Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Clogher Palace

THE see of Clogher was founded by St Patrick, about the same time as Armagh.

It stretches 78 miles from north-west to south-east by a breadth of 25 miles.

The diocese comprises some portion of five counties, viz. Fermanagh, Tyrone, Monaghan, Donegal, and Louth.


THE PALACE, Clogher, County Tyrone, is a large and handsome edifice adjacent to the Cathedral, on the south side of the village, and consists of a central block with two wings.

The entrance is in the north front by an enclosed portico, supported by lofty fluted columns. 

It is built throughout of hewn freestone, and standing on elevated ground commands extensive views over a richly planted undulating country. 

It was built by the Most Rev and Rt Hon Lord John George de la Poer Beresford, Lord Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, when he was Bishop of Clogher.

The building was completed in 1823 by the Right Rev Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham, Lord Bishop of Clogher.
Attached to the palace was a large and well-planted demesne of 566 acres, encircled by a stone wall; and within it are the remains of the royal dwelling-place of the princes of Ergallia, a lofty earthwork or fortress, protected on the west and south by a deep fosse; beyond this, to the south, is a camp surrounded by a single fosse, and still further southward is a tumulus or cairn, encircled by a raised earthwork.

According to Mark Bence-Jones this is a restrained, cut-stone Classical mansion of 1819-23, begun by Lord John Beresford (Lord Bishop of Clogher 1819-20; Lord Archbishop of Dublin, 1820-22; Lord Archbishop of Armagh, 1822-62; Bishop of Clogher again in 1850).

Building work continued under the next prelate, the Rt Rev and Hon Percy Jocelyn; and finally completed by Lord Robert Tottenham between 1822-50. 

The house has a centre block of three storeys over a high basement, with lower wings.

The entrance front, which stands off the main street, has an enclosed portico of fluted columns.


The garden front, which overlooks the demesne, consists of six bays in the central block, which has a lofty, arcaded basement. 

The walled demesne was set out for the 18th century bishop’s palace.

The present house, entrance and lodge replaced an earlier 18th century house and is a very fine one, though constricted by the road through the village of Clogher on the north side, the cathedral to the west and a steep slope on the south side.

It was designed by Warren and built between 1819 and 1820, possibly retaining earlier wings.


Although the house is no longer a bishop’s palace, the landscape park retains an elegance of proportion and planting that compliments the house.

There are very fine mature lime clumps around a beech encircled fort.

Parkland trees have been felled and many are now ageing but a few new trees have been added near the pond.

Mrs Delany visited the previous house in 1748 and commented on the steep slope, a basin of water with swans and expressed delight at a proposed grotto.

In a later era of garden history, there is a mention in Robinson’s Garden Annual & Almanac of 1936.

436 acres were sold by the Church of Ireland in 1853 for a private residence and during the 1970s the site was a convent.

There is a deer park, now farmland, and a walled garden that is used for agricultural purposes.

An Ice House remains, as does the man-made pond and indications of earlier water features.

There are two gate lodges: a classical one by Warren ca 1820 and a later lodge of ca 1890.

In 1850, a very curious coincidence occurred.

In that year the bishopric of Clogher was merged with the archbishopric of Armagh (which it remained until 1886). 

In 1874, Clogher Palace was bought by the Rev Canon John Grey Porter, who sold it to his kinsman, Thomas S Porter, in 1922.

Thus Mr Porter had seized the opportunity to buy the now abandoned palace and demesne, and re-named it Clogher Park.

Paradoxically, Bishop Porter himself had had nothing to do with the building of Clogher Park: it had been built, in the period 1819-1823, by the three bishops who succeeded him.

It was presumably his son, the Rev John Grey Porter, who made the alterations to the building of 1819-23 which were noted by Evelyn Barrett.

She describes Clogher Park as having,
'... a pillared portico above a flight of steps and two wings added in Victorian times [presumably by the Rev. John Grey Porter]. Classic restraint was relieved by a balcony running the length of the south front ..., in summer smothered in purple clematis and red and yellow climbing roses ..., like the warmth of a smile on the formal façade.'
By his will, made in 1869 and subsequently much embellished with codicils, Porter left Belle Isle, Clogher Park and effectively all his landed property to his son and heir, John Grey Vesey Porter, with the proviso that his widow should enjoy Clogher Park for her life, together with the very large jointure of £3,000 a year.

