Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and builder, of Dublin. The marriage of 'Mr Lilly, Architect' to 'the agreeable Miss Smyth', both residents of Townsend Street, is recorded in Faulkner's Dublin Journal for 29 September to 2nd October 1781. The following year, at Christmas 1782, Lilly was admitted a Freeman of the City of Dublin as a member of the Corporation of Carpenters by virtue of service.(1) He was one of the wardens of the Corporation of Carpenters for 1791-92(2) and represented the Corporation on the Common Council of the City of Dublin from 1802 until 1814,(3) serving on various committees.(4)

Lilly was a timber merchant as well as an architect and carpenter; in 1798 he supplied the materials and carried out the carpentry work 'at the barriers on the canal bridges' for the Board of Ordnance.(5) By 1805 he was worth at least £2,000, a precondition for nomination as a candidate for the position of Sheriff.(6) Around 1789-90 he was particularly active in Co. Down, where he carried out the restoration of Down Cathedral (presiding over the demolition of the round tower)(7) and carried out or drew designs for other works on the estates of Wills Hill, first Marquess of Downshire, and in the neighbouring countryside.(8) At one stage he took a lease on a farm on the Downshire estate at Blessington, Co. Wicklow.(9) He is also recorded as having worked at Rockingham, Co. Roscommon. A design by him for an Adamesque entrance archway and columned screen is among the Forde family papers at Seaforde, Co. Down.(10)  

According to the recollections of his fellow tradesmen, written in 1834, Lilly had chiefly been a country contractor';  his business declined in 1805, failed in 1807, and he died 'very poor' n 1809 .(11)

The John Lilly, who was admitted to the Dublin Society's School of Drawing in Architecture on 7 December 1797 was possibly his son.(12)

Addresses:(13) 3 Townsend Street, 1781;(14) 10 Mark Street, 1798-99; 8 Merrion Row 1804-20.

See WORKS.



References



(1) 'An alphabetical list of the Freemen of the City of Dublin, 1774-1824', The Irish Ancestor XV (1983), Nos. 1 & 2, 77.
(2) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 16-18 Aug 1791.
(3) CARD XV, 537,539; XVI, 514.
(4) CARD XVI, 147,152,260,278.
(5) Bryan Bolger MSS, NLI MS 10,711; Lilly is designated 'architect and timber merchant' in Wilson's Dublin Directory for 1799.
(6) CARD XV, 412; see also XVI 135,144.
(7) Letter from John Dubourdieu, 20 Jun 1799, in Nichol's Literary Illustrations VII, 821 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(8) See E.R.R. Green & F.M. Jope, 'Patron and architect: an example of relations in the late 18th century', Ulster Journal of Archaeology 24-25 (1962), 145. Documentation providing evidence of works by Lilly for the Marquesses of Downshire is in PRONI D/671.
(9) Information from Fred Rankin, citing Downshire estate papers in PRONI.
(10) J.A.K. Dean, The Gate Lodges of Ulster: a gazetteer (UAHS, 1994), 93-94(illus.).
(11) Royal Irish Academy, Haliday MS 4B 31.
(12) MS. transcript from Royal Dublin Society minutes of School of Architectural Drawing admissions and prizewinners (in IAA).
(13) From Wilson's Dublin Directory unless otherwise stated.
(14) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 29 Sep-2 Oct 1781.


24 work entries listed in chronological order for LILLY, CHARLES


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Building: CO. DOWN, HILLTOWN, CHURCH OF ST JOHN (CI, CLONDUFF PARISH)
Date: 1771?
Nature: New church, which Rankin thinks must be by CL as it is identical to original plans by CL for Drumbo.
Refs: Fred Rankin, ed., Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996), 175 (illus.);  exterior also illus in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013),  198.
 

Building: CO. DOWN, OAKLEY HOUSE
Date: 1789
Nature: CL consultant; for Dean Annesley.
Refs: E.R.R. Green & F.M. Jope, 'Patron and architect: an example of relations in the late 18th century', Ulster Journal of Archaeology24-25 (1962), 146; E.M. Jope, ed., An Archaeological Survey of Co. Down (1966), 378

Building: CO. DOWN, HILLTOWN LODGE
Date: 1789
Nature: Block plan of house by CL, 1789, in PRONI shows house as it now exists.
Refs: Plans in PRONI, Downshire MSs, D671/P7/3,4; E.M. Jope, ed., An Archaeological Survey of Co. Down (1966), 415

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, INFIRMARY YARD
Date: 1789
Nature: Stone and brickwork for Mr Houghton at his new buildings measured by Bryan Bolger by order of CL.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/125

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, COUNTY GAOL (OLD)
Date: 1789
Nature: CL advertises for tenders for erecting same for Co. Down Grand Jury.
Refs: Belfast News Letter, 15-19 May 1789 (Belfast News Letter Index, www.louisiana.ucs.edu)

Building: CO. DOWN, BALLYLESSON, CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY (CI, DRUMBO PARISH)
Date: 1789-91
Nature: Designed by CL, for 1st Marquess of Downshire. Consecrated 24 Jul 1791.
Refs: Elevation in PRONI DIO/4/22/7/6); Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996), Part 1, 108(illus.),109; see also J.F. Rankin, Heritage of Drumbo (1981)

