Scene Within Scene – 2. Rathfarnham Priory, Dublin, Ireland

Its a tragedy the Priory doesn’t exist anymore as its a place truly steeped in history. The house was formerly called Holly Park but the name was changed when bought by Irish politician John Philpot Curran in 1790. Curran was a famous orator and had a tendency to challenge people to duels! However his 27 years at the house were to be a tragic time, firstly with the untimely death of his 12 year old daughter Gertrude after a fall from the first floor window of the house. Shortly after this his wife left him for another man and he became embroiled in further controversy when Irish Republican Robert Emmet was said to have had a romance with his daughter Sarah Curran. Rumours that Curran had been involved in Robert Emmet’s uprising led to him giving all correspondence between the two ‘lovers’ to the attorney general. Emmet was hanged for treason in 1803. The house was occupied by the Curran family until 1875 and by the Taylors until 1923. Subsequently it fell into a state of disrepair, an excavation of the site was carried out in 1979 prior to its redevelopment as a housing estate where only rubble of a couple of walls of the house and outbuildings still stand.

Between ca. 1865-1914
Author Photo: Aug 2012
Photographer: Robert French 1841-1917

Contributor: William Lawrence (William Mervin)

The Lawrence Photograph Collection

Physical description: 1 negative : glass ; 22 x 17 cm

Caption on glassplate reads: Priory. Rathfarnham. 5949. W. L.

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