Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of London, and member of the extensive family of architects who were descended from John Wyatt (1675-1742) of Weeford, Staffordshire, for whom see Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 1995), 1170,1155-1189 and the Wyatt family tree in Derek Linstrum, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects: the Wyatt family (1974). James Wyatt had a flourishing country house practice in Ireland from the early 1770s until his appointment as Surveyor General of the King's Works in England in 1796. Despite the assertion by Lt. John Chaytor in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs that Wyatt was 'never in Ireland',(1) he is known to have visited Ireland at least once, in 1785, in connection with the remodelling of Slane Castle, Co. Meath, for the second Baron Conyngham.(2) THOMAS PENROSE  THOMAS PENROSE acted as his agent or assistant in Ireland(3) at least until April 1787, and it has been suggested that THOMAS COOLEY THOMAS COOLEY (4) and RICHARD MORRISON RICHARD MORRISON (5) might also have been employed to supervise some of his Irish commissions. John Martin Robinson points out that Wyatt's work exerted a major influence on neo-classical architecture and decoration in Ireland, where a far higher proportion of his buildings has survived than in England.

See WORKS, for Irish work only.



References

For the fullest account of Wyatt's work in Ireland, see John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), 103-124.


(1) A. Day, P. McWilliams & L. English, eds., Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland Vol. 4, 67.
(2) Colvin, op. cit., above, 1108n;  Farington's Diary and 'Hardinge 6/37' (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(3) E.McParland, James Gandon, 41,72; a volume of drawings by Wyatt and Penrose is in NLI.
(4) John Cornforth, 'Dublin Castle-', Country Life 148, , ?.
(5) A.M. Rowan, ed., The Architecture of Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison (IAA, 1989), 3.


33 work entries listed in chronological order for WYATT, JAMES #


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Building: CO. MONAGHAN, DAWSON GROVE
Date: 1770
Nature: Mausoleum to Lady Anne Dawson for Thomas Dawson, lst Viscount Cremorne, attr. to JW.
Refs: Unsigned drawings in IAA, Murray Collection, nos. 296-299 (see B. Goslin, 'History and descriptive catalogue of the Murray Collection', MA thesis submitted to NUI, Jan 1990, 121-122); The Architecture of Ireland in drawings & paintings(NGI, 1975), no. 15; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008), 1189;  Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 312, Pl.51.

Building: CO. WICKLOW, MOUNT KENNEDY (NEWTOWNMOUNTKENNEDY)
Date: 1772
Nature: Designed by JW, 1772, and carried out by Thomas Cooley, c. 1782. For General Robert Cuninghame. (cr. Baron Rossmore, 1796).
Refs: Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn, 2008), 1184, citing drawings in NLI, LR 72884, and John Cornforth, 'Mount Kennedy, Co. Wicklow', Country Life 139, 28 Oct,11 Nov 1965;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt (1746-1813) architect to George III (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012), 106-108, fig. 98.

Building: CO. LAOIS, ABBEY LEIX
Date: 1772-1778
Nature: New house, for 2nd Baron Knapton (cr. Viscount de Vesci, 1776). FS laid 1773.
Refs: Drawings in NLI. AD 3130, 3125, 3130, 3129, 3132, 3157, 3168, 3184, and/or LBR 72884, Metropolitan Museum, New York, Wyatt Album, no. 43, and at Abbey Leix (see A.P.W. Malcomson, The De Vesci Papers (Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2006), 164,165; John Cornforth, 'Abbey Leix, Co. Leix, Ireland', Country Life 190, 26 Sep 1991, 90-92(illus.);  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt (1746-1813) architect to George III (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012), 108-9(illus.).

Building: CO. TYRONE, DUNGANNON, NORTHLAND PLACE, NORTHLAND HOUSE
Date: 1772ca
Nature: Six ceiling designs for 'Mrs Knox', i.e. Anne Knox of Northland House.
Refs: Designs in album of ceiling designs by JW, Metopolitan Museum of Art; Ref. 1958.511 (29v,30-34)

Building: CO. MEATH, SLANE CASTLE
Date: 1773
Nature: Design for library ceiling. For Henry, 1st Viscount Conyngham..
Refs: Signed drawing dated 1773 in NLI, Wyatt-Penrose album (which contains other designs for hall and interior decoration of Slane Castle); C.P. Curran, Irish Decorative Plasterwork (1967), 74-5;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt (1746-1813) architect to George III (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012), 109.

