The Missing Twin

Above are three images of the main staircase in the former Archbishop’s Palace, Cashel, County Tipperary. Long attributed to Sir Edward Lovett Pearce and dating from c.1730 this building is rightly deemed important for retaining much of its original interior, not least these stairs in red pine. Its features include a richly carved apron below the first-floor gallery and the balusters, those on the return capped with Corinthian columns, the others being fluted in their upper section and with barley-sugar twists in the lower.
One of the past year’s happiest moments has been the discovery of the Cashel Palace staircase’s ‘twin’ in a house in County Westmeath. Although the two buildings have little in common externally (and the latter is usually dated much later), both share this interior feature which in design and execution alike are essentially identical, the Westmeath apron being slightly more elaborate. More research needs to be undertaken on the subject: something to look forward to in 2017…


9 comments on “The Missing Twin

  1. Swav says:

    Painted stairs – gives a feeling of much lighter space and freshness..

  2. Valerie Pakenham says:

    Fascinating – is this from Newpass!?

    And I LOVED your gothick fantasy house in Monday’s post. Maybe not too late to add a few extra bits here!

    Saw Natasha (Fraser) in London who had fond memories of our expedition to Moylagh in August – and sent you lots of love.

  3. The carving is amazing enough, but all those spindles turned so perfectly by hand? What craftsmanship! Just beautiful!

  4. Very fine staircases, wonderful craftsmanship.

  5. Finola says:

    A fruitful visit – so glad.

  6. Charles says:

    Wonder if this is the same workmanship as Isaac Wills or his workshop- date wise I think they fit. Am I right in seeing similar at the Acton’s house in Wicklow?

    • Thank you for getting in touch: you raise interesting points, and I need to undertake some further investigation before answering. As for Kilmacurragh (Acton house in Wicklow), I thought it of earlier date, but again must refresh my memory in the weeks ahead…

  7. the Elegant Economist says:

    The profile in the last photo is strongly reminiscent of a classical harp…

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