The Rev John Grey Porter presumably lived at Clogher Park, when not at Kilskeery, until his death in 1873, when he was succeeded there by his widow until her death in 1881.

The demesne comprised 3,468 acres of land in 1871.

By 1890, it was the seat of John William Ellison-Macartney, MP for County Tyrone, 1874-85, who had married Porter's third daughter, Elizabeth, in 1851.

Eventually, Clogher Park was to pass to the Ellison-Macartneys' second son, and their occupation of the house must have been a grace-and-favour or leasehold arrangement anticipating this outcome.

This supposition is made the more probable by the fact that their second son, Thomas Stewart Ellison-Macartney, had assumed the name Porter as early as 1875.

The Roman Catholic Church purchased Clogher Park in 1922. According to this article:
I helped to prevail on Bishop McKenna, of Monaghan, to buy Clogher Palace and grounds for £20,000 [£886,000 in 2010], as it was the ancient seat of St. Macartan, patron of the diocese. 
This enraged the Orangemen, and as it is within the Tyrone border, the day after the Bishop took possession, it was commandeered by the Belfast Specials without notice! 
To bring an injunction the Bishop would have to sue in Belfast, and they have got a military authorization, ex post facto. The malice of this is deplorable. 
Clogher Park is now a residential care home.

First published in August, 2011.

Castle Dobbs

THE DOBBS FAMILY OWNED 5,060 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

This family was established in Ulster by  

JOHN DOBBS, only son of Sir Richard Dobbs (a founder of Christ's Hospital and Lord Mayor of London, 1551), who accompanied Sir Henry Docwra to the Province in 1596, and was subsequently his deputy as treasurer for Ulster.

Mr Dobbs married, in 1603, Margaret, only child of John Dalway, of Ballyhill, and had two sons, Foulk, who was lost at sea with his father in returning from England, 1622; and

HERCULES DOBBS (1613-34), who, succeeding to his father's property, wedded Magdalen West, of Ballydugan, County Down, and left an only son,

RICHARD DOBBS (1634-1701), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1664, who espoused, in 1655, Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Bryan Willans, of Clints Hall, Richmond, Yorkshire, and had issue (with three daughters), two sons.

Mr Dobbs left his estate to his younger son,

RICHARD DOBBS (1660-1711), of Castletown, who married firstly, Mary, daughter of Archibald Stewart, of Ballintoy, and had, with two daughters (Jane and Elizabeth), three sons,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Richard;
Marmaduke.
He married secondly, Margaret Clugston, of Belfast, and by her had three daughters.
This gentleman served in WILLIAM III's army in Ireland until the 2nd siege of Limerick and the Treaty of Surrender.He was Mayor of Carrickfergus. 
On the 14th June, 1690, he welcomed William of Orange on his landing in Ulster as Mayor of Carrickfergus; High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1694.
His eldest son and heir,

ARTHUR DOBBS (1689-1765), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1720, and for many years MP for Carrickfergus.

Arthur Dobbs, 6th Governor of North Carolina

Mr Dobbs, who was appointed Engineer and Surveyor-General of Ireland, by Sir Robert Walpole, was, 1753, sent out as Governor of North Carolina, where he acquired large possessions, including 400,000 acres in the colony.
It is, perhaps, a matter of some curiosity that Arthur Dobbs was not elevated to the peerage or, indeed, the baronetage, for his services.
He wedded Anne, daughter and heir of Captain Osborne, of Timahoe, County Kildare, and widow of Captain Norbury, and had issue.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

