The 1st Earl of Dunraven’s Grand Tour of Italy

In the 1770’s Valentine Richard Quin, 1st Earl of Dunraven (1752-1824), was sent on a Grand Tour.

“The continental tour was seen as an essential part of the education of young upper-class men aged between 17 and 22. Travelling with an experienced tutor or guardian, their main destination was Italy and its fine cities, although visits to France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Dutch Netherlands were made en route. Such extended excursions provided young gentlemen with varied education in languages, travel, food, art and architecture, political systems and social customs.

Valentine Richard returned from Italy laden with paintings, objects d’art, and a renewed interest in the picturesque ruins in Adare. In the 1790s, he made repairs to Desmond Castle and constructed a stone wall to protect it and the Franciscan Abbey. These and other improvements were much admired by visitors such as the artist George Holmes, who in 1797 complimented Valentine Richard’s ‘refined taste and liberality’ which ‘has considerably assisted to make this little village one of the most interesting objects that the tourist will meet with’.”

An excerpt from the book A Taste of Adare Manor.

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