Tuesday 18 January 2022

Burning the Big House: free lecture series (online) and exhibition

The Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates (CSHIHE) will host an interesting lecture series this spring exploring the burning of nearly 300 country mansions – long-time symbols of power and oppression – in the last years of Ireland's Revolutionary Era.

The Burning the Big House lecture series is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme. The free, online lectures will be presented on Thursday evenings (7pm to 8pm), from 24 March to 19 May and are open to all.

You need to register in advance and can make a donation to CSHIHE at the same time, if you so wish.

The first and last lectures will be delivered live, online. All the others will be pre-recorded and aired according to the following schedule:

24 MARCH: Burning the Big House: the story of the country house during the Irish Revolution, 1920-23, with Terence Dooley

31 MARCH: Revolution, agrarianism and the burning of Ballydugan House, Co Galway, 1922, with Ann O’Riordan

7 APRIL: ‘A barbarous mania of incendiarism’: house burnings in Co Louth, 1921-23, with Jean Young

14 APRIL: ‘A smouldering mass of charred stones’: The burning of country houses in Offaly, 1920-1923, with CiarĂ¡n Reilly

21 APRIL: Munster’s ‘Campaign of Fire’: Big House burnings in Counties Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford, 1922–23, with Gemma Clark

28 APRIL: ‘Ours must go in time’: the burning of Sir John Keane’s Cappoquin House, Co Waterford, with Glascott Symes

5 MAY: The ruined Irish country house: reality and perception, with Robert O'Byrne

12 MAY: ‘Such troubled times’: the burning of big houses in Northern Ireland 1921-1981, with Olwen Purdue

19 MAY: Ablaze! Fire and the country house: a perspective beyond Ireland, with Christopher Ridgway.

These talks will run in tandem with Burning the Big House: The Story of the Irish Country House in Revolution, 1920-23, an exhibition curated by Professor Terence Dooley. This will be hosted by the Irish Architectural Archives, 21 March–29 April, and by Maynooth University Library in May.

Book your free tickets, here.

(Terence Dooley's 386-page book, 'Burning the Big House: The Story of the Irish Country House in a Time of War and Revolution', will be published by Yale University in March 2022.)