CONWAY RICHARD DOBBS (1727-1811), of Castle Dobbs, who espoused firstly, Anne, daughter of Alexander Stewart, in 1749, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir.
He married secondly, Charity, widow of Stephen Rice, of Mount Rice, County Kildare, and daughter of Robert Burrowes, of Kildare, by Mary, his wife, daughter of John O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, County Antrim, and had issue,
Edward Brice, twice Mayor of Carrickfergus;
Robert Conway (Rev);
Frances.
Mr Dobbs, MP for Carrickfergus and High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1752, was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD DOBBS (1753-1840), of Castle Dobbs, who married, in 1792, Nichola, daughter of Michael Obins, of Portadown, by Nichola his wife, second daughter of Richard, 1st Viscount Gosford, and had issue,
CONWAY RICHARD, his heir;
Archibald Edward, father of ARCHIBALD EDWARD DOBBS;
Acheson;
Nichola; Frances; Olivia.
Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

CONWAY RICHARD DOBBS JP DL (1796-1886), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1841, MP for Carrickfergus, 1832, who wedded, in 1826, Charlotte Maria, daughter and co-heiress of Richard Sinclair, of Fort William, County Antrim, and had issue,
Richard Archibald Conway (1842-53);
MONTAGU WILLIAM EDWARD, of whom presently;
Olivia Nichola; Frances Millicent; Charlotte Louisa Mary; Alicia Hester Caroline;
Harriet Sydney; Nichola Susan; Millicent Georgina Montagu.
He married secondly, in 1875, Winifred Susannah, youngest daughter of Benjamin Morris, of Lewes, Sussex.

Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

MONTAGU WILLIAM EDWARD DOBBS JP DL (1844-1906), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff for County Kildare, 1871, and for County Antrim, 1888, a barrister, who was succeeded by his cousin,

ARCHIBALD EDWARD DOBBS JP (1838-1916), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1909, a barrister, who wedded, in 1875, Edith Mary, second daughter of Sir James Timmins Chance Bt, and had issue,
ARTHUR FREDERICK, his heir;
Francis Wellesley;
Archibald Edward.
Mr Dobbs' eldest son,

ARTHUR FREDERICK DOBBS DL (1876-1955), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1921, Member of the NI Senate, 1929-33 and 1937, married, in 1915, Hylda Louise, daughter of Captain Conway Richard Dobbs Higginson, and had issue,
RICHARD ARTHUR FREDERICK, his heir;
Joan Kathleen, b 1917.
Major  Dobbs was succeeded by his only son,

SIR RICHARD ARTHUR FREDERICK DOBBS KCVO JP (1919-2004), Judge of the Circuit Court, 1951-55, Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, 1959-94, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, who married, in 1953, Carola Day, daughter of Christopher Clarkson, and had issue,
Richard Francis Andrew Dobbs, b 1955; m the Lady Jane Alexander, sister of 7th Earl of Caledon, 1990; div. 1999; has issue, three daughters;
Nigel Christopher Dobbs, b 1957, High Sheriff of Co Antrim, 2009;
Matthew Frederick Dobbs b 1959;
Sophia Carola Dobbs b 1965;
Nicholas Arthur Montagu Dobbs b 1973.

CASTLE DOBBS, near Carrickfergus, County Antrim, remains the seat of the Dobbs family and is one of the most significant houses of its kind in Northern Ireland.
An 18th century mansion in the manner of Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, Castle Dobbs was built in 1730 by Arthur Dobbs,
Surveyor-General of Ireland; Governor of North Carolina; agriculturalist; and organizer of expeditions to discover the North-West Passage from Hudson's Bay to the Pacific. As Surveyor-General, Arthur Dobbs supervised  the construction of the Irish Parliament House in Dublin. While a member of the Irish Parliament (for Carrickfergus), Dobbs purchased 400,000 acres of North Carolina in 1745.
An authority on country houses, Professor Rowan, has said that,
"For its date, 1750-54, it is quite without an equal in Ulster; while its perfect Palladian plan with flanking wings ... is hard to match in a house of this scale anywhere in Ireland."
Castle Dobbs House consists of two storeys over a high basement with a seven-bay front with a three-bay pedimented break-front centre.

There is an entablature over the lower storey and a high solid parapet to the roof.

Later, there were single-storey wings added over the basement with bracket cornices, extending the front by three bays on either side.

The garden front can be seen above; while the entrance front is below.

The demesne was established in the 16th century. The house stands in a commanding position overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Down shore across the lough.

There is remaining evidence of the formal gardens for the 17th century house, now in ruins adjacent to the later house.

