1825 – Design for Fota House, Co. Cork

Architect: William Vitruvius Morrison


An unbuilt scheme to enlarge the 18th century house at Fota. Ultimately, the Morrisons did extend the house but in a more restrained classical scheme. This scheme by William would have converted the relatively plain house into a full-blown Elizabethan extravagance.

“Foaty House, in the vicinity of the city of Cork, and of which we give a representation, was built, from designs by the late William Vitruvius Morrison, for the late John Smith Barry, Esq., a gentleman who succeeded to the extensive property of the late Lord Barrymore, his ( reputed ) father, by the will of that nobleman. It is in the mixed style known as Elizabethan, a style which, as we understand, was first introduced into Ireland by Mr. Morrison, who had studied its peculiarities in England. He erected in the same style Kilruddery Hall, Wicklow, for the Earl of Meath; Hollybrooke, Wicklow, for Sir George Hodson, Bart.; Borris House, Carlow, for Walter Kavenagh, Esq. ; Clontarfe Castle, Dublin, for J. Vernon, Esq., &c.

Foaty House covers a large area, and is well planned. The principal floor includes a drawing-room 22 feet by 32 feet, library 22 feet ■by 32 feet, with octagon boudoir 14 feet in diameter at the end of it, and diningroom 40 feet by 22 feet, all en suite. The entrance-doorway seen in the engraving opens into a vestibule 18 feet by 20 feet, and thence into the Great Hall 18 feet by 31 feet, with staircase 21 feet 6 inches by 18 feet.

Mr. W.V. Morrison, who died in October, 1838, at the early age of forty-four, was the son of the late Sir Richard Morrison, and was for some time in partnership with his father. If we may judge, however, from a memoir of Mr. Morrison in Weale’s “ Quarterly Papers on Architecture,” written by his brother, Mr. John Morrison, A. B., and some other statements made by that gentleman in efforts to do justice to his brother’s abilities, Sir Richard sought rather to keep down than to extend his son’s reputation.

Mr. Morrison laboured during the whole of his short life under almost continued ill-health, but nevertheless executed a large number of extensive structures.” The Builder, September 21 1850.

Last Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 8:24 pm