DiCamillo Companion
Ireland

Baronscourt (Barons Court)

  • Built / Designed For: 8th Earl of Abercorn

    House & Family History: Baronscourt is, at its center, a block that is seven bays by two stories, designed in 1779 by George Steuart (most famous for designing Attingham Park) for the 8th Earl of Abercorn. On its garden facade the main block features a three-bay pedimented breakfront with urns along the roof parapet and two-story four-bay wings on either side. The entrance facade of the main block has a large porte-cochere of four giant Ionic columns with wreaths on the frieze and the Abercorn arms carved in the tympanum by Terence Farrell. The 1st Marquess of Abercorn engaged John Soane to remodel the house between 1791 and 1795 (all of Soane's work was lost in the 1796 fire), followed in the early 19th century by enlargement of the house and the remodeling of the interiors in a sumptuous Neoclassical style by Vitruvius Morrison, who worked with father, Sir Richard Morrison, on the project. The very fine interiors include the yellow-walled rotunda, lit by an oculus in a coffered dome and supported by gray stone shaft scagliola Ionic columns. The staircase hall has a ceiling of rectangular coffering with an acanthus frieze and fluted engaged columns. The gallery, 88 feet long, takes up the entire garden façade of the original house. In the 1940s the gallery was divided into three rooms for the 4th Duke by Sir Albert Richardson; in the 1970s it was restored to its original configuration (as designed by Vitruvius Morrison) by interior designer David Hicks, leaving Desmond Guinness to write in "Great Irish Houses and Castles," that the gallery is "...probably the finest Morrison room anywhere..." The old dining room has a mantel brought from another Hamilton house, Duddingston, near Edinburgh. The 2nd Marquess of Abercorn served twice as lord lieutenant of Ireland (1866-68 and 1874-76) and was created 1st Duke of Abercorn in 1868.

    Collections: The old dining room contains a life-sized portrait of the 1st Marquess of Abercorn by Thomas Lawrence, as well as a Lawrence of the marquess's mistress, Frances Hawkins, with their son, Arthur Fitz-James. Furniture from Baronscourt was sold at Christie's on December 6, 1984. Bernardo Bellotto's "Two Views of Vaprio d'Adda with the Villa Melzi" was sold on December 13, 1991 at Christie's for £2,090,000.

  • Architect: Raymond Charles Erith

    Date: 1973
    Designed: Demolished service wing to the east

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    Architect: George Steuart

    Date: 1779-82
    Designed: House for 8th Earl of Abercorn

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    Architect: John Soane

    Date: 1791-95
    Designed: Remodeled house for 1st Marquess of Abercorn (destroyed during 1796 fire and rebuilt 1837-41)

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    Architect: Robert A. Woodgate

    Date: 1791-99
    Designed: Soane's works supervisor, then alterations after 1796 fire.

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    Architect: William Vitruvius Morrison

    Date: 1819-41
    Designed: Remodeled interiors in Neoclassical style, together with his father, Sir Richard Morrison.

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    Architect: Richard Morrison

    Date: 1819-41
    Designed: Remodeled interiors in Neoclassical style, together with his son, Vitruvius Morrison.

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    Architect: Albert Edward Richardson

    Date: 1947-49
    Designed: Redecorated interiors and built north side of house and demolished 2 wings for 4th Duke of Abercorn

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  • Country Life: CLXVI, 86, 162, 232, 1979.

  • Title: Guide to Irish Country Houses, A
    Author: Bence-Jones, Mark
    Year Published: 1988
    Reference: pgs. 32-33
    Publisher: London: Constable and Company
    ISBN: 0094699909
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 968, 983
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Great Irish Houses and Castles
    Author: O'Brien, Jacqueline; Guinness, Desmond
    Year Published: 1992
    Reference: pgs. 204, 206, 209
    Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
    ISBN: 0810933659
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990
    Author: Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (Editors)
    Year Published: 1990
    Reference: pg. P 3
    Publisher: London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc.)
    ISBN: 0312046405
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade A

    Park Listed: Listed

  • Current Seat / Home of: James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn; Hamilton family here since 1612.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

    Ownership Details: Owned by Mount Castle Trust and available for corporate events and accommodation in outbuildings.

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 02881-661-683

    Fax: 02881-662-059

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://barons-court.com/

    Historic Houses Member: No

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