Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of London, for whom see Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008),  239-245, and John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970).(1)    Although he is not believed  to have visited Ireland, Chambers produced a number of designs for buildings here. The most important of his executed Irish designs are the Casino at Marino (begun circa 1760) and Charlemont House in Dublin (commissioned 1762), both of them for his friend and patron the first Earl of Charlemont, and the Chapel and Examination Hall at Trinity College, Dublin (commissioned 1775).

Chambers exhibited three of his Irish designs at the Royal Academy: a hunting lodge for Lord Charlemont at Roxborough, Co. Tyrone (1869, no. 15);  'A Temple in a garden in Ireland' (1772, no. 47); and Charlemont's Casino at Marino (1773, no. 47). JAMES GANDON  JAMES GANDON was one of his pupils.

See WORKS for Irish work only.



References



(1) There is also an entry on Chambers by Helen Andrews in Dictionary of Irish Biography, ed. by James McGuire and James Quinn, 9 vols. (Cambridge University Press, 2009), II, 466-7.


14 work entries listed in chronological order for CHAMBERS, WILLIAM (SIR) #


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MALAHIDE ROAD, MARINO
Date: 1758-76
Nature: Casino, for 1st Earl of Charlemont: 'the perfect expression of Chambers's creative ability in small-scale design' (Harris)
Refs: Plan & elevation, formerly in collection of Sir Albert Richardson, acquired by OPW at Christie's sale, 30 Nov 1983 (Lot 14); plans in V & A Drawings Collection, 3342 Q2c, 3343 Q2c, 3344 Q2c, 3346 Q2c; RA 1773, no. 47; Wiilliam Chambers, A Treatise on the decorative part of Civil Architecture (3rd. edn., 1791), 136(illus.)(also illustrated in 1st and 2nd editions);  H.G. Leask, 'The Casino, Marino: national monument', JRIAI (1934), 18-24; John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 42-45,67,174,205, Pls.50-54,84, Fig.2; John Redmill & Ian C. Bristow, 'The Casino at Marino, Dublin', Transactions of the Association for Studies in the Conservation of Historic Buildings 9 (1984), 29-44; David Newman Johnson, 'The Casino at Marino', Irish Arts Review 1, no. 3 (Autumn 1984), 18-23; T. Austin Dunphy, 'The Casino. The Casino at Marino', RIAI Bulletin 52 (June-July 1985), 27-30; John Cornforth, 'The Casino at Marino, Dublin', Country Life 183, 4,11 Feb 1988, 70-73,94-97 Sean O'Reilly, The Casino at Marino (Dublin, OPW, 1991);  Christine Casey, .‘Newly discovered building accounts for Charlemont House and the Casino at Marino’, Apollo 140 (1999), 42 - 50;  Christine Casey, 'Boiseries, bankers and bills:  a tale of Charlemont and Whaley' in M. McCarthy, ed., Lord Charlemont and His Circle (2001), 47-59(illus.);   John Redmill, 'The buildings of William Chambers in Dublin' in M. McCarthy, op. cit., 154-159(illus.);  Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008) 242. 

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MALAHIDE ROAD, MARINO
Date: 1758ca-1775
Nature: Alts. & adds. and 'Dragon' gates.  Design for gate piers published by Chambers in Treatise (Designs for Gates & Piers, no. 1) used by him for the Malahide Road gate. For lst Earl of Charlemont. 
Refs: William Chambers, A Treatise on the decorative part of civil architecture (1st edn., 1759), plate facing p. 63, no. 1;  Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008) , 242;  John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 66 n.12,34,42

Building: CO. KILDARE, CASTLETOWN
Date: 1760ca
Nature: Decoration of Long Gallery, ?& other rooms; for Thomas Conolly. Gates taken from Lord Burlington's design for gates at Chiswick as published by Chambers in his Treatise on the decorative part of civil architecture..
Refs:  William Chambers, A Treatise on the decorative part of civil architecture (1st edn., 1759), 63(illus.);  John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 201;  Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008), 242 ;.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PARNELL SQUARE, CHARLEMONT HOUSE
Date: 1763-75
Nature: For 1st Earl of Charlemont
Refs: Design for staircase string in V & A Drawings Collection, 7078.31 Q2b; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (3rd edn., 1995), 239; John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 63-8,204, pl. 93, fig. 7; John Redmill, 'The buildings of William Chambers in Dublin' in M. McCarthy, ed., Lord Charlemont and His Circle (2001), 159-161(illus.);  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 149-151, Pl.37.

