The term ‘Big Houses’ describes the Irish equivalent to English stately homes, also called Irish country houses, country lodges or country mansions some 6,000 of which were built by the landowning, typically Anglo-Irish upper class that came to power after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.Like it or not, these have been part of Irish culture for some three hundred years.
A great example is Strokestown Park House on the photo above. This Palladian mansion was built in the 1740ies.
Most of these posh residences were built between 1690 and 1750, but some were built as late as just before the Irish famine.
On this page I will introduce you to the lifestyle of the gentry family at these big houses-find the lifestyle of the servants here.
The family had their every need catered for by personal attendants. This included combing their hair, and emptying their chamber pots. The lady had a maid, and the gentleman had a gentleman’s valet.
Our son Cillian heading straight for the servants' bell at Strokestown Park House.
Fu dogs, a feng shui ornament, above the fireplace in the drawing room at Strokestown Park House. Ornaments like these spoke of the family's status, of how far they had travelled, or how much money they had spent to obtain them.
About the era of these country mansions in Ireland
About the servants' lifestyle
About the role of these houses in the local economy
About Strokestown Park House and the Irish Famine connection
The History of Strokestown House
Visit Strokestown Park House
The dining room at Strokestown House.
Watercolour painting displayed at Strokestown House.
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Copyright 2014 by Colm Sweeney and Susanna Lambeck www.enjoy-irish-culture.com