A Reflection of the Past


An engraving showing a cross-section of the interior of the Irish House of Commons in Dublin. Work on this, part of the world’s first purpose-built parliament, began in 1729 to designs by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce. The engraving was made in 1767 by the artist Peter Mazell after a drawing by architect Rowland Omer. It is a valuable source of information about how the House of Commons looked since the original domed chamber was destroyed by fire in 1792 and, for the last years of the Irish parliament’s life prior to the 1800 Act of Union, replaced by a simpler structure. The engraving hangs on the stairs of Furness, County Kildare (the upper landing window can be seen reflected in the glass): appropriate because in the second half of the 18th century the house was owned by Richard Nevill who, like his father and grandfather before him, sat as an M.P. in the Irish House of Commons.

7 comments on “A Reflection of the Past

  1. Mairtin D'Alton says:

    4 of the ionic capitals illustrated can be seen to the rear of the Lutyens garden at Heywood. It is believed another 6 may still be in the basement of the demolished house. Did Maurice Craig say that the dome was lead on a timber structure?

    • Oh, how I wish your response had arrived earlier, as I spent this afternoon in the gardens at Heywood (an account to follow in due course), having never known of the capitals from the Hse of Commons. I must consult Maurice to see what he has to say about the dome. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  2. Mairtin D'Alton says:

    I can send you a full citation about the columns, and info about the demesne if you wish. I worked on a reconstruction of michael Trench’s villa with Dr. MCParland.

  3. Gerald Mc Carthy says:

    I was on a visit to Rathmore Church and graveyard on Tuesday and I came across the grave of one Richard Nevill of Furness.

  4. Brian Mc Cabe says:

    That is Rathmore, County Kildare – just a few miles from Furness. The Nevilles had a vault there underneath the Church of Ireland church. I was in it myself a few years ago (it was uncovered when some work was being carried out on the church building)

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