Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and archaeologist, of Cork. Richard Rolt Brash, the son of a Cork builder and a younger brother of WILLIAM NEEDHAM BRASH WILLIAM NEEDHAM BRASH , was born in 1817 and brought up as a builder before becoming an architect. In 1852 he exhibited three architectural designs at the National Exhibition of the Arts, Manufactures & Products at Cork.(1) His antiquarian interests were developed through his association with the South Munster Society of Antiquaries and his friendship with the antiquarian, John Windele, on whom he wrote a memoir in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1865(2) and for whose grave he designed a memorial cross. Brash contributed many papers and articles on Irish antiquities to learned journals and magazines, his series of articles on the ancient ecclesiastical architecture of Ireland which appeared in the Irish Builder in 1872-1874, being published in book form in 1875. Besides these and other articles, he wrote a number of letters to newspapers, to the Gentleman's Magazine and to the Irish Builder on archaeological and architectural matters.(3) Subjects of his letters to the latter include adverse comment on Burges's design for St Finbarr's Cathedral, Cork;(4) another letter, written to a Dublin newspaper in September 1875, is critical of Street's restoration of Kildare Cathedral. Brash entered the debate on the purpose and function of round towers in two articles in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology of 1859 and 1860. He had a particular interest in Ogham inscriptions, on which he contributed ten papers to the Royal Irish Academy. His manuscripts on Ogham monuments were edited after his death by George M. Atkinson and published in London in 1879 as The Ogham Inscibed Monuments of the Gaedhil in the British Isles.

Brash was an active member of the Kilkenny Historical and Archaeological Society (see below). He was also a fellow of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries and the Cambrian Archaeological Association, to both of which societies he contributed a number of papers. In 1870 he was president of the Cork Cuvierian & Archaeological Society.(5)

Brash married Jane Jackson, on 14 September 1847.(6) It was to his wife, 'the congenial companion of many a pleasant pilgrimage', that he dedicated The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland. He died at his house, College View, Sunday's Well, Cork, on 18 January 1876 and was buried in St Finbarr's cemetery, Cork, four days later. He was survived by his wife and daughters and a brother in the USA. His library was sold in April 1876.(7) His widow made herself responsible for the postuhumous publication of her husband's writings on Ogham monuments.

AAI: proposed as member 9 Jan 1873, and elected 30 Jan.(8)
RSAI (Kilkenny Historical and Archaeological Society): elected member 9 July 1851;(9) committee member, 1868;(10) fellow, 5 April 1870.(11)
RIA: elected member 10 Apr 1865.(12)
GLFI: Worshipful Master of Lodge 3, Cork, in 1859 and 1860.(13)

Addresses: 23 Marlborough Street, 1853;(14) 39? Pope's Quay, Cork, <=1853;(15) 15 South Mall, 1863;(16) 21 South Mall, 1865;(17) 7 Pembroke Street, 1866-7.(18)
Home: 35 Sunday's Well Road (College View Terrace), Cork, 1858;(19) 38 Sunday's Well Road (College View Terrace), 1863.(20)

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY , which omits Brash's letters to magazines and newspapers and his articles on antiquities of a non-architectural nature.



References

All the information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is taken from the obituaries of Brash in IB 18, 1 Feb 1876, 31, B 34, 5 Feb 1876, 131, Archaeologia Cambrensis 7 (1876), 149, and from the biography in The Cork Archaeological Journal 6 (1900), 41, which also has a photograph of Brash.

