Fota House & Gardens

Landmark & historical place
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Welcome to Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, an architectural masterpiece, a treasure house of art and a place for people to enjoy. Fota House is owned and managed by the Irish Heritage Trust. Come and share this special place with us.

Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

3 days 23 hours ago

#FotaHistoryNuggets...📚

On this day, April 4th, 1886, Robert Raymond Smith Barry was born in London. His father was James Hugh Smith Barry, his mother Charlotte Cole. When his uncle, Lord Barrymore died without a male heir in 1925, Robert inherited the Smith Barry estates, including Fota House.

From the time he got his Aviator’s Certificate in November 1911, Robert Smith Barry was passionate about flying. In 1912 he was commissioned to the newly formed Royal Flying Corps.

When World War 1 broke out he was sent to France. He arrived on August 14th but four days later he suffered two broken legs when his plane crashed. His co-pilot was killed. After a slow recovery and some time spent as a flying instructor, he returned to France in 1916 to serve in the 60 Squadron. During the Battle of the Somme, he was part of a mission to protect bombers going to Mont Saint Quentin. His group was attacked by some German Fokker planes and again he was shot down. But he manged to land his plane and escaped major injury. His commanding officer Major Waldron was killed on this mission and Captain Smith Barry replaced him, being promoted to Major.

Realising how vulnerable and ill prepared the British pilots were, Major Smith Barry complained to his superior officers. He said to Major General Trenchard that British pilots “have barely learned to fly, let alone fight…. they’ve only seven hours flying, Sir and it’s bloody murder”. After very heavy losses of pilots and planes during the Somme, they eventually took his ideas on board and sent him back to the UK to start a new form of training. He put his revolutionary training ideas into action, including teaching sharp turn, spinning and recovery and how to take off and land in crosswinds. He also invented a new system of communication within the planes by designing the “Gosport Tube”. The War Office printed 500 copies of his book, “Methods Of Teaching Scout Pilots”. His new methods allowed British pilots to take on the well trained German pilots like the famous Red