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.

Launch of 'Dublin Fragments: The Pearson Collection' at the City Assembly House


Posted by IGS

The Irish Georgian Society's Spring exhibition was officially launched at the City Assembly House on Thursday 20 February. Journalist Frank McDonald officially launched the exhibition, while Peter Pearson, Donough Cahill and IGS Chairman Michael Wall welcomed invited guests and supporters to the City Assembly House.

A number of Peter Pearson's paintings of Dublin scenes are available to purchase over the duration of the exhibition. If you have queries about making a purchase, please contact the IGS Bookshop (


Adam, Phil, Peter and Jerome Pearson


Anne Fitzgerald and Carole Cullen


Arran and Shirley Henderson and Ally Kay


Bob Moore Lavinia Jobson John Jobson and Naomi Jobson-Moore


Caroline Stephenson and Marion Byrne


Charlotte O'Connor and Susan Seeger


Leanne Bellouny, Alannah Pollard, Roisin Lambe and Zoe Coleman


Desiree Shortt and Eoin Higgins


Emmeline Henderson and Silvie Cahill


Harry Hutchinson and Dr Melanie Hayes


Ivor McElveen and Adam Pearson


James Paul McDonnell and Denise Kelly


Karin O'Flanagan


Michael Wall and Simon Nugent


Michael Wall, Frank McDonald, Peter Pearson and Donough Cahill


Naomi Jobson and Gordon Douglas


OPW Commissioner John McMahon and David Sheehan


Peter Pearson, Shane Byrne and Andrew Smith


Phil Pearson and Michael Craig

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Irish Georgian Society Conservation Grants Programme 2020


Posted by IGS


Previous recipients clockwise from top left: St. Paul’s French Church, Co. Laois (2019), 7 Arch Bridge, Co. Meath (2018), and Stradbally Hall (2017)

The Irish Georgian Society is inviting applications to its' Conservation Grants Programme 2020. The Irish Georgian Society has fundraised a total of €50,000 and grants will be awarded with priority given to protected structures and recorded monuments of significant architectural merit.

The Irish Georgian Society’s Conservation Grants Programme is generously funded by IGS London. Over the last six years, the Society has supported over thirty significant conservation projects from around the country, that have included works to country houses and castles, thatched cottages and historic townhouses, architectural follies, and churches.

Full list of 2019 recipients

  • Myrtle Grove, Co. Cork: window repairs to nationally important unfortified late 16th century house.
  • Jamesbrook Hall, Co. Cork: window repairs to house dating to c. 1780.
  • Temple House, Co. Sligo: window repairs to house built c. 1820.
  • Ballyarthur House, Co. Wicklow: repairs to decorative plasterwork in late 17th century house.
  • Ballycumber folly, Co. Offaly: repair works to walls of architectural folly constructed c. 1830.
  • St. Kevin’s Church, Dublin 8: restoration of stencilled decorative scheme from c. 1870 designed by architect George C. Ashlin.
  • St Paul’s French Church, Co. Laois: repair works to mid-19th century cast-iron windows.
  • St Catherine’s Church, Dublin: repair works to clock face in tower of important mid-18th century church.
  • Royal & Prior School, Co. Donegal: grant for conservation report for mid-19th century structure.

Application forms must be submitted by 5pm on Monday 2nd March 2020 and can be downloaded here.

For articles on previous grants recipients from 2014-2019, please click here.

Decisions on the allocation of grants will be made by early May at which time applicants will be informed.

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Spring Exhibition - 'Dublin Fragments: The Pearson Collection'


Posted by IGS


Dublin Fragments: The Pearson Collection
Extended until January 2021
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 5.00pm (closed Monday)
City Assembly House, 58 South William Street, Dublin 2

This Spring the Irish Georgian Society are delighted to present Dublin Fragments: The Pearson Collection curated by artist Peter Pearson.

This exhibition of architectural fragments and installations presents a dazzling display of Dublin craftsmanship. Today, most significant buildings are protected, thus it is (or should be) impossible to salvage such artefacts as these rescued since the sixties from demolished buildings.

