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Castle Forbes, County Longford, Ireland: (unbuilt) dower house for the Dowager Countess of Granard, 1790 (4)

Signed and dated

  • 1790
    Main Year


Soane made several designs for a dower house for the Granard family seat in Castle Forbes, Ireland. Soane was probably introduced to the client, Lady Georgina August Granard, through her elder sister Lady Elizabeth Craven, for whom Soane had designed a dairy and other garden buildings in 1781 (which remained unbuilt). The dower house remained unexecuted. Soane was paid £6 6s 0d.

Soane made a preliminary design on 5 April 1790. Three days later, John Sanders (pupil 1784-October 1790) delivered a copy of this design to the client. The client must not have been satisfied, however, as two more designs were delivered by Soane a few weeks later, on April 25th (Ledger C). A drawing at the Victoria and Albert Museum is dated 24 April 1790; it is probably one of the two designs presented by Soane to the client. The V&A drawing is for a more elaborate scheme, with circular rooms flanking the entrance hall and stairwell (see catalogue by P. du Prey).

Drawings corresponding to Soane's earlier design were published in his Sketches in Architecture, 1793. The publication also includes upper floor plans of the proposed house, showing a drawing room, ante-room and one bedroom on the first floor and four bedrooms in the attic.

Literature: P.du Prey, Sir John Soane, 1985, in series of 'Catalogues of architectural drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum', catalogue 65-66, pp. 43-44; P. Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, p.181.

Madeleine Helmer, 2012



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Contents of Castle Forbes, County Longford, Ireland: (unbuilt) dower house for the Dowager Countess of Granard, 1790 (4)