Desart Court

Callan, Co. Kilkenny

Built circa 1730, for John Cuffe (1683-1749), 1st Baron Desart, and his second wife, Dorothea Gorges (1712-1771). The design of this spectacular Palladian mansion is attributed to Sir Edward Lovett Pearce (1699-1733) and it sat on an estate of some 5,000-acres. It was known for its two handsome grand staircases at either of the house, noted for their, "handsome carved scroll-work in oak, in lieu of balusters" that made them singular in Ireland. The mansion and its "superlative contents" remained in the Cuffe family until it was burned down by the IRA in 1923. The last Earl of Desart's daughter, Sybil, married firstly an American. All her husbands were close friends of Edith Wharton.

This house is best associated with...

Hamilton Cuffe

Hamilton John Agmondesham Cuffe, 5th Earl of Desart, of Desart Court, Co. Kilkenny


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 14/11/2019 and last updated on 17/11/2019.


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