A Burst of Baroque

After Monday’s post about the remains of the once-splendid Barry residence in Castlelyons, County Cork, readers might be interested to see this: a mausoleum erected not far away in the graveyard of Kill St Anne Church. Dating from c.1753, it commemorates James Barry, fourth Earl of Barrymore who had died five years earlier. Born in 1667, the earl had enjoyed a distinguished military career, supporting William of Orange and then participating in the War of the Spanish Succession during which he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General. However, late in life, he became a supporter of the Jacobite cause and in 1744 was arrested and imprisoned; following the failure of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s attempted rebellion the following year, the elderly earl was released. He died in January 1748.
His mausoleum in the old village graveyard is constructed of rubble limestone, the eastern facade having an advanced and pedimented centre of red brick, the Serlian opening surrounded by red marble-limestone, its wrought-iron gates topped with an earl’s coronet. To the rear of the groin-vaulted interior is the deceased’s monument composed of different coloured marbles. Completed in 1753, it was the work of David Sheehan and John Houghton, the latter responsible for the angels and presumably the half-length figure of the earl inside a central medallion. Wonderfully unexpected, it is a little bit of Roman baroque in the middle of the Irish countryside.

10 comments on “A Burst of Baroque

  1. Claiton says:

    I would love to visit

  2. These mausoleums are fascinating. They are small works of art in their own right, while also representing so much history.

  3. jbc625@msn.com says:


  4. Brian Walsh says:

    Fascinating, never kew it was there , must make an effort to visit, it should be a protected monument.

  5. Tim Guilbride says:

    So like the Lutyens garden at Heywood, using classical dressed stone with vernacular stonework.

  6. kevin holbrook says:

    Is the mausoleum open to the public?

  7. soanian says:

    Does Ireland have the equivalent to the Monuments and Mausolea Society that exists in the UK. ?

Leave a Reply