(1) Ann M. Stewart, Irish Art Loan Exhibitions I (1990), 73.
(2) Gentleman's Magazine 2 (1865), 519-521.
(3) e.g. DB 6, 1 Jan 1865, 4; IB 13, 1 Jan 1871, 10.
(4) DB 5, 15 Feb, 1 Apr 1863, 61.
(5) IB 12, 15 Apr 1870, 83.
(6) www.familysearch.org ; however she gives her age as 77 in the 1901 census.
(7) IB 18, 1 Apr 1876, 97.
(8) JRSAI, 2 (1852-1853), 183.
(9) JRSAI 10 (1868-1869), 7.
(10) JRSAI 11(1870-1871), 449; his death is noted in JRSAI, 14 (1876-1878), 171.
(11) Jones, source not given.
(12) IB 15, 15 Jan,15 Feb 1873, 25,56.
(13) GLFI archives.
(14) APSD list of subscribers, 1853.
(15)   Undated plan and elevations for greenhouse at Old Court, Doneraile, for James Morrogh, signed  'Richard Brash, 39 (or 29?) Pope's Quay', were in a sale by Mealy's auctioneers, 4 & 5 Dec 2012, Lot 561 (end elevation illus. in sale catalogue). James Morrogh purchased Old Court in 1853 and embarked on extensive improvements to the garden. 
(16) APSD list of subscribers, 1863, and Laing's Cork Mercantile Directory (1863).
(17) See note 10, above.
(18) Cork Examiner, 1 Mar 1866, and Henry & Coghlan's General Directory of Cork (1867).
(19) JRSAI 5 (1858-59), list of members 'corrected to June 1858' at end of volume.
(20) Laing's Cork Mercantile Directory (1863).


33 work entries listed in chronological order for BRASH, RICHARD ROLT


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Building: CO. CORK, MALLOW, CONVENT OF MERCY
Date: 1850
Nature: New convent for Sisters of Mercy designed and built by RRB. Opened 1850. RRB exhibits design at National Exhibition of the Arts, Manufactures & Products, Cork, 1852 (no.15a). (Building enlarged by 1879.)
Refs: Cork Examiner, 13 Sep 1852 (information from Roger Herlihy, Cork, Nov 2010);  Evelyn Bolster, A History of Mallow (1971), ?

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SULLIVAN'S QUAY, TOWN HALL (PROPOSED)
Date: 1851
Nature: Competition entrant. RRB exhibits design at National Exhibition of the Arts, Manufactures & Products, Cork, 1852 (no. 15)
Refs: IALE, I, 73. (For further refs. to this project, seeB 7, 10 Feb 1849, 70; 9, 22 Feb,12 Jul,13 Dec 1851, 124,437,791; 10, 21 Feb 1852, 23.)

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, FLAX MILLS
Date: 1851
Nature: Flax mills 'erecting'.
Refs: B 9, 13 Dec 1851, 791

Building: CO. CORK, MALLOW, PRESBYTERY
Date: 1851-1852
Nature: New presbytery in '15th century style'. Dark red sandstone with limestone dressings. 'It is intended to erect a convent in the same style for the Sisters of Mercy on ground adjoining the same.'
Refs: B 9, 13 Dec 1851, 791; 10, 17 Apr 1852, 254

Building: CO. WATERFORD, LISMORE, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1852
Nature: Contract for new wing awarded to RRB..
Refs: B 10, 3 Apr 1852, 219

Building: CO. KERRY, KILLARNEY, RAILWAY ROAD, GREAT SOUTHERN HOTEL
Date: 1852
Nature: Competition entrant; wins premium of £50 for (unselected) design
Refs: Cork Examiner, 17 Nov 1852 (information from Roger Herlihy, Cork, Nov 2010);   B 10, 27 Nov 1852, 757.

Building: CO. CORK, BUTTEVANT, FRANCISCAN FRIARY
Date: 1852ca
Nature: RRB in charge of restoration of same.
Refs: Niamh NicGhabhann, Mediaeval Ecclesiastical Buildings in Ireland, 1789-1915: Building on fhe Past (Dublin, 2015),150-154.

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, CHURCH OF ST PATRICK (RC)
Date: 1853
Nature: Proposed new church (but one designed by Hadfield & Goldie built instead?).
Refs: Cork Examiner, 23 Feb 1853 (information from Roger Herlihy, Cork, Nov 2011).

Building: CO. CORK, OLD COURT (DONERAILE)
Date: 1853p
Nature: Proposed greenhouse for James Morrogh, Esq.
Refs: Signed, undated plan and elevations for sale by Mealy's auctioneers, 4 & 5 Dec 2012, Lot 561, End elevation illus. in sale catalogue)

Building: CO. CORK, BUTTEVANT, CHURCH OF ST MARY (RC)
Date: 1855-58
Nature: RRB architect and contractor for new works comprising chancel, sacristy, completion of interior, opening of traceried windows in N & S transepts and chancel, &c. Also removal of bell from new tower to mediaeval tower. (Taken back to new tower in 1950s.)
Refs: Transcript of contract, 12 Jun 1855  from MS synopsis of Buttevant parochial records by Rev. Cornelius Buckley, p.23 (information from Mgr James O'Brien, Buttevant, who has photocopy of same, Aug 2010); 
James O'Brien, St Mary's Church, Buttevant, Co. Cork: notes on its building history 1828-1886 (2011) (copy in IAA), 35-40(illus.),57-60.

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, ALBERT ROAD, CORK GAS CONSUMERS' CO.
Date: 1857
Nature: RRB supervises covering in of engine house and purifying house, completed Jun 1857.
Refs: Colin Rynne, The Industrial Archaeology of Cork City and its Environs  (1999),246-7

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SS. PETER & PAUL PLACE, CHURCH OF SS. PETER & PAUL (RC)
Date: 1859
Nature: Competition entrant
Refs: B 17, 241,258

Building: CO. CORK, UPTON, REFORMATORY
Date: 1860
Nature: New reformatory near Upton station. Prevalent style domestic Gothic. Main building 230 ft long with cloister, chapel, refectory, kitchen &c. Contractor: Richard Evans. Estimated cost under £3,000. Ready for occupation in Dec 1860.
Refs: DB 2, 1 Apr 1860, 235; 3, 1 Jan 1861, 390

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SOUTH MALL, NO. 022 (PROTESTANT HALL OR ASSEMBLY ROOMS)
Date: 1860-1861;1869-71
Nature: New hall. Classical, with coupled Corinthian pilasters. Contains assembly room, 100 x 45ft. FS laid 17 Mar 1860; 'on eve of completion', Apr 1861. Builder: John Harty. Proposed completion of entrance by covering it in and erecting reading room and other offices, 1869.  Work carried out by Feb 1871. Builder: R. Walker.
Refs: DB 1, 1 Jan 1859, 9; 2, 1 Apr 1860, 239; 3, 15 Apr 1861, 485; 11, 15 Dec 1869, 288(illus); B 19, 20 Apr 1861, 263;  Roger Herlihy, A Walk through the South Parish (Cork: Red Abbey Publications, 2010), 70-71(illus.).

Building: CO. CORK, BRIDGETOWN, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1860ca-1863
Nature: New church to accommodate 60 people for Rev. Samuel Barker Green Young. Contractor: H. Bible. Consecrated, 31 Jul 1863. (Church given to Ballyhooly ca 1879 so that materials could be used for building new church there.)
Refs: Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 2, no. 2 (Aug 1859), 31; 4, no. 50 (15 Aug 1863), 847;  Mehaul Magner, 'Christ Church, Ballyhooly, & the Bridgetown connection', Mallow Field Club Journal 22 (2004), 119-137(illus.).

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, BLARNEY ROAD, HOUSES (060)
Date: 1861
Nature: 60 working-class cottages to be erected for Cork Assn for Improving Dwellings of the Labouring Class.
Refs: IB 3, 1 Jan,15 Feb 1861, 390, 435

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SUNDAYS WELL, BUXTON, HOUSES (004)
Date: 1861
Nature: 4 cottages to be erected.Simon Kenefick's tender (£920 or £9500 accepted.
Refs: DB 3, 1 Apr 1861, 473

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, TOWN HALL
Date: 1861-62
Nature: New town hall with Grecian Doric portico, containing news room, library, assembly room, museum, &c. Cost: £1,500.
Refs: DB 3, 15 Aug 1861, 598; B 20, 31 May 1862, 394; D.J. O'Donoghue, History of Bandon (1970), ?

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SUNDAYS WELL, HOUSES (003)
Date: 1863
Nature: Block of 3 villas.
Refs: DB 5, 15 Jun 1863, 107

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, COMMONS ROAD (MILLFIELD), CORK SPINNING & WEAVING CO.
Date: 1864
Nature: Mill chimney.
Refs: Colin Rynne, The Industrial Archaeology of Cork City and its Environs  (1999),99

Building: COR, CORK, DOMINICK STREET, NO. 014 (O'HERLIHY'S BUTTER MARKET HOUSE)
Date: 1864
Nature: New premises for Patrick O'Herlihy, butter merchant.
Refs: Inscription on modern plaque on house (information from Roger Herlihy, Jan 2013).

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, BOTANIC GARDENS CEMETERY, JOHN WINDELE MONUMENT
Date: 1866-67
Nature: 18ft high Celtic cross in memory of John Windele (1801-1865). Executed by Patrick Scannell.
Refs: Cork Examiner, 1,28 Mar 1866 (information from Roger Herlihy, Cork, Mar 2011); DB 8, ? ? 1866, 93; IB 9, 15 Oct 1867, 270(illus.).

Building: CO. CORK, DONNYBROOK (DOUGLAS), SPINNING MILL (WALLIS & POLLOCK)
Date: 1867
Nature: 5-storey flax spinning mill, for Mssrs. Wallis & Pollock. (Premises purchased, 1889, by Morrogh & Co. for use as woollen factory.)
Refs: IB 9, 1 Mar 1867, 66;  Colin Rynne, The Industrial Archaeology of Cork City and its Environs  (1999),102,105(illus.).

Building: CO. CORK, DUNGOURNEY, ST PETER'S CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1869
Nature: Restoration and enlargement (lengthening by 18ft, heightening, addition of apse). 'The present structure has been so much restored that it may virtually be called a new edifice.' Builder: Barry, Midleton. Dedicated 19 Sep 1869.
Refs: B 27, 9 Oct 1869, 812

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, DOUGLAS ROAD, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1869-1870
Nature: Female schools, dormitories, probationary ward. Contractor: Patrick Barry (£3,510).
Refs: IB 11, 1 May,1 Jul 1869, 111,174; 12, 1 Feb 1870, 38

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SOUTH MALL, NO. 072 (CORK GAS CONSUMERS' CO)
Date: 1870ca
Nature: Remodelling, for Cork Gas Consumers' Co.
Refs: www.archiseek.com (last visited, Mar 2012).

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, ALBERT QUAY, CORN EXCHANGE
Date: 1871
Nature: Works at same.
Refs: IB 13, 1 Jul 1871, 176

Building: CO. CORK, QUARTERTOWN HOUSE (MALLOW)
Date: 1871
Nature: New 7-bay, 2-storey Italianate entrance front, for Robert Webb.
Refs: Anna-Maria Hajba, Houses of Cork I (2002), 303

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, WINDSOR HOUSE
Date: 1872
Nature: Improvements, for Captain Ducrot
Refs: IB 14, 15 Jul 1872, 205

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SIDNEY PLACE, HOUSES (006)
Date: 1872
Nature: 6 dwelling houses to be erected. Tender of Terence Flynn (£3,500) accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 15 Aug 1872, 219

Building: CO. CORK, FERMOY, FERMOY HOTEL
Date: 1873
Nature: To be altered and enlargedn at cost of about £3,000.. Contractor: C.W. Atkins.
Refs: IB 15, 1 Apr 1873, 99

Building: CO. CORK, CORK, SOUTH MALL, NO. 030-31 (LINEHAN'S WAREHOUSE & FURNITURE MART
Date: 1873a
Nature: Rebuilding after fire of Jul 1872 for Matthew Linehan, auctioneer;  'just completed' by 1 Apr 1873. (Later converted into Tukish Baths.)
Refs: IB 15, 1 Apr 1873, 99;  Roger Herlihy, A Walk Through the South Parish (Cork: Red Abbey Publications: 2010), 73.

Building: CO. CORK, COBH, WILLMOUNT CASTLE
Date: ?
Nature: House with 2-storey centre and 2 tall towers. For Capt. William Deane Seymour, JP
Refs: Journal of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society 34 (1929), 29 (photo)

Author Title Date Details
Anon. 'The literature of Gothic Architecture in Ireland' 1875 IB 17, 1,15 Feb,15 Oct,15 Nov,15 Dec 1875, 29,45,?. (Extensive commentary on Brash's Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland.)
Brash, Richard Rolt 'Neglect of Architectural Antiquities in Ireland' 1850 B 8, 30 Nov 1850, 569.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'The round tower of Cloyne' 1853;1860 JRSAI, 2 (1853), 260-261; DB 2, 1 Jun 1860, 273.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'An account of some antiquities in the neighbourhood of Buttevant, Co. Cork 1853;1861 JRSAI 2 (1853), 265-276; DB 3, 1 Oct 1861, 639.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'The local antiquities of Buttevant, Co. Cork' 1853;1861 JRSAI 2 (1853), 83-96,265-276; DB 3, 1 Oct 1861, 639.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'The Franciscan Friary at Adare' 1857 JRSAI 4 (1857), 61-70.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'The round towers of Ireland' 1858 B 16, 13 Mar 1858, 175.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'Notes on the round tower controversy' 1860 Ulster Journal of Archaeology (Old Series), 7 (1859), 155; DB 2, 1 Apr,1 May 1860, 229,246.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'The round tower controversy.-The Belfry theory examined' 1861 Ulster Journal of Archaeology (Old Series), 8 (1860), 280; DB 3, 1,15 Feb 1861, 413,429.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'Inishcaltra and its remains' 1866 Gentleman's Magazine 1 (new series, 1866), 7-22.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'Irish Architecture' 1866;1867 DB 8, 15 May 1866, 130; APSD, Pt. 16 (1867), I, 41-44.
Brash, Richard Rolt 'The round tower and church at Dysert, Co. Limerick' 1868 IB 10, 15 Oct 1868, 260; JRSA 10 (1869), 54-61.(Also published separately as The round tower and church of Dysert, University Press, Dublin, 1868.)
Brash, Richard Rolt 'Notes on the ecclesiastical architecture of Ireland' 1872-1874 IB 14, Jan-Dec 1872, 3,19,34,49,63,80,93,108,137,153,168,180,210,236,249,263,290,318; 15, Jan-July, Oct-Dec 1873, 4,48,62,76,90,117,146,179,273,293,313; 16, Jan-Feb 1874, 10,18,51,68. (Published in book form as The Ecclesiastical antiquities of Ireland , q.v.)
Brash, Richard Rolt 'The sculptured crosses of Ireland and what we learn from them' 1873 JRSAI 12 (1872-1873), 98-112.
Brash, Richard Rolt Ecclesiastical Architecture to the close of the 12th Century 1875 Dublin: W.B. Kelly, 1875.
Brash, Richard Rolt The Ecclesiastical antiquities of Ireland, to the close of the twelfth century 1875 Dublin: W.B. Kelly, 1875. (Originally published as articles in IB, 1872.)
Brash, Richard Rolt The Ogam inscribed monuments of the Gaedhil in the British Isles 1879 London: L.G. Bell & Sons, 1879. Edited by George M. Atkinson