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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John Smith Barry (1793 – 1837)

Oil on canvas


Known for his lavish entertaining John Smith Barry developed Fota as an imposing country seat. An account by Robert Graham who visited Fota in 1835 describes the impression the house and estate made on him as he approached it:

‘...crossed the bridge from the large island into Pooty [sic] island which is the property of Mr. Barry Smith [sic] the richest man in this district and who has a magnificent domain. We passed along a very high park wall for a great way ...until I came to his magnificent new entrance where he has lately made a very handsome new gate lodge. This improvement including the new approach is said to have cost him £4000....The lawn is a pretty extensive and has fine views up the river. The house is pretty and apparently very comfortable and there are fine gardens and all the appendages of a place belonging to a resident proprietor of £30,000 a year.’

H. Heaney (ed.) A Scottish Whig in Ireland 1835-1838: The Irish Journals of Robert Graham of Redgorten. 1999.

Open Resource