Conservation Project update: Lion's Gate, Mote Park
The Coade stone Lion is back in Mote Park, Co. Roscommon after undergoing urgent repairs at the Coade Ltd workshop in Wiltshire, U.K. Coade stone or Lithodipyra ("stone fired twice") was a high quality, durable moulded weather-resistant, ceramic stoneware invented by Eleanor Coade (1733– 1821). It was a hugely popular decorative material in the Georgian period, used for manufacturing Neoclassical statues, architectural decorations and garden ornaments. The Mote Park Lion was commissioned to sit on top of the triumphal arch gateway to Mote Park that was erected in 1787 and attributed to James Gandon. Its repair was funded through grants from Roscommon Co. Co., the Department for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Irish Georgian Society, The Follies Trust, Roscommon Heritage Group and anonymous donations. You will be able to read a full update on the project in the forthcoming 2016 edition of the Irish Georgian Society Review - due to be published in October!
In removing the lion for repair works, it was necessary to remove and relocate a bee hive that had made its home in the lion’s belly. This was done over a period of months and involved scientists from NUI Galway who are undertaking research on feral or unmanaged hives with the aim of establishing whether indigenous Irish honey bees still exist in the wild or not – read more about this initiative here.
Image: The Lion being reinstated on Mote Park gate. (Frank Scott, Roscommon Heritage Group)
Irish Georgian Society Annual Meeting
Wednesday 21st September, 5.30pm Royal Society of Antiquaries Ireland, 63 Merrion Square (Google Map)
The Irish Georgian Society's Annual Meeting for 2016 will be held in the Helen Roe Theatre of the RSAI at 5.30pm. The meeting will be followed by refreshments in the first floor rooms.
On Saturday 10th September we were delighted to host a lunch for the Society's Benefactor and Patron members at No. 12 Henrietta Street, the home of Ian Lumley. Before the lunch guests were led on a private tour of the King's Inns Library and Dining Hall, led by Dr. Edward McParland, an expert on the work of James Gandon (1743–1823) and co-author of James Gandon: vitruvius hibernicus (1985). Dr. McParland described the architecture of these buildings in the wider context of the development of Henrietta Street, Dublin's earliest Georgian street, which was extensively developed by Luke Gardiner during the 1720s. The changing fortunes and character of Henrietta Street was particularly noted with the ongoing conservation work currently being undertaken by Dublin City Council at No. 14 Henrietta Street. To establish it as a tenement museum, showing its development from a mansion for Dublin's wealthiest citizens in the Georgian period to a tenement housing more than 100 of Dublin’s poorest citizens.
On Friday 2nd September, Irish Georgian Society partnered with the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland and Wicklow County Council to deliver Ireland's Walled Garden Study Day at Russborough, Co. Wicklow. The day included a number of talks which explored and celebrated the history and significance, and the care and conservation of Irish historic country houses' walled gardens, as well as a lunchtime tour of Russborough's 18th century walled garden. Russborough’s walled garden is currently being restored by volunteers from the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland.
Pictured: Primrose Wilson (Vice-chair, IGS), Robert Myerscough (President, RHSI), Susan Campbell, Terence Reeves-Smyth, Susan Roundtree, Daphne Shackleton, Edward Diestelkamp, Deirdre Burns (Heritage Officer, Wicklow CoCo)
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