Vaulting Ambition

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Mention has been made recently of George IV’s visit to Ireland in 1821, and the time he spent with his mistress Lady Conyngham in Slane Castle, County Meath. Here is a view of the ceiling in the castle’s saloon on which – if any horizontal position was assumed during the time spent there – he likely gazed. The history of the building’s construction and decoration is complex, and seems to have involved a number of architects. It has been proposed that an amalgam of Francis Johnston and Thomas Hopper was responsible for the design of the saloon, its historically inaccurate but delightful Gothic dome from c.1813 featuring twenty miniature fan vaults which lie between the same number of ribs all leading to a central boss from which is suspended the single candelabra.

4 comments on “Vaulting Ambition

  1. An excellent picture. I remember the staircase collapsing when Lady Mount Charles was showing a party round the house in the 1960s. I imagine it was re-buit as it had been. Do you know?

  2. PoshPedlar says:

    Well, dear Irish Aesthete, let’s hope Lady C was able to spend some time admiring the view too, it only seems fair! I just don’t know where you’d even start with something as exquisite as that ceiling… what skill.

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