Whispers

I work in a most amazing place that is steeped in history. It is a house that has been standing for two centuries and has seen people from all corners of life walk through its doors.  I feel like I walk among ghosts when I wander through the endless warren of corridors. In its youth, this mansion was full of grandeur, entertaining the wealthy and beautiful lords and ladies of Dublin in the early 1800’s. The architecture suggests affluence and the grounds are extensive. There is a walled-in Victorian garden at the end of the property where a curvilinear glasshouse still stands. It is my dream to have this restored to its former glory. I think it dates back to before 1850.  There are magnificent views of Dublin Bay. The grounds outside the estate were popular with the gentry of that time for hunting. This is a sketch of the house, dated 1867. The original house can be seen on the right hand side. It had a massive conservatory which housed many exotic plants, but sadly no longer stands there today. A viewing tower was constructed as one of the lords who occupied the house was in love with the scenic views. 

In 1863, a religious order took ownership and it became a school and convent. The nuns constructed the left-wing, which was attached to the original house. The following  photograph is of one of the ladies who attended the boarding school, taken c. 1870. The school was originally a poor-school but it soon became popular with the higher classes in society as the quality of education given by the nuns was excellent. It was not long before the daughters of the rich began attending. This is evident from the school registers which record the addresses of pupils at that time.

The voices of the nuns are now also but a whisper, just as the  occupants before them.  The nuns have moved out of the convent since 2007 as the house was too big for them to manage. They are a dying breed unfortunately. Many of them are quite elderly now. The school has taken over the use of the convent, holding lectures and meetings there. The house still preserves the smell of history and the shadows of eras gone by.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Whispers

  1. It’s rather sad to see such an interesting history and historical landmark, be all but forgotten in today’s Dublin. Most people have heard of it, but don’t know why they have. Having been to the building, walked through its’ halls, climbed the tower and meandered the extensive grounds, including the walled garden and on-site cemetery, I can concur with you that it is ‘a most amazing place’. Another special monument, whose history and importance will soon be relegated to the dead.

    But I know you’ll do your best to keep it alive!

  2. How lovely to work in a beautiful old building! And Dublin Bay is such a gorgeous view. Thanks for recording the history of the place and keeping it alive.

  3. What an incredible place! You’re so lucky to be working there. I’ve never been to Ireland, but it’s near the top of my list because my grandmother came from there.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

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