Tuesday, April 27, 2010



Saturday, 24th April, 2010

Ballysaggartmore was the beginning of a packed itinerary with a visit to ‘The Towers’ just outside Lismore. The dull and grey sky yielded to bright blue just as we reached the gate lodges on our circuit. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the forest peppered with snippets of information on the dry bridge, the castellated bridge and a pair of identical gate-lodges which have survived to this day to amaze us all. Mr. Kiely was reviled as a landlord but his creations have outlived his appalling treatment of his tenants and the local community is to be commended for revealing such treasures where the norm would have seen them demolished and the stone-work used for road building.

A sharp right turn on the road brought us into the secret world of ‘Ballyin Gardens’ and we were educated as to the origin of the gardens and the treasures within by the owner of the gardens Mr. Peter Raven. This was an extra attraction on our programme and it certainly did not disappoint. With wonderful views over the river Blackwater and planting to match the wonderful scenery our brief visit was brought to a conclusion by the needs of the clock and our timetable. Another visit beckons sometime in the future when time is not at a premium.

St. Carthage’s Cathedral was brought to life with a wonderful historical description by Dermot Edwards who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the cathedral from its founding to its present incarnation. We learned that many of Ireland’s famous architects worked here including Sir William Robinson (who designed the Royal Hospital Kilmainham); Sir Richard Morrison rebuilt the cathedral and James & George Richard Pain designed the tower and spire. We also visited the little known library with its fine collection of volumes amassed over the years. We are very grateful to the Very Revd. Paul Draper, Dean of Lismore for the warm welcome and the refreshments that were much appreciated.

We had to be torn away from the cathedral for our lunch appointment but it was well worth it. Having enjoyed a restorative lunch and dessert at O’Brien Chop House we set off for our final destination with the grey clouds beginning to appear.

We journeyed down to Salterbridge House past the newly restored gate-lodge that has been resurrected from dereliction by the Irish Landmark Trust and available to anyone who wishes to stay in such an unusual and attractive lodge. Venturing up the avenue we were welcomed by Philip and Susie Wingfield who gave us a short history of the house and its evolution over the years. We toured the out-buildings, the gardens before arriving indoors for a tour of the ground floor reception rooms and the bedroom corridor upstairs including ‘the coldest room in Ireland’ as Philip explained. Having toured the house and grounds we were treated to a welcome cup of tea accompanied by home made scones with jam. All too soon it was time to leave Salterbridge, thank our hosts and thus brought our very enjoyable and varied day to a close. Thanks to our committee for helping out on the day and to Kevin Hurley for organising the event.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Irish Georgian Society
Conserving Ireland’s Architectural Heritage

Blog: igscork.blogspot.com


Patron: Mrs. Myrtle Allen



Saturday, 19th June, 2010 @ 09.30am

09.30am Meet at Marlfield House, Clonmel for Registration etc.
10.00am Tour of Marlfield House kindness of Denis English
11.30am Tour of Newtown Anner House and Grounds, Clonmel kindness of Nigel N. Cathcart
1.00pm Lunch at Befani's restaurant & The Main Guard, Sarsfield Street, Clonmel
2.30pm Depart for Gurteen Castle, Kilsheelan, Co. Waterford
3.00pm Tour of Gurteen Le Poer Castle kindness of Gottfried & Renate Helnwein
4.30pm Knocklofty House Hotel, Clonmel for refreshments (at own expense)

Marlfield is located just south of the old Cork to Clonmel road (between Ardfinnan and Clonmel) and is a striking feature on the landscape. Designed to the classical layout of Palladianism this house exhibits many notable features which contribute to its architectural significance. Burnt in 1923 by rebel forces, the main house was rebuilt in 1925, creating an excellent reproduction of late-eighteenth century features such as the timber sash windows. The impressive conservatory is a fine example of the work of Turner, with its ornate curving arches and radiating fanlights. The blind niches to the quadrants and the fa├žades of the pavilions, with their entablatures and urns, display direct influences from Classical architecture, enlivening the appearance of the building. The grandeur of the house is further enhanced by the related outbuildings, fernery, garden entrance and tunnel, all contributing to the setting of the house. (N.I.A.H. Buildings of Ireland – Tipperary SR rec. no. 22112003)

Newtown Anner House (beyond Bulmer’s Plant) was formerly the home of the Duke of St Albans and the Osborne family, this imposing substantially intact country house preserves a skilfully and delicately carved doorway which gives the house an ornate focus. The house is notable for its wings which, unusually, are taller than the central block. The vertical thrust of the wings is emphasised by the diminishing windows. The setting is enhanced by the shell grotto, the well-preserved walled garden and the ruined temple, all of which add context and are fine examples of the activities of this significant former demesne. Now it’s the home of Mr. Nigel N. Cathcart who is restoring the building as funds permit. (N.I.A.H. Buildings of Ireland – Tipperary SR rec. no. 22207718)

Befani’s Mediterranean & Tapas Rrestaurant is run by Business Partners & Friends Adrian Ryan & Fulvio Bonfiglio. Adrian is our Head Chef, while Fulvio manages the restaurant. With their combined years of experience and knowledge of food they constantly strive to provide you with a varied and interesting menu, which is prepared using fresh, seasonal vegetables and organic produce when available.

