Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Amateur. Blayney Townley Balfour, who was born in 1769, inherited the Townley Hall estate in Co. Louth from his grandfather in 1788 while he was travelling on the Continent. On returning home in 1790 he immediately set his mind to rebuilding the old house, a project in which he was abetted by his sister ANNE MARIA DAWSON ANNE MARIA DAWSON , wife of the Rev. Vesey Dawson, whose own interest in architecture is evident from her surviving drawings. After making an initial approach to FRANCIS JOHNSTON FRANCIS JOHNSTON , Balfour set out on a second continental tour in the spring of 1791. In Rome in April 1792 he visited the studio of JAMES PLAYFAIR JAMES PLAYFAIR , from whom he commissioned proposals for the new house. However, after his return to Ireland later the same year, he reverted to his original idea of employing FRANCIS JOHNSTON  FRANCIS JOHNSTON as his architect, probably because he wanted to participate fully in the design process. He had strong views about what he wanted, resulting in many changes to the design between 1792 and 1794, including the introduction of the circular central hall, which was appears to have been his own - and Anne's - idea.


All information in this entry is from Frank Mitchell, 'The Evolution of Townley Hall', BIGS 30 (1987), 10-27, which contains a detailed account of the various changes made to the design.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for BALFOUR, BLAYNEY TOWNLEY

Sort by date | Sort alphabetically

Date: 1790-1794
Nature: Interested himself in design of house (by F.Johnston)
Refs: Frank Mitchell, 'The Evolution of Townley Hall', BIGS 30 (1987)