Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby irishguy » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:17 pm

Its a real pity that they dont open up state buildings like this to the public and move out civil servants to newer purpose built office space. Then they could then create public spaces/art galleries/museums/cafes and restaurants. This would be a great amenity for locals and tourists, the revenue generated by this could cover the relocation of the civil servants.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby millennium » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:15 pm

Michael Angelo Hayes painting 1844
(see also Michael Angelo Hayes painting of Sackville St. in the National Gallery)
We know who was in charge then!
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:33 pm

Just tweaked slightly :)

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Yes this painting shows St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the Upper Yard, hence the green garb. Even the Viceregal Court used the opportunity for a knees-up.

irishguy, the State Apartments are open to all and sundry for about 360 days a year, as is the newly reopened Chapel Royal, the gardens and the Chester Beatty Library.

Here's another little known work by Hayes, Leaving for the Hunt, showing the outside of the south gate to the Castle from Palace Street. Nice pilastered shopfront on the corner with Dame Lane on the left. How nice it would be to have a wall-mounted lantern there again too.

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The buildings we see inside the gate are the long-demolished complex of 19th century stables as swept away to make way for the Stamping Branch of the Revenue Commissioners in the 1970s - below shows the building under construction. Poor Frank DuBerry agonised over the design of this building and his sensitive plans for the State Apartments over the course of the 1950s. Sadly, he never quite recovered from the whole ordeal.

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Here are the stable buildings in 1921. They are of the same stock as Jacob Owen's surviving ancillary buildings further south beside the gardens. Indeed, like 'that would be an ecumenical matter', if ever there is doubt as to the origins of a Dublin Castle building, just say 'oh Jacob Owen'. It neatly covers most scenarios.

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The 1830s Coach House when it was a coach house. Note the tennis court on the lawn - marvellous dahling!

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Following on from Devin's earlier image, another shot of Douglas Hyde's inauguration in 1938 - what was also Dublin Castle's inaugural post-independence hosting of State ceremonial. The place literally falling down around their ears by this stage.

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The same inauguration ceremony in St. Patrick's Hall, with electrified royal gasoliers still in place, a forest of Victorian hangover ferns, and a very nice if completely inappropriate 18th century demi-lune hall table in use as the inauguration desk.

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The Presidential throne is a converted Viceregal throne with crown chopped off - we don't like to talk about that though. The dais is extremely well designed.

Another from 1921 in the Upper Yard during the handover of the reigns.

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I love this shot of Sir Ian MacPhearson (left), then Chief Secretary, and not-so-well-loved Lord Lieutenant Sir John French (right). MacPhearson looks like a mannequin. It was taken c. 1919-20 or so, but I cannot make out where - possibly in one of the State Bedrooms, but more likely the Chief Secretary's own offices across the Upper Yard.

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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:37 pm

Seán T Ó Ceallaigh's inauguration in 1945 with Dev in the background. The fabulous mahogany mid-Georgian table, ever since the staple of Presidential inaugurations, makes its first appearance.

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Finally Erskine's Childers' inauguration in 1973.

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Apologies gunter - you were talking about mansard roofs in the truest sense (okay actual sense). I was talking in general terms about steeply pitched roofs. The Treasury Building as far as I'm aware never had a steep roof or a mansard roof. Again, it is in the modern idiom of the Old Library building being erected at the same time. We must also remember that the Treasury Building stood on its own, detached as an imposing independent structure, until it was annexed to the Cross Block by, ahem, Jacob Owen. Its modern outlook makes more sense in that context.

Although it did form a type of enclosure with buildings designed by Burgh for the other side of the Lower Yard, it did not need to conform as strictly to the format established by Robinson in the Upper Yard. It was also Burgh's opportunity to make an independent statement in a complex where his work was otherwise restricted in scope - one imagines he relished the opportunity to inject some modernity into proceedings with his Treasury.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:43 pm

GrahamH wrote:Seán T Ó Ceallaigh's inauguration in 1945 with Dev in the background. The fabulous mahogany mid-Georgian table, ever since the staple of Presidential inaugurations, makes its first appearance.

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Why is the scary lady glaring at the Chief Justice?
Incidentally am reading an unintentionally hilarious history of 1916 - written in the 1960s - described Sean T as little more than a messenger boy running around the city while the grownups shoot at soldiers....
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:48 pm

All 1940s women did that - it was their permanent facial expression!