The Main Guard which was built in 1675 as the courthouse and was converted into shops circa 1810. It has been recently restored to its original form with a loggia of open arches and the sandstone columns are once again a feature of the streetscape. (This visitor attraction is run by the OPW and can be visited free of charge)

Gurteen Castle is a monumental Elizabethan Revival house of national importance, which retains its original form and massing together with important salient features and materials, both to the exterior and to the interior. Built to designs prepared by Samuel Ussher Roberts (1813 - 1892) for Edmond, first Count de la Poer (n. d.), the architectural quality of the house is enhanced by the complex arrangement of gables, towers and turrets, all of which enliven the skyline. The construction in limestone ashlar attests to high quality stone work, which is particularly evident in the fine detailing throughout. A group of gateways to the grounds enhances the artistic design quality of the site, while a garden turret contributes to ornamental quality of the battlemented enclosure, itself augmenting the medieval tone of the grounds. The house is of additional importance in the locality on account of its associations with the de la Poer family. The house is now the Irish home of Gottfried and Renate Helnwein. (N.I.A.H. Buildings of Ireland - Waterford rec. no. 22900208) (www.gottfriedhelnwein.ie)

Knocklfoty House (Hotel) is a former country house served as the seat of the Donoughmores until the mid-1980s. The architectural design draws on the influences of classical architecture in its detailing. This is exhibited in its ornate entrance front, which is adorned with features such as the broken pediments, Doric pilasters, wreathes and busts. The retention of features such as the timber sash windows enhance the buildings appearance, while the dome roof over the central door case is a striking feature which adds further to the architectural significance of the building. This former country house forms part of an interesting group of demesne related structures with the servants quarters, outbuildings, gate lodges, estate workers' houses and bridge. (N.I.A.H. Buildings of Ireland – Tipperary SR rec. no. 22208216) (www.knockloftyhousehotel.com)

Numbers are limited so advance booking is essential. Tickets cost €50 (members) €60 (non-members) including lunch and must be purchased in advance by completing the application form below.

N.B. Full details: name, address, contact details & membership no. etc., of all persons attending the tour must be provided.

Terms & Conditions: No attendance without pre-booking. Participation at the discretion of the committee. No bookings accepted without payment. Attendees must provide own transport.

Enquiries to corkigs@gmail.com or Mobile: 087-9266826


Irish Georgian Society

Conserving Ireland’s Architectural Heritage

Blog: igscork.blogspot.com


Patron: Mrs. Myrtle Allen



Saturday, 22nd May, 2010 @ 10.00am

10.00am Meet at Shana Court formerly the Custom House for registration etc.
10.30am Tour of Shana Court, followed by refreshments courtesy of Mrs. Geraldine Orfeur
11.15am Tour of St. Barrahane’s Church, courtesy of the Churchwarden, Mr. Robert Salter-Townshend
12.15pm Tour of Castle Townshend and grounds, courtesy of Mrs. Anne Cochrane-Townshend
1.15pm Lunch at Mary Ann’s Bar & Restaurant
2.30pm Tour of Drishane House, followed by refreshments, courtesy of Mr. Tom Somerville

The Custom House is a fine Georgian building dating from 1745 retaining many original features. It is now known as ‘Shana Court’ and is available for short-term lettings.

St. Barrahane’s Church of Ireland dates from 1826 and was built with stone brought from Horse Island. It contains three ‘Harry Clarke’ windows and is intimately associated with Edith Somerville & Violet Martin of Somerville & Ross fame who are buried in the adjoining church yard.

Castle Townshend has been the seat of the Townshend family for generations with the oldest part dating from circa 1650. The towers of the present castle were constructed from the remains of the ruined castle. The Cochrane-Townshend descends from the original Townshend family.

Mary Ann’s Bar & Restaurant is a quaint old fashioned Irish Pub that is one of the finest gourmet restaurants in Ireland. It has three Egon Ronay awards to show for it! Relatively unchanged in 150 years, retaining the old fashioned feel of the place. The bar is fully stocked with draught and bottled beers and spirits. Our large wine list encompasses wine regions throughout the World. Fergus and Trish O’Mahony have always believed in trading locally. The majority of suppliers are based within a five to ten mile radius of Mary Ann's, who only buy the best of Irish produce.

Drishane House is described as “A two storey house of 1849 built onto the front of an earlier house extending round three sides of a courtyard, enclosed on the fourth by a screen wall with an arch”. It was the family home of Edith Somerville. (Mark Bence-Jones, A Guide to Irish Country Houses © 1988)

Numbers are limited so advance booking is essential. Tickets cost €50 (members) €60 (non-members) including lunch and must be purchased in advance by completing the application form below. N.B. Full details: name, address, contact details & membership no. etc., of all persons attending the tour must be provided.

Terms & Conditions: No attendance without pre-booking. The committee reserve the right to refuse admission to any event. No bookings accepted without payment. Attendees must provide own transport

Enquiries to corkigs@gmail.com or Mobile: 087-9266826