Marlfield


A pair of coach houses in the stableyard of Marlfield, County Tipperary. Dating from the last decades of the 18th century, the house was occupied by successive generation sof the Bagwell family until burnt by anti-Treaty forces in January 1923. One of the country’s finest libraries in private hands was lost in the fire, along with a valuable collection of Old Master paintings. Three weeks later, John Philip Bagwell, who was a Senator in the Free State Dail as well as General Manager of the Great Northern Railways, was kidnapped by the same group that had burnt his home, and held hostage in the Dublin Mountains. After some days he managed (or was allowed) to escape following the threat of reprisals from the government. Marlfield was subsequently rebuilt in a simplified form but the Bagwells eventually sold the estate and more recently the house has been subject to further alterations. It is now for sale.

Wide is the Gate

IMG_0779

One of a pair of sandstone ornamental niches terminating the main entrance into Marlfield House, County Tipperary. Each niche is linked to a gate lodge by a sweeping quadrant, the whole making a dramatic impression on arrival. Dating from c.1830 Marlfield’s entrance was designed by local architect William Tinsley (1804-85) who subsequently moved to the United States where he received a number of important commissions, including the design of Bascom Hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Every bungalow in Ireland is now accessed via a set of preposterously super-sized gates but in this case the scale was justified by what lay beyond. Dating from the 1780s and former residence of the Bagwell family, Marlfield was deliberately burnt down by anti-Treaty forces in 1923 with the loss of all contents including a priceless library. The main block was subsequently rebuilt and has since been converted into apartments for rent.

IMG_0782