Building: CO. MEATH, ARDBRACCAN
Date: 1773-1776
Nature: Design of central block, for Henry Maxwell, Bishop of Meath. Erected in simpler form under supervision of Rev. Daniel Beaufort.
Refs: Signed elevation dated 1773 (repr. in The Architecture of Ireland in drawings & paintings (NGI, 1975), no. 6) and plan of principal floor, (rept. loc. cit., no. 8) in collection of David Maher, Ardbraccan (formerly in Farnham Collection, NLI);  J.N. Brewer, The Beauties of Ireland  II (1826), 189;  Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 113-4; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008), 1183;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),116.

Building: CO. MEATH, SLANE CASTLE
Date: 1773;1785-86
Nature: Castellated house, for Francis, 2nd Baron Conyngham. Exterior by JW 'but no recognizable Wyatt interiors' (Robinson).
Refs: Elevations, s. & d. Feb 1785, in IAA, Murray Collection, nos. 21-25 (see B. Goslin, 'History and descriptive catalogue of the Murray Collection', MA thesis submitted to NUI, Jan 1990, 316-7); drawings in NLI, Wyatt-Penrose album; design(s) in album of ceiling designs by JW, Metopolitan Museum of Art; Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 479-82; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn, 2008), 1185;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt (1746-1813) architect to George III (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012), 109-110, fig.92.

Building: CO. TYRONE, DUNGANNON, NORTHLAND PLACE, NORTHLAND HOUSE?
Date: 1773ca
Nature: Ceiling designs for Anne Knox (wife of Thomas Knox and sister of 1st Viscount de Vesci) possibly at Northland House.  If executed, ceilings do not now survive.  Designs used instead by JW at Home House, London.
Refs: John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt (1746-1813) architect to George III (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012), 109.

Building: CO. KILDARE, CARTON
Date: 1776
Nature: Unexecuted proposal for N front. For William Robert, 2nd Duke of Leinster.
Refs: Elevation, s. & d. 1776, in IAA, Murray Collection, no. 139 (see B. Goslin, 'History and descriptive catalogue of the Murray Collection', MA thesis submitted to NUI, Jan 1990, 78); exh. The Architecture of Ireland in drawings & paintings(NGI, 1975), no. 3

Building: CO. DUBLIN, BLACKROCK, FRESCATI
Date: 1776
Nature: Proposed alts.
Refs: Letter (in NLI?) from William, Duke of Leinster, to Emily, Duchess of Leinster, 15 December 1776 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44).

Building: CO. LOUTH, ORIEL TEMPLE (COLLON)
Date: 1776-1780s
Nature: Family tradition that JW gave designs for house. For Rt Hon. John Foster. Painted decoration by Peter de Gree;  stucco work by Charles Thorp.
Refs: A.P.W. Malcomson, John Foster: The Politics of the Anglo-Irish Ascndancy (Oxford, 1978), 17; Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 220-221;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),111-112(illus.).

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, KILDARE STREET, LEINSTER HOUSE
Date: 1776-77
Nature: Decoration of picture gallery, for 2nd Duke of Leinster. Duke received 'beautiful design' in Sep 1776 and planned to execute it in the spring of 1777.  Executant architect: Thomas Penrose.
Refs: Design for end wall of gallery in Penrose Album, NLI (ceiling design seen by C.P. Curran in Penrose Album but now missing);  James Malton, A Picturesque and descriptive view of the city of Dublin (1799), unpaginated;  Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (3rd edn., 1995), 1120; David J. Griffin & Caroline. Pegum, Leinster House (Dublin: IAA & OPW, 2000),  4,16,49,70(n.26), Pl.86;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 501-3; John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),112-3(illus.)..

Building: CO. DERRY, DOWNHILL
Date: 1776ca
Nature: Built by Michael Shanahan in accordance with a plan by JW. for Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry. Other architects also involved. Robinson suggests that JW may also have been involved in design of commemorative cenotaph to 2nd Earl of Bristol and Mussenden temple.
Refs: A. Day, P. McWilliams & L. English, eds., Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland Vol. 11, 60; Hervey Bruce Letter Book I in collection of Lady C. Hervey Bruce, Newmarket, Suffolk (now in West Suffolk Record Office?); Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008), 1183;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), 104,112,172-4,330..

Building: CO. WATERFORD, CURRAGHMORE
Date: 1778-1780
Nature: Alts., including interiors of dining-room, staircase, library. For George De La Poer, 2nd Earl of Tyrone (cr. 1st Marquess of Waterford, 1789).
Refs: Design(s) in album of ceiling designs by JW, Metopolitan Museum of Art; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008), 1184;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), 115-116, Pls. 105-107.

