20 comments on “Waiting to be Woken

  1. mark Donnelly says:

    lovely article – pity it isn’t in a more convenient location!

  2. REMF says:

    Le Grand Meaulnes- did it for “A” level French in 1969

    I often wonder if the people who set the book knew the effect it would have on 17 year old boys!

    I have read again several times (once in French) and thanks for reviving the memory!

    • Thank you, yes I remember the pleasure of first reading Le Grand Meaulnes when I was the same age as the eponymous hero – and waiting for a similar adventure to occur in my own life. It never did: the onset of youthful disappointment…

  3. mth961 says:

    Always a pleasure to read up on your posts and pretend to know loads about architecture while reading about Irish architectural gems! 🙂

  4. Michael Thomas says:

    The centre panel on that fireplace,is exactly the same as one at Ballyduff,Co Kilkenny.

    • Thank you, that’s interesting. It becomes clear that there were certain generic decorative elements reused in houses all over the country during the late 18th/early 19th centuries…
      And Ballyduff is certainly on the ‘to visit’ list…

  5. the Elegant Economist says:

    O that green! Just the colour of my old drawing room.

  6. Josephine Damer Merrin Beattie says:

    My cousin in England just sent me this of Milltown. This was the home of my great grandmother Sophia White-Spunner and her parents Benjamin and Letitia White-Spunner. I live on the west coast of Canada and only in recent years found out about my Irish relatives. Thank you for writing about the home with such feeling. I have managed to learn a lot about many of my relatives and it is all most interesting!

    • Joan Dixon says:

      I was looking up Milltown and came across this wonderful article. You have lots of relatives in Mobile, AL and around the United States. My great grandparents were Benjamin and Laetitia. My grandfather Charles Thomas Nicolson White-Spunner moved from Milltown to the United States and ended up in Mobile, AL.

  7. Beautiful! That shot through the door is particularly transportive – It really makes you feel like you’re there, and you belong there.

  8. Marty Fahey says:

    What a wonderful place! Thank you for continuing to write about places such as these with such
    sensitivity to and respect for all of the ingredients–quite refreshing and rare.

    When I read the quote from Le Grand Meaulnes, I immediatley thought of the piece of music “Soft Mild Morning” which was collected by Edw. Bunting in 1796 from the harper (already 101 at the time!), Denis Hempson. If you are interested, let me know and I can send the soundfile via email. I just recorded it on the CD that accompanied the IRELAND: Crossroads of Art and Design Exhibit, 1690-1840 in Chicago. It is almost as if the quote was written while listening to this piece of music. Actually a bit eery.

    All the best,
    Marty Fahey

    • Dear Marty,
      Thank you for getting in touch and for your kind comments. The house is rather special: I spoke of it in Chicago in April when lecturing to the Antiquarian Society, but perhaps you were not able to attend that event? Thanks also for the offer of the music: actually I have a copy of the CD, so shall listen to it again and in particular the piece you reference. I trust all is well and look forward to seeing you later in the year…

      • Marty Fahey says:

        Dear Robert,

        I am embarrassed to say that, while I once knew that you were the author of these articles/site,
        I had forgotten that this is all written by you! Wow, yet another discouraging signal of advancing age!! It all makes such good sense now…..or rather, again.

        As to the talk, no, I am afraid I was not able to attend.There is something very compelling about
        this house and its setting (from what I can see) and I would love to chat more about it. Your description of it fits the visual evidence so well. Does anyone know who the original architect/builder was? It does seem to have that naive sort of familiarity with fashion but not at the highest level of skill to interpret the details flawlessly, which, I have to say is lovely and charming. It does remind me of Roundwood but moreso as a somewhat simpler, and perhaps less sophisticated ‘sibling’– certainly as it relates to the interiors. Would love to know more about the place.

        The reference to the piece of music is in the same vein: simple, lovely, plaintive…with some formal structure references but stopping short of actually being formal. When I read the quote from Le Grand Meaulnes, it was as if the same thing was happening in words, music and architecture simultaneously, a strange and wonderful synchronicity. Anyway, I am rambling…

        Thanks again Robert. We’ll see you in the Fall.


  9. Rosemary says:

    Its a lovely house and the photographs of it are so moving, I was sad to see it is for sale again with the words opportunity to modernise in the description. I hope someone kind and caring has the stewardship of this lovely house and it escapes the ravages of modernisation.

    • Thank you for getting in touch: Milltown Park is a house very dear to my heart, being quite perfect in its form and execution, and sitting so handsomely in its parkland. Like you I very much hope the house finds a new and sympathetic owner soon.

  10. Leigh says:

    I have only ever driven past Milltown Park so it was lovely to see more photos of the interior. I wonder if the WS initials may refer to William SPUNNER rather than WHITE SPUNNER. According to Shinrone C of I Burial records a William SPUNNER ‘of Milltown’ was buried on 24 December in 1746.

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