All That’s Left


A temple in what was once part of the demesne at Santry Court, County Dublin. The main house here was built c.1703 for Henry, third Lord Barry of Santry, scion of the ancient Cork family, who laid out classical gardens around the building. The latter, of red brick with stone facings and with an entrance approached via a long flight of steps, was extended by the addition of wings on either side probably undertaken by the fourth and last Lord Barry of Santry. He is better remembered today for killing a manservant, Laughlin Murphy, while drunk in September 1738. Subsequently tried by his peers and found guilty of murder, he escaped execution thanks to a royal pardon granted in 1740 and moved to England where he died eleven years later. Having no direct male heirs (although his unfortunate widow lived on until 1816), his Santry estate passed to cousins, the Domvilles who remained in possession of the property until the last century. It subsequently came into ownership of the Irish state but suffered from neglect and was gutted by fire in 1947, the ruins regrettably being demolished in the late 1950s: a short film on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw7Nb9tKcFI) shows a family visiting the shell of the house. While the greater part of the demesne is now covered in housing, a little over 70 acres of the old demesne still survives as a public park.

6 comments on “All That’s Left

  1. DAVID J GRIFFIN says:

    Dear Robert,
    I am afraid that this is not the original temple at Santry Court, the original temple is now at Luggala County Wicklow! by the lake. While little now remains at Santry a full size replica of the Phoenix column in the Phoenix Park can still be seen.

  2. Marti B. Sullivan says:

    Don’t kill the help.

  3. Larry Byrne says:

    I remember wandering into the demesne back in the 1980s. It was in a dreadful state of neglect and didn’t feel safe. However, there were signs of its former grandeur with beautiful trees, an elegant bridge and a lovely gareway into the former walled gardens. At the Santry village entrance there were interesting coade stone plaques at the back of the curved walls to the gateway and a destroyed gate lodge. The beauty and desolation was upsetting to see and I never made a return visit, might reconsider that decision. Regards

  4. DAVID J GRIFFIN says:

    The original temple began life at Templeogue House County Dublin and was recorded there in a watercolour view by Gabriel Berange. It was later moved to Santry Court where it was recorded in a photograph published in the Georgian Society Records. More recently it found a home at Luggala County Wicklow where it remains.
    The demolition of the ruins of this house was a great loss and reminds one of the destruction of St. Anne’s Clontarf, and its magnificent landscaped park designed by William Sheppard doted by folly’s as at Santry.
    On a happier note the magnificent front doorcase was saved by the office of Public Works.
    Thanks are due to Robert for drawing attention to this once great but largely forgotten house and park! one of County Dublin’s most important houses.
    David Griffin.

  5. Ted says:

    Interesting, and prompts a conumdrum you might explore… in the grounds of Leopardstown Park (hospital) there was a wonderful, large ornamental pond with extensive fine stonework. It lay within the space between Leopardstown Park House and Glencairn, the British ambassador’s residence. Through this space was driven the M50 extension. Whatever became of all that wonderful stonework? Who knows…

    ps…there are remnants of other interesting features in the grounds of Leopardstown Park (particularly horticultural features) but they have been largely ignored or destroyed by the IDA, the EHB/HSE and other interests.

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