Lyons House in 1962 by Joan Tighe
Dublin Historical Record, Vol. 17, No. 4 (Sep., 1962)
A noble mansion indeed, this magnificent residence was commenced in 1797 by Nicholas Lawless, the first Lord Cloncurry, whose family had strong associations with Dublin’s commercial life.
The address of the mansion was, I have heard, formerly given as Newcastle Lyons, Co. Dublin, but in later years became altered to Celbridge, Co. Kildare ; the estate stood on part of the boundary line between Dublin and Kildare.
We feature illustrations of Lyons as it was when in the possession of Mr. T. M. J. Winn (a descendant of the old Lawless family and before the recent sale when the house and estate passed into the hands of the University College, Dublin, authorities.
Valentine Brown Lawless, the second Lord Cloncurry, great patriot and friend of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the Emmets, Hamilton Rowan and Wolfe Tone, embellished and beautified the mansion and spent a fortune on its improvement. Lyons became a repository for striking and beautiful works of art which Cloncurry collected when making the Grand Tour of Europe.
The portico of the house is of siennite and three of the columns came from the Golden House of Nero in Rome.
The sides of several rooms in the chief suite are embellished with fresco paintings by Gabrielli (an Italian artist brought to Dublin by Lord Cloncurry, who carried out some excellent work here).
The best of Gabrielli’s room-painting at Lyons are the decoration of a Drawing-toom and represent the changing hours of the day, from early dawn to moonlit evening.
Another apartment was enriched with representations of the Bays of Naples and Dublin, and the Saloon was decorated by Gabrielli with designs after ornaments found at Herculaneum.
The architect of Lyons was Oliver Grace who followed in the style of the eminent Richard Cassels.
JOAN TIGHE, (Illustrations by courtesy ” Irish Tatler a Sketch” (Photographs by Hugh Doran