A Good Showish Figure



The pretty Doric gatelodge which stands at the entrance to what was formerly the Bishop’s Palace in Clogher, County Tyrone. Mrs Delany, who was close friends of the then-Bishop Robert Clayton and his wife, paid a visit to the place in August 1748 when she wrote ‘this house is large and makes a good showish figure; but there is a great loss of room by ill-contrivance within doors.’ Perhaps that is why it was replaced by the building seen today, erected on the site. This was commissioned in the early 19th century by Bishop Lord John George Beresford (although the wings may be survivors of the earlier palace) and designed by Dublin architect David Henry. The facade is of seven bays and three storeys over basement, with a three-bay pediment and a large Doric porch on the ground floor. The land immediately behind the house drops away steeply to give views of what remains of the 18th century landscaped park, which can be seen from a high arcaded terrace (alas, not accessible on a recent visit). Clogher is a tiny village, dominated by the former palace and the small cathedral which sits to its immediate west. Inevitably, in the aftermath of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, the house was sold to a private owner and then, in 1922, bought by the Roman Catholic Church and turned into a convent. Today it is a residential care home.


One comment on “A Good Showish Figure

  1. Emma Richey says:

    I had no idea there was a Bishop’s Palace there, so thank you Robert. I have ancestors buried in the grounds of Clogher Cathedral and it is on my list of places to visit. Unfortunately Covid has put paid to that for the time being.

Leave a Reply to Emma Richey Cancel reply