Nine for Nine

2012 Rush Hill, County Roscommon

2013 Beaulieu, County Louth

2014 New Hall, County Clare

This week, rather to one’s own surprise, the Irish Aesthete celebrates a ninth birthday, the first, somewhat tentative, post having been made in late September 2012. Anybody who has embarked on such a venture, will testify to a want of certainty about how long it will last, and indeed many such enterprises fall by the wayside after a few months. When this site made its debut, blogs were highly popular whereas now they are less frequently encountered, not least because there are now many more alternative online options. Instagram, for example, had already existed for two years, but had yet to reach anything like the audience it now enjoys (incidentally, the Irish Aesthete can also be found on Instagram, see @theirishaesthete). But as a rule those alternatives are only good for quick soundbites, and do not allow for substantial communication or investigation. And that is why this site continues to appear thrice-weekly: because often something more than a picture and a couple of explanatory lines of text is required. 

2015 Ballynagall, County Westmeath

2016 Lackeen Castle, County Tipperary

2017 Aldborough House, Dublin

A year or so after the Irish Aesthete first appeared, regular enquiries were made about whether there might be enough material to sustain it for much longer. Well, it appears that there has been – and still is – more than enough. Even during the past 18 months when the country was intermittently in lockdown, enough could be found to ensure not a post was missed. Of course, maintaining a site such as this can sometimes be a chore, but the task has always been fascinating, not least because over nine years many places that might otherwise have remained unvisited have instead been explored, investigated, studied, sometimes celebrated, ofttimes  mourned. And this period of time and the visits undertaken therein have always been enjoyed in the company – metaphorical if not literal – of the friends and followers who have been so good as to stay loyal to the Irish Aesthete. To all of you, many thanks and here’s to 2022 when we will be able to mark a tenth anniversary together. Meanwhile, stay safe everyone. 

2018 Castletown, County Kildare

2019 Doneraile Court, County Cork

2020 Dunmain, County Wexford

33 comments on “Nine for Nine

  1. bannmorrow says:


  2. Gerhard Scully says:

    Congratulations on your ninth birthday. Your posts are always fascinating and have introduced me to some unknown, to me, houses. Here’s to many more years of the excitement of opening my mail in the morning and finding yet another post from you.

  3. Finola says:

    There area few of us hanging in there – we started Roaringwater Journal in Oct 2012! Your blog is consistently excellent and a source of inspiration for us. Finola and Robert

  4. Happy birthday Robert – and many thanks for your stamina. Here’s to a tenth birthday celebration where we can see a Department of Heritage that actually cares for all our historic structures. That by setting up and funding a section that has responsibility to record, under different sections, the premises you so regularly feature, to then search for willing clients to help refurbish and live in those suitable houses?

  5. Patrick says:

    Thank you Robert for continuing to give such joy .

  6. Peter says:

    Congratulations! Brilliant resource and consistently excellent, fascinating and lively content. Keep it up!

  7. upsew says:

    Congratulations….I still prefer blogs over Instagram especially when the content is so well written as yours. Many thanks for your recommendation on the viccereines exhibition in Dublin Castle. I thoroughly enjoyed it and got the added bonus of touring the castle and seeing ‘paintings of stucco work?’ in an end which were very impressive

  8. raymond blair says:

    Thanks for your ongoing contribution to Irish heritage, always thoughtfully and sometimes poignantly presented. A suggestion for a much lesser known big house that you might like to feature sometime, Woodlands House, Killygordon (on the back road between killygordon/crossroads and stranorlar/Ballybofey. Unfortunately little now remains although there is clear evidence of walled enclosure and the the big house itself which is totally overgrown with trees and vegetation. I paid a visit to it once a few years ago but didn’t have a camera with me. It was the home in the mid to late 19th century of the Johnston family, and there was a James Johnston who was a leading figure in the locality, owner of Glenveagh estate prior its acquisition by John George Adair of eviction notoriety. A A Atkinson gives a brief description of the demesne in his travel narrative of the 1820s/30s. James Johnston gave extensive evidence to the Devon Commission. Maybe you will get a chance to feature this sometime if you can get to faraway Donegal!

  9. Joseph Woods says:

    Congratulations Robert and many more years, adventures and discoveries to come. I signed up for the Irish Aesthete while living abroad these past nine years and the blogs were a unique way of keeping in touch with aspects of an Ireland that I love and lament. Now that I’ve recently returned they still have the power to fascinate and intrigue … keep it going, joe

  10. jenjunebug says:

    Congratulations! I’m looking forward to your television show – well done!

  11. Thank you for the pleasure and information you give.

  12. Bob F says:

    Thank you Robert for the great work and the many of pleasure your blog has provided. It is no surprise that it has survived. The posts are deeply researched, well-written,and highly informative without being pedantic.

  13. Martin Clarke says:

    Absolutely brilliant, please keep going for a long time!

  14. an9rew says:

    Really enjoy these. Many thanks for your endeavours, always interesting

  15. Kathleen Marie Dossett says:

    Happy ninth birthday! Please know this reader from Tulsa,OK USA has enjoyed your blog immensely. Here’s to many more years!

  16. Mairead Byrne says:

    Congratulations Robert, many thanks for your wonderful work. Always interesting and so well informed.Bravo👏👏

  17. Michael Thomas says:

    Congratulations! Keep them coming and fortunately they are not always somewhat sad,inevitably. Happy endings such as Doneraile and the amazing couple at Cangort Park,to name but two

  18. barbaracorr says:

    Congratulations on the ninth birthday Robert and thank you so much for the pleasure your tantalising glimpses give- and the stories behind them which you tell so well.

  19. Maureen says:

    Congratulations on the ninth anniversary! I so enjoy reading about my Irish heritage! Keep going!

  20. Elizabeth Printy says:

    Congratulations, sir! I look forward to each post and the exceptional way in which you present the fascinating heritage of Ireland.

  21. Andrew McCarthy says:

    Congratulations! It is sad to think how many blogs have gone by the wayside in an age of social-media soundbites. The survival of yours and the always interesting writing here is a cause for celebration. Here’s hoping there are many more years of it in store!

  22. says:

    Wonderful site. Bravo, Robert.

  23. Emma Richey says:

    Congratulations on your 9th Birthday. Your site brings such joy – so interesting and a wonderful way to transport oneself to the amazing and varied places you visit. Thank you.

  24. Sheila says:

    Happy Birthday 🥳

  25. Frank Keohane says:

    Bravo Robert, your content is as fresh and uplifting as ever. Long may this wonderful blog continue to flourish. Best wishes, Frank.

  26. Lawrence Byrne says:

    Happy birthday and I have to add that I really enjoy your blog.

  27. Deborah T. Sena says:

    I want to leave my accolades of your success to emphasize how I appreciate your focus on ALL of Ireland, including areas like the Midlands that are often overlooked. Just curious, any status update on the sites chosen above- particularly those in jeopardy such as Ballynagall or New Hall?

  28. Well, it is simply amazing that there are quite so many redundant/empty/ruined buildings in Ireland. But thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing them (and their stories) to my/our attention. You also now have a YouTube channel which is just perfect. A 10 to 15 minute investigation into a property, in maybe a series of talks, is just right. You are very much appreciated. Happy ninth birthday! Well done. Barbara

  29. PS I’m very disappointed that I won’t get to see your Irish Gardens in Art upcoming exhibition … unless it is extended by quite a few months.

  30. Ann T. says:

    Thank you for this wonderful site–the pleasure it has given me is immeasurable. It takes me back to the Ireland I love and miss.

  31. Irene Wynne says:

    Well done !! I hope that RTE will have you do a series on the Great Irish Houses.

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