Building: CO. WICKLOW, AVONDALE
Date: 1779
Nature: House for Samuel Hayes. Design signed 1779/I.W. i.e. James Wyatt? Attribution to James Wyatt also suggested by Craig.
Refs: E.McP;  Maurice Craig, The Architecture of Ireland from the earliest times to 1880 (London & Dublin, 1982), 245.

Building: CO. TYRONE, CALEDON HOUSE
Date: 1779
Nature: 'The only excursion I ventured was for about ten days to Mr. Alexander at Caledon...new house is built from Desings of Wyatts, very well contrived and handsome.'
Refs: Letter from Andrew Caldewell, Dublin, to Charlotte Caldwell, Southampton, 27 Aug 1787, cited in John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),116.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HARCOURT STREET, TOWN HOUSE OF WILLIAM BURTON CONYNGHAM
Date: 1780s
Nature: 'Wyatt may have decorated his [William Burton Conyngham's] town house at Harcourt Place[sic], Dublin, where characteristic stucco ceilings survive.  Some 1780s sketches for decoration and furnishing for a drawing room for Conynham are more likely to relate to Dublin than Slane...' (Robinson)
Refs: John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),110.

Building: CO. MAYO, WESTPORT HOUSE
Date: 1781;1796
Nature: Interior of dining room, 1781. Design for greenhouse, 1796. For John Denis, 3rd Earl of Altamont (cr. Marquess of Sligo, 1800).
Refs: Signed designs for drawing room, dated 2 Feb 1781, in collection of Marquess of Sligo, Westport House; Mark Girouard, 'Westport House, Co. Mayo, Ireland - II', Country :Life 138, 6 May 1965, 1074(illus.); John Harris, 'The Wyatts at Westport', Connoisseur 62 (1966), 224; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn, 2008), 1184;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),115,116(illus.). 

Building: CO. DOWN, MOUNT STEWART
Date: 1783
Nature: Wyatt paid for designs for house (£83) and stables (£25) by Robert Stewart, MP (later 1st Marquess of Londonderry).
Refs: PRONI Londonderry MSS: payments recorded in account book ref. D654/H1/1 p.39; ground and first-floor plans for stables only, one signed and dated June 1783, D654/M71/4b,c. (Information from Anne Casement, Magherintemple, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim); an anonymous undated ground plan for proposed stables is in PRONI, Caledon Papers, D654/M/71/4D, see PRONI E-catalogue, Mountstewart Papers,
http://applications.proni.gov.uk/LL_DCAL_PRONI_ECATNI/ResultDetails.aspx (last visited, Nov 2011).

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET UPPER
Date: 1785
Nature: JW consulted by Wide Streets Commissioners re continuation to N of Sackville Street (i.e. O'Connell St Uppr).
Refs: John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),111.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WESTMORELAND STREET
Date: 1785
Nature: Thomas Sherrard instructed by Wide StreetsCommissioners to consult JW on the 'distribution of ground for building from Sackville Street to the College'.
Refs: Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 420.

Building: CO. FERMANAGH, CASTLE COOLE (ENNISKILLEN)
Date: 1790-1796
Nature: New house, for Armar Lowry Corry, 1st Baron Belmore (cr. Earl Belmore, 1797). Architect: JW. Builder: Alexander Stewart, a Scot. Portland stone, landed at Ballyshannon and floated up Lough Erne. Cost of house £120,000, furniture £22,000, offices £8000. 1st stone laid 17 Jun 1790. Completed 17 Sep 1796.
Refs: Drawings in the collection of the Earl of Belmore; design(s) in album of ceiling designs by JW, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Rambles through Ireland; by a French emigrant…Translated from the French of Monsieur de Latocnaye, by an Irishman (1799), ?; Rev. James Hall, Tour through Ireland (1813), ?; Angélique Day & Patrick McWilliams, eds.Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland, Vol. 4: Parishes of Co. Fermanagh 1834-5 (1990), 67; Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (4th edn., 2008), 1186;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),118-124(illus.).

Building: CO. CAVAN, FARNHAM HOUSE
Date: 1790s?
Nature: Ceiling designs. May have designed library. Possibly supplied design for whole house. For Barry, 1st Earl of Farnham.
Refs: Design(s) for Farnham in album of ceiling designs by JW, Metopolitan Museum of Art Ref. 1958.511 (42,47,48); Jeremy Musson, 'Farnham House, Co. Cavan', Country Life 197, 2 Jan 2003, 26-31(illus.)

