DEFINITION OF THE GREAT HOUSE a.k.a. THE BIG HOUSE

Posted by Tracy Fahey on January 07, 2008 in Guest Blog, Ms Tracey Fahey tagged with

The Great House, or the Big House is a staple in Irish Gothic novels and poetry.  It refers to the houses built in the largely peaceful period following the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.  The houses are located throughout the Irish countryside.  Where each house is mentioned I have given a county reference (Ireland is made up of 26 counties, with a further 6 in Northern Ireland).

 

It is worth noting that although some of these houses compare with English Palladian houses of the period (e.g. Russborough House (1741), Castletown House (1722), Powerscourt House (1731)), quite a few are castles (see the blog on Irish Gothic Architecture – A Thumbnail Sketch for more detail) others are more regional in their stylistic influence, and many more seem hardly deserving of the honorific ‘great’ or ‘big’, being no more than overgrown farmhouses. 

 

The Gothic style was introduced to Ireland after 1760

 

 

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