This innovative book examines the public architecture of Ireland from 1680 to 1760, a crucial period during which the country undertook the combined tasks of recovering from war and constructing a new and stable society. New buildings, and new types of buildings, were needed to express and sustain this society. Architectural historian Edward McParland explores the role of public architecture in this enterprise, focusing on public buildings as works of architecture and art, while also discussing the political, social, and economic contexts in which they were built. More than one hundred specially commissioned photographs by David Davison beautifully document this cultural process.
The book opens with a discussion of the people who were involved in the creation of public architecture and a description of the physical appearance of Ireland at the time, including its roads and harbors, its market houses and churches. The author then presents detailed portraits of key public buildings, among them The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, The Royal Barracks, Dublin Castle, Trinity College Dublin, and Edward Lovett Pearce's Parliament House. Drawing on extensive research in archives throughout Britain and Ireland, McParland documents in vivid detail the architectural and social importance of these remarkable public buildings.