An Italian Hour


Looking positively Italianate in the early autumn sunshine, the west end of the garden front at Abbeyleix, County Laois. A series of terraces descend to a final series of circular stone steps, an architectural device highly reminiscent of similar work designed in 1906 by Edwin Lutyens for Heywood barely five miles away: might he have had a hand in this too? A sunken area immediately below contains what was once a swimming pool but more recently has been converted into a lily pond, at one end containing a bronze statue of a nude on horseback made by  Irish sculptor Olivia Musgrave.

6 comments on “An Italian Hour

  1. Olivia’s sculpture is well-suited to an outdoor setting, perhaps it’s the green patina.

  2. Susan Burke says:

    Wonderful!! Got my plane reservations for Wexford. Xxs, S/Velcro

    Sent from my iPhone

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  3. Hibernophile says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how the circular design of the steps is developed further in the overlapping circles of the railings. The whole scheme shows great design discipline: a work of industry that becomes a work of art (o si sic omnes). Of course, I would expect nothing less from Sir David’s expert eye.

  4. James Paul McDonnell says:

    Aesthetic Greetings! I visited Kilkenny Castle yesterday. It is now functioning as an up-market hotel/wedding venue. The new owners have invested a lot of money in upgrading the facilities. While I was there, I had some time to spare. Between the back of the Castle & the (golf) clubhouse, there stands an ancient graveyard with a ruined church & priest’s house(?). Within the graveyard stands the Fitzgerald burial enclosure, the most recent interment being that of Lord John Fitzgerald (1952-2015). All of their memorials are executed in a very fine Arts & Crafts style, as are those of the Travers Family. There are many interesting stone carvings lying about. JPMcDonnell

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  5. James Canning says:

    A stunning setting for Olivia’s sculpture. Wow!

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