Seen here out of their natural settings, this display of fanlight and plasterwork, architrave and woodwork, cast and wrought iron only accentuates their intrinsic beauty. The creativity of those talented craftsmen show mementos of a time and people long gone. Much has been written about whole streets razed, mostly between 1960 and 1990, and there are many fascinating photographs of what has been lost. Here too are items from public buildings: one of the iron cramps from the Custom House which caused so much damage to its stonework; a plasterwork acorn from the Four Courts rescued before the 1920 fire; City Hall plasterwork; and there’s a decorative toilet from Dublin castle!

When does a few items become a collection? When there are several examples of the same type of railing head, you have the basis of a collection. The speed of demolition in Dublin city and county in the 1980s made it possible to acquire these objects, but they did not simply fall out of the sky! Attempts were first made through the Planning process to prevent such destruction. Often being unsuccessful, this led to the hour of demolition - if one was lucky enough to know when it might happen. In general, nobody wanted to save anything and developers were keen to clear a site speedily. Some of the bigger elements were recycled - slates from two houses went for the re-roofing of Drimnagh Castle; joists, floorboards, doors and mouldings were always useful. Rescuing ironwork balconies or plasterwork required time, tools, dexterity, help from like-minded friends, and transport. Much was moved on the back of motorbikes; cars were willingly lent for larger items. Plasterwork had to be detached, sometimes using a hatchet, whilst balancing on makeshift scaffolds made out of old wardrobes and joists.

The black filth of demolition, dust in the eyes, splinters and sharp nails were all routine hazards, not to mention the lifting of very heavy stones and timbers! Lastly, space was needed to store everything – usually in basements or outside sheds.

This form of collecting fragments from a wide range of Dublin’s built heritage can be regarded as a sort of archaeology of the 18th and 19th centuries, except these items never got the chance to be buried. On another level, like some archaeological artefacts, these exhibits are artistic pieces in their own right illustrating aspects of the building of this city and reflect the social history of those times.

The collection has been displayed publicly on several occasions since 1991: at the Guinness Hop Store; Dublin Castle; Collins Barracks [IGS]; Cork [IGS} and Bonhams Dublin.

Much of this collection was professionally photographed in 2003 by the Irish Georgian Society. Each item was described and its provenance noted.

Peter Pearson
Dublin, February 2020

Artist’s biography

Peter Pearson is an artist and writer who has always been attracted to the physical heritage of his native Dublin. He has had a lifelong interest in documenting and protecting the architectural and natural heritage of Ireland and his paintings reflect this. In his work there are recurring themes of decay and destruction alongside celebration of architecture and building – but there is a certain ambiguity in the beauty of a decaying Georgian house – its mellow brickwork, its shattered fanlight and its mangled railings.

This exhibition is complemented by a selling exhibition of Peter Pearson’s paintings of Dublin scenes. A commission from these paintings will go toward supporting the Irish Georgian Society’s conservation and education programmes.

The Irish Georgian Society gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the following donors and supporters for the Dublin Fragments exhibition: IGS London, John Barber DL and John Nolan, Camilla and Dermot McAleese, Susannah McAleese and Sara Moorhead.


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Nominations Open: IGS President’s Circle


Posted by IGS


Sir David Davies, Irish Georgian Society President, is calling on IGS members to propose names for nomination to the IGS President’s Circle.

The President’s Circle honours those who have given esteemed service and/or support to the Society. It has no formal governance or advisory role. Esteemed service and/or support shall include those who have given such service or support either as officers, former members of boards, committees, or working groups, benefactors, patrons, donors, scholars, and volunteers. Those still active on boards, committees or working groups shall not ordinarily be considered for such honour.

