The gothick drawing room at Grey Abbey, County Down. Dating from the early 1760s the main part of the house was built in the classical manner by William Montgomery. Following his death in September 1781 while leading British troops at the Battle of Groton Heights during the American War of Independence, the estate was inherited by his brother Hugh. In 1793 the latter married the Hon Emilia Ward, daughter of the first Viscount Bangor who lived on the other side of Strangford Lough at Castle Ward. This house is famous for its dual architecture and decoration: owing to the differing tastes of Lord and Lady bangor one half is in the classical style, the other in gothick. It would appear the Hon Emilia preferred her mother’s predilection and thus caused the redecoration of Grey Abbey’s drawing room.
Just looked up Grey Abbey. The photo seems to be identified on its site as a dining room! The site photo of the cantilevered staircase brings to mind Mies’ version at the Arts Club in Chicago,reproduced in its newest premises. Wouldn’t the present owner of Grey Abbey be a good person to do a program for the IGS? Use your influence, Irish Aesthete!
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Thank you for your interest. To explain: the room has in the past been used as a dining room but for at least the last decade has served as a drawing room. So take your pick!
The house’s main staircase is rather splendid, and likewise the present owner. To be discussed further…
Plfease could you tell us more about the rather splendid owner of Grey Abbey whom you liken to his staircase?
The piece is called Rather Arch: there is no need for you to be so…