Pictured here is the remains of Kenure House in the rural seaside town of Rush in North County Dublin. Where once stood an impressive mansion that would have rivaled any across the country, today all that remains is its impressive Corinthian columned portico, standing alone in a public park.
Kenure House began life in 1703, built to the designs of architect George Papworth. In 1827 a fire destroyed a large part of the structure and it was rebuilt and extended substantially to create the better known Kenure House of more recent times and of whom images can be found online. The house was occupied by the Palmer family who had come to Ireland from Norfolk in England in 1681.
It was for hundreds of years that the impressive mass of Kenure dominated the skyline in this small town, but unlike many of the land owners who lived in the great houses of Ireland, the Palmers enjoyed very positive relationships with the local people. The people of Rush had always relied on the sea as a way of making a living, so the dependence on the land was lesser here than in other parts of the country.
The house passed through the lineage of the Palmer family for hundreds of years, and along with its demesne and walled gardens were considered among the most impressive estates in the Fingal area of Dublin.
It was in 1964 that the last of the Palmers who lived in the house, Colonel R. H. Fenwick-Palmer decided that the never ending battle against rising costs, dry rot, damp and deterioration was one he could no longer fight. It was that year that the contents of Kenure house were auctioned off and the estate was sold to the Irish land Commission. Soon after this, the house was handed over to Dublin County Council.
The council were unable to find a buyer for the immense building and it soon fell into disrepair. The house was damaged and vandalized until eventually the council took the horrible decision in 1978 to demolish the building for safety reasons.
Without a doubt, as we look back now on pictures of the impressive mansion that once stood here we can see that this decision to destroy the building was a horrendous one and a very important and beautiful structure was lost forever. Sadly in those times, the councils of Ireland could not be considered enlightened when it came to protecting the countries built heritage. At this time, many horrendous decisions were made across Ireland in relation to planning and most of them are still rued today.
At the time of its ultimate destruction, the people of Rush did protest and their efforts led to the retaining of the portico of the house, which we see here in this picture.
It makes a strange sight, looking a little like a Greek or Roman temple and standing alone in the middle of a park; the rest of the house now a distant memory.
Since its demolition a residential area called St Catherines has sprung up, and the parkland in which the portico stands features a new children's playground and football pitches. It seems strange to see this historic structure standing in the midst of that modern development. If nothing else though, it acts as a memorial to the destructive folly of past years.
To see the house in all its glory, and to get an idea of the size of this portico, please visit this link which has pictures of the house when it stood proud.
Picture dedicated to Ourania, whose wonderful shots of the Gate of Athena Archegetis in Plaka inspired me to finally go and photograph this place! Thanks Ourania, and thanks for your note about Athens of the North, I had never ever heard that before!
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
lousat (92076) 2014-02-07 11:19
Hi Noel,beautiful architechture taken in backlight as you like,you cut a bit the building on the right but no problem,i like a lot the decentralized composition and the excellent exposure.Interesting post about what rest of this house.Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano
jemaflor (98091) 2014-02-07 11:38
A difficult backlight, well managed to taken this monument, well managed, a composition well balanced, tfs.
ourania (46364) 2014-02-07 12:54
thank you so much for the dedication and for taking this picture so soon! I was expecting to see it next week:) It is an amazing sight, really, like an ancient temple standing on a deserted meadow. The story of the house that once stood there is very sad indeed. I saw the photos on archiseek.com, the house was so grand and imposing, it's incredible that the huge structure behind the portico has just vanished. I like very much the way you accentuated the sense of space in your photo, the use of backlight is again creative and effective and the melancholic mood and the sense of loss is overwhelming. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
pajaran (61244) 2014-02-07 13:26
Interesantan tekst o staroj arhitekturi, sa istorijom i opisom ...
Dobar snimak, ostrina, kontrast i perspektiva, lepo pokazano mesto i arhitektura, lepe boje.
Lepa stara arhitektura i trenutak sa oblacima.
Prijatno vece i sve najbolje za vikend, srecno.
An interesting article on the old architecture, the history and description of the ...
Good shot, sharpness, contrast and perspective, nice place and demonstrated architecture, beautiful colors.
Beautiful old architecture and the moment the clouds.
Good evening and all the best for the weekend, good luck.
photoray (13981) 2014-02-07 13:48
Fine moody view of Kenure's portico, fitting for the mansion's fate. It sits alone now, indeed like an ancient Greek temple.
Currently our Auburn rail station, a classical gold country brick building is approved to be demolished to permit Home Depot (a big box hardware store) expand its existing parking lot. No doubt, people within their city government have received material benefit to approve its destruction. Unfortunately the public will probably never know why it will be destroyed.
tyro (25334) 2014-02-07 14:35
What a sad story about this place which must have been a magnificent structure in its day. At least we still have the remains of the portico and, with some imagination, we can perhaps conjure up in our minds quite what it might have looked like.
Again, another contre jour shot in which you have managed the light exceedingly well though there are a couple of areas of sky to the left which are a little "blown out" - I am sure that details in those areas could be retrieved from the original RAW file if you did indeed shoot this in RAW. You have certainly made the striking form of these columns and the upper structure stand out imposingly with excellent details and sharpness.
carlo62 (49261) 2014-02-07 15:58
il colonnato è molto bello, se la casa era altrettanto bella, doveva essere magnifica.