Building: CO. DOWN, PORTAFERRY HOUSE
Date: 1790
Nature: CL designs proposed alts.
Refs: 3 drawings by CL, dated 1789 and 1790 in PRONI, D552/B/3/4/1-3; E.M. Jope, ed., An Archaeological Survey of Co. Down (1966), 379, Pl. 171

Building: CO. DOWN, BALLYKILBEG HOUSE
Date: 1790-91
Nature: Designs house for William Johnston. Accounts mention '3 mended deals sent from Dublin by Mr Lilly'.
Refs: E.R.R. Green & F.M. Jope, 'Patron and architect: an example of relations in the late 18th century', Ulster Journal of Archaeology24-25 (1962), 146; D.M. Waterman, 'The building of Ballykilbeg House, Co. Down, 1790-92', Ulster Journal of Archaeology24-25 (1962), 152-155; E.M. Jope, ed., An Archaeological Survey of Co. Down (1966), 352

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY TRINITY (CI)
Date: 1790-92
Nature: Restoration, for 1st Marquess of Downshire, and Dean William Annesley. (Richardson suggest that Lilly was responsible for exterior, then fell out with Dean on taking him to law for non-payment of fees, and R.F. Brettingham responsible for interior; however Lilly was called upon to report on 'the present state of the cathedral' in 1809, see letter from  Thomas Handley to Dean Annesley in PRONI, D607/I/158.)
Refs: Douglas Scott Richardson, Gothic Revival Architecture in Ireland (1983), 189; Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996), Part 1, 103

Building: CO. OFFALY, EDENDERRY, MARKET HOUSE
Date: 1791;1793;1799
Nature: Proposals for market house, for Arthur, 2nd Marquess of Downshire.
Refs: Designs dated 1791,1793 and 1799 in PRONI, Downshire Papers, D671/P6/1-14E .

Building: CO. KILDARE, CRADOXTOWN
Date: 1791ca
Nature: CL architect of house or works at Cradoxtown, for James Carlile.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, STEPHEN STREET, HOUSES (002)
Date: 1794
Nature: Brickwork by CL for Mr Mullanphey's 2 houses measured by Bryan Bolger, 1794.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/126

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LEESON STREET, SEWER WALLS
Date: 1798
Nature: Stonework for sewer walls for John Nelson's concerns measured by Bryan Bolger, 1798.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/126

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LEESON STREET, STABLE
Date: 1798
Nature: Sundry works by CL for Wm. Patrickson's new stable measured by Bryan Bolger, 1798.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/126

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, LATOUCHE'S BANK
Date: 1802
Nature: Carpentry work by CL measured by Bryan Bolger, Mar 1802, by order of Richard Morrison.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/125

Building: CO. WICKLOW, BELLEVUE (DELGANY)
Date: 1803
Nature: Carpentry work (including chapel) by CL for Peter La Touche measured by Bryan Bolger, Mar 1803, by order of Richard Morrison.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/125

Building: CO. DOWN, SEAFORDE HOUSE
Date: 1805
Nature: Design for Adamesque entrance arch and screen is possibly unexecuted proposal for Seaforde, for Matthew Forde.
Refs: Elevation and plan in Forde family papers, Seaforde, Co. Down; J.A.K. Dean, The Gate Lodges of Ulster: a gazetteer (UAHS, 1994),  93-94(illus.)

Building: CO. DOWN, BANBRIDGE, DOWNSHIRE ARMS HOTEL
Date: 1810
Nature: Proposed refronting of inn (not carried out)
Refs: Drawing by CL among Downshire MSS, PRONI D671/P1/1-8 (reproduced in C.E. B. Brett & D. Dunleath, Historic Buildings…in the borough of Banbridge (UAHS, 1969), 6)

Building: CO. DOWN, HILLTOWN, INN
Date: ?
Nature: Plan for same.
Refs: PRONI D671/P72 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, ROCKINGHAM (BOYLE)
Date: ?
Nature: CL works at same.
Refs: NLI, MSS 3775, 8810 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. WICKLOW, BLESSINGTON
Date: ?
Nature: Works at, for Marquess of Downshire.
Refs: PRONI D671/v630 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DOWN, BANBRIDGE, MARKET HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: CL provides design.
Refs: E.R.R. Green & F.M. Jope, 'Patron and architect: an example of relations in the late 18th century', Ulster Journal of Archaeology24-25 (1962), 146, citing PRONI D671/P1/6 (but date of 'c. 1830 surely relates to 2nd market house, see C.E.B. Brett, Court Houses & Market Houses of the Province of Ulster (UAHS, 1973), 63

Building: CO. DOWN, LASCELLES HOUSE (KILLOUGH)
Date: ?
Nature: Design provided by CL..
Refs: E.R.R. Green & F.M. Jope, 'Patron and architect: an example of relations in the late 18th century', Ulster Journal of Archaeology24-25 (1962), 146

Building: CO. DOWN, ARDGLASS CASTLE
Date: ?
Nature: Design provided by CL.
Refs: E.R.R. Green & F.M. Jope, 'Patron and architect: an example of relations in the late 18th century', Ulster Journal of Archaeology24-25 (1962), 146