Villas for Villiers

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A plasterwork panel forming part of the stairwell decoration at Kilpeacon, County Limerick. The building’s external appearance makes it look like a modest-sized villa but this is an case of looks being deceptive since Kilpeacon proves a substantial country house. Dating from c.1810-20 its design is attributed to Sir Richard Morrison whose client would have been local land owner Edward Cripps; he assumed the additional surname of Villiers on inheriting property from an uncle who had died childless. This gentleman’s widow, Mrs Hannah Villiers, on her own death in 1821 left funds to build alms houses in Limerick city; designed by James Pain and still in use, these were originally intended ‘as an asylum for Protestant, or Presbyterian widows, who will each receive £24 per annum besides most comfortable accommodation.’
More about Kilpeacon in the coming weeks.

One comment on “Villas for Villiers

  1. Leslie Eric Blennerhassett says:

    I knew the family who resided at Kilpeacon when I was a fellow student with their son, Charles Ransom at TCD in the late 60’s. His late father used to hunt in Co Limerick with others farmers not least the late Earl Stannhope.

    Sadly Mr Ransom died years later while riding near Childe Okeford, Dorset to which he and his wife had retired. Charles and his wife, Adelle live in Sarasota Florida whom I have visited.

    The Ransoms previously had worked as farmers in the high lands of Kenya before Independence. They had made their money previously in The UK from their Quaker family business as whole sale herbal chemists. They used to attended the local C of I church with my Blennerhassett namesakes.

    Charles and myself were invited to stay at Stradbally Hall ,Co. Leix, the abode of the Cosby family to their family celebration, of their son’s birthday being a fellow student at TCD. My Blennerhassett ancestors, the Irish Celtic Crosbies came from this County.

    Congratulations on the Aesthete and Mr O’ Byrne in its appreciative article and photos of Kilpeacon House and the fine craftsmanship of its Georgian interior

    Such architecture and what of it remains should be nourished by the Irish Tourist industry. A country which loses it’s historic buildings, so often neglected in Ireland in the recent past will not attract lucrative tourists.

    Government grants would more than repay their cost by attracting such tourists who value our architectural heritage. Replicas of old English buildings can be found in China where imitation is a great form of architectural flattery!

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