Six of the Best

Milltown Park, County Offaly

Lambay, County Dublin

Castletown, County Kildare

Dublin Castle

Moore Hall, County Mayo

Mount Shannon, County Limerick

Six years ago on September 24th 2012, the Irish Aesthete made its debut. What was the intent behind this initiative? Impossible to recall, although then as now a primary motivation was encouraging greater and more widespread engagement with Ireland’s architectural heritage, much of which remains at risk from either neglect or misuse. Over the past six years, some aspects of the site have changed, others remained the same. Very soon, the format of a thrice-weekly posting was established, with longer features each Monday and shorter ones every Wednesday and Saturday. The quality of photographs has certainly improved and, one hopes, will continue to do so (not least thanks to improvements in the calibre of mobile phone cameras). There has been a consistent effort to represent the entire island of Ireland, and to show the good, the bad and – with regrettable frequency – the ugly. What hasn’t altered throughout this period has been the attention of friends and followers, which is enormously appreciated: without regular support and feedback, it is unlikely the Irish Aesthete would have continued for so long. Therefore thank you to everyone who has shown interest in this site: you make it worthwhile. Happily today the Irish Aesthete is read across the world and has led to other opportunities for writing and speaking engagements, thereby helping to spread the gospel of our architectural history. A further outcome is that early next year the first book of Irish Aesthete photographs will be published, about which more in due course. Meanwhile, to mark today’s anniversary, here are six personal favourites taken over the years. You may have made other choices from the site: please feel free to share your own suggestions. Of the six shown above, two are properties in private hands, two are in public ownership, and two are ruins. All however are important elements in our common cultural heritage.

31 comments on “Six of the Best

  1. David O’Grady says:

    Happy Birthday and thank you x

  2. Paula Lambert says:

    Happy Anniversary to you, dearest Robert!!


    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Michael says:

    Great achievement. Thank you and congratulations

  4. Peter says:

    This is a fabulous initiative and the quality of each installment is superb. Congratulations on your anniversary!

  5. upsew says:

    Congratulations and looking forward to all your future posts

  6. Robert Towers says:

    Dear Robert,

    Congratulations indeed on the anniversary. Ad multos annos.


  7. Keep up the great work – a really enjoyable site. Poor old Mountshannon, I purchased much of the cut limestone stable yard back in the early 1990’s – better built than the big house?

  8. Dear Robert. Congratulations on raising the standard of debate on conservation and architectural heritage. Your wonderful blog is a much looked forward to feature that helps to banish Monday morning blues !

  9. Gillian Duffy says:

    I always look forward to receiving your newsletter, and while I am not a regular commentator I wish to add my voice to those who have thanked you for this wonderful resource.
    Many congratulations on the anniversary of the Irish Aesthete, and abundant good wishes for your continung championing of our built heritage.

  10. Maureen says:

    Congratulations on your 6th anniversary! Continue your posts as I have enjoyed reading about Ireland’s castles and ruins! Can’t wait for your book. It is important to preserve the history of these sites.

  11. David Britton says:

    Thank you Robert for your excellent articles and photographs over the last six years !

  12. john o'neal says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary, and deep appreciation for the work you do.

  13. Gareth McMahon says:

    Well done and look forward to the book.

  14. David Zeile says:

    Dear Robert,
    I have been reading this blog for close to six years and appreciate the time and effort you have spent educating the public about this important topic. I have enjoyed seeing your presentations in the Boston area and hope to see you return to New England in the near future.

  15. brianlynch731 says:

    Congratulations on wonderful and historically important work.

  16. Scott Moncrieff says:

    My thanks for your work, you have educated me, at the other side of the world, about an area of study of which I knew little. Scott

  17. Vincent Coleman says:

    Well done Robert, this blog is so important…keep on pushing. People are all changing ther attitudes, slowly, but they are in Mayo anyway..

  18. John Stewart says:

    I look forward to the book. My own nomination would be your penultimate Kilruddery garden photograph, posted 31 Oct 2016.

  19. Jim Daly says:

    Reading your article in Yerevan, Armenia. I look forward to every posting. Keep up the good work.

  20. Nigel says:

    Congratulations and thank you. Your efforts, and posts, are much appreciated.

  21. James Canning says:

    Bravo! Immensely valuable site.

  22. Well done Robert. Please keep up this great work. Living in Co Galway I am very conscious of what is being lost and the lack of much effort to even conserve what is left. Please keep up the pressure! Tyrone House is my favorite example of neglect.

  23. Hibernophile says:


    Relatively speaking, six years is a very considerable time in blogging terms, yet your writing has remained both perceptive and creative, and you are able to radiate you thoughts with profound authority and eloquence.

    ‘The Irish Aesthete’ has done tremendous work in raising awareness of the abundant heritage this Isle has to offer, and has inspired many personal expeditions to places of which I was ignorantly unaware. Had The Irish Aesthete been publishing such information half a century ago, perhaps the cumulative loss of our built heritage would not have been so great?

    We all owe you a profound debt of gratitude for persevering in your commitment to Ireland, and producing such detailed accounts so handsomely illustrated, without any obvious sign of patronage.

    Bene factum!

    Yours &c,


  24. Diarmuid O'Hegarty says:

    Happy Anniversary. I am another of your silent admirers. Please take this as feedback for my many and regular visits to the Irish Aesthete.
    Best wishes

  25. Thanks to everyone for recent kind comments: all very much appreciated…

  26. Robert McCarthy says:

    Best blog around! Thank you. Will your book of photographs be published before Christmas?

  27. Emma Williams says:

    Congratulations, and look forward to seeing the book. This is such a great blog.

  28. Peter Davidson says:

    Many thanks, Robert and continuing congratulations.

  29. Tom Crane says:

    Many thanks for the wonderful stories. Each picture, each visit tells a story.

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