Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby nneligan » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:21 am

Hi can anyone help me with this query?

It relates to Tinnahinch House, the home of Henry Grattan in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. I am trying to determine where exactly it stood. I have a suspicion (I could be very wrong about this) that it stood where Avoca Handweavers is now presently located.

As far as I know, Grattan built the house (this could be wrong) after he was awarded a sum of money by the people of Ireland, and resided there. The ruins of the house were demolished in the 1950's (when exactly, I am not sure) but I have attached a piece I found in the Irish Times Archive, together with a drawing of the building.

If anyone, has any old photos, drawings, or knows a little more about the house, I would really like to learn a little more.

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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby trace » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:39 am

Mark Bence-Jones' Burke's Guide to Country Houses (1978) gives the following for Tinnehinch (sic): A C18 house in a beautiful situation by the Dargle River, which, together with an estate, was presented by the Irish Parliament to Henry Grattan, the great orator, statesman and Irish patriot, in gratitude for the part he played in obtaining its freedom from British control 1782. The house was formerly an inn, the best in Co Wicklow, and much frequented by Grattan himself. It consisted of a 3-storey, 5-bay centre, with 1-bay overlapping wings of the same height but containing only two storeys, so that the rooms in the wings were higher than those in the centre of the house. I-bay pedimented breakfront centre; round-headed doorway with blocking. Triple windows in wings, those on the ground floor being set under relieving arches. The house was destroyed by fire this century; one storey of the ruin still stands, and has been made into a feature of the garden of the present house, which is in the former stables.
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby trace » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:28 pm

The National Library has two more Brocas views of the house: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000037209 (click on image to enlarge) and http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000030993. Chapter IX of Weston St John Joyce's The Neighbourhood of Dublin (third and enlarged edition, 1920, courtesy of Ken Finlay's wonderful http://www.chaptersofdublin.com), situates the house thus: "We first proceed to Enniskerry by the Scalp, continuing straight ahead at the upper end of the village street, passing on the left the church, the spire of which is such a conspicuous feature in pictures of Enniskerry, and on the right, one of the entrance gates to Powerscourt Demesne. As we turn the corner just opposite the entrance to the Dargle, we descend a very steep decline down to the bed of the Dargle River - a very dangerous descent in the old cycling days before the invention of rim brakes. At the bottom of the hill is the entrance to Powerscourt known as the Golden Gate, with its pretty lodge, and beside it, Tinnehinch Bridge over the Dargle. Near the bridge, and situated in the sheltered vale of the river, is Tinnehinch, for some time the residence of the distinguished patriot and statesman, Henry Grattan, who spent his declining years in the seclusion of this romantic retreat. Twiss in his Tour Through Ireland (1775), states that this house was designed and erected by the then Lord Powerscourt as an inn, and that it was for some years the leading hostelry in this district, and Arthur Young spent some days there, as stated in the quotation further on, during his tour in Ireland in 1776."

On 4 November 1999, in a property feature article, The Irish Times reported that "A Co Wicklow ruin that was once the home of Irish patriot Henry Grattan is expected to make over £1 million at a Jackson-Stops auction on December 1st. Tinnehinch, in Enniskerry, was demolished without permission in the 1950s by an English property developer, David Harris, who sold off its fixtures at an open-air auction." The Irish Independent also covered the sale on 20 November http://www.independent.ie/unsorted/property/charming-old-ruin-391143.html, confirming the Harris details. On 12 December, The Irish Times reported that "Ruins of Grattan house sell for about £2 million. In Co Wicklow, the ruins of a house that was once the home of Henry Grattan, along with several cottages at Tinnehinch, in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, was withdrawn at £1.8 million and sold later for a price thought to be close to £2 million through Jackson-Stops."
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby trace » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:48 pm

Hull University, Brynmor Jones Library holds an archive copy of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland's order concerning £50,000 voted by the Irish Parliament to the purchase of lands at Stradbally, Queen's County (Laois) and Tinnehinch settled on Henry Grattan in 1782 and an inventory of furniture belonging to James Grattan (his elder son, 1783-1854) at Tinnehinch, County Wicklow in 1854 http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=050-ddla39&cid=0#0 [DDLA/39].

Stephen Lucius Gwynn writes at the end of Chapter III of Henry Grattan and his Times (1939, 1971) that "Grattan, from his early manhood, had his heart set on a wild and rugged beauty...[In the winter of 1769-70] Grattan wrote: I have not forgotten the romantic valley. I look on it with an eye of forecast. It may be the recreation of an active life or the shelter of an obscure one, or the romantic residence of philosophic friendship. It was indeed to be most intimately associated with his life. The old coaching road into Wicklow and Wexford passed through Dundrum and at the stony defile called The Scalp entered the outskirts of very wild scenery. Beyond this a long steep descent leads to the village of Enniskerry beside a pleasant brawling little river: then it climbs again steeply past the gate of Powerscourt Demesne and plunges into a heavily wooded gorge with a larger river running through it. All of Dublin has grown so used to the Dargle that we do not easily picture to ourselves how the scene must have struck a young man, bred in the broad plains of Fingal, when he saw that river coming towards him out of an amphitheatre of mountains which no road then crossed, and plunging at one point over a cliff more than a hundred feet high. Since those days amenity has been added to beauty and Grattan helped to add it; but even now the wildness is not wholly lost on a day when the river comes down in a flood that no man could cross on foot.

