Rolling Back the Years

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This week the Irish Aesthete marks its fourth anniversary. It is remarkable that an initiative started almost on a whim has continued for such a long period, and looks set to carry on doing so. The need to find ‘fresh’ (albeit old) material for this thrice-weekly site has encouraged me to take greater interest in, and investigation of, this country’s architectural heritage, providing opportunities to return to old favourites as well as abundant chances to explore other sites hitherto overlooked, at least by myself. There continues to be no shortage of places to visit, photograph (with mixed results) and write about. Sometimes the outcome is a feeling of despondency, but just as often one comes away elated, thrilled to learn there are people across Ireland who care passionately for the preservation of our country’s tangible history and are actively ensuring it has a viable, vibrant future. Such is the case with the house shown today.

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Rush Hill, County Roscommon featured not long after the Irish Aesthete began (see The Folks Who Live at Rush Hill, November 12th 2012) and after an absence of almost four years was recently revisited. Listed as one of the four ‘gentlemen’s seats’ in the area in Samuel Lewis’s 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland it is the only one remaining. The core of the house dates from c.1700 and until almost the end of the 19th century it was the residence for successive generations of the same family of tenant farmers. A fire which broke out not long after it was taken on by another family resulted in a programme of rebuilding and augmentation, as can be seen by the ground floor bay windows. But much of the building would look familiar to earlier occupants, especially after the under the care of its present owners. Rush Hill’s renewal has been a gradual process, one by no means complete. It was fascinating to see how much more had been accomplished over the past four years, and to hear of intended work during the years to come. Thanks to such care the house looks as though it will continue to serve as a ‘gentleman’s seat’ long into the future.

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The Irish Aesthete rather too often focusses on ruins, so it is a delight to feature a building which, prior to being taken on by the present owners, seemed destined to go the way of so many others in this country. One looks forward to reporting more such stories; please feel free to get in touch if you know of any. This site is always looking for further material, and welcomes your thoughts, comments and – provided politely phrased – criticisms and corrections. There are many plans for the year ahead, including expansion into other areas and media. In the meantime, please continue to follow the Irish Aesthete not just here but also on Facebook (TheIrishAesthete) Twitter (@IrishAesthete) and Instagram (the.irish.aesthete). And thank you as always to friends and followers for your kind words and encouragement, these are very much appreciated.

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18 comments on “Rolling Back the Years

  1. Congrats on your anniversary, super, inspirational blog, thank you.

  2. barbara morrow says:

    Congratulations on your four years. I must have been following your posts almost since the beginning: I’m not sure that I realised that. It seemed very professional even at that early stage. Best wishes for the moves in the new directions – Barbara Morrow, Pretoria, South Africa

  3. Congratulations Robert! Four more years!

  4. Henry Thompson says:

    Hi Robert, Good to see you at the Birr Castle concert last month.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for the last few months, well done. I see this week your featuring Rush Hill, a house we worked on a good few years ago, we did the lime plastering and roof work.

    http://www.oldbuilders.com/01_jobs/rushhill/rushhill_01.htm

    I called in to see Tim and Alan a few months back, they had made great strides in the work since we were there back in 2003/4 ?

    Do keep an occasional eye on our projects, something there might interest you at some point in the future.

    Current project, Anner Castle

    http://www.oldbuilders.com/01_jobs/AnnerCastle/1_ANNERCASTLE_01.htm

    Regards Henry

    From Henry O’D Thompson –

    The OldBuilders Company

    Park Cottage, The Mall, Eyrecourt, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, H53 YY16

    Tel: + 086 8236451 – Fax: + 086 5 8236451 – Email: henry@Oldbuilders.com – Website: http://www.oldbuilders.com

    ==============================================================================

    You can get me real time on line with Instant Messenger, Skype hodt11 or (AIM,MSN,Yahoo) User = hodt1

    ==============================================================================

    ____________ Reply Separator ___________

    • Dear Henry,
      Many thanks for yours, and good to have seen you also recently. Thanks for this information on Anner: I almost called into the Clonmel area yesterday on my way back from elsewhere but the weather was so filthy, I opted to keep going…
      I will let you know when next in that part of the world as I should love to see the project.
      Best for now!

