‘Country House Collections: Their Past, Present & Future’

The 17th Annual Historic Houses Conference will take place at Maynooth University, Castletown House and the National Gallery of Ireland on 13-15th May 2019.

The theme of event will be ‘Country House Collections: Their Past, Present & Future’.

The conference will look at how and why collections were amassed, examine their break up, and consider the afterlife of objects as they moved into the art market, the museum world, or elsewhere. How does the identity of a house change if its contents have been removed? What were the reasons for such dispersal, were these actions chosen or enforced? What happens to a collection once it has begun to be dismembered, and how are objects viewed and understood in new locations by different audiences?

The conference will also discuss the role of art in country houses today, and conclude with a forum debating the future of such collections.

For a schedule or to make a booking for the event see the website:

CSHIHE – Call for papers 16th Annual Conference

The theme of the Sixteenth Annual Historic Houses Conference, to be held at Maynooth University on 8-9 June 2018, will be ‘The Country House: Sport and Leisure’.

Sir Shane Leslie once wrote that ‘Country life was entirely organised to give nobility and gentry and demi-gentry a good time.’ Throughout Ireland, Britain, and Europe the country house was a centre of hospitality, entertainment, and leisure ranging from dining to photography, card-playing to theatricals, blind-man’s-buff to needlework, from reading to writing or painting; its parkland was used for a variety of sporting activities for family, friends, indoor staff and estate employees, including archery, cricket, croquet, football and shooting; while outside the demesne wall landlords and their families engaged in a multitude of pursuits including hunting, horse racing, yachting and club life.

So also estate tenants pursued their own leisure and sporting activities, sometimes thanks to landlord benevolence and sponsorship, at other times in opposition to landlordism. For example, ‘stopping the hunt’ in Ireland during the Land War of the 1880s was a leisure pursuit in its own right.

Papers on any aspect of sport and leisure relating to the country house from any discipline and from any historical era will be considered. It is hoped that conference proceedings will be published in 2020.

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent to Professor Terence Dooley and Professor Christopher Ridgway before 1 December 2017 at the following addresses:
Terence.a.dooley@nuim.ie and cridgway@castlehoward.co.uk


The Country House Revived?

15th Annual Historic Houses Conference will take place in Dublin Castle from 19-21 June 2017.

The Country House Revived? will focus on the survival and revival of historic houses across Ireland, the UK, and Europe in the course of the last fifty years. The conference will be accompanied by a photographic exhibition.

Across Europe increasing numbers of houses are opening their doors to the public, presenting and interpreting their histories in imaginative ways, looking to engage with local communities, and to diversify in terms of commercial activities.

This holds true for houses in private ownership as well as for those in the guardianship of national heritage organisations, local authorities, or other bodies. Historic houses and their landscapes are uniquely poised to take advantage of international and domestic trends in cultural tourism and heritage learning. The historic house in all its manifestations remains a constant feature in the curriculum, from scholarly study to heritage, conservation, and management training, and the creative arts. The enduring relevance of the historic house is also defined by its role as an important economic driver at local, regional, and national levels.

Growing numbers of houses are engaging in numerous ways with the external world as opposed to feeling beleaguered and retreating behind closed doors. How do we assess this recent history? Every house operates under its own unique circumstances, influenced by governance, ownership, funding, scholarly investigation, national trends, or other factors. There is no single model for historic houses: each one makes different choices for creating a sustainable future. There are many definitions of the concept of ‘revival’.

The Country House Revived? is aimed at a wide audience of owners, scholars, students, heritage professionals, policy makers, and the many people with a general interest in the built heritage. Papers will examine a variety of topics and perspectives from across Europe, comparing issues and experiences that have affinities as well as contrasts. The conference will also explore ways in which this sector of the built heritage can foster future collaborative activity.

Accompanying the conference will be a photographic exhibition illustrating a variety of houses from across Ireland, the UK, and Europe, and chronicling their recent past.

Further information can be found at: www.historicirishhouses.ie

Historic Settlement of South Kildare – Conference

The 2017 annual conference of the Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement will focus on settlement in South Kildare.  The conference in association with Castledermot Local History Group will be held in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow on the weekend of the 5-7 May.

Gillian Barret, Charlie Doherty, Sharon Greene, Arnold Horner, Annejulie Lafaye, Magada and Rolf Loeber, Margaret Murphy, Peter Connell

Fieldtrip to Killeen Cormac, Moone and Ballitore. Walking tour of Castledermot.

Programme on irishsettlement.ie

The group have organised special hotel rates for the conference, please see their site for details: www.irishsettlement.ie

Rathcroghan Conference: ‘Archaeology Above & Below’ 2017

Rathcroghan Conference: Archaeology Above & Below 2017
8th & 9th April 2017

We are delighted to announce our 2017 Conference Programme:
This year our sessions are divided thematically, with focused sessions on Graveyard Studies, Wetland Archaeology, Landscape Studies as well as individual case-studies on particular environments both in Ireland and further afield.
As well as our range of speakers, we will have information tables from the Ordnance Survey of Ireland and the Heritage Council Maps Initiative.

This year we are delighted to welcome Dr. Niall Brady, an expert in Medieval Irish Archaeology and Project Director of the ‘Castles in Communities’ Project, to provide what will be an engrossing Keynote Lecture, ‘Castles in Communities: the Ballintober Project, what, why and how’, to round off the proceedings on a  very busy first day of the conference.
We finish the weekend with a unique field-trip to the masonry remains of Ballintober Castle, led by Dr. Brady, who will provide us with the historical background to this fascinating monument, as well as discussing some of the results from the ongoing excavations and geophysical investigations being conducted as part of the ‘Castles in Communities’ Project.
Our full programme of events and speakers is now available. To view or to download, simply click on the link below


and select the profiles at the top of the webpage to read more about some of the excellent contributions at this year’s conference.

Looking forward to seeing you all this April!

We are delighted to be supported by Roscommon County Council and ArcLand International

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