One need only look at Seán in fairness...
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Curious » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:46 pm

irishguy wrote:Its a real pity that they dont open up state buildings like this to the public and move out civil servants to newer purpose built office space. Then they could then create public spaces/art galleries/museums/cafes and restaurants. This would be a great amenity for locals and tourists, the revenue generated by this could cover the relocation of the civil servants.


Hi all, somewhat related to this topic I was wondering if anyone knows wether or not the opw allows the buildings under their control to be used for entertainment of a commercail nature? A sport but for profit.

p.s forgive the singal post I only found this site.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby StephenC » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:33 pm

The observant among you may have noticed that all the old planning site notices were recently removed from all the various entrances to the Castle and best of all the main Palace Street gate got a nice fresh coat of paint (its first in about 15 years I imagine). Well done to whoever took the initiative. There is lots more to do and I would hope the OPW speak to DCC regarding making a more fitting public entrance to the Castle from Palace Street.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:00 pm

irishguy wrote:Its a real pity that they dont open up state buildings like this to the public and move out civil servants to newer purpose built office space. Then they could then create public spaces/art galleries/museums/cafes and restaurants. This would be a great amenity for locals and tourists, the revenue generated by this could cover the relocation of the civil servants.


I agree. Given the lack of open public spaces in Dublin, the upper courtyard make a great square. It's actually very reminiscent of Plaza Mayor in Madrid, and could be turned into something similar.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby fergalr » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:44 pm

rumpelstiltskin wrote:I agree. Given the lack of open public spaces in Dublin, the upper courtyard make a great square. It's actually very reminiscent of Plaza Mayor in Madrid, and could be turned into something similar.


If Dublin Castle was somewhere that people travelled through on their way to someplace else, then sure. But it's not. It's rare that the complex provides a shortcut to anywhere. If you could get into the gardens from the back of the Dunnes buildings on Georges St, that'd be well handy to reaching Parliament St and Christchurch and that part of the city.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Rory W » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:57 pm

GrahamH wrote: I love this shot of Sir Ian MacPhearson (left), then Chief Secretary, and not-so-well-loved Lord Lieutenant Sir John French (right). MacPhearson looks like a mannequin. It was taken c. 1919-20 or so, but I cannot make out where - possibly in one of the State Bedrooms, but more likely the Chief Secretary's own offices across the Upper Yard.

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Kraftwerk?
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Devin » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:01 pm

StephenC wrote:The observant among you may have noticed that all the old planning site notices were recently removed from all the various entrances to the Castle and best of all the main Palace Street gate got a nice fresh coat of paint
Good. Please also remove this pole immediately to the left of the entrance. It's been standing there with nothing on it for 3 years at least:

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Time to get the place sorted out guys. Stop doing silly diarmuid gavin gardens at the back (there's another one being put in right at the moment) and start focussing on the urban design - ie. integrating the place with the city, smartening its spaces and reducing the area of tarmac.
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Dublin Castle

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:21 am

1/11/2011

Once again over these coming days, for the most fleeting period, Dublin Castle enters the public eye and becomes the stage set for civic life in Ireland; host to the most illustrious event of State ceremonial - that of the seven-yearly Presidential inauguration.

An event curiously unknown to most Irish people, the typical person on the street more often than not would not be able to say what the event even involves, never mind where it is held, or indeed where it has been held for the past seventy years. A sad indication, if ever there was one, of the lack of civic pride we hold as a nation. But then civic pride is an intimate relation of urban pride, something with which we have a dysfunctional relationship in this country.

Before the theatrics get underway, we need a new President first. As the count was underway on Friday, the Upper Yard was ablaze with light, as the Bedford Tower basked in the elegant new white floodlighting about its base.

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Around the corner, the Record Tower too was bathed in elegant new warm white light that gently skims its calp construction from the roof of Francis Johnston's innovative curved timber corridor.

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It wasn’t until Saturday until we got a definitive result and a small fleet of cars entered the Ship Street Gate close to 4pm.

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A distinctly unpresidential setting of a jumble of outside broadcast vans and the building site accompanying the building of new tearooms in the State Apartments above greeted the President-elect.

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And Enda.

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The man himself, emerging to rapturous applause.

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The Presidential inauguration takes place on an auspicious date: Friday 11/11/11.

As with all of his forebears since the inauguration of the first President, Douglas Hyde, in June 1938, Michael D’s inauguration will take place in St. Patrick’s Hall – the largest room in the State Apartments.

