Thursday, March 10, 2011


Irish Georgian Society
Conserving Ireland’s Architectural Heritage



Patron: Mrs. Myrtle Allen




Sunday, 20th March 2011 @ 2.30pm

2.30pm Meet at Fota House for registration etc.

2.45pm Guided Tour of House by Geraldine O’Riordan and Dr. Alicia St. Leger

3.45pm Illustrated lecture on St. Mary’s Church, Pope’s Quay by Dr. Edward McParland of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College, Dublin, author of ‘James Gandon’ and ‘Public Architecture in Ireland’.

4.15pm Refreshments followed by draw for copies of ‘Abandoned Mansions of Ireland’ by Tarquin Blake

5.00pm Event concludes

Fota House: Historically important country house and demesne, seat of the Barry-Smith family until 1975 and altered and enlarged to the design of one of the most influential architects in Ireland during the nineteenth century, Sir Richard Morrison. Originally a hunting lodge, Fota was enlarged into a "Regency mansion of stucco" in the early nineteenth century by John Barry-Smith. The original seven-bay house remained the centrepiece of Morrison's classical composition, enlivened by the finely crafted Grecian limestone portico and tripartite opening above. The addition of flanking wings is a classical Palladian-style feature, this style further referenced in the suggestion of pediments on the gable-fronts. The Fota House demesne once comprised the whole island, the survival of its notable demesne structures, distinguished gardens and formal layout adds significantly to Ireland's national heritage. [NIAH 20907572] The house is now operated by the Irish Heritage Trust and is surrounded by the world famous arboretum. The restaurant will be open during the day serving lunches and snacks.

Dr. Edward McParland will lecture on St. Mary’s Pope’s Quay was built in the first half of the nineteenth century and was designed by Cork architect Kearns Deane, while the portico was added by Deane and Woodward. The ashlar and carved limestone fa├žade was clearly executed by skilled craftsmen, while the fine interior is attributed to John Pyne Hurley, the baldacchino is attributed to Scannell of Cork, while the pulpit and high altar were designed by George Goldie and added in the 1880s. [NIAH Cork City 20512203]

Dr. Edward McParland is lecturer in the department of the history of art and fellow of Trinity College Dublin and author of “Public Architecture in Ireland, 1680-1760” This innovative book examines the public architecture of Ireland from 1680 to 1760, a crucial period during which the country undertook the combined tasks of recovering from war and constructing a new and stable society. New buildings, and new types of buildings, were needed to express and sustain this society. Architectural historian Edward McParland explores the role of public architecture in this enterprise, focusing on public buildings as works of architecture and art, while also discussing the political, social, and economic contexts in which they were built. More than one hundred specially commissioned photographs by David Davison beautifully document this cultural process. By drawing on extensive research in archives throughout Britain and Ireland, Edward McParland documents in vivid detail the architectural and social importance of these remarkable public buildings.

Accessing Fota: by car via the Cobh road or by train via the Cork to Cobh line (15 minute walk from Fota station to Fota House). Parking: parking is available with a fee of €3 to be paid when exiting the facility.

Advance booking is essential. Tickets cost €15 (members) €20 (non-members) including refreshments 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: Participation at the discretion of the committee. No bookings accepted without payment. Attendees must provide own transport.

Details upon request via email to Kevin Hurley: or 087-9266826

A Visit to Some Cork City Churches and Former Churches

There was a strong sense of ecumenism at the Cork Chapter's final event for 2010. The event, organised by Edmund Corrigan, was a Saturday morning visit on the 20th. November to two Roman Catholic churches and two former Church of Ireland churches. Our group began our tour at the Catholic Church of St Peter's and Paul's.

St. Peter's and Paul's Church was designed by E.W. Pugin and George Ashlin. The church is much loved by Corkonians of every persuasion including children who love to visit the church in order to count its numerous angel motifs that adorn the building. Its Gothic revival architecture sets it apart from other Cork churches. Building work was initiated by the then Parish Priest, Fr. Murphy, of the Murphy Brewery family in 1859. Public subscription contributed to the completion of the church in 1866. The lavish interior was and continues to be a joy to visitors and worshippers alike.

The former Church of Ireland, St. Paul's Church was next on our itinerary. The church, latterly a factory, was built in 1723. Today, it proudly displays its first floor elegant tall round-headed windows. Its entrance is graced by tall ashlar pillars dating from 1785. But what really delighted our group was the building's incredible ornate plaster ceiling. A rare sight indeed.

The former Church of Ireland, St. Peter's and the Catholic Church of St. Augustine's were the subjects of the second half this pleasant morning's tour. St. Peter's is reputedly the oldest church standing in Cork. Today, it serves our city as The Vision Centre. We were given a most interesting talk by Tarquin Blake who introduced us to his exhibition, "Abandoned Mansions of Ireland." Finally, our group, having made our way on foot to the last of four churches, the Catholic Church of St. Augustine. After welcome festive treats such as coffee and mince pies, enjoyed at the priory, we rounded off our morning with a tour of this beautiful 1940's church. Our appreciation was conveyed to our hosts and to Edmund Corrigan for a most seasonal and enjoyable Four Churches Event.