Sei sempre alla ricerca di cose molto interessanti e curiose, poco conosciute, almeno per me, e questo mi fa molto piacere, la mia conoscenza aumenta e la mia curiosità è stimolata.
jjcordier (79297) 2014-02-07 22:55
Une architecture que l'on imaginerait plus proche d'Athènes que de Dublin! Comme toujours, une note très complète.
Romano46 (18472) 2014-02-08 1:42
come tuo solito alla bellezza e perfezione della composizione si accoppia una luce fantastica che si addice a meraviglia a questo soggetto.
Nitidezza e colori eccellenti.
Streaordinarie le note nella loro completezza.
Ciao e buona domenica
snunney (100116) 2014-02-08 4:51
A house with a long history and a painful ending. You have managed the lighting very well and created a strong composition.
Subhogen (4067) 2014-02-08 5:02
It is kind of strange and a bit funny how the house has totally vanished but the portico is standing intact.
I have never seen such calculated and selective ruining :-). Nice shot almost against the light and yet you have shown enough details on the portico. The path and the field is framing the photo well. Very well done, thanks for sharing.
marabu61 (11059) 2014-02-08 5:27
Not much left of this stately house indeed and there is just a hint of the modern development stated in your note, visible with the containers in the background.
At first sight I was sure to look at the remains of an ancient greek temple, but then what would a greek temple be doing in Ireland. It is almost unimaginable that, as recently as 1978 there was a big house here.
It looks rather impressing and the sublime light of late afternoon enhances the mood greatly.
have a great weekend
abmdsudi (54607) 2014-02-09 2:40
What a tragedy to see a once proud and fine mansion!
Very moody and lovely treatment though, looks an imposing ruins and strong subject and place that perhaps is worth for that visual exploration for the viewer. Definitely like this angle makes it look so majestic and speaking of which, what a moody sky with a lot of atmosphere but the warm tones lift the spirit a bit which I feel has added some dimension.
I love the toning and the treatment has given the edges of the columns powerful stark and punchy. Just the whole feel really really nice. To me this looks like a shot from the opening scene of a film!! It's a neat, factual image. It records the appearance of the structures, one that draws the eye in and invites it to explore....
Well done shot and thks to informative notes.
m (0) 2014-02-09 11:31
even though the light is difficult here I find it fitting the picture really well. It creates a dramatic mood glaring on those imposing old ruins. Nice photo.
serp2000 (44322) 2014-02-10 7:48
Thanks for so interesting and informative note, my first idea about this thumbnail was about the Roman heritage and I could not remind when the Romans were in Ireland... It really looks like a Mediterranean landscape. The light conditions were not the best but I like this photo. Good register!
delpeoples (58348) 2014-02-11 3:01
Gidday dear Noel
Wow, I thought you'd escaped to Greece or Italy with architecture like this. In addition to the superb subject you've chosen, the composition is really impressive and beautifully judged. I like how you managed to illuminate everything so evenly and that pastel sky is magnificent. Your note recounts a sad story of its destruction, but the one light at the end of the tunnel is that at least the citizens managed to save the beautiful portico of this building.
Wonderful shot, thanks for sharing, have a great day
omid266 (6746) 2014-02-11 8:07
** Salam Noel ,
This is another excellent foto from Ireland- Dublin
called Kenure House ,
An ancient Heritage ,
It is interesting for me , because I saw such this
old buildings in pictures of Greece and Italy.
Very nice shown , nice POV,
It is wonderful for me the Wisdom and science of
last people in making such giant and hard momuments
remained till now.
Hope Protect for this Heritage ,
Thank you for sharing with us ,
macjake (68488) 2014-02-12 1:21
I think you're lost, are you sure you're not in Italy or Greece or Tunisia? haha
I have to say, it just seems so strange to see this subject in Ireland...I would Never have thought of it.
and another thing...where do you get all the info about the history of these buildings? lots of interesting info there.
I like that you have the left side of the frame open, it really does give the feeling of it being alone and isolated, with no other parts of the structure standing.
emka (98854) 2014-02-12 22:56
hello Noel, amazing portico like taken from the Greek temple and nothing behind it. What a theme for a photographer! It looks mysterious and romantic. Excellent management of a bit difficult light. I like the atmosphere created.
WArm regrads MAlgo
mkamionka (37241) 2014-02-17 6:10
I think I have seen more of Ireland than most of Irish people and yet you are for me a real master and connoisseur of the local attractions in Ireland. I am really impressed. It seems I trust guidebooks far too much. They are often glorifying uninteresting places and missing hidden treasures like this one here. I am sure I never saw it in any guidebook.
Beautiful and so photogenic place. You have captured in an interesting light which adds a nice atmosphere but I think this place is worth to revisit again although I have no idea how I could do it better.
Very well done!
jcpix (13930) 2014-02-17 19:43
Hey, would someone close the window, or door...there's a terrible draft in here! :) I guess you won't be finding any squatters taking up residence, yeah? Looking at the old pictures from the link you provided, it blows my mind this is the only portion remaining, after everything the rest of the mansion went through you'd think they would have demolished the entire estate...seems odd to have left this section standing!?
A good thing though, at least there's still a link to its past, even without any surrounding context. In conjunction with it's current state, I like how you've composed this to include a good area of open space...making it feel isolated, truly matching its history of demise. Another notch on your superb work of presenting us with things which will most likely never be found to the common tourist, opening up more learning and culture about your country and heritage. Relatively simplistic in its nature, but an wonderful TE addition! Enjoy the new day. Take it easy.
Cheers from the States,