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Irish Tower


A view of the end of the big room, with an existing, stone lean-to structure abutting it, which extends from my new round, castellated tower. The two circular rooms in the tower were a guest bedroom below, and the master bathroom upstairs.


The family were moving from a grand and beautiful old family house nearby. I tried to give them a sense of continuity in the new house by the simple and relatively inexpensive means of adding a big, double-height drawing room, and a round tower that would give an impression of that architectural grandeur and eccentricity that is such a feature of great Irish houses.


Seen from the side, the end of my big new drawing room, which had a much shallower roof-pitch than the cottage in order to give maximum ceiling height and keep within the planners' limits. Most of my new windows were glazed in a diagonal pattern to relate to the original cottage's diamond glazing.


The interior of the passage. I love the combination of coir matting, rusted iron grilles, and fine gilt frame on one of a particularly fascinating group of family portraits.


For the big drawing room, I designed a big chimneypiece, in Dholpur pink sandstone (the spotted stone that Moghul Emperor Akbar used for all his palaces,) carved by these craftsmen on the road between Jaipur and Agra. I made drawings and a little plaster maquette of my design which included smoking grecian urns, eight-pointed stars and Rajput shields.


Here is the garden side of the house, with the big room - which had simple, straight sash windows like those in the old Georgian mansion - joining the original cottage. The master bedroom had the arched window in the set-back area between the two parts; below it, a lower-ceilinged part of the big drawing room had French windows into the garden.


I was asked to design a house for a young family, extending this small Victorian gingerbread cottage in a wooded setting in Ireland. When I arrived, they had started work with a local architect who had drawn up plans and begun work on the cottage, adding the haphazard extensions and tiny square windows seen here.


Here is the drawing room in course of arrangement. A tremendously deep and grand cornice set the scene well for the family's collection of pictures and furniture, including the spectacular Rococo gilt mirror and the bewigged Georgian Gent in the portrait.


The handsome cast-iron railings as we found them, in a corner of the farmyard.


This passage linked the kitchen in the old cottage with new children's rooms in a former farm building. I gave it big windows with external grilles made up of beautifully rusted Victorian cast-iron railings that had once surrounded a parterre garden at the old mansion.