Enriching Architecture

Craft and its conservation in Anglo-Irish building production, 1660–1760

Edited by Christine Casey and Melanie Hayes


ISBN: 9781800083561

Publication: January 01, 2023

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Refinement and enrichment of surfaces in stone, wood and plaster is a fundamental aspect of early modern architecture which has been marginalised by architectural history.

Enriching Architecture aims to retrieve and rehabilitate surface achievement as a vital element of early modern buildings in Britain and Ireland. Rejected by modernism, demeaned by the conceptual ‘turn’ and too often reduced to its representative or social functions, we argue for the historical legitimacy of creative craft skill as a primary agent in architectural production. However, in contrast to the connoisseurial and developmental perspectives of the past, this book is concerned with how surfaces were designed and achieved and experienced.

The contributors draw upon the major rethinking of craft and materials within the wider cultural sphere in recent years to deconstruct traditional, oppositional ways of thinking about architectural production. This is not a craft for craft’s sake argument but an effort to embed the tangible findings of conservation and curatorial research within an evidence-led architectural history that illuminates the processes of early modern craftsmanship. The book explores broad themes of surface treatment such as wainscot, rustication, plasterwork, and staircase embellishment together with chapters focused on virtuoso buildings and set pieces which illuminate these themes.

Christine Casey is Professor in Architectural History and a fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

Melanie Hayes is Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Irish Research Council CRAFTVALUE project at Trinity College Dublin.

Foreword: Glenn Adamson
List of Figures

Introduction: Enriching architecture: craft and its conservation in Anglo-Irish architectural production, 1660–1760, Christine Casey and Melanie Hayes.

Part 1: Loss and retrieval
Chapter 1: Onslow palace: new evidence of eighteenth-century plasterwork technique at Clandon Park, Sophie Chessum.

Chapter 2: Piercing the surface: virtuoso wooden staircases from Cassiobury Park and Eyrecourt Castle, Mechthild Baumeister and Andrew Tierney.

Chapter 3: Fragments of eighteenth-century craftsmanship: the Pearson collection, Peter Pearson.

Chapter 4: Experiments with historic light in Kensington Palace’s early eighteenth-century interiors, Lee Prosser.

Chapter 5: Retrieving craft practice on the early eighteenth-century building site, Melanie Hayes.

Chapter 6: Conserving craft in eighteenth-century buildings: the role of the conservation architect, Tony Barton.

Part 2: Design and making
Chapter 7: The geometry of rustication: an eighteenth-century case study, Edward McParland.

Chapter 8: The rough and the smooth: stone use in Dublin 1720–1760, Patrick Wyse Jackson and Louise Caulfield.

Chapter 9: Drawing out a surface in lime and hair, Jenny Saunt.

Chapter 10: ‘Agreeable to live in’: the wainscoted interior in eighteenth century Britain and Ireland, Christine Casey.

Chapter 11: A glorious ascent: staircase design, construction and craft in the circle of Richard Castle, Andrew Tierney.


Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

408 Pages

247 colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2023

ISBN: 9781800083561

Publication: January 01, 2023

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