Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and 'projector', of Dublin. Grace's earliest recorded enterprise is an undated engraved perspective view of Sackville Street and Gardiner's Mall, Dublin, dedicated to Lionel, Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, by 'His Grace's Most Obedient Humble servant Oliver Grace'.(1) This engraving must presumably have been executed between 1751 and 1755, the years of the Duke's second term of office as Lord Lieutenant. In 1756 he was one of the architects who submitted plans for the rebuilding of the roof of St Werburgh's church, Dublin, which had been destroyed in a fire in November 1754.(2) His name next appears in the Journal of the House of Commons for 1761-4, which records a payment to him of £9-2s for making a chart of the coast between Balbriggan and Skerries, Co. Dublin, and for designing a quay.(3) 'Mr Grace', architectural draughtsman of Fleet Street, Dublin, exhibited three designs at the Society of Artists in Ireland between 1765 and 1768: 'A plan and elevation of a house and part of the offices for a nobleman' in 1765 (no. 66), 'A plan and elevation of a church and steeple' in 1767 (no. 94), and 'An elevation, proposed as a front to the Exhibition Room' in 1768 (no. 81).(4) In the latter year he also entered two designs in the Royal Exchange competition.(5) During the early 1780s he was employed by Charles Agar, Archbishop of Cashel, on various projects.(6)

The date of Grace's death is not recorded. If he is the architect named Grace who is said to have designed Lyons House, Co.Kildare for Nicholas Lawless, first Baron Cloncurry, in 1797, he was still active at that date,(7) and could possibly be the Oliver Grace, esq, of Cullenswood, Dublin, whose will was proved in the Prerogative Court in 1804.(8) He may be connected in some way with the Grace family of Gracefield, Co. Laois, several members of which were named Oliver, but there is no mention of him in Sheffield Grace's fanciful Memoirs of the family of Grace (1823).

Addresses: Fleet Street;(9) 35 Fleet Street, 1784;(10) ?Capel Street.(11)

See WORKS.



References



(1) Copy in British Library; photograph in IAA.
(2) K. Severens, 'a new perspective on Georgian building practice; the rebuilding of St Werburgh's Church, Dublin (1754-59)', BIGS 35 (1992-93), 6.
(3) Information from John Andrews (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(4) G. Breeze, Society of Artists in Ireland: Index of Exhibits, 1765-80 (NGI, 1985), 12.
(5) B 27, 2 Oct 1869, 781.
(6) A.P.W. Malcomson, Bishop Charles Agar: churchmanship and politics in Ireland, 1760-1810 (2002), 58n,208,298,306-10,349,354,358,365,372.
(7) Georgian Society Records V (1913), 93.
(8) Arthur Vicars, Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 (1897), 200.
(9) See note 3, above.
(10) Wilson's Dublin Directory 1784.
(11) IB 16, 15 Jul 1874, 205.


10 work entries listed in chronological order for GRACE, OLIVER


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WERBURGH STREET, ST WERBURGH'S CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1756
Nature: OG and others invited submit plans for rebuilding roof of cburch, destroyed in fire of 6-7 Nov 1754. (Plan of William Goodwin chosen by committee).
Refs: K. Severens, 'a new perspective on Georgian building practice; the rebuilding of St Werburgh's Church, Dublin (1754-59)'m BIGS 35 (1992-93), 6

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CORK HILL, ROYAL EXCHANGE
Date: 1768-69
Nature: Submitted 2 plans in competition
Refs: B 27, 2 Oct 1869, 781

Building: CO. CORK, MITCHELSTOWN, KINGSTON COLLEGE
Date: 1775ca-1881
Nature: John Morrison's plans chosen but built - or completed? - to design of OG.
Refs: Freeman's Journal, 23-26 Mar 1771; A.M. Rowan, ed., The Architecture of Richard and William Vitruvius Morrison (IAA, 1989), 1-2; F. O'Dwyer, '"A Noble Pile in the late Tudor Style": Mitchelstown Castle', Irish Arts Review 18 (2002), 34(illus.),35

Building: CO. CARLOW, LISNAVAGH
Date: 1778a
Nature: Proposed house for William Bunbury (d. 1778).
Refs: Drawings, signed O? Grace, among Rathdonnell Papers at Lisnavagh (photographs in IAA)

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CASHEL, JOHN STREET, CATHEDRAL OF ST JOHN (CI)
Date: 1781-83
Nature: Payments of over £600 to Grace for work on cathedral, for Charles Agar, Archbishop of Cashel.
Refs: Hampshire Record Office, Normanton papers (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44).; A.P.W. Malcomson, Bishop Charles Agar: churchmanship and politics in Ireland, 1760-1810 (2002), 298,306-10;  exterior and interior illus. in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 336.

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CASHEL, MAIN STREET, ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE
Date: 1784ca
Nature: Alts. to palace (new study) and outbuildings in garden and demesne. for Charles Agar, Archbishop of Cashel.  (Agar spent £1,123 on the palace.)
Refs: Plans and estimate for study, Jan 1784, in Normanton papers, Hampshire Record Office, M57/B14/1a,b,c.; A.P.W. Malcomson, Bishop Charles Agar: churchmanship and politics in Ireland, 1760-1810 (2002), 58,349,354,358;  A.P.W. Malcomson, The Clements Archive (Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2010), 676.

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, KILVEMNON, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1791
Nature: New; estimated cost £548. (Lewis describes it as 'a plain structure')
Refs: A.P.W. Malcomson, Bishop Charles Agar: churchmanship and politics in Ireland, 1760-1810 (2002), 208.

Building: CO. KILDARE, LYONS
Date: 1797?
Nature: New house 'erected after designs by Mr. Grace'.(Brewer)
Refs: J.N. Brewer, The Beauties of Ireland (1825 & 1826), II, ?; Georgian Society Records V (1913), 93

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, BALLYBEG, CHURCH (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: ?Possibly designed by Grace for Charles Agar, Archbishop of Cashel.
Refs: Hampshire Record Office, Normanton papers (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, LITTLETON, CHURCH (CI, BORRISOLEIGH PARISH)
Date: ?
Nature: Plans and estimates for church by Nowlan and Grace. (Date of church given as 1786 by Costegalde & Walker.)
Refs: Plans, estimates and accounts by Nowlan and Grace, 1784-92, in Normanton MSS, Hampshire Record Office, M 57B14/18-19 and B7/2;  Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 337(illus.)