Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Irish Georgian Society

The Irish Georgian Society is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Ireland's fine houses and public buildings.  Founded in 1958 by the Hon. Desmond Guinness and his late wife, Mariga, the Society has grown an international membership of 3,000.  The Irish Georgian Society has had a remarkable architectural conservation and educational influence.

Judy Hadlock, owner of the stunning antique shop Old Town Crossing in Southampton, and Sean Bruns, manager of Old Town Crossing, graciously invited me to the Irish Georgian Society's Gala last Monday night.  It was a lovely evening highlighted by the attendance of Sir Charles Colthurst and by Desmond FitzGerald, Knight Of Glin.

Sir Charles Colthurst gave an entertaining talk about Blarney, his family estate, near Cork City, Ireland.  Blarney is home of the famous Blarney Castle and its Stone of Eloquence, which is kissed by thousands of visitors every year.  There were many laughs when the audience heard about a recent police visit to the Castle's garden to confiscate some illegal plants!

Desmond FitzGerald, Knight Of Glin, is President of The Irish Georgian Society and was present, along with fellow author James Peill,  to sign copies of their recently released The Irish Country House.  This gorgeous book gives an intimate view inside some of the most extraordinary houses and castles in Ireland that are home to the descendants of the original owners.  There are fascinating and amusing stories behind each house.  The photography is reminiscent of a World Of Interiors shoot and captures what one of the owners describes as "splendid dilapidation".  Here are a few of my favorite photos from The Irish Country House:

Staircase on an upper floor at Huntington Castle.

Notice the plasterwork ceiling above the staircase at Burtown House.

"Splendid dilapidation" at its finest in a bedroom at Killruddery.

The aqua walls make a stunning back drop for
displaying artwork and treasures of Glin Castle.

The dining room wallpaper at Tullnally was designed by
A.W.N. Pugin for the Houses of Parliament.

A most handsome gun room at Chandeboye.

Hallway at Clandeboye.
The library at Clandeboye.

The Irish Country House is available for purchase at Old Town Crossing (631-283-7740). 

For more information on The Irish Georgian Society, visit http://www.igs.ie/.

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