This comprehensive guide covers the historically rich and nuanced territory of Central Leinster, from the western borderlands of the medieval English Pale to the wild expanse of the Bog of Allen and further west to Clonmacnoise, cradle of early monasticism, with its Hiberno-Romanesque ruins, sculpted crosses, and elegant round towers. The Palladian mansions of Kildare and the romantic castles of Offaly stand within ancient forests, and Neoclassicism flourished with grand houses by James Wyatt at Abbey Leix, by James Gordon at Emo, and by the Morrisons at Ballyfin. Georgian streetscape finds its best expressions in Mountmellick and Maynooth. Disestablishment spurred the re-entrenchment of Irish Protestant architecture, notably in James Franklin Fuller’s fusions of Continental and Hiberno-Romanesque styles at Rathdaire, Millicent, and Carnalway, with their rich carving, decoration, and stained glass.
Andrew Tierneyis a researcher in architectural history at Trinity College, Dublin.