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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:36 am

It is a state room that is laden in symbolism and layered with so many decorative interventions that it is not possible to detail all in the space of one post, never mind remark on each.

What is worth noting, however, is that the glitter of the room often tends to distract from its relatively ancient origins. It is only when one mentally strips away the modern decorative scheme, the functional interventions and even the late Georgian decoration itself, that the magic of St. Patrick’s Hall as host to a major event of state truly comes alive. The essential fabric of this grand old lady of a room dates right back to the mid-1740s - an impressive achievement for its time relative to what was being built elsewhere in Dublin, and little short of astonishing relative to the paltry entertaining spaces then available to the ‘real’ royal court in London of the same period. Strip back the 1780s pilasters, the 1840s doorcases, the Victorian balconies and boarded out mirrored walls, the 1880s coved ceiling, and one comes slap up against a brick carcass of a ballroom built 265 years ago on top of late medieval remains. In effect, every dignitary and every individual of public consequence in the State assembles for public celebration and an embracement of history and cultural heritage, in a room of not only evocative antiquity, but also of such a primitive construction than in almost any other context in Ireland would have been demolished long before now.

It is these complex layers of history in the room – its age and traditional nature of construction, the most significant painted ceiling in the State that resides there, the many hundreds of thousands – probably millions – of people who have assembled there, the many knighting ceremonies that transpired there, the kings, queens and consorts that received subjects there, the countless viceroys and lords lieutenants that entertained there on a vast scale, the various lyings-in-state that occurred there, the new role it adopted as foil to inauguration of Head of State of an independent nation – that all lend the room a remarkable significance and symbolism in modern Irish public life. For most citizens to hold such little knowledge of its former role – both positive and negative - and its function in the modern life of the State, is deeply regrettable.

It is a room whose character can change dramatically through use of lighting. What may appear as over-gilded during the day transforms into something very special by night. The deep blue French silk on the walls - an innovative sticky-backed solution of the 1990s that still divides opinion - also takes on a different quality after dark. Probably because you can't see it.

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The chandeliers are by far the most accomplished of all Waterford glass chandeliers ever commissioned for an Irish state room. One might argue this is hardly an auspicious accolade, but in their own right they are exquisitely crafted and perfectly scaled – the latter an often dismissed factor in chandelier design. Correct sizing is half the battle. Remarkably, St. Patrick’s Hall had been left devoid of pendent lighting since the former multitude of electrified viceregal gasoliers were removed roundabout the 1940s. This magnificent Waterford glass pair was commissioned in time for Mary Robinson’s inauguration in 1990.

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As mentioned, much of the decoration of what was previously a plain 1740s ballroom dressed up for events, dates to the late 1780s as a result of a vainglorious campaign of public spending under the Marquis of Buckingham following the creation of the Order of St. Patrick in 1783 – hence the new name of St. Patrick’s Hall. Up close, the detail is still crisp and magnificent.

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The comprehensively gilded decorative scheme is a twentieth century innovation and also heatedly divides opinion.

The painted ceiling – or rather, painted canvasses erected on the ceiling – are by the Italian artist, Vincent Waldré, or Vincenzo Valdré, painted c. 1787-92. Waldré also painted the giant cove of the ceiling with somewhat ungainly panels, which the Victorians exercised good judgement in promptly plastering over – if not quite in their wholesale destruction.

The President is thus inaugurated beneath St. Patrick lighting the paschal flame amongst native heathens...

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A sophisticatedly dressed Henry II receiving the submission of distinctly primitive Irish chieftans...

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...aaaand the munificent reign of King George III.

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A particularly submissive Hibernia to the right. At least she is apt given we’ve come full circle in the past year or two.


The delightful figures perched up in the cove flank the Star of St. Patrick. I think these date to the 1780s.

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The emergency lights the 1980s.

At the back of the room, stoically surveying proceedings, is the man who had the inspiration and the aspiration to create what we have today. In more ways than one, he is intimately linked with the Irish presidency, having commissioned in 1745 not only the ballroom in which the President is inaugurated, but also opened to the public the park in which the President now resides, and laid out the avenue on which the President now drives on the way to the inauguration ceremony. One Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, whose fabulous bust by Roubiliac appropriately takes price of place in the niche beside the main entrance to St. Patrick’s Hall.

