A Country Retreat

Today known as Mount St Anne’s, this handsome villa was originally called Mount Henry, presumably after Henry Smyth who in the first decade of the 19th century commissioned the building’s design from Sir Richard Morrison: the central recessed entrance with pedimented Ionic portico between bowed bays can also be seen, albeit on a larger scale, on the facade of Lyons, County Kildare, for which Morrison was also responsible. It is unclear whether the now-exposed stone walls were once stuccoed. A wing containing a billiard room was added in 1868 by Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon but otherwise few changes were made to the house even after it was acquired by the Presentation order of nuns in the 1930s but some thirty years later, when the Roman Catholic church was going through an expansionist phase, an oratory and other ancillary buildings, none of them of particular architectural merit (or displaying much sympathy with Morrison’s work) were constructed to the rear of the villa. Today Mount St Anne’s is used as a retreat and conference centre.

3 comments on “A Country Retreat

  1. Deborah T. Sena says:

    Nice pictures as always, too bad that awful lettering has to be on the pavement in front of the entrance.

    I went to the conference center website and the gallery as some nice interior pictures of the main reception rooms, nicely- but simply- maintained. More of a surprise were the pictures of the walled garden. Not extravagant plantings by any means, but a lovely space. I agree about the additions, utilitarian at best. I guess they fit the bill for having a retreat in the spartan mode.

    • Deborah what does that sign signify Set down here,seems a little out of place there,
      by the way i have a friend here in Canada he got a web site its a non – profit Ancestralhomes.net you can log in its great,i did some people had slaves in their family i found out i had convicts in mine.

      • Deborah T. Sena says:

        On our side of the pond we would say, No parking- Drop-Off only. In other words, it is temporary parking to unload passengers and luggage. I guess a row of parked cards blocking the entrance would be just as bad!

        Thanks for the genealogy website link. I did my research before my trip to Ireland several years ago. My Irish grandmother on her NYC church marriage record stated she was born/baptized in Newcastle, Westmeath (the one north of Tullynally- see the Irish Aesthete posting on it). The family moved to Streamstown or near it, just south of Castlepollard on the loch where most of her siblings were born.

        Sadly, all my grandmother’s siblings emigrated or died childless in Ireland and since it is hard to go much further back than her parents church marriage record, I couldn’t find any living relatives there (although 2 brothers are not confirmed emigrants, just implied -not in any census/emigration or civil registration documents). But you do make me wonder, I never checked or knew how to track emigration to Canada since most siblings came to NYC.

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