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Abandoned Mansions of Ireland [Hardcover]

Tarquin Blake
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: 24.99
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 Oct 2010
From the mid-eighteenth century Irish country houses flourished. Landowners generated easy income leasing land to tenants. As their wealth increased, so did the size of their country mansions. But factors such as the Great Famine, land reforms, the increasing expense of maintenance and the IRA targeting the houses during the War of Independence took their toll. Gradually, abandoned and forgotten, the houses sank into decay. In 2008 Tarquin Blake found his first abandoned 'Big House' and so began exploring the lost architecture of Ireland. Here, he documents what is left of fifty mansion houses with brief histories and beautiful photographs of the haunting ruins. Included are Mountpelier Lodge (Dublin Hellfire Club), the birthplaces of Daniel O'Connell and the Duke of Wellington, and the one-time homes of Grace O'Malley and of brewing family the Smithwicks of Kilkenny. The inclusion of details from the 1911 Census offers a glimpse of the closing days of the aristocracy and their mansions.

Frequently Bought Together

Abandoned Mansions of Ireland + Abandoned Mansions of Ireland II: More Portraits of Forgotten Stately Homes: 2 + Irish Country Houses: A Chronicle of Change
Price For All Three: 66.28

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: The Collins Press; Reprint edition (10 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848890613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848890619
  • Product Dimensions: 28.3 x 22.7 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Tarquin Blake, explorer, photographer and historian is author of the website www.AbandonedIreland.com

In 2008 Tarquin Blake found his first abandoned 'Big House' and then began to document the closing days of the landed aristocracy in Ireland and the demise of their country mansion houses.

His acclaimed, bestselling book 'Abandoned Mansions of Ireland', published by The Collins Press, documents the crumbling remains of fifty mansion houses. Included are the birth places of Daniel O'Connell and the Duke of Wellington, and the one-time homes of Grace O'Malley (the pirate queen) and the Smithwicks of Kilkenny (brewers). Beautifully photographed, his striking and evocative images convey an indefinable beauty in the decay and abandonment of what were amongst the finest houses in Europe. He writes about their history and folklore, telling of troubled times and private hardship.

Tarquin Blake lives in County Cork.

Product Description

Review

'Elegiac and beautiful book' --The Irish Times

'Handsome volume' --Marcus Binney, The Times

'Visually exciting'-- Books Ireland

'Hauntingly beautiful pictures…are accompanied by fascinating historical information' --Irish American News

'For anyone with an interest in ruins of the past and present, Abandoned Mansions of Ireland should prove to be an endlessly fascinating coffee table work' --The Midwest Book Review

'Handsome volume' --Marcus Binney, The Times

'Visually exciting' --Books Ireland

About the Author

Tarquin Blake, architectural explorer, photographer and historian, is the author of the website www.AbandonedIreland.com. He has extensively explored the architectural relics of Ireland and his passion is unravelling and documenting the mysteries of lost heritage. He lives in County Cork.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing 6 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book,and the photography is amazing, it is many years since I have gained so much information and enjoyment all in one book. I think anyone who loves Ireland and is interested in its history will gain hours of pleasure.
It is a book to treasure and keep picking up to re read and look at the photographs.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I was immediately drawn into the wonderful photography within these pages. The evocation of a lost period of stunning architecture and elegance has been picked out in high definition 360o photography providing us with a glimpse into what were once Ireland's most distinguished homes. Anyone with an interest in Architectue, history, photography or a link to these houses, could not fail to be captured by this beautiful work of art, combined with thoroughly researched information on the occupants, their interesting links and lifestyles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fine book, well worth owning for anyone involved in the preservation of historic and culturally important sites.

However, the actual facts concerning the various homes is often thin. The tragedy of the impending destruction of these extraordinary architectural masterpieces would be more completely understood if there were reference photographs of the residences before roofs were pulled off to reduce taxes, the sale and looting of architectural fittings and deliberate dereliction. The ruin often began with the abandonment by their families, and the sale of their historic furnishings and libraries, so again, period photographs would help the reader understand what has been lost.

Even so, this is a fine book with remarkable and beautiful photographs, worth owning.
Greg Hubbard
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars excellent book, but! 13 May 2011
By Malcolm
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like this book. The photographs are excellent but I think it could have be massively improved by including a photograph of each house in its heyday. I don't think it would have been difficult to source period photographs for most properties and would have helped the reader to visualize how the houses looked when lived in.
Very good but could have been much better
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings-rather disappointed 13 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover
The photography seems faultless, I love the concept, but having devoured every detail of the Abandoned Ireland website and revelled in the uncommon details and stories accompanying the photos, I was very let down when I realised that the book did not contain any interesting stories. In the book, the photographs are accompanied by a lot of very factual information which seems to be mostly derived from the Census, and I found it all very flat and dull compared to the fantastic website. I'd happily pay twice the price, in theory, for the book if it was similar to the Abandoned Ireland website.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & beautiful 12 April 2011
Format:Hardcover
A lovely book. Bigger than expected.
The one question we all ask when seeing a derilect beautiful builing is: "How did it end up like this?"
Thats what i liked about this book - it explained in a general sense why so many buildings around Ireland have fell into disrepair but also on a case by case study,documenting its history and demise.
I also enjoyed reading the census info of who was recorded as living in a certain property at a certain time and with there jobs were.
Would recommend it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book 31 Oct 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Abandoned Mansions of Ireland is a delightful book which illustrates
and records the histories of many of the fine houses of Ireland which are now lost for ever. Mr Tarquin Blake, I understand, is now writing another book on the subject which I very much look forward to reading.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
After purchasing this book as a gift, i had to also buy a copy for myself, as i was just so impressed by its content. It really should be part of anyone with an interest in Irish Historys collection.

Not only does it contain highly researched factual information, with numerous specific facts and figures, but also a plethora of quite evocative photographs that capture the true spirit of the lost heritage of Ireland.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of Irish architecture or just wanting to enjoy the stunning photography.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For your coffee table
Great to have someone taking the time to document and record photographically these decaying memories of 18th and 19th century gracious living. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Milo
4.0 out of 5 stars Recent History
This is a sad book showing the remains of the grandeur that existed in Ireland once upon a time. Photography ias a wonderful way of supplementing the written word.
Published 9 months ago by Richard Fennell
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic, sad
You really need to get this with the companion volume 2. The second volume has a more comprehensive introduction about the how and why so many houses were abandoned; in a nutshell,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Korhomme
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy ooking book for browsing.
Enjoyable piece of nostalgia and yesterday. Lovely photographs and evocative of days gone by. Avery large book which needs a solid surface to view.
Published 22 months ago by phonehomeandrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photo's, interesting information.
This is a great book, thoroughly enjoying flicking through looking at the pictures and picking up the interesting little tidbits about the house and families underneath all the... Read more
Published on 26 Dec 2011 by Monty Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
I really love this book. It is a book that I know I will go back to every now and again. The photography is beautiful and it leaves you wanting more to read and see. Willow.
Published on 9 April 2011 by willow
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
I actually sent this book back, which is something I never do!! I guess I was just expecting something more - basically this book is lots of photos of ruins and it's all a bit... Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2011 by Nancy Marlowe
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