Lost History: Dartrey House

I posted previously about the destruction of our architectural history. I paid particular attention to the loss of Devonshire house in London, torn down in the twenties to be replaced by the urban sprawl. This architectural loss is not limited just to England,  Ireland too has lost some of its most beautiful buildings. Some of these were by accident, such as Killarney House which was burnt to the ground in 1913,  but many were lost for economic reasons like Dartrey House in Co. Monaghan.

Dartrey House

Dartrey was a fine example of Elizabethan revival style similar to Killarney House.  It was constructed in 1846 on the instruction of Richard Dawson, 3rd Lord Cremorne and later 1st Earl Dartry to the designs of William Burn.  The house occupied an enviable position over looking Lough Dromore, and was truly a masterpiece and one of the finest homes in Ireland.

This house was sinfully demolished in the 1950′s after laying empty for many years.  Like many great houses Dartrey would have been nearly impossible to run in its later years,  low rents on it’s lands combined with high taxes such as death duties meant that many houses were shut up in favour of much smaller, easily managed homes.  All that is left of this once fine house, is the ruined family mausoleum which was built  on an island in the middle of Lough Dromore and an elegant stable block.

Dartrey Mausoleum

It is such a pity that buildings like this are lost to us.  The bigger pity is that for every building lost there are two waiting the axe, many in the country, but too many in the middle of our great cities.  Action needs to be taken before we lose any more of our architectural history.

Do you know if a building in need of saving? Why not contact your local TD on whoismytd.com or get in touch to let us know about it.

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For prints of the house you can visit here.


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