Building: CO. WESTMEATH, KILBIXY, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1798-99
Nature: New church for Richard Malone, 1st Baron Sunderlin (replacing church described as being in ruins by Charles Vallancey in 1786) . Described as 'beautiful' by Cromwell, with an interior 'characterised by an elegant simplicity', 'ground glass' windows and a pulpit placed on one side of communion table so that all could see.Sunderlin mausoleum also probably designed by JW.
Refs: Thomas Cromwell, Excursions through Ireland (1820), ?;  Jennifer Moore, 'A new Wyatt church in Ireland', Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies 10 (2007), 246-263;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), 171-2(illus.);  exterior illus. in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 317.

Building: CO. MONAGHAN, DAWSON GROVE
Date: 1807p
Nature: Doric column commemorating Richard Dawson (d. 1807), MP for Monaghan,erected by electorate;  'attributed to James Wyatt' (Mulligan).
Refs: Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 314; Pl.50.

Building: CO. CORK, BALLINCOLLIG, ROYAL ARTILLERY BARRACKS
Date: 1811-12
Nature: Proposed chapel with pedimented 3-bay front. (Is this the 'neat church, built in 1814' mentioned by Lewis?)
Refs: Estimate (designs missing) and letter from Wyatt to R.W. Crewe, 2 Nov 1811 (also design for west front of barracks, prepared by Office of Ordnance, 20 Jan 1812, in which chapel forms centre of symmetrical arrangement with hospital on left and officers' quarters on right, with letters from R.W. Crewe, 4 Nov 1811 and Thomas Nepean, 8 Nov 1811, to Lt. Gen. Mann re same) in National Archives (Kew), WO 55/834

Building: CO. WESTMEATH, BALLINLOUGH CASTLE
Date: ?
Nature: New wing, probably added by Sir Hugh O'Reilly, c. 1790. Attribution to JW proposed by Guinness & Ryan, but also attributed to Thomas Wogan Browne by Rowan.
Refs: D. Guinness & W. Ryan, Irish Houses and Castles (1971), 292; Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 139

Building: CO. WEXFORD, COURTOWN HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: JW may have produced unexecuted design for same.
Refs: 'Plan for Lord Courtown' in album associated with Wyatt bought by Vicomte de Noailles in Paris, 1947; Country Life 102, 5 Dec 1947, 1156'; 104. 2 Jul 1948, 24

Building: CO. DUBLIN, LUCAN HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: Design for an urn in memory of Patrick Sarsfield, nearly identical to those attr. to Wyatt at Brocklesby, Stanmer Place and Mount Edgecumbe. (Frances Fergusson, unpublished thesis on JW, thinks designs for oval saloon at Lucan House are 'almost certainly' in JW's hand, whileJohn Martin Robinson accepts Wyatt's authorship of both drawings unequivocally and suggests that 'it is likely that he was generally responsible for the interior of the house and garden ornaments'.)
Refs: Drawing in NLI, Lucan House Collection, exh. The Architecture of Ireland in drawings & paintings(NGI, 1975), no. 31;  John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), 104-105, figs. 93,172.

Building: CO. LAOIS, BALLYFIN
Date: ?
Nature: Proposals for enlargement or remodelling same. For Sir Charles Coote, or William Pole or William Wellesley Pole.
Refs: Patricia McCarthy & Kevin V. Mulligan, 'New light on Ballyfin', Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies 8 (2005), 101-102

Building: CO. LOUTH, RATHASCAR
Date: ?
Nature: JW produces unexecuted designs for same.
Refs: Drawings among Foster? papers (information from Anthony Malcomson)

Building: CO. KILDARE, CARTON
Date: ?
Nature: Unexecuted proposal for bridge.
Refs: Designs mentioned in 18th c list of drawings and maps then held at Leinster House or Carton, now in the collection of Hon. D Guinness (photographs in IAA).

Building: CO. GALWAY, DUNSANDLE (ATHENRY)
Date: ?
Nature: 'At Dunsandle, Co. Galway, at least one room with a Wyatt ceiling was executed for Denis Daly, MP and possibly more, as the hall chairs were identical to those at Castle Coole.   The house attributed to Davis Duckart was Palladian, but the drawing room is recorded as being 'Adamesque' and a Wyatt drawing for a ceiling for Daly survives.' 
Refs: John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt: architect to George III (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012),116.