Dublin Mansions

Some examples of private mansions built in the 1700's within the city include:-

Charlemont House

Charlemont House on the north side of Rutland (now Parnell) Square was the private residence of the Earls of Charlemont until the mid 19th century. Designed by Sir William Chambers, it was built between 1762 and 1765 for James Caulfeild (1728-1799), first Earl of Charlemont. The three storey five bay building is set back from the street, and flanked by curving screen walls with niches and balustrades. The obelisks on either side of the entrance had ornamental lamps. In its day it was considered one of the finest of Dublin's mansions. The first Earl was renowned for his cultivated taste and scholarship, and as patron of arts and letters. He had a magnificent collection of books, housed in three libraries in the house, which were favourably commented on by visiting dignitaries.

In 1876 the house was sold to the government and became the General Register of Ireland and Census offices. It was purchased by Dublin Corporation in 1927 for use as a modern art gallery to accommodate the Hugh Lane Collection. Conversion of the house was completed in 1933, with additional exhibition rooms built to the back of the house in the area once occupied by the garden. More information relating to Charlemont House.

Powerscourt House

Powerscourt House in South William Street was built in 1771 to the design of Robert Mack for Richard Wingfield, Viscount Powerscourt.

It had magnificent plasterwork in the reception rooms by Michael Stapleton, and in the hall and staircase by James McCullagh.

The mansion was sold to the government in 1807 for £15,000. From 1811 to 1832 it housed the Dublin Stamp Office and the Commissioners of Stamp Duties.

It was purchased by the wholesale textile firm, Ferrier, Pollock and Company in 1833. It is now a shopping arcade.

Leinster House

The house in Kildare Street, designed by Richard Cassels, was begun in 1745 and finished in 1748. It was built as a private residence for James Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, later to be created Duke of Leinster (1766). It was the town residence of the family whose country seat was at Carton House, County Kildare, designed also by Richard Cassels and built in 1739.

Leinster House was considered 'the most stately private edifice in the city', and it was the first of Dublin's great houses to be built south of Liffey on open ground at the eastern edge of the city. The Duke leased land from Viscount Fitzwilliam to lay out Leinster Lawn, a private garden at the east front of the house.

In 1814 the house was purchased by the Dublin Society (later Royal Dublin Society) as its headquarters where its library and museum were located. These collections later formed the nucleus of the National Library and National Museum.

Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament moved into Leinster House in 1922 and the Royal Dublin Society moved to Ballsbridge. The Seanad meets in the 18th century saloon, and the Dáil sits in the lecture theatre, an addition made by the RDS in the 19th century. More information relating to Leinster House.

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