Irish Georgian Society

Show / Hide Menu


The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster a keen interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. These aims are achieved through its scholarly and conservation education programmes, through its support of conservation projects and planning issues, and vitally, through its members and their activities.

Conservation without Frontiers Summer School 2017: A Student’s Experience


Posted by Zoe Coleman

Delegatres and students gathered outside Holy Hill House, Strabane

When asked to write about my highlights of attending the UAHS / IGS “Conservation Without Frontiers” Summer School in Derry / Donegal as a student scholar, after such a packed few days my first thought was where do I start? 

Following on from the launch event in Donegal County Museum, day two began in the beautiful surroundings of the Guildhall, such an iconic building for the City of Derry. Ronan O’Donnell spoke about what the Walled City Partnership has accomplished in Derry. Given an initially quite small amount of money, the scale of what it has achieved so far is hugely impressive. In the afternoon my group had a very wet walking tour of the Walls and Ebrington Barracks with Manus Deery from the Historic Environment Division (Department of Communities). Personally, what I found most useful was not just seeing the renovation work that has taken place in the city, but having an opportunity to discuss with Manus the conservation arguments and the processes that had led to a specific decision being made, this really was fascinating. A superb dinner followed in a former church building now known as the “The Glassworks” and a presentation from Yaima Gil from Cuba on the regeneration of Old Havana.

One of the things I took away from our time in Derry, was the number of older buildings that are now used as small museums or for cultural events or concerts by people of all ages and backgrounds. Whilst these buildings are very much part of the past of Derry, they are also at the core of the city’s present and demonstrate the role built heritage is playing in shaping a new narrative for a city that has seen so much conflict.

Day three was based in Donegal. One of the highlights of the day was a practical demonstration on the use of lime by Sean Brogan and hot lime mortars by SPAB Fellow Eoin Madigan at Trenagh House c.1780. I could have spent all day here. Eoin mentioned that he is planning some SPAB Ireland events, so hopefully we will meet again.

We were also fortunate enough to be given a tour of Fort Stewart, a Georgian country house c.1760 that remains in private ownership. A very different experience to visiting a typical house open to the public, a much more intimate feeling of visiting a family home. We then had an opportunity to visit the beautiful Ramelton, followed by the toughest pub quiz I have ever participated in, held at Conway’s Bar.

Fort Stewart (c. 1760), Co. Donegal

On the final day we visited Holy Hill House, another privately owned family home before heading to Sion Mills stables and a presentation on their development from Karen Latimer (Hearth). We then had the results of the student competition. I was awarded first place in the student competition for my development proposal for the Boom Hall site in Derry. I was genuinely stunned given the number of talented students.

Winners of the Student Design Competition, pictured with Kevin V. Mulligan (CWF Summer School Director), Primrose Wilson (President, UAHS) and Joe Gallagher (Heritage Officer, Donegal County Council) - Emma McGarrity (University of Ulster), Steven Playford (Heriot Watt University), Katherine Baldwin (University College Dublin), Sinéad Scullion (University College Dublin, not pictured) and Chris Hamill (University of Cambridge).

I am currently studying for a Masters in Building Conservation at Heriot Watt University, this is a distance learning course, so the overall highlight really of the Summer School was to be surrounded by so many people with a shared passion for our built heritage and whilst I haven’t been able to mention every speaker or everywhere we visited, I would personally like to thank the people who took the time away from their jobs, opened their homes or buildings to us and the amount of work put into the event by staff and volunteers of UAHS / IGS, and finally for the superb hospitality we received everywhere we went, I have never eaten so many buns!

Steven Playford, Heriot Watt University

View more images of the summer school on our facebook page.

Advertising in the 2017/18 Irish Georgian Society Review


Posted by Zoe Coleman

The Irish Georgian Society Review is richly illustrated with content on decorative arts, conservation, current affairs and Irish heritage issues. Published annually in October, it is distributed among our 2,500+ members across Ireland, the UK and USA. Taking out an advertisement in the IGS Review is an opportunity to promote your business to an interested target audience.

The Irish Georgian Society Review focuses on specialist topics relating to the work of the Irish Georgian Society, as well as including illustrated articles on architecture and the decorative arts, commissioned from academics and conservation professionals. The magazine is elegantly designed and you can read past issues of the IGS Review online (via this link) to get an idea of content and format.

The IGS Review is made available at various IGS events throughout the year (2017/18), such as our annual seminars, study days and the Dublin Horse Show, and all year round in our bookshop at the City Assembly House on South William Street.

Contact Zoë Coleman ( for more details and 2017 rates (before 24th July 2017).

‘Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies’ Volume XIX published


Posted by Zoe Coleman

Sir David Davies, President of the Irish Georgian Society officially launched Volume XIX of Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies last week.

Volume XIX is edited by Dr/ Finola O'Kane Crimmins and includes contributions from:

Sir David Davies: Foreword

Alec Cobbe: Sounds of Saxony – getting closer to Bach: Instruments by Ferdinand Weber in the Cobbe Collection

Melanie Hayes: Sir Gustavus Hume (1677 – 1731): courtly connections and architectural connoisseurship in the early eighteenth century

Jessie Castle and Gillian O’Brien: ‘I am building a house’: Nano Nagle’s Georgian convents

Livia Hurley: Death in the garden: Patrick Byrne’s mortuary chapel at Goldenbridge Cemetery, Dublin

Anne Casement: ‘A true Lady Chatellaine’: Frances Anne Vane-Tempest and the building of Garron Tower, part 1

Finola O’ Kane: Arthur Young’s published and unpublished illustrations for ‘A Tour in Ireland 1776-1779’

Volume XIX, the Journal of the Irish Georgian Society can be purchased instore or online from the IGS bookshop.