Two details of the plasterwork in the dining room at Castle Coole, County Fermanagh. Constructed between 1789 and 1796 for Armar Lowry-Corry, first Earl of Belmore the house is considered to be architect James Wyatt’s Neoclassical masterpiece. For the decoration he used his usual team of London craftsmen including stuccadore James Rose who sent five of his regular plasterers to do the job. John Martin Robinson in his recently published monograph on Wyatt quotes a contemporary report that the workers were unhappy in Fermanagh, finding it ‘an unhealthy place, that most of them are ill and there is not lodging for them but in damp rooms.’ None of this discontent is reflected in the graceful plasterwork, with each room given a distinctive frieze pattern.
P.S. Apologies to anyone who was trying to nominate me for the Irish Blog Awards (see Number One from last Thursday, July 25th) and had problems because I gave the wrong email address: this has now been corrected , so please forgive my incompetence and try again. And thanks to all who have already nominated me.