The present layout is in relation to the 18th century house and takes the form of a landscape park, with a lake, bridge and cascade.

The whole demesne contains fine mature trees in shelter belts, parkland, woodland and avenues.

There are informal glen-side walks, with recent planting by the lake and ornamental areas near the house.

One walled garden is no longer cultivated but another, to the west of the house, is fully maintained and the potting sheds are still in use.

A remaining glasshouse backs onto these.

The design of this garden was created to commemorate the tercentenary of Arthur Dobbs' birth in 1689.

Arthur Dobbs was a plantsman and noted for recognition of Dionaea muscipula (Venus fly-trap) whilst governor of North Carolina.

The site has been in the continuous ownership of the Dobbs family and there is good documentary evidence as to its development.

There have been successful adaptations through the years to suit the style of the times.

Two late 19th century gate lodges remain, but two from earlier in the century have gone.

First published in March, 2010.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Kilrush House

THE VANDELEURS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY CLARE, WITH 19,700 ACRES

GILES VANDELEUR settled at Rathlahine, County Clare, in 1660, and was one of the commissioners for allotting quit-rents in Ireland.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Sir John Jephson MP, of Mallow, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Francis, 1st Viscount Shannon (4th son of Richard, 1st Earl of Cork), and had issue,
James, of Blane, who left issue;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Boyle.
The second son,

THE REV JOHN VANDELEUR, of Cragg, County Clare, Rector of Kilrush, County Clare, seating himself at Kilrush in 1687, wedded Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Crofton, of Inchirourke, County Limerick, by whom he left, besides a younger son, Thomas, an elder son,

JOHN VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, who married Frances, daughter of John Ormsby, of Cloghans, County Mayo; and had issue,
CROFTON, his heir;
John Ormsby, of Maddenstown;
Richard, of Rutland, father of General Sir J O Vandeleur GCB;
Mary.
Mr Vandeleur died in 1754, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

CROFTON VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, who wedded, in 1765, Alice, daughter of Thomas Burton (uncle of Francis P Burton, 2nd Lord Conyngham), of Buncraggy, by Dorothy his wife, daughter of the Rt Hon John Forster, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas for Ireland, and had issue,
JOHN ORMSBY, his heir;
Thomas Burton, a judge;
Crofton, major-general;
Richard, army major;
Frederick, army captain;
William Richard (Rev);
Dorothy; Alice; Emily; Frances.
The eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN ORMSBY VANDELEUR (1765-1828), Commissioner of the Customs for Ireland, MP for Ennis, 1802, married the Lady Frances Moore, daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, and had issue,
CROFTON MOORE, his heir;
Henry Seymour Moore;
Anna Frances; Alice.
The Rt Hon J O Vandeleur was succeeded by his elder son,

CROFTON MOORE VANDELEUR JP DL (1808-81), of Kilrush House, Colonel, Clare Regiment of Militia, High Sheriff, 1832, MP for Clare, 1859-74, who married, in 1832, the Lady Grace Graham-Toler, second daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
HECTOR STEWART, his heir;
Crofton Toler;
John Ormsby Moore;
Elizabeth Frances; Frances Letitia; Grace Dorothea.
Colonel Vandeleur was succeeded by his eldest son,

HECTOR STEWART VANDELEUR (1836-1909), of Kilrush House, Lord-Lieutenant of County Clare, High Sheriff, 1873, who married, in 1867, Charlotte, eldest daughter of William Orme Foster MP, of Apsley Park, Shropshire, and had issue,
Cecil Foster Seymour, DSO (1869-1901), k/a;
ALEXANDER MOORE, his heir;
Isabel Grace; Evelyn Norah.
His only surviving son,

ALEXANDER MOORE VANDELEUR JP (1883-1914), of Kilrush, and Cahiracon, Captain, The Life Guards, espoused, in 1910, Violet Ethel, eldest daughter of Henry Meysey, 1st Lord Knaresborough.

Captain Vandeleur was killed in action, aged 30, during the 1st World War.

He left issue,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GILES ALEXANDER MEYSEY VANDELEUR DSO (1911-78).


KILRUSH HOUSE, County Clare, was an early Georgian house of 1808.