  5. theupsew says:

    those photos at the beginning said it all – that gleaming and deep lustre wood shows a lot of care. beautiful house

  6. James Canning says:

    Great site. Congratulations,

  7. lawrieweed says:

    congratulations – may you continue forever. Charming Rush Hill – particularly the portrait over the fireplace in the Dining Room . See you SOON

  8. Congratulations! I noticed on the cover (and story inside) that a new ‘Big House’ has been built. I think in Co. Tipperary. I don’t have the issue to hand. Either 24 or 31 August. Well, I found this interesting. Although, of course, I prefer the old ones. So cosy and homely and not too grand. Thank you.

  9. Sorry that was UK Country Life magazine

    • Thanks for your comments. Yes, it was in Country Life and the building in question is Kilboy, designed by Quinlan Terry (based on the original house on this site which was destroyed by fire in 1922. The ‘new’ Kilboy incorporates rooms inspired by other houses in Ireland, not least the staircase hall which derives from that at Townley Hall, County Louth (and the scagliola pilasters are taken from the saloon in Castlecoole, County Fermanagh).

  10. Continued success! Having conquered Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I look forward to an aesthetically pleasing YouTube channel in the near future. And a few more visits to Wicklow…

    Thanks for all that you do,
    Michael

  11. Henry Thompson says:

    Hi Robert, Good to see you at the Birr Castle concert last month.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for the last few months, well done. I see this week your featuring Rush Hill, a house we worked on a good few years ago, we did the lime plastering and roof work.

    http://www.oldbuilders.com/01_jobs/rushhill/rushhill_01.htm

    I called in to see Tim and Alan a few months back, they had made great strides in the work since we were there back in 2003/4 ?

    Do keep an occasional eye on our projects, something there might interest you at some point in the future.

    Current project, Anner Castle

    http://www.oldbuilders.com/01_jobs/AnnerCastle/1_ANNERCASTLE_01.htm

    Regards Henry

    From Henry O’D Thompson –

    The OldBuilders Company

    Park Cottage, The Mall, Eyrecourt, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, H53 YY16

    Tel: + 086 8236451 – Fax: + 086 5 8236451 – Email: henry@Oldbuilders.com – Website: http://www.oldbuilders.com

    ============================================================================ ==

    You can get me real time on line with Instant Messenger, Skype hodt11 or (AIM,MSN,Yahoo) User = hodt1

    ============================================================================ ==

    ____________ Reply Separator ___________

  12. Peter Davidson says:

    Congratulations, profound thanks and all good wishes for the future. Your work is a continuing pleasure and inspiration. best regards Peter

  13. […] we get to the point, Toby told me that it keeps his brain in gear planning and writing his blog. The Irish Aesthete said much the same, celebrating his fourth blog birthday last week. They are spot-on and I find […]

  14. Finola says:

    One of the best things in the blogosphere. Keep on keeping on!

  15. Frances Rouse says:

    Congratulations Robert – so good your lovely site is still going. I especially liked the photo of the elephant in the sunlight!
    Would you mind if I vey belatedly asked re an old post for Rush Hill 20th Jan. 2015 (!) from Vincent P. Delaney – delanyvincent@gmail.com
    I emailed this but had no reply. I would like to be in touch with him as I am visiting Ireland in May and am still on the Devenish trail – my lot is apparently connected to those supposedly of Portlick (via Katherine Meares whose sister Rose seems to have wed Herbert Lennon = I have the line from here) but can find no further info on them – somewhere along the line they “morphed” into those of Mount Pleasant and Rush Hill – Burke is not helpful on this.
    Thanks.
    Frances

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