Irish Georgian Society

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Conservation Glandore House, Monkstown, Co. Dublin

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In July 2022, the IGS made a submission to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council expressing concerns about the impact of hard landscaping proposals on the setting of Glandore House, a protected structures designed by Irish architects Thomas Newenham Deane and Benjamin Woodward whose practice was responsible for the Museum building in Trinity College, Dublin, and for the University Museum, Oxford. Following is the text of the submission:

Re: Glandore House, Glandore Park, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin (Protected Structure)

Planning reference: D22A/0468

To whom it may concern,

This planning application proposes the change of use and refurbishment of Glandore House which, among other works, would include the provision of a new vehicular exit onto Glandore Park, and the provision of bicycle parking, car parking and set down spaces. The Irish Georgian Society wishes to express its concern for the planned works to the gardens around the house given the detrimental impact the proposals would have on its character and setting.

Glandore House was designed by the distinguished Irish architects Thomas Newenham Deane and Benjamin Woodward whose practice was responsible for the Museum building in Trinity College, Dublin, and for the University Museum, Oxford, both carried out under the strong influence of John Ruskin. This makes their works of both national and international importance.

The setting of Glandore, though originally not extensive, has been severely diminished and compromised over time. This represents a challenge for any landscape proposals. However, the landscape scheme submitted ignores the important architecture and disposition of views from the principal rooms to give the parking of cars and their circulation on site absolute priority.

Car parking spaces approach to nearly one metre to the entrance façade of the house, including in front of the original porch. The southerly façade has the “access road” within 50 centimetres with no provision for pedestrian movement around the house. What was once the garden front of the house looked out onto a terrace which currently survives. For the extent of the main part of the house, this terrace is to be drastically reduced so the two most important rooms look out onto further car parking areas that leave only a meagre space at its narrowest outside what was the garden door. The result is that the three main facades of the house address hard landscape essentially given over to cars.

Notwithstanding the restriction of the current site of the house, it is contended that the landscape proposal is inadequate. It ignores the architecture of the house and diminishes the ambience of the principal rooms. The Irish Georgian Society is of the view that alternative strategies could be conceived that would better complement and respect this significant building and thereby regain something of its dignity and create an enhanced environment for its use.

Yours sincerely,

Donough Cahill

Executive Director Irish Georgian Society