Irish Georgian Society

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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 Project Update: Lion’s Gate, Mote Park, Co. Roscommon


Posted by IGS

The Lion's Gate at Mote Park, Co. Roscommon is attributed to the celebrated Georgian architect James Gandon and comprises a triumphal archway with a Coade Stone lion mounted on top and has gate lodges to either side. Today the structure is in poor condition with weather action causing damage to its stonework and the legs of the Coade Stone lion fractured in places. Funding from the Irish Georgian Society and other donors has supported an appraisal of these issues by an expert in sculpture restoration and has contributed towards necessary repair works.

The pictures show the crane in place removing the Lion from the Gate

Detail of the damage to the legs of the Lion that needed urgent conservation work

The Lion after being carefully lowered to the ground

The Lion at the Coade workshop in Wilton, England, where the coade stone is currently being repaired

Frank Scott of Roscommon Heritage Group writes:

The Gate on which  the Lion stands is a James Gandon designed piece from 1787 and this is the first (and last) time he has been removed for repair work.

The Roscommon Heritage Group has for 25 years being trying to get the funds to fix the Lion as it was badly damaged, we think, when the lead was stolen. This Lion has also had bees living in it from the time it was put up and we felt that they were important too, so a lot of effort was put into keeping their group alive and of recording their DNA.

We have had help from the Bee Research Group in NUI Galway and some local bee keepers and we have managed to rehouse the bees in new hives in the area.

Removing the Lion took nearly 8 hours and with all the disruption not one person got stung all day! As soon as the Lion was lowered to the ground the damage showed up as 3 legs simply fell off, so it would not have made it through one more storm. The Lion should be back and reinstalled at Mote Park by September.

This conservation work has been made possible by grants from the Irish Georgian Society, the local council and other donors for which we are very grateful.

Images: Frank Scott


Project Supporters

IGS London Chapter

The Heritage Council

IGS New York Chapter

IGS Chicago Chapter

Roscommon Heritage Group

The Heritage Council

David Stutzman (IGS New York)

Patricia Sullivan (IGS New York)

Kathy Gilfillan (IGS New York)

Alicia and Norman Volk (IGS New York)

Robert and Kathleen Collimore (IGS Chicago)

Thomas Cooney (IGS Chicago)

Charles Tupta (IGS Chicago)