From 1881 until Kilrush House was burnt in 1897, Hector Stewart Vandeleur lived mainly in London and only spent short periods each year in Kilrush.

Indeed during the years 1886-90, which coincided with the period of the greatest number of evictions from the Vandeleur estate, he does not appear to have visited Kilrush.


In 1889, Hector bought Cahircon House and then it was only a matter of time before the Vandeleurs moved to Cahircon as, in 1896, they were organising shooting parties at Kilrush House and also at the Cahircon demesne. 

Hector Stewart Vandeleur was the last of the Vandeleurs to be buried at Kilrush in the family mausoleum.

Cahircon House was sold in 1920, ending the Kilrush Vandeleurs' direct association with County Clare.

Hector Vandeleur had, by 1908, agreed to sell the Vandeleur estate to the tenants for approximately twenty years' rent, and the majority of the estate was purchased by these tenants.

************


THE VANDELEURS, as landlords, lost lands during the Land Acts and the family moved to Cahircon, near Kildysart.

In 1897, Kilrush House was badly damaged by fire.

During the Irish Land Commission of the 1920s, the Department of Forestry took over the estate, planted trees in the demesne and under their direction the remains of the house were removed in 1973, following an accident in the ruins.

Today the top car park is laid over the site of the house.

Vandeleur Walled Garden now forms a small part of the former Kilrush demesne.

The Kilrush demesne was purchased by the Irish Department of Agriculture as trustee under the Irish Land Acts solely for the purpose of forestry.

The Kilrush Committee for Urban Affairs purchased the Fair Green and Market House.
 
The demesne, now Kilrush Wood, lies to the east of the town.

The remains of Kilrush House were demolished in 1973.

The site is now a car park and picnic area and all the original stones from the house are now underneath this area.
A number of street names in the town of Kilrush are named after the Vandeleurs: Frances Street after Lady Frances, wife of Hon John Ormsby Vandeleur; Grace Street after Lady Grace Vandeleur; Hector Street after Hector Stewart, son of Crofton Moore; Moore Street after a common family name of the Vandeleurs, probably after Lady Frances Moore, wife of John Ormsby Vandeleur; Burton Street after Thomas Burton Vandeleur.
Former town residence ~ 50 Rutland Gate, London.

First published in July, 2011.

1st Baron Rokeby

THE BARONY OF ROKEBY WAS CREATED IN 1777 FOR RICHARD ROBINSON, LORD ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH

The family of ROBINSON was of considerable antiquity in the counties of Yorkshire and Westmorland.

The estate of Rokeby in the North Riding of Yorkshire was purchased in 1610 by

WILLIAM ROBINSON, a merchant of London, from Sir Thomas Rokeby, whose progenitors had resided there since the Conquest.

Mr Robinson paid a composition fine for declining the honour of knighthood at the coronation of CHARLES I.

He married Mary, daughter of Thomas Hall, of Thornton, Yorkshire, and had, with other issue,
THOMAS, father of WILLIAM ROBINSON.
Mr Robinson died in 1643, and was succeeded by his grandson,

WILLIAM ROBINSON, of Rokeby, who wedded Mary, eldest daughter and co-heir of Francis Layton, of Rawdon, West Yorkshire, and was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS ROBINSON, who espoused Grace, daughter of Sir Henry Stapylton Bt, of Myton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire.

He died in 1719, and was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM ROBINSON, who married Anne, daughter and heir of Robert Walters, of Cundall, Yorkshire, by whom he left at his decease, in 1719,
THOMAS, cr a baronet in 1730;
William, 2nd Baronet;
Henry;
RICHARD, 1st BARON ROKEBY;
Septimus (Sir);
Anne; Grace.
The fourth son,

THE MOST REV AND RT HON SIR RICHARD ROBINSON, 3RD BARONET (1708-94), Lord Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and prelate of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was elevated to the peerage, in 1777, as BARON ROKEBY, of Armagh, with remainder to Matthew Robinson, the reversionary heir to the baronetcy.


This prelate went to Ireland, in 1751, as first chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant, His Grace the Duke of Dorset, and was promoted in that year to the see of Killala.

