Humewood, Wicklow, Ireland

Humewood, Wicklow, Ireland — the Seat of W. W. Fitzwilliam Dick, Esq., M.P. (1867), designed by W. White, F.S.A.. Drawing from Eastlake, facing p. 362. Image scan and text by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Commentary by Charles L. Eastlake

Mr. White's name has hitherto been mentioned only in connection with church architecture, and it is with this department of design that it has become most generally associated. But he has also been engaged in the design and erection of many Gothic buildings of a domestic character, among which that of 'Humewood' in Ireland is one of the most notable. It was begun in 1867 for Mr. W. Fitzwilliam Dick, M.P. for Wicklow, and represents for special reasons a combination of Scotch and Irish characteristics in its design. It is built of granite, a material obviously involving a plain massive treatment, in which the lintel must supersede the arch, and delicate mouldings become impossible. To compensate for this deficiency in refinement of detail, the mansion has been most picturesquely grouped with projecting bays, angle turrets, stepped gables, and high pitched roofs, rising above which a square tower, surmounted by a battlemented parapet, gives great dignity to the composition. Though much given to antiquarian re- search, and especially orthodox in the internal arrangement of his churches, Mr. White has not allowed his acquaintance with Mediaeval architecture to affect the character of his plan, which is studied with great attention to modern convenience and requirements, nor has less care been bestowed on the details and fittings whether of a constructional or ornamental character. They exhibit, in many features of the house, evidence of that artistic design by which alone we can hope to revive in these degenerate days thr true spirit if ancient hadiwork. [362-63]

References

Eastlake, Charles L. A History of the Gothic Revival. London: Longmans, Green; N.Y. Scribner, Welford, 1972. [Copy in Brown University's Rockefeller Library]


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