Building: CO. MEATH, HEADFORT
Date: 1765
Nature: WC paid 40 gns. by Viscount Headfort for (unexecuted) designs for house with 13-bay garden front, and entrance fron tiwh 7 bay central block, colonnaded quadrants leading to stable and kitchen wings.
Refs: Drawings in the collection of Mr & Mrs Paul Mellon; John Harris, Sir William Chambers(London, 1970), 210; John Harris, Headfort House & Robert Adam (RIBA exhibition catalogue, London, 1973), Pls. 5-7; John Cornforth, 'The Genesis of Headfort', Country Life 153, 5 Apr 1973, 947; Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 14

Building: CO. TYRONE, STRABANE, MAIN STREET, TOWN HALL
Date: 1765
Nature: Design for same, for James, 8th Earl of Abercorn.
Refs: Letter enclosing plans from 8th Earl of Abercorn to James Hamilton, 28 Dec 1765, in PRONI, D623/A/18/46, see PRONI E-catalogue, http://applications.proni.gov.uk/LL_DCAL_PRONI_ECATNI/ResultDetails.aspx (last visited, Nov 2011);  John H. Gebbie, An Introduction to the Abercorn Letters (Omagh, 1972), 301; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 492

Building: CO. TYRONE, ROXBOROUGH, HUNTING LODGE
Date: 1768
Nature: 2 projects supplied to Earl of Charlemont by WC. Not executed.
Refs: Plan of ground floor in Victoria & Albert Museum, RIBA Drawings Collection, SC72/7], see Margaret Richardson, ed.,Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects: C (RIBA, 1972), 19, and British Architectural Library Catalogue, http://riba.sirsidynix.net.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/MHgInBIexv/MAIN_CAT/51420022/13 (last visited Apr 2009); other drawings in Victoria & Albert Museum?; RA 1769, no. 15; John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 245, Pl 69, Figs. 5c,d

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CORK HILL, ROYAL EXCHANGE
Date: 1768-69
Nature: WC may have entered competition.
Refs: M.J. Craig, The Volunteer Earl (London, 1948), 252,257-8; Historical Manuscripts Commission, 12th Report, Appendix Part X (1891), 290,291

Building: CO. DUBLIN, RATHFARNHAM CASTLE
Date: 1770-1
Nature: Interiors, for Henry, 4th Viscount Loftus (cr. Earl of Ely, Nov. 1771).
Refs: Undated part plan of ground floor in RIBA Drawings Collection, J4/37 (see Margaret Richardson, ed., Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects: C (RIBA, 1972), 19;   correspondence between Loftus and Chambers in letter books of Sir William Chambers, British Library, Add. MSS 41133 & 41134 (information from Simon Loftus, Nov 2011);  Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008) 243-4; John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 241-2, which wrongly suggests that Chambers was employed from 1769

Building: CO. DUBLIN, LUCAN HOUSE
Date: 1773-5
Nature: Designs for Agmondisham Vesey. Modified by Vesey in execution..
Refs: Christopher Hussey, 'Lucan House, Co. Dublin', Country Life 101, 31 Jan 1947, 278-81; The Connoisseur 160, Sep 1965, 2-6 ; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn, 2008), 244; John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 235-6, Pl. 70; Desmond Guinness & William Ryan, Irish Houses and Castles (1971), 131-8; John Redmill, 'The buildings of William Chambers in Dublin' in M. McCarthy, ed., Lord Charlemont and His Circle (2001), 161-2,164(illus.);  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt (1746-1813) architect to George III (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012), 104.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, TRINITY COLLEGE, EAST RANGE (PROPOSED)
Date: 1775
Nature: Proposed arch, spire and range of lodgings.  Not executed, but described and illustrated as if so by Pool & Cash.
Refs: Robert Pool & John Cash, Views of the most remarkable public buildings, monuments and other edifices in the city of Dublin (1780),  37-39(illus.);  John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 95-6,206, Pl. 149; Country Life 159, 20 May 1976, 1310-1313;  Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008) 242.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, TRINITY COLLEGE, EXAMINATION HALL
Date: 1775;1777-1786
Nature: Design commissioned Dec 1775. Executed 1777-86 under direction of Graham Myers
Refs: Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008) 242; John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 95-6, 206, Pl. 150; Country Life 159, 20 May 1976, 1310-1313; measured drawings by C.A. Harrington, Sep 1909, in TCD library; John Redmill, 'The buildings of William Chambers in Dublin' in M. McCarthy, ed., Lord Charlemont and His Circle (2001), 162;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 390,396-7.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, TRINITY COLLEGE, CHAPEL (1787)
Date: 1775;1787p
Nature: Design commissioned Dec 1775. Executed from 1787 onwards under supervision of Christopher and Graham Myers.
Refs: James Malton, A Picturesque and descriptive view of the city of Dublin (1799), unpaginated;  Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008), 242; John Harris, Sir William Chambers (London, 1970), 95-6,206, Pl. 151; Country Life 159, 20 May 1976, 1310-1313; Lesley Whiteside, The Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin (Trinity College Chapel Committee, 1998), 6-7; John Redmill, 'The buildings of William Chambers in Dublin' in M. McCarthy, ed., Lord Charlemont and His Circle (2001), 162;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 390,396-7.

Building: CO. TYRONE, BARONSCOURT
Date: ?
Nature: Large dining room chimneypiece (removed from Duddingston House, Edinburgh)
Refs: Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 133

Author Title Date Details
Redmill, John 'The buildings of William Chambers in Dublin' M. McCarthy, ed., Lord Charlemont and His Circle (2001), 153-166.