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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:33 am

Superb photographs and astute commentary as always from Graham.

This is an earlier Graham photograph of the north side of Upper Castle Yard.

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In Craig, we were told that the Genealogical Office range is unattributed and probably dates to the 1750s, at which point possible names like Eyre and Ensor can be linked to its design. More recently the date has been pushed back a bit to the 1740s and the design attributed to Eyre’s predecessor as Surveyor General, Arthur Jones-Neville, who held the position from 1743 to 1752.

Jones-Neville is connected in the documentary records to the construction of the Bedford tower and there is a slight passing resemblance between the main Bedford block and Jones-Neville’s own house at 40 Stephen’s Green, built in 1744 [later called Tracton House], but there is also compelling evidence to suggest that the Bedford block scheme dates to, or at least had its origins in, the 1730s and this would seem to make sense given the works-in-progress glimpse we get of Dublin Castle from Brooking in 1728 and given the spectacularly Baroque qualities of the great flanking entrance gates in particular.

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the castle as depicted by Brooking in 1728

Arthur Jones-Neville’s predecessor as Surveyor General was Arthur Dobbs, a man who Craig observed did not appear to be an architect, in contrast to the high profile architectural credentials of his three immediate predecessors in the role, Robinson, Burgh and Pearce. We know that Dobbs was 44 when he was appointed Surveyor General to fill the vacancy created by the sudden death of the, ten years younger, Edward Lovett Pearce in December 1733 and as Surveyor General he was immediately entrusted with the task of completing Pearce’s Parliament House together with a plethora of military projects, so it’s difficult to imagine that he wasn’t an architect, although certainly from his colourful later life, he was clearly many things in addition to that.

The evidence for the earlier date comes from a Royal warrant dated 7 March 1738 to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland:

. . . to pay to Joseph Gascoigne £1,237 [and change] as compensation for the non-performance of certain articles whereby certain ground and other premises were to be conveyed to him in lieu of ground conveyed to the crown in order to the making of a new passage and gateway into Dublin Castle and £598 to Arthur Dobbs, engineer and Surveyor General of Ireland, for works detailed, as below, with a view to finishing of the said new passage.
Appending:- said Dobbs’ estimate of the expense of building said new passage with the side walls, gates and doors into Dublin Castle, after pulling down the two towers in the old passage.


This warrant would seem to suggest that the original medieval gate had already been pulled down and the new baroque gateway built by 1738. Given that this new gate and the new ‘passage’ to the gate were relocated eastwards of the original site in order to be on the axis of Cork Hill [hence the need for the land swap] it would seem improbable that the full scheme, which included a balancing dummy gate on the other side, had not been fully designed and quite probably executed by 1738, leaving just the tower to be resolved and completed by Jones-Neville later in the 1750s.

It would be nice if we could definitively attribute at least the baroque gates of Dublin Castle to Arthur Dobbs, this is a man whose life is screaming out to have a blue plaque in his honour erected somewhere in his home town. Unless Wiki is having us on, our Mr. Dobbs was a masterful blend of career civil servant and free thinking entrepreneur. After ten years in the Surveyor General post, in 1743 Dobbs decided to move on to pastures new, but not before he had negotiated the sale of his post for the not inconsiderable sum of £3,300 to the hapless Arthur Jones-Neville [the latter was subsequently dismissed from the said post for maladministration and shortly afterwards kicked out of his seat in parliament into the bargain].

Thus capitalized, in 1745 Dobbs acquired a half share in 400,000 acres of real estate in North Carolina from a London agent and set about figuring out how best to turn his investment into income. Never one to sell himself short, Dobbs stayed in Dublin dispatching settlers and freight ships to North Carolina until the right opportunity presented itself which it duly did in 1752 with news of the death of Gabriel Johnston the Governor of the colony. Dobbs petitioned the crown to be appointed the new governor and after several months he received the appointment and 18 months later he packed his bags never to return.

During Dobbs tenure as governor, the colony doubled in population and despite on-going difficulties with the pesky Indians and the French, the colony prospered and Dobbs had time to pursue his passion for nature enquiries, being rewarded on a potter around the estate one day by happening upon a new species of flower, the Venus Flytrap, which duly caused a sensation in botanical circles when he dispatched the first samples to the Royal Society.

