Living with the Old and the New

This #ThrowbackThursday we look back to the 19th century when the 2nd Earl of Dunraven and his family lived in their original Georgian home while the construction of Adare Manor was underway around them …

Adare Manor as we know it today took over 30 years to be fully finished. In the initial stages, the old family home remained untouched while new sections were being constructed around it. Eventually, part of the original structure was encased within the new building. The remainder of the old building was taken down room by room.

The first step towards demolition was taken on 5th November 1839, when masons broke through the back wall of the 2nd Earl’s old study. Three months later, preparations were underway to demolish the old hall, with the Earl promising his wife that ‘you may take down the first stone.’

Vestiges of the old building survived until 1852, when the 3rd Earl lastly saw to the demolition of an old library wall and the opening up of a bay window.

During these eventful decades, the Dunravens made occasional forays to England and Wales to escape the dust and din of construction work, or travelled around Europe collecting furniture and works of art for the new house. For the most part however, despite the discomfort the building work must have caused, the family took things in their stride and carried on with their daily activities much the same as ever: living on a building site had become a way of life.

With excerpts from A Taste of Adare Manor and watercolour by P. Galloway of the old and new buildings (September 1837).

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