spoken by Father Edward changed the lives of Rosemary, my wife, and myself. Father Edward, an Ampleforth housemaster, was visiting his ex pupils in Ireland and one of them, Charles Carroll, had brought him to our home at Barmeath Castle in County Louth. We knew Father EdwardContinue reading “‘Clear It’: a personal reflection on the restoration of the walled garden at Barmeath”

The Westmeath aristocracy and the local government election of 1899

by Eugene Dunne The Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898 was arguably one of the most important pieces of political legislation passed by the British government for Ireland, part of a suite of Conservative reform policies that came under the party’s ‘killing Home Rule by kindness’ strategy. The act made provision for the establishment ofContinue reading “The Westmeath aristocracy and the local government election of 1899”

Rokeby Renovation

by Jean Young Rokeby Hall in Co Louth is an eighteenth-century neo-classical country house originally designed by Thomas Cooley for Archbishop Richard Robinson, Primate of the Church of the Ireland. Cooley’s death in 1784 meant that the final design work and the actual construction, begun in 1786, were carried out by his apprentice, Francis Johnston.Continue reading “Rokeby Renovation”

John Edmund Vincent, Lord Penrhyn’s unofficial agent

E.W. Thomas, Bangor University In amongst the Penrhyn Castle archive collection held at the Archives of Bangor University is a small box with the words Welsh Land Commission Letters written on its side. What I expected to find was correspondence between Lord Penrhyn and his agent, Col. Sackville West, on how they were going toContinue reading “John Edmund Vincent, Lord Penrhyn’s unofficial agent”

Adaptation and sustainability: Killruddery, Co Wicklow, in the twenty-first century

by Terence Dooley In 1868, Reginald Brabazon, later 12th earl of Meath, married Lady Mary Jane Maitland. That year the Brabazons were celebrating another milestone: 250 years of residency at Killruddery. In 1534, Reginald’s ancestor, Sir William Brabazon had arrived in Ireland with instructions from King Henry VIII (or more likely Thomas Cromwell) to establishContinue reading “Adaptation and sustainability: Killruddery, Co Wicklow, in the twenty-first century”

‘They found hen’s roosting on valuable oil paintings’: country house looting during the Irish Revolution 1920-23.’

by Terence Dooley Looting has been an unavoidable part of war and revolution from time immemorial. Those who burned country houses in Ireland during the War of Independence and Civil War were usually thorough in what they did.  Typically, a gang of armed men arrived at a house, offered the family, or whoever was inContinue reading “‘They found hen’s roosting on valuable oil paintings’: country house looting during the Irish Revolution 1920-23.’”

Francis Wheatley, Portrait of the 5th earl of Carlisle and his family in Phoenix Park, 1781.

by Chris Ridgway Before Independence in 1922 many English aristocratic families had deep historical connections with Ireland. These might take the form of landholdings, with many examples recorded in John Bateman’s 1883 survey of landowners; but these links might also be through marriage or political office. The Howard family of Castle Howard, unlike many ofContinue reading “Francis Wheatley, Portrait of the 5th earl of Carlisle and his family in Phoenix Park, 1781.”

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