A Significant Birthday

Dromoland, County Clare 

This week, the Irish Aesthete turns ten. This site made its debut in September 2012, when blogs were still a forceful presence on social media, Instagram was just an infant, Twitter had not yet turned into an outlet for public rage, Facebook remained popular among teenagers, YouTube had not yet become the place to turn for recipes and exercise tips, and Tiktok was still five years away. (And by the way, the Irish Aesthete can be found on all those sites. Except Tiktok: nobody deserves having to watch a middle-aged man attempting to dance to rap music…)

Trimblestown Castle, County Meath

Wardtown, County Donegal

Dromore, County Limerick

Kilwaughter Castle, County Antrim

What was intended when the Irish Aesthete made its debut a decade ago? It’s hard to remember, but probably much the same as is intended today. A means to share a passionate interest in Ireland’s architectural heritage. An aspiration that this interest might, in turn, encourage greater understanding and appreciation of that heritage. A desire to reach an audience beyond these shores. An awareness of the opportunity that social media offers to make contact with that audience (an opportunity often insufficiently, and inexplicably, under-utilised by others working in the same field). 

Doneraile Court, County Cork

RIAM, Westland Row, Dublin 

Castletown, County Kildare 

Hilton Park, County Monaghan

And what, after ten years, has been the outcome? It’s impossible to judge what difference, if any, the presence of the Irish Aesthete has made to anyone else. But, in a rare instance of the first-person singular being employed here, to me it has proven a wonderful calling card, providing the means to connect with like-minded people all over the world. Thanks to this site, I have been privileged to come into contact, sometimes in person, sometimes via other diverse forms of communication, with many of you, a piece of good fortune which might not otherwise have been possible. In fact, although I didn’t realise it at the time, starting the Irish Aesthete was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done (although if I were really smart, I would have started it much sooner). From the very beginning, the Irish Aesthete has been a labour of love, although this site would likely not still be active were that love not reciprocated by its readers. Nevertheless, producing copy three times a week takes up considerable quantities of time, so I hope everyone will understand if that output is henceforth reduced to twice weekly. From now on, there will be new entries every Monday and Friday (with @theirishaesthete on Instagram continuing to appear thrice weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). There’s lots more to come and many more places to explore and share with you. So please stay with the Irish Aesthete and spread the word among anyone else you think might be interested. And let me finish by thanking all friends and followers for their support, their loyalty, their abiding interest over the past decade. Be assured that this has been, and continues to be, very much appreciated.

Ballinderry Park, County Galway


30 comments on “A Significant Birthday

  1. William Hanbury-Tenison says:

    Life would be very dull without the Irish Aesthete. Wishing you many more years of pleasurable and productive output

  2. John Egan says:

    Congratulations. You’re doing a great service to all interested in the heritage of the island we now or once called home.

  3. Scott says:

    Congratulations. I’m in Australia and your posts are a highlight of every week. Thanks for the education.

  4. Vincent Delany says:

    We the readers thank you for your efforts over ten years. What we would love to know what are your favorite reference documents in your library.

  5. Cate Morgan says:

    Thank you so much for all you have done in the past ten years. I came across your posts about four years ago (I live in West Wales) and have been totally captivated by them ever since. Marvellous, fascinating, erudite work; long may you continue your labour of love.

  6. David Parks says:

    Congratulations on reaching this landmark. I always look forward to reading your latest posts – bring on the next ten years!

  7. David Murray says:

    Well done over the last decade. I always look forward to your next instalment. Keep up the great work and thank you.

  8. Michael Thompson says:

    We have been and remain hugely in your debt. Thank you.

  9. Geralyn White says:

    Congratulations Robert . You have indeed given us an invaluable archive . How about a hard copy resembling Hall’s Tour of 1840s , or Atlas of the Irish Landscape Maybe a partnership with academic institution? Some of us get lost in the Cloud and your archive over the last ten years and ongoing is an a quarry resource and a wonderful repository of a snap shot of an ever changing Ireland , even as you have outlined yourself in terms of social media.

