In April 1904 Cecil and Maude Baring bought Lambay Island, off the coast of north Dublin, for £5,250. The couple had met a few years earlier in New York where he had gone to work for the family bank and she was married to one of his partners: having eloped together and following her divorce, they married. But given public attitudes at the time, it is understandable the Barings should have remained somewhat aloof from society and relished their life on Lambay where they commissioned Edwin Lutyens to restore and extend an old castle. Together with their three children, they lived a paradisal existence until almost exactly 18 years after buying the island, Maude died of cancer in April 1922. She was buried on Lambay, Lutyens designing a large curved mausoleum inside the rampart walls. The memorial is both austere and yet highly personal, and at the centre of its front her grieving husband placed the plaque shown below.
I shall be writing more about Lambay Island in a few weeks’ time.