Relive a revival in Kildare

How did modern inventions create conditions that made new homes look older and more rustic? Look back to the Domestic Revival School of Design, which began in England in the 1870s and intersected with the Arts and Crafts movement.

English Victorian architects had for decades been obsessed with the Gothic Revival style, but younger, more progressive practitioners loved all things Newfangled; including train ride and bike.


The entrance hall and its central curved staircase

By combining the two, a city architect and his young contemporaries could slap their shiny new velocipedes and penny-farthings on the boxcars of any steam train, hop aboard, and set off on a day trip to the countryside. Country biking and picnicking were popular with the educated young city dwellers, who stopped in their three-piece suits on sunny meadows, chewed on a stalk of wheat and contemplated the pitiful splendor of the country idyll. Minus the long hours and tough dirty transplant of course.

In these country lanes younger English architects encountered centuries-old rustic country houses with high roofs, dormer windows, gables, thatched roofs and half-timbering.

Impressed by their honesty in construction and style, some brought such concepts back to the drawing boards of their city desks. The Domestic Revival style was born. It was created by younger design pioneers such as Norman Shaw, WE Nesfield and George Dewey.

Ironically, new middle-class English townhouses emerged, designed to resemble the old cottages of rural farmers. As Arts and Crafts also caught on, emphasizing good handcrafted qualities over mass production, the two combined. The focus was on Queen Anne and Tudor era flourishes. This ‘new’ style spread to English towns, ‘garden suburbs’ and later crossed the sea to Ireland. Built in 1910, the Burnaby Estate in Greystones, considered by some to be Ireland’s first truly modern suburb, is a quintessential take on the Domestic Revival. But very few of the rural cottage-inspired homes were built in the countryside.


The kitchen is equipped with an AGA and a breakfast bar

Architects have always sought inspiration for the latest homes in past periods, and it goes in cycles. So revivals are revived.

The Georgians revived the Greek and Roman styles, the Victorians the Gothic, and the Edwardians the rustic Tudor and Queen Anne styles. More recently in Ireland we had Georgian style flourishes in the swamp standard suburban settlements in the 1980s and Tudor Revival / Domestic Revival style influences in the estates of the 1990s and beyond. More recently, the influences of the 1930s are reappearing.

A large country house outside Newbridge in Co Kildare, Clownings is a rarity in that it appears to be a large-scale revival of the Domestic Revival style, but in a wholly rural setting.

Built in 2000 between Newbridge and Naas, it has all the rooflines, gables, porches and chimneys you would expect in a contemporary 1880s English architect’s sketch; along with a stately looking cone roof tower on one corner to boot. The only obvious departure from the Domestic Revival playbook is the very Irish stone trim. A special attraction here is the very romantic handcrafted central curved staircase in the hall; perfect for debutante photos. At 4,700 square feet, Clownings is almost five times the size of the average single family home and also features a 700 square foot loft. There are marble chimneys and Canadian redwood floors.

There is a master bedroom suite with an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet. It has three receptions, four further bedrooms (two of them en-suite), a study, a large eat-in kitchen, a main bathroom, a downstairs WC and a utility room. The home is also on a significant lot of 8.2 acres. While some rooms could use some updating, BER’s B3 rating is a big plus. Naas’ Coonan is aiming for €1.2m. Relive a revival in Kildare

Fry Electronics Team

Fry is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button