An Easy Charm

A couple of chimney pieces in Renvyle House, County Galway. For centuries this property belonged to the Blake family but in 1917 it was sold to the surgeon and writer Oliver St John Gogarty. However, because he served as a Free State senator, not only was Gogarty kidnapped by anti-Treaty supporters in January 1923 but the following month Renvyle House was burnt down. Five years later, it was rebuilt to the designs of Dublin architect Ralph Henry Byrne who enjoyed a hugely successful practice, not least thanks to many commissions from the Roman Catholic church. His work at Renvyle House is in what would have been, by that date, a somewhat anachronistic Arts and Crafts but in its use of natural materials and simple forms the interior displays considerable charm. Even before being rebuilt, Renvyle House had for many decades operated as an hotel, and continues to do so today. 

3 comments on “An Easy Charm

  1. iskeraulin says:

    Hi Robert. Gogary is not buried far from Renvayle and I think his grandson wrote a book on his life lately.

    If you had access to the Documentary done on his life called offering of swans , id love to watch it again.

    Anyhow Percy French put it best

    Celestial Painting Sunset at Renvyle
    by William Percy French
    When painters leave this world, we grieve
    For the hand that will work no more,
    But who can say that they rest alway
    On that still celestial shore?
    No! No! they choose from the rainbow hues,
    And winging from Paradise,
    They come to paint, now bold now faint,
    The tones of our sunset skies.
    When I see them there I can almost swear
    That grey is from Whistler’s brai

  2. Deborah T. Sena says:

    A wonderful example that architectural revivals can be lovely, even in their own right.

    Just a question, one unusual architectural exterior finish I remember seeing on your website is slate used as siding. I remember reading one posting, are there others? Is this found more likely in a particular area or time period?

  3. iskeraulin says:

    if you google St Clement’s Church Cloughbawn | the side is all slated

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