Irish Cities in the Georgian Era: architecture & urban morphology Beginning Tuesday 5th October, this nine-week online talks series will explore the architecture and urban morphology of the Irish cities of Belfast, Cork, Derry, Dublin, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford during the long eighteenth century. See More
IGS Year of the Country House Garden Visit Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm.
City Assembly House - a history: Built by the Society of Artists in the 1760s and '70s, the City Assembly House has since served as Dublin's City Hall, as the founding home of the Conservatory of Music, and as a museum. Today it is being restored as the new home of the Irish Georgian Society.
Celebrating the Irish Country House Garden From 23rd September to late November, the IGS is hosting two unique exhibitions in the City Assembly House: In Harmony with Nature: The Irish Country House Garden and Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens. See More
Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens was launched in the City Assembly House yesterday evening and will be open for viewing until the end of November (Tues-Sat 10am to 5pm). Click here to learn more.
Perched high above the Blackwater river and home to the Keane family since 1735, the present house at Cappoquin was built in the late 1770s on the site of an older FitzGerald castle. The building was gutted by fire after being attacked by anti-Treaty forces in February 1923; fortunately, then-owner Sir John Keane had been expecting such an assault on his property and had removed many of the house’s contents. He immediately embarked on a restoration programme, completed towards the end of the decade. The old gardens, however, were neglected and it was only after Sir John’s son Richard inherited the estate in 1956 that his wife Olivia turned her attention to the grounds.
Running to some six acres, Cappoquin’s gardens are in two parts, the lower being around the house which today has a wide terrace immediately in front of the façade offering views down to the local town and river; prior to the 1923 fire, this had been a carriage sweep. Since in turn inheriting from his father in 2010, Sir Charles Keane the present owner has undertaken further work here, clearing parts of the lower garden to allow for fresh planting, and more glimpses of the surrounding countryside. The land rises steadily behind the house, providing an opportunity amply exploited by Sir Charles and his gardener Mark Windross to create a further series of ‘rooms’, each with its own distinctive character. Their planting has particularly focussed on making sure there is something to see throughout the year, and not just in late Spring/early Summer. Nevertheless, the upper garden is notable during those seasons both for its fin trees, including a fine oak and a Southern Maple raised from seed by Olivia Keane, and for the rich colours of magnolia, camellia, azalea and rhododendron.
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm. Last admission 4:30pm.
Walled gardens have a long history going back millennia having often simultaneously served not just as places to grow fruit and vegetables, but also areas of privacy and of protection from intemperate weather conditions.
This exhibition will feature forty specially commissioned paintings of Walled Gardens by four distinguished artists: Lesley Fennell, Andrea Jameson, Maria Levinge and Alison Rosse.
On Friday the 27th of August, John Barber, the chair of Irish Georgian Society London and John Redmill, Patron and Board member of Irish Georgian Society London were able to present Castletown House with the porcelain desk set bought by the late Della Howard at the 2009 Christies auction of the effects of the Knight of Glin.
Della, a great supporter of the Irish Georgian Society over many years, was keen that the desk set went to Castletown House. As it happened, the house is about to set up a new room with Lady Louise Conolly's writing table and they needed a desk set for it and this is perfect size and style for the table to be used. Della would have been delighted.
Pictured below (L-R) John Barber (Chair IGS London), Mary Heffernan (General Manager at OPW, Historic Properties, Heritage Services) and John Redmill (Patron and Board Member of IGS London)