The original organ at Adare Manor was built by Telfords of Dublin, and occupied a position over two small arches immediately opposite the entrance. The instrument was a large one – having 44 stops and a total of 2353 pipes. The specification was selected by the Earl of Dunraven, and several of the ranks of pipes were procured from Monsieur Cavaille Coll, the celebrated organ builder in Paris. The organ took four years to build and it arrived on 2nd February 1849, followed three days later by William Telford to assist with the installation and assembly.
The organ was often played by Countess Caroline and her daughter-in-law, Augusta who were both accomplished musicians. Following Augusta’s death in 1866, the organ fell into disuse, as her widower found its sound too painful a reminder of days gone by. In 1869, however, he made up his mind ‘to have the organ here set to rights’.
The organ was removed for refurbishment by the Dunraven family in 1947 when the manor was being redecorated, but was not later reinstalled.
Above left is a picture which was presented to Adare Manor by Alan Jeffers, Chairman of Banking Automation Limited, London; who held their international distributors conference here in 1991. The picture is a lazer copy of a post card sent by Mr Jeffers’ grandfather after his visit to Lord Dunraven in July 1926.
Today, as part of our restoration project we have created a new façade to replicate where the original organ would have been situated, pictured above right. A discreet guest elevator will be located behind this façade allowing our guests ease of access from the main lobby to our bedrooms in the Dunraven wing.