Not content with his many diverse achievements, vast estates, wealth and prestigious position, where lesser men would have retired to the lawn chair and cultivate roses, or Flytraps, Governor Dobbs, always alive to a new challenge, re-married at the age of 73 . . . the new Mrs Dobbs was 15.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:04 am

Heheh - hadn't heard that nugget before!

The 1738 date is interesting, but it appears to be setting the scene for remedial works which were carried out in the early 1740s at this location. The stubby north-eastern range (the Revenue head office) had to be rebuilt shortly after Thomas Burgh built it in 1712-17 due to the age-old problem of settlement caused by the moat underneath. When it was rebuilt by Dobbs, he lengthened it to reach out to a new entrance - a narrower one than exists today on roughly the same site - that aligned with Cork Hill. I think there may be measurements and maps of this passage still held in the Four Courts record office. Therefore, alas, it is not the passage we have today or the Justice gate we have today. I note I have not seen the primary documentation for this, but the above phases have been well trawled through in the records office. I think there are a few other concrete dates for development in this area that I will dig out again.

Hilariously, the adjacent block Dobbs rebuilt had to be rebuilt again in the late 18th century by Waldré, which in turn started subsiding only a year or two later and he was effectively fired as a result. This was worked on yet again by Jacob Owen in the early 19th century, and then demolished and rebuilt behind the facade for no less than a fourth time in the late 1980s by the OPW. Given the frugal level of recycling that went on over the centuries, it's quite possible there is the odd Thomas Burgh brick still buried in the retained facade to the Upper Yard. Some of the limestone dressings may be original too.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:19 am

Of course, that's not to say that the gate concept - even the design - did not originate with Dobbs, to be later estimated for and started by Neville as part of the wider central building composition. Afterall, the gates are militaristic and typical of the Surveyor General's office - we just don't know which Surveyor General...

I think assessing both of their respective portfolios is key. There's a job for ya gunter.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:33 am

The Magazine Fort would be a Dobbs project wouldn't it, 1734 - 5? It has the remains of a decent rusticated Granite gate, must take a look.

Of course You know what'll happen next, someone will say; . . . . . 1730s mmm . . . . only Edward Lovin'it Pearce had the sophistication to conceive [copy] something as grand as the design of the castle entrance gates, and wasn't he a nephew of Baroque Vanburgh and so on . . . . and so on.

Reservations noted Graham, but I'm sticking with Dobbs for now.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:10 am

Just hit on some gold points in Eddie McParland’s ever-useful and comprehensive footnotes in Public Architecture in Ireland 1680 – 1760, based on PRO files.

1738: Dobbs prepares estimate for new arched entrance into Castle.
1741: Description of completion of Dobbs’ entrance.
1742: Dobbs prepares estimates for rebuilding ‘that part of the … Castle … that is now Prop’d with Timber, where the Linnen Office and the Council Office Chief Secretarys Apartmt & his Offices were formerly’ etc (Revenue head office).
1746: Grant made of £752 to Arthur Jones Nevill for stables for the Horse Guard to the east of the new entrance to the Upper Yard.

So this sequence pretty much confirms the existing gates are later (bearing in mind we get Nevill's quotes for building rusticated structures comparable to the current gates later on), but still does not categorically prove who came up with the concept and/or design.

Back over on the other side of the Upper Yard again, the considerable scale of St. Patrick's Hall relative to the rest of the State Apartments is apparent from certain vantage points. When the 1820s red brick attic storey pictured below is omitted from the arcaded range in favour of the dormer roof that formerly existed here, you get some sense of the enormous size of this new-build 1740s ballroom compared with its modest context. Unfortunately, the ballroom roof we see today is not the original 1740s roof, which no doubt was steeply pitched and picturesque, but a new structure from the late 1760s. It probably has later fabric of the 1780s and 1820s too.

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The largest chimneystack in Dublin Castle stands proudly above - likely a Francis Johnston rebuild of the 1820s that replaced a giant stack at the same position as seen on Tudor's 1750s print. A similar stack to the left was unfortunately demolished - the scar can be seen in the picture above.

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To the rear, St. Patrick's Hall comprises the giant red Duplo brick in the centre of the unresolved sequence of utilitarian south-western facades overlooking the garden.

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Waldré as chief architect proposed in the 1790s what would probably have amounted to demolishing the outside wall of St. Patrick's Hall, with the intention of creating a striking colonnade inside and a new Garden Front outside, but alas it was not to be.

