Irish Georgian Society

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The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster an interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts.

Learn more about the IGS

Covid-19 Update April 2021 The City Assembly House will remain closed to the public until further notice. Staff will continue to work remotely and can be contacted by email/phone. Our office hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

The IGS bookshop will continue to post orders on a weekly basis.

The Irish Georgian Society, through the support of its members in IGS London, is inviting applications for its 2021 Conservation Grants Programme which is open to support buildings of significant architectural merit. Funding totalling €30,000 is available with priority given to older buildings on the basis of rarity and potential fragility relating to age.

Death of Desmond Guinness, founder of the Irish Georgian Society - We are indebted to his legacy in founding the Society in 1958, together with the late Mariga Guinness. He boldly championed the cause of Ireland's architectural heritage at a time when it faced great challenges through neglect and the threat of demolition from new development. Sign Book of Condolence.

(Portrait of Desmond Guinness by Amelia Stein)

“Saving Graces”- Conserving Ireland’s Architecture (2000-2020), 18 September to 30 October - A exhibition of restoration projects supported by the Irish Georgian Society over the past twenty years through its Chapters in the United States and in London. More information.

City Assembly House wins 2019 RIAI Award for Adaptation and Re-use: Conservation - Marking the 30th year of its prestigious architecture awards, RIAI announced 23 Award Winners across 14 categories. The building architects were Consarc Design Group Ltd. Read more.

(Image: Nicola Woods)

COVID-19 Update for Irish Georgian Society - The City Assembly House reopened on Tuesday 1 December. Staff can be contacted by phone and/or email, some staff will continue to work remotely. Our office hours are 10.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Please review our COVID-19 Policy for the City Assembly House here.

(Image courtesy of Nicola Woods)

Our Updates


IGS Year of the Country House Garden

Garinish Island, County Cork (Robert O'Byrne)

2021 is the Irish Georgian Society Year of the Country House Garden during which we will be celebrating four hundred years of Irish gardens and designed landscapes.

In September 2021 the IGS is hosting two unique exhibitions in the City Assembly House: the first will explore the history of the Irish Country House Garden while the second will see forty specially commissioned paintings of Irish Walled Gardens by four leading artists. Curated by Robert O’Byrne, former vice-President of the IGS, both exhibitions are not to be missed and will be of exceptional interest to anyone with an interest in Irish gardens and gardening. Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens Burtown, Co. Kilkenny (Lesley Fennell)

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IGS London: Mourne Park House, Kilkeel, County Down – a Recent History by IGS London Committee Member Stuart Blakley

The following article is an entry from IGS London's Stuart Blakley's Lavender Blue.

The first time we visited Mourne Park House, November 1992, the recently widowed Julie Ann Anley whisked us off on a whistlestop tour. “It’s great!” she laughed. “No one ever bothers us here because the house isn’t architecturally important.” This was no tourist attraction. The country house as time capsule may have emerged as a phenonomen in the Eighties when Derbyshire’s Calke Abbey came to the public’s attention, but it certainly was applicable to an extreme at MPH in the wilds of County Down. While the Treasury saved Calke, sadly no knight in shining armour would come to MPH’s rescue.

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Tribute: Christopher P. Monkhouse 1947-2021

Christopher Monkhouse, a leading historian of the decorative arts who held positions in several major American museums, was involved with the Irish Georgian Society for more than half a century. Arguably the crowning event of his busy and varied career, the exhibition Ireland Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840, held at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, triumphantly put the visual arts of eighteenth-century Ireland onto the ‘world stage’.

Born in Portland, Maine, in 1947, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and early alumnus (1966) of the Attingham Summer School, Christopher’s earliest passion was for the architectural heritage of his native New England. His first publication was a 1969 pamphlet for the Bostonian Society on the eighteenth-century Faneuil Hall market, then under threat.

By this date Christopher was already visiting Ireland regularly – he first came in 1966 – in time specifically to study the eighteenth-century hotels on the Grand Canal, as part of his research for a thesis at the Courtauld Institute supervised by Nikolaus Pevsner. This interest in Ireland’s contribution to hotel architecture, inevitably led him into the circle of Desmond and Mariga Guinness and the early Irish Georgian Society, and friends made at Leixlip – the late Rolf Loeber for example – would go on to contribute in one way or another to the 2015 show.

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Conserving your Dublin Period House online talks

For 2021 the annual spring Conserving your Dublin Period House, presented in partnership with Dublin City Council, goes online.

Enrol on this twelve week talks programme to gain expert advice on the care and conservation of your period house. The talks will be of particular interest to owners of houses listed as Protected Structures or located within Architectural Conservation Areas. These talks will also benefit building professionals and practitioners and are approved for CPD by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, Engineers Ireland, the Irish Planning Institute and the Heritage Contractors.

Download the full Conserving your Dublin Period House programme or visit events page.

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