DiCamillo Companion

Marino House (Donneycarney) (Casino Marino) (Marino Casino)

  • House & Family History: During his nine-year Grand Tour Lord Charlemont, who was obsessed with all things Italian (his house was named after the town of Marino in Lazio), became friends with Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who, in 1756, dedicated the first edition of “Le Antichità Romane” to his Irish friend. Chambers designed an octagon room in the the right-hand-wing of Marino House to display Lord Charlemont's sculpture collection.

    Collections: A printed cotton illustration made in Ireland in 1782 and entitled "The Provincial Review, Phoenix Park, Dublin: Lord Charlemont Escorted by Cavalry" is today in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Julia Marciari Alexander, writing in "This Other Eden: Paintings from the Yale Center for British Art," says of Lord Charlemont: "he was an avid collector of ancient and modern works of art; through his patronage he greatly contributed to the understanding of Antiquity and, by extension, to the development of art and architecture in mid-to-late-eighteenth-century England and Ireland."

    Comments: The Casino Marino is considered one of the finest Neoclassical buildings in Europe. Mark Bence-Jones called the Casino "...one of the most exquisite miniature 18th century buildings in Europe." Sir Sacheverell Sitwell compared the interior of the Casino to the little rooms in the Petit Trianon at Versailles. David Netto, writing in the March 30, 2012 edition of "The Wall Street Journal Magazine" on the Casino: "If there ever were a great flood, and only one building could be saved to show future generations the best of the Enlightenment, a good candidate would be the Casino at Marino."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: After he returned from his Grand Tour, Lord Charlemont decided to build a pleasure house (a folly) in the form of a Roman Doric temple on the grounds of the Marino Estate, which he called the Casino. Lord Charlemont, who probably considered this building his most important accomplishment, commissioned craftsmen of the highest quality in the creation of the folly, including Joseph Wilton and Simon Vierpyl. The name derives from the diminutive form of the 18th century Italian word “casa,” meaning little house (it never had any association with gambling). Originally linked to Marino House by a tunnel (today blocked off), the Casino is generally considered Ireland’s first and most important Neoclassical building. The Casino Marino was originally conceived as an end pavilion for Harewood House in Yorkshire that was never built. The folly cost Lord Charlemont the enormous sum of £60,000 to build (equivalent to approximately £103 million in 2016 inflation-adjusted values using the labour value commodity index). Measuring just 50 feet square, the building is in the form of a Greek Cross that appears, from the outside, to be a single-roomed structure. The reality, however, is that it has 16 rooms on three floors. The basement contains a kitchen and associated work rooms, the main floor features formal reception rooms, while the top floor has accommodation for servants and a state bedroom. The visual tricks don’t end there, however: four of the columns that surround the Casino are hollow and used as downspouts, while the Roman funerary urns on the roof are chimneys. In his travel guide of 1791, Charles T. Bowden described the grounds of Marino House as a “terrestrial paradise.”

  • Architect: James Gandon

    Date: Probably 1770s
    Designed: Funerary urns on roof of the Casino

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    Architect: William Oldham Chambers

    Date: 1758-76
    Designed: Alterations and additions to House (circa 1758-75) and Casino temple folly (1758-76), all for 1st Earl of Charlemont.

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  • Country Life: Feb 4-11, 1988.

  • Title: Guide to Irish Country Houses, A
    Author: Bence-Jones, Mark
    Year Published: 1988
    Reference: pg. 201
    Publisher: London: Constable and Company
    ISBN: 0094699909
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pg. 239
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: This Other Eden: Paintings From the Yale Center for British Art
    Author: Warner, Malcolm; Alexander, Julia Marciari
    Year Published: 1998
    Reference: pg. 92
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300074980
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Great Irish Houses and Castles
    Author: O'Brien, Jacqueline; Guinness, Desmond
    Year Published: 1992
    Reference: pg. 108
    Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
    ISBN: 0810933659
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Unknown

  • Past Seat / Home of: James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont, 1755-99.

    Current Ownership Type: Office of Public Works

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Folly Only

    Phone: 18-331-618

    Fax: 18-332-636

    Email: casinomarino@opw.ie

    Website: http://www.heritageireland.ie

    Historic Houses Member: No