Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Amateur. Anna Maria Dawson, a daughter of Blayney Townley Balfour (1744-1771) of Townley Hall, Co. Louth, married the Rev. Thomas Vesey Dawson in 1783. A competent draughtswoman, with an interest in architecture, she was consulted by her brother, Blayney Townley Balfour the younger, about the design of Townley Hall, which was rebuilt to designs by FRANCIS JOHNSTON  FRANCIS JOHNSTON in 1794-96. She appears to have collaborated happily with Johnston. After her husband acquired the benefices of Galtrim, Co. Meath, in 1784, Ematris, Co. Monaghan, in 1803, and Loughgilly, Co. Armagh, in 1806, Johnston was commissioned to design or improve the Dawsons' residences in each parish. Johnston designed a new house for them, Fort Weston (completed by 1799) next to Galtrim parish church,(1) was at least consulted about improvements to Dawson Grove, the family seat in the parish of Ematris, and designed improvements to the rectory at Loughgilly.

The Irish Architectural Archive holds drawings by Anne Maria Dawson in the Townley Hall collection Acc. 85/156.


All information in this entry is from Frank Mitchell, 'The Evolution of Townley Hall', IGS Bulletin 30 (1987), 3-61,  and from Ruth Thorpe, Women, architecture and building in the east of Ireland, c.1790-1840 (Maynooth Studies in Local History, 2013), 11-27.

(1) The house was renamed Galtrim House by its next owners.

Author Title Date Details
Mitchell, Frank 'The Evolution of Townley Hall' 1897 BIGS Bulletin 30(1987), 3-61.