    Well done

  10. Michael O'Dea says:

    Congratulations and thank you, thank you. The first thing I read on the days it appears, and I’m never disappointed. By now, the Irish Aesthete has become an ever-growing encyclopedia of Irish architecture.

  11. mem says:

    I enjoy your posts enormously all the way from Australia where you have helped me to understand my Irish heritage of which I knew very little until 7 years ago . Thank you for your work and the regularity of your very interesting posts

  12. Patrick says:

    The Irish aesthete , a diamond in the soil of the internet.

  13. Nice work. Thanks for sharing your keen observations.

  14. I am constantly amazed by the effort and research in each and every posting. Clearly, a labour of love but also an invaluable record of the island’s amazing heritage, both saved and endangered. I also believe that you are a leading light among those who are changing negative attitudes that were unfortunately encouraged by various governments both local and national. Thank you so much!

  15. Kieron Murphy says:

    ❤️ The Irish Aesthete posts! Keep it up.

  16. jenjunebug says:

    I was so afraid when I read your post that you were going to tell us you were not going to post anymore and my heart sank! Thank goodness you are continuing – it’s a joy to learn all that you share with us. You inspired me to write mine. And I’m sure you could do a great routine on tik tok! In fact, I was thinking that we all need to get into ballroom dancing – would be great in the octagonal room of the Georgian Society!

  17. Your superb blog is a constant pleasure and your choice of ties is good as well.Thank you.

  18. Love your posts, Robert. Appreciate your scholarship, discipline and sense of humor!

  19. Kelly Shoppell says:

    The times I spend reading and looking at your site have been so enjoyable and relaxing. Thank you so much for enriching my life.

  20. David H Davison says:

    Congratulations on a wonderful ten years’ output. I don’t know how you do it.
    Looking orward to much more.

  21. Robert, as a mere observer with an interest in all things historic. As well as being a 30 years member of An Taisce, I truly wonder at the quality and quantity of your output. The next ten years I hope will see an awakening by governments, of whatever shade to what we are consistantly losing as each damaging year passes. We really need an Irish version of the UKs National Trust. Yes we have An Taisce and the established Heritage Trust or whatever they are called. But a public membership organisation with teeth and real funding? Not just the crumbs at the end of the budget!

  22. Anna Sage says:

    Happy birthday absolutely love your posts

  23. Sheila Robinson says:

    Love the Irish Aesthete posts. Congratulations and Happy Birthday 🌸

  24. Your site is one of the treats that I look forward to and enjoy on a regular basis – always learning more as I do. Profound thanks. Sharon Oddie Brown

  25. Marion Gay says:

    Congratulations Robert!
    I look forward to every post and yes the connection to others who share your passion for Irish Architecture has been phenomenal. Thank you. So very grateful for your commitment to sharing your specialist knowledge with us all.

  26. Martin Morgan says:

    Congratulations Robert! Well, you’ve made a difference to me, as your post is one of the things I look forward to seeing in my email. Bittersweet though I must admit, seeing so many beautiful buildings left to rot, whilst shoddy apartments go up all over these shoddy shores… keep well and prosper!

  27. Paul Rea says:

    Congratulations on the significant anniversary. Thank you for all your detailed research and dedication. I have learned a huge amount about our architectural heritage from you over the last 10 years and have amassed a significant collection of books on the subject (including all of yours!) that I love reading in my spare time as a result of referring to this website. Best wishes for the next 10 years.

  28. Emma Richey says:

    Thank you Robert for this most interesting and informative Blog and congratulations on the IA’s tenth anniversary. Best wishes

  29. Gillian says:

    Many congratulations on this happy anniversary, Robert. The Irish Aesthete is gem, beautifully written and always so informative. Thank you for sharing this with the world. Onwards to the next ten wonderful years!

  30. Stephen Barker says:

    Somewhat late to the party, but congratulations on your blog. I have learnt a lot both in history both of the owners, locality and Irish history in general and that’s before looking at the buildings.
    The level of research is most impressive. Please keep up the good work. Wishing all the best for the future.

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