In spite of the muddle going on here, this is by far the most architecturally interesting range of the Upper Yard as it stands today, retaining a substantial amount of original fabric comprising a number of interwoven layers from different periods.

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St. Patrick's Hall during a knighting ceremony in 1866, with oval mirrors and gas lamp standards (which were usually dressed with climbing plants) on the north wall.

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The Victorian theatre set throne canopy was regularly wheeled out for these events. I haven't yet been able to pinpoint where it is now - or indeed if it exists anymore.

Here it is again, moved to one side, during the visit of King Edward IIV and Queen Alexandra in 1903. The square mirrors were installed a few years previously.

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Central to these events were a pair of thrones designed for the use of visiting monarchs and consorts and the Viceroy and Vicerine, as indicated in this fabulous scene of stark contrasts - featuring both high craftsmanship and, er, bentwood chairs. The story of Dublin Castle in a nutshell.

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Given their quality compared to the other furnishings made for Dublin Castle, and the VR monogram, I suspect they were made for Victoria's visit in 1861. This rare close-up photograph shows in remarkable detail the high relief carving of the thrones, which made for a handsome pair.

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The fabric is exquisite - as also features on the back of the throne canopy.

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As we first highlighted here on Archiseek, in a remarkable gesture of continuity and symbolism entirely unknown to almost everyone in Ireland, one of these thrones is now the Presidential chair, on which every President has been inaugurated since Douglas Hyde in 1938. The other throne has been lost purely in a visual sense: now stained and polished, serving as the chair of the Cathaoirleach in the Seanad Chamber in Leinster House.

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The crowns and royal monograms were simply removed and left rather crudely unresolved. Personally, I feel the Presidential chair requires an elegantly carved harp in high relief on the now blank monogram panel and specially commissioned vibrant green silk damask upholstery featuring a harp motif. The current plain minty covering with blue Presidential arms is in dire of replacement.

The remarkable continuity inherent in one of the few pieces of historic ceremonial furniture still in use in Ireland serving as the official Presidential chair, having been commissioned for another administration entirely and hastily adapted post-independence, is one of the enduring and most enriching qualities of the inauguration ceremony.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:34 am

Incidentally, the lack of barely any, never mind decent, photographs online of any presidential inauguration (just to show the chair in use today) speaks volumes about public interaction with or knowledge of the ceremony.

The Presidential inauguration day should be a national holiday. There isn't even a feckin drive through the city, never mind a parade or public gathering. We really are appalling as a nation when it comes to events of this stature.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby gunter » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:44 am

OK. Eddie has spoken, nuff said

But before we leave it completely . . . .

The full text of the warrant of 1738 to the Lord Lieutenant to pay Joseph Gascoigne for land taken to facilitate the new entrance to the castle also referred to an annual charge of £208, 10s that the authorities had incurred since 1723 to another property owner, John Rathborne, merchant, for the non execution of a similar land swap agreement.

A Treasury report of Jan. 1724 recounts the whole sorry affair:

The petition [of John Rathborne] sets forth that the passage from the Blind Quay [via Cork Hill] to the Castle of Dublin, was very narrow and incommodious, and the Lord Lieut., upon the complaint of the House of Commons in 1710, ordered a new way or passage to be opened to the Castle. Petitioner was seised of two houses on Corke Hill standing on the ground required, and an agreement was made with him to give him all the ground over which the present passage to the Castle leads, also that piece adjoining whereon Toms Coffee House stood, in place of 30 feet of his ground for a way into the Castle: The plan at first projected for rebuilding the Castle was changed, whereby that side of the Castle, which lies next to Castle Street, was to be brought about 25 feet nearer to the street. This could not be done without encroaching on the ground intended to be conveyed to the petitioner to the extent of 25 feet in depth and 50 feet in length. The Government in 1712 came to a new agreement with him, to give him £600 in consideration of this last piece of ground, &c. The petitioner further sets forth that he had pulled down his houses, &c. to carry out the arrangement and that there was due to him £1,198l. 17s. 6d. by the non-conveyance of the ground to him, &c. The Lord Lieut. asks for a warrant to pay him that sum and for the King's authority to convey the land.

So there we have it, the proposal, if not yet perhaps the plan, to construct a new entrance into the castle had been in gestation since as early as 1710 and the kernel of the proposal was that a new and presumably commodious entrance was to be created on the axis of Cork Hill/Blind Quay with all structures standing in the way at this point cleared and the owners compensated by a combination of cash and a grant of equivalent plots of ground on the site of the original passage into the castle.

