Primary Resources

This resource gallery has been developed to be used for pre visit preparatory work and for post visit reference. You will find a range of primary documents and material here that links to the themes in each unit. By clicking on any image below you can access background information on the source and also find out where it came from and where it is currently held.

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Fota House

A view of the fa├žade of Fota House


Fota House was designed for John Smith Barry in the 1820s by architects William Morrison (1767-1848) and his son William Vitruvius Morrison (1794-1838). The house takes its name from the surrounding island of Fota or Foaty. Smith Barry, a great grandson of the Earl of Barrymore, had the architects remodel the house to transform the family’s modest hunting lodge into a country seat surrounded by an ornamental estate. The original lodge was a plain, three story, five bay (window) house built in the previous century was transformed into a much grander classical building by adding a pair of two story wings.

‘The mansion is a chaste commodious Grecian building; the park is extensive and adorned by numerous plantations. The entrance gates, at either end of the island, are remarkably spacious, unique, and distinct in their character from each other. Strangers are admitted to see this place by writing their names in a book kept in one of the entrance lodges..’
James Fraser, Guide Through Ireland, 1838.

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