Members should send details of nominees to the IGS President together with supporting reasons why such person(s) should be honoured. These should be addressed to:

Sir David Davies

Irish Georgian Society President

City Assembly House

58 South William Street

Dublin 2

Or by email to:

Nominees will then be considered by the President’s Circle Nominations Committee which is composed of the IGS President (who acts as its chair), the Chairman of the IGF Board, the Chairman of IGS Inc., the Chairman of Irish Georgian Society London trust, and one IGF Board member. Membership of the President’s Circle shall be announced at the Annual Meeting of the IGS in September 2020.

The deadline for making a nomination is Saturday 29 February 2020. Further details governing the President’s Circle are available via this following link.

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IGS objects to 21-storey building at Apollo/College House, Dublin


Posted by IGS


The IGS has made a submission to An Bord Pleanala raising concerns about the impact of a proposed new twenty-one storey structure (78.95m) in Dublin that would have a detrimental impact on the character, setting and integrity of key buildings and architecturally sensitive locations in the city including Trinity College, the Custom House, and College Green. The submission contends that this proposed development would be contrary to the provisions of the Dublin City Development Plan, the George’s Quay Local Area Plan and Building Height Guidelines for Planning Authorities.

Read the full submission.

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​Roscommon road projects threatens historic landscape and protected structure


Posted by IGS

The IGS has raised significant concerns about the impact of new road proposals by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Roscommon County Council on the surviving parkland landscape of Mote Park demesne (home of the Lion’s Gate archway), and on the setting of mid-18th century Scregg House which received vital grant aid for conservation works from the Society some years ago.

IGS submission on the proposed N61 Ballymurray to Knockcroghery Road Project (Co. Roscommon)

The Irish Georgian Society welcomes this opportunity to comment on the proposals for the N61 Ballymurray to Knockcroghery Road Project but has considerable concerns about the heritage impact of route options C and C-3.


The Society is particularly concerned about the detrimental impact of route C on an historic avenue through Mote Park demesne that was developed c. 1839 by 2nd Baron Crofton as a formal approach to the house. While Mote Park house was demolished in the 1960s and its parkland has been denuded, much of its outline remains and continues to contribute to an understanding and appreciation of the area. The record for Mote Park demesne in the historic gardens survey of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) notes that its Site Footprint and Boundaries remain visible and that its Entrances, Drives and Avenues have not moved. The NIAH also includes a record for the Lion’s Gate (RPS Ref. 04200073) which, together with its lodges, formed a southern entrance to Mote Park and was partially restored in recent years by the Roscommon Heritage Group with grant assistance from the Irish Georgian Society. Other surviving historic structures of note within the demesne include the Derrydonnell Bridge (RPS ref. 04200072), a former laundry house (RPS ref. 04200074), and a church and mausoleum (RPS Ref. 04200075).


The surviving elements of Mote Park demesne are of significant architectural and designed landscape importance and, through the efforts of organisations such as the Mote Park Conservation Group, serve as a major local amenity. The further erosion of the demesne through the construction of route C would undermine its heritage and amenity value. For this reason, the Irish Georgian Society urges Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Roscommon County Council to discount this route as an option for the road project.

The Irish Georgian Society has further concerns about the impact of route options C and C-3 on the setting of Scregg House (RPS Ref. 04200045) which lies to the south of Mote Park. Scregg is a five-bay, three-storey over basement house that was constructed c.1765 and is of considerable architectural merit. It is also a site of archaeological significance with a tower house, a ringfort, and a cluster of Sheela-na-gigs lying within its pocket demesne. While Scregg House is no longer occupied, it is maintained by its owners who undertook repair works to the roof, windows, and rainwater goods some years ago with grant support from the Irish Georgian Society. The encroachment of a new roadway on the setting of Scregg would significantly undermine its character and diminish an appreciation of its heritage significance.


County Roscommon possesses an important built, landscape, and archaeological heritage which should be conserved and championed for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. In considering proposals for the development of the N61 Ballymurray to Knockcroghery Road Project, every effort should be made to ensure this. As such, the Irish Georgian Society urges that route options C and C-2 are not selected as preferred routes and that careful consideration be given to the heritage impact of the other options.

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