Architect, possibly of Scottish origins, who was active in Cos. Fermanagh, Louth, Meath and Monaghan in the late 1690s and the first quarter of the 18th century. John Curle, mason, of 'Bewly' (Beaulieu, Co. Louth) was admitted a freeman of Kells, Co. Meath, in 1697, with consent for his son Richard to become free when he wished. He had at least one other son, Francis, a bricklayer, who died on 17 June 1724 at the age of fifty-five. The inscription on Francis Curle's gravestone in the churchyard at Beaulieu, Co. Louth, describes him as 'son of John Curle, bricklayer'.
Curle's earliest recorded work is a plan for the conversion of the former residence of the Bishop of Clogher in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, into the Viscount Weymouth Grammar School. Curle provided plans for alterations to the back of the building in 1698. Lord Weymouth who had wanted his agent to find 'some good architect from Dublin' to design an entirely new schoolhouse, was dubious about the choice of Curle: 'I could have wisht you had given me some account of him,' he wrote to his agent, John Fitch, 'as to what buildings he has made, where he lives…and wether he undertakes to build by the great.' Fitch must have reassured him, as Curle's plans were carried out, though not in a satisfactory manner. Curle also designed the original house at Castle Coole, Co. Fermanagh, built in 1709, and alterations at Beaulieu, Co. Louth, between 1710 and 1720. In about 1709 he designed Conyngham Hall (later Slane Castle), Co. Meath, and in 1722 he altered a plan of an unknown building for Robert, 1st Viscount Molesworth in 1722. It has also been suggested that Curle designed Stackallan House, Co. Meath, 1712.
NLI MS 25.446
(IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
Information from Rolf Loeber, Dec 2011.
Michael Quane, 'Viscount Weymouth Grammar School, Carrickmacross', JRSAI 86 (1956), 27-28.
Plans and elevations, signed and dated 23 Sep 1709, from the NLI (Irish Architectural Record Association collection) were exhibited in the Irish Architectural Drawings Exhibition, 1965 (cat. no. 33) but have since been lost (photographs in IAA).
Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 155-6.
Building accounts in IAA, Conolly Papers, Acc. 97/84, Box 55; elevation and plan repr. in Toby Barnard, Making the Grand Figure: Lives and Possessions in Ireland 1641-1770( 2004), 67.
NLI, p3753 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); Lord Molesworth had residences at Brackenstown, Co. Dublin, Molesworth Street and Cork Hill, Dublin.
Christine Casey, Stackallan House (Privately printed, 1999), 17.