"On the slope above the bridge was a halting place, an inn where the coach changed horses. Tinnehinch was the name given, because the stream looping around below the bridge formed what the Scots would call a 'haugh' - a meadow space beside running water. Inis is the Irish for it and Tinnehinch is Tigh-na-hinse, the house of the meadow. A man does not often at five-and-twenty know exactly the place which suits his fancy; but Grattan never lost his love for this romantic valley, and when the chance came, he made it the home of his heart."

A search for Tinnehinch in the text of Henry Grattan and his Times on http://books.google.com/ produces several results, including tales of troops debating whether to blow down the house with artillery in 1798 and, some time later, Grattan reaching for his case of pistols when threatened with arrest, on suspicion of membership of the United Irishmen, by two cavalrymen with drawn sabres. The purchase of the property is also described briefly, as are his efforts made to beautify the grounds about the old inn. The book includes, facing page 282, a photograph of the house (taken in 1939?).

And now I need to get a life!:o
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby nneligan » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:00 pm

trace wrote:Mark Bence-Jones' Burke's Guide to Country Houses (1978) gives the following for Tinnehinch (sic): A C18 house in a beautiful situation by the Dargle River, which, together with an estate, was presented by the Irish Parliament to Henry Grattan, the great orator, statesman and Irish patriot, in gratitude for the part he played in obtaining its freedom from British control 1782. The house was formerly an inn, the best in Co Wicklow, and much frequented by Grattan himself. It consisted of a 3-storey, 5-bay centre, with 1-bay overlapping wings of the same height but containing only two storeys, so that the rooms in the wings were higher than those in the centre of the house. I-bay pedimented breakfront centre; round-headed doorway with blocking. Triple windows in wings, those on the ground floor being set under relieving arches. The house was destroyed by fire this century; one storey of the ruin still stands, and has been made into a feature of the garden of the present house, which is in the former stables.


Thanks for this. It seems I was slightly off with the location. It would appear that Tinnahinch (from an old map) is actually closer to Powerscourt and Charleville than I originally thought. Google maps is not the most accurate.
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby nneligan » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:29 pm

trace wrote:The purchase of the property is also described briefly, as are his efforts made to beautify the grounds about the old inn. The book includes, facing page 282, a photograph of the house (taken in 1939?)


That was an incredible reply, really you put in a lot of work and I am very grateful.

I have attached the image of the house as it existed in 1939. I wonder if there are plans for the house somewhere.
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby pico » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:48 am

Looks quite like Bushy Park, the next house along from Powerscourt & Charleville, not far from Tinnahinch Bridge ....
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby saintleger » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:19 pm

OP, if you are trying to locate exactly where the house stood, check out the OSI.ie website - you can flick between the early and modern editions of the ordinance survey maps, and overlay historic maps over the modern map, fade it in and out as you require. It's deadly.

Go to http://maps.osi/publicviewer
You can zoom in or search by address.

Actually, I just checked there - there's a Tinnahinch townland (spelt with an 'a'). This is where Avoca Woollen Mills is, and there's a Tinnahinch House just north of "Ovoca Woollen Mills" on the 2nd edition map (the Historic 25", they call it on the osi.ie website).

But there's also Tinnehinch townland, with Tinnehinch House (spelt with an e instead of an a) closer to Powerscourt and Charleville, on a bend of the Dargle River, which would fit the descriptions provided by trace.

This would explain the confusion - you were actually right!
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby nneligan » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:43 pm

I managed to unearth some photos of the ruins, plus some photos of the reconstructed house that now stands in its place.

The first photo is of the ruined portico after it was demolished by Harris in the 1950s'. The second is of the reconstructed house built using the ruins of the downstairs (or so I'm told) There is also a photo of the entrance and the gatelodge (the house is now known as "Grattan's House" but you cannot see it from the road. Finally I have attached an image of how the house once looked like from an old print.
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby trace » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:36 pm

Love it, saintleger! Ah, the difference a tiny vole, sorry, vowel, can make in our travails...

nneligan - have you checked the Wicklow Co Co planning file for the (newly) rebuilt house? Looks like they tried to put it back 'kinda' as best they could? Was there a conservation architect/historian's report as part of the application? Were the ruins listed?
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Re: Tinnahinch House, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

Postby MickWood55 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:30 pm

I recently found a manuscript catologue from 1889 that contains an "Inventory of Fixtures, Furniture, Plate bearing the Grattan Crest and other Plate, Pictures etc in and about the Mansion of Tinnahinch the Property of the late Lady Laura Maria Grattan". There are no illustrations but there is a complete list of rooms including reception rooms, 9 bedrooms and servants quarters. It was complied by Pauline Grattan Bellew with additional notation from Battersby & Co.
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