Image
de Gomme’s map of 1673 shows Dublin Castle with its original medieval gate approached by a narrow passage way off Castle Street.

Apparently this proposal was legally agreed with the parties concerned before the actual plans had be fully drawn up and so the second [1712] agreement had to be struck after it had become apparent that the new castle buildings, as presumably by then designed and drawn, where revealed to required an extra 25 feet of depth reducing the amount of ground available to compensate the displaced property owners.

It seem extraordinary that a plan would be agreed and expensive property commitments entered into and for no works to actually commence for another twenty years, but that would appear to be more or less what happened here.

As Graham has pointed out, the castle authorities did have their hands full rebuilding the bits of the remodelling that had already structurally failed. That treasury warrant [Irish Book IX p269] of July 1742 referred to by Eddie McParland sets the out the building failures pretty clearly:

Warrant under the Royal sign manual to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, countersigned by the Lords of the Treasury to pay Arthur Dobbs, Engineer and Surveyor General of Ireland £2,800 18s 1d for the charge of pulling down that part of the building in Dublin Castle which is propped with timber, where the Linen Office, Council Office and the Chief Secretary’s apartments and offices are kept and for rebuilding same; as also for the continuing the [said] building to the new passage into the said castle.

This last mentioned piece of the castle is the north east range, the extension of the Brooking stump, as described by Graham, westward to the ‘Justice’ Gate.

In a report to the Lord Lieutenant in Feb. 1741 Arthur Dobbs commenting on the Gascoyne petition of 1738 [the one where he claimed compensation for the non performance of articles of agreement whereby he was to receive a plot of ground in compensation for the ground he had given up for the new entrance way] and Dobbs concedes that ‘ . . .the construction of the new passage being delayed by difficulties arising, prays payment of the agreed compensation [to Gascoigne] of £93, 15s per annum from 1738’

The only question remains, who was responsible for the design of the Bedford block and its great flanking baroque gates?

Is it conceivable that a Burgh design had been kicking around the Surveyor General’s office since 1712 waiting for a successor to translate it into Granite [he’d have surely chosen limestone], or did Dobbs conjure up a new scheme from scratch and oversee its construction during a gap in the programme of mending the dodgy bits of earlier rebuildings?
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:08 pm

GrahamH wrote:Incidentally, the lack of barely any, never mind decent, photographs online of any presidential inauguration (just to show the chair in use today) speaks volumes about public interaction with or knowledge of the ceremony.

The Presidential inauguration day should be a national holiday. There isn't even a feckin drive through the city, never mind a parade or public gathering. We really are appalling as a nation when it comes to events of this stature.


really? if it was happening in my living room I'd be in the kitchen doing the dishes. I didn't vote because - ironic given the number of referenda - there wasn't an option to tick that said "abolish the position and use the - extremely substantial - money for something more worthwhile than a retirement junket".
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby StephenC » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:23 pm

Well, that rarest if state events - the Presidential Inauguration - has been and gone. I have to say I found the event decidedly underwhelming. I thought the RTE coverage was appalling...all zoomy cameras and handheld looking up peoples noses. John Bowman seemed supremely bored and incapable of sticking to his point...."Here in the splendour of St Patrick's Hall....oh look there's John Bruton....with its beautiful.....hasnt Mary Harney lost weight....ceiling...".

The venue..hmmm. I thought the Hall looked well if stuffed to capacity. Really is there a need for all those people. It just looked dreadful and very undignified. The room looked gaudy however...the blue LED Christmas light against the walls looked cheap. Big load IKEA office chairs up on the dais. A of course the famous €80k throne. I'm sure someone will know more on that than I do.

The players looked completely under rehearsed. The two Marys in red was quite funny. Mary R with her big bling bag. Mary Mc looking nothing short of a saint.

Well done President Higgins on a fine speech though...and Enda'a wasnt at all bad either. NIce to hear Irish spoken so well.

Cant we have the blue hussars back.....it would be such a spectacle for our new republic.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby GrahamH » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:58 pm

All of the above and more. Still speechless 24 hours later.

I give up on this country.
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Re: Dublin Castle - Who is in Charge?

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:42 pm

Banquet Knights St Patrick Dublin Castle 1857
The Illustrated London News

3761857135U.jpg
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