Ireland possesses some of the finest surviving Georgian architecture, much of which can be found in Dublin. Between the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, re-establishing the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland, and 1801, when the Act of Union amalgamated Ireland with England and abolished the Irish Parliament, central Dublin was re-planned and built as a great classical capital city.
Despite much unsympathetic late twentieth-century redevelopment, Dublin’s Georgian glory remains. The city’s many great public buildings have been cleaned and restored and their stone facades contrast with the brick terraces that line its great streets and squares. The terraces are often plain externally, apart from elegant and prominent doorcases, but inside houses were frequently lavishly decorated with plasterwork in the prevailing styles of the period, Palladian, Rococo and Neo-classical.
Elsewhere, a great many fine country houses were built. Paid for from the fat profits gained from the vast estates of the Protestant landowners, they bear close similarity to Palladian villas and Neo-Classical houses built elsewhere. Georgian architectural developments in Ireland were remarkably close to those in the rest of the British Isles: as the great architectural historian John Summerson stated, it was ‘as if the Irish Sea were no greater an affair to negotiate than a couple of English counties.’