Cork: Fota House and Gardens, Carrigtwohill
Fota House, designed for the Smith-Barry family by Sir Richard Morrison (1767-1849) and his son William Vitruvius Morrison (1794-1838), occupies a sheltered wooded island in Cork Harbour. The house, restored in 2009, boasts over seventy rooms, many of which are open to the public who can enjoy the neo-Classical architecture for which the Morrisons were renowned. Also on display in the main reception rooms is a fine collection of art work described as the most significant of its type outside the National Gallery of Ireland. Masterpieces of the eighteenth-century Irish Landscape School include works by William Ashford (1746-1824); George Barret (1730-84); Robert Carver (c.1730-91); and Thomas Roberts (1748-78). Nineteenth-century art is represented by Daniel Maclise (1806-70); Erskine Nicol (1825-1904); and James Arthur O'Connor (1792-1841). An entire room is dedicated to Irish watercolours and features the work of Mildred Anne Butler (1858-1941); Hugh Douglas Hamilton (c.1740-1808); and George Petrie (1790-1866). Fota's internationally renowned gardens, co-managed by the Irish Heritage Trust and the Office of Public Works, are open all year round and are a haven of relaxation and enjoyment for people of all ages.
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