The course’s 2-day study trip to Dublin was the culmination of our 18th century module. Visits on day 1 included a guided tour of ongoing renovation works at Kilmainham Courthouse with Lucy O’Reilly, OPW, the Museum Building, Trinity College, to view the results of facade cleaning with Paul Arnold and fantastic Irish Rococo ceilings (lots of symmetry with heavy cornices) at Rathfarnham Castle with Michael O’Sullivan of Dunwoody & Dobson Ltd.
A real treat were the townhouses of Merrion Square – built on a truly enormous scale (twice the size of Bedford Square…) – country houses in the city, with austere facades concealing fabulously elaborate plasterwork…
A highlight was 13 Henrietta Street, a remarkable survival. Once one of Dublin’s grandest districts, the area around Henrietta Street fell from favour to the more fashionable south side, with many properties divided into tenements. Built in 1743 and subsequently subdivided, the owners bought the property in the early 1970s and restored it to a single residence, uncovering its faded granduer, reminiscent of a Sicilian palazzo… Thanks to our generous hosts for sharing it with us and interpreting its many nuances, not least the levee and the cabinet…