When the Duke of Bedford was viceroy, his lordship was translated to the united sees of Leighlin and Ferns, and, in 1761, to that of Kildare.

In 1765, during the government of the Duke of Northumberland, he was elevated to the primacy, and nominated Lord Almoner.

His Grace succeeded to the baronetcy upon the decease of his brother Sir William, 2nd Baronet, in 1785.

He died unmarried, at a great age, in 1784, when the honours devolved, according to the limitation, upon MATTHEW ROBINSON.
Sir Richard, in 1764, was, on the death of Dr Stone, elevated to the archbishopric of Armagh, and primacy of all Ireland. 
This high station he held for thirty years, during which he adorned the See by his munificence, and gained the affection and respect of the nation in a manner which was universally acknowledged, and which will hand down his name to posterity with honour. 
In his latter years, in a green old age, His Grace passed much of his time in England; dividing it principally between Bath and London, where his hospitable table was always open to the higher classes of the country whose church was under his rule, while his charities and public works commanded the esteem and gratitude of all. 
His Grace was a privy counsellor as well as being a peer, hence the prefix Right Honourable and post-nominal letters PC.

In 1774, the Archbishop founded the Armagh County Infirmary.

In 1780, His Grace gifted land for the erection of a new prison and in 1778 he founded the Public Library.

In 1790, he founded the Armagh Observatory as part of his plan for a university in Armagh.

Archbishop Robinson also built the archiepiscopal palace (above) at Armagh, now Council offices.


The Primate's Chapel, above, stands adjacent to the Palace.

His Grace's cousin,

MATTHEW ROBINSON, 2nd Baron (1713-1800), of Edgeley, died unmarried,


The Barony expired on the death of the 6th Baron Rokeby in 1883.

 First published in August, 2010.   Rokeby arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Mary Ward, 1827-69


My article about Downpatrick gate lodge, Castle Ward, County Down, reminded me of Mary Ward and her wonderful gift as a watercolourist.

I've seen a delightful painting of the lodge and its surroundings taken by her in the mid-19th century:
The steeply-raked roof, twin lofty chimneys,white-washed walls and decorative woodwork finials and valances in the Bangor family's shade of golden yellow, as seen on their coat-of-arms. 
The fine railings appear dark green and one of the gates is wide open. The lawns at each side are newly-mown.

Downpatrick gate lodge must have been built prior to Mary Ward's untimely death in 1869.

Mary, The Hon Mrs Henry Ward, was born in 1827 though, sadly, her life was cut short by a tragic motor accident in 1869.

Had she survived, Mary Ward would have become the 5th Viscountess Bangor.

Her husband, the Hon Henry Ward, went on to become the 5th Viscount; and her son, the Hon Maxwell Ward, eventually succeeded as the 6th Viscount.

First published in May, 2009

Saturday, 16 September 2017

ELIZABETH I

Her Majesty ELIZABETH I, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith

Friday, 15 September 2017

Limerick Palace

THE bishopric of Limerick was united in 1663 to those of Ardfert and Aghadoe, which had long been so incorporated as to form but one diocese.

Ardfert was established in the 5th century, and Limerick before the 13th.

Presumably the last bishop to reside at the palace was the Right Rev Wiliam Gore, Lord Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe from 1772-84.


THE PALACE, Limerick, is a three-storey, five-bay house of ca 1740, of limestone.

The entrance is Venetian in style.

The palace remained the official residence of the Lord Bishops of Limerick until 1784.

The palace underwent a major restoration in 1990.

It is adjacent to the Norman King John's Castle, and abuts a row of terraced alms houses, close to the grounds of Saint Munchin's Church further north along narrow Church Street.

A bishop's palace has been on this site since at least the 17th century.

It is thought that parts of the earlier structure were incorporated, largely at basement level, within the classical 18th-century structure.

The proportions of the window openings, which decrease with each storey, achieve a symmetrical classical façade.

It is also among the earliest examples of a formal classical composition within the city of Limerick.

The former episcopal palace is distinguished by limestone ashlar detailing, such as the door-case and eave cornice on the front and side elevations.

It is presently the headquarters of Limerick Civic Trust, which was responsible for the restoration of the building in 1990.

First published in September, 2015.