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    The Redecoration and Alteration of Castletown House By Lady Louisa Conolly 1759-76


    Byrne, Gillian (1997) The Redecoration and Alteration of Castletown House By Lady Louisa Conolly 1759-76. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    Castletown House, Celbridge, County Kildare is the largest and finest palladian1 country house in Ireland. Its building in 1722 marked the beginning of the palladian invasion of Ireland and the house is contemporary with the earliest examples of palladianism in England. The elegance and formality of Castletown may certainly compare with that to be found in the English great house of the period, but it was scarcely typical of Ireland, for it was the rule to spend lavishly on everything that brought immediate pleasure at the cost of neglecting house and grounds and to sacrifice the niceties of living. Castletown was built for William Conolly (1662-1729), speaker of the Irish house of commons. He was a self made man and was reputedly the wealthiest man in Ireland. Conolly was a legend in his own lifetime and one petitioner wrote ‘whatsoever you undertake, God prospers’. As speaker it became necessary to have a residence close to the capital and he acquired the land near the river Liffey at Celbridge in 1709. Before this he had a house, though somewhat smaller than Castletown, at Rodanstown near Kilcock, County Kildare1 but it was not suitable for a man of his position - the size of a house was often an indication of a family’s importance. An outstanding characteristic of Irish Georgian houses is a largeness of scale, due primarily to the cheapness of labour but more directly to the zest of a high spirited and competitive oligarchy inspired by the entire absence of suitable housing to vie in magnificence.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Castletown House; Lady Louisa Conolly; 1759-76;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
    Item ID: 5104
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 11:07
    URI:

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