Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Civil engineer, nationalist, local historian and book collector.  Charles Guilfoyle Doran, the son of a builder, was born in Knocknaskea, Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow, on on 2 February 1835.(1)  While he was still a boy, his family moved to Cobh.  Charles trained as an architect and engineer in his father's office and at the same time began to write articles for newspapers and journals.   Increasingly involved in nationalist politics, he fled to Paris after the failed Fenian rising of 1867.    On his return to Ireland the following year, he became clerk of the works to PUGIN & PUGIN & amp; ASHLIN  ASHLIN for the building of the main body of Cobh Cathedral,(2) despite some misgivings on Ashlin's part about his political activism. He remained clerk of works for the cathedral for many years and lived in Cobh for most of the rest of his life, involving himself in local politics and serving as chairman of the town commissioners.   He was also involved in the Cobh waterworks at Tibbotstown, circa 1899, together with SAMUEL ALEXANDER KIRKBY SAMUEL ALEXANDER KIRKBY , county surveyor for the East Riding of Cork.(4)   It was from Cobh that he wrote a letter which was read at the inaugural meeting of the Architectural Association of Ireland on 20 May 1872, in which he urged the association to encourage 'the recognition of those classes to whom the architect's designs are entrusted for execution'.(3)   He was a member of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society and contributed several papers to the society's journal during the 1890s.(5)

At the end of his life Doran moved to Cork, where he died on 19 March 1909,(6) survived by his much younger wife, Elizabeth, and nine children.(7) He was buried in St Joseph's Cemetery, Cork. His library was sold by Scanlon & Sons of Cork in 1910.(8)  A collection of his papers (The Charles Doran Archive) was sold at Mealy's Auction Rooms, 7-8 Dec 2021, Lot 703;  

Addresses:  Roche's Row, Cobh, 1875;(9)   Dunworth House, Cobh;(10) Union Quay, Cork, at time of death.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2006), 87 (ref. supplied by Magr James O'Brien, Buttevant, Co. Cork, Sep 2010) and from the biography in Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Guilfoyle_Doran , last visited Sep 2010).  A brief obituary is in Freeman's Journal, 20 Mar 1909.  Doran was the subject of an exhibition held in Cobh Museum in 1978 (copy of catalogue in Cork City Archives, U268).  

(1) Mark Francis Ryan and Thomas F. O'Sullivan, Fenian Memoirs  (Dublin: Gill, 1946), 97 (ref. supplied by Mgr James O'Brien, as above).
(2) IB 14, 1 Jul 1872, 190. 
(3) IB 41, 15 Dec 1899, 215.
(4) IB 10, 15 Oct 1868, 247; 51, 3 Apr 1909, 193.
(5) For list of these, see obituary in JCHAS 15 (1909), 50-51.
(6) See note 1, above.
(7) Information from censuses of 1901 and 1911.
(8) IB 52, 5 Feb 1910, 94.
(9) Guy's Cork Almanac and Directory (1875).
(10) The Architect's & Surveyor's Directory & Referendum (1910), 186.

3 work entries listed in chronological order for DORAN, CHARLES GUILFOYLE

Sort by date | Sort alphabetically

Date: 1868p
Nature: CGD clerk of works to cathedral from 1868.
Refs: Bound volume, 'Specifications & Quantities for the New Cathedral of Queenstown.  Messrs Pugin & Ashlin Architects', Oct 1868, with MS notes added sold at auction in Mealy's Christmas and Rare Books Collectors sale, 8 Dec 2021, Lot 703 ('Charles Doran Archive').   See also BIOGRAPHY.

Date: 1893
Nature:  CG visits Canon Brosnan in Cahirciveen iin connection with same., Jun 1893.
Refs: Exercise book containing CG's 'notes on the manner in which the O’Connell Memorial Church, Cahirciveen, was originated' and his account of a visit to Cahirciveen,10 June 1893 to meet Canon Brosnan together with brochure containing plan, description, and illustrations.sold at auction in Mealy's Christmas and Rare Books Collectors sale, 8 Dec 2021, Lot 703 ('Charles Doran Archive').

Date: 1897-1904
Nature: Gravitation scheme, with S.A. Kirkby, including formation of reservoir at Tibbetstown/Cloneen,  Tenders invited, May 1897;  'nearly finished' in Dec 1902. Contractors: E. & R. Lester, Plymouth. £23,000.
Refs: IB 39, 15 May 1897, 100; 46, 19 Nov 1904, 766;  Irish Times, 22 May 1897.

Author Title Date Details
? Charles Guilfoyle Doran, designer of the interior of Cobh cathdral
Exhibition catalogue, Cobh Museum, 1978 (copy in Cork City Archives).
Kavanagh, T.j. 'Charles Doran of Cove, Centenary of a Great Irishman'
1935 Dublin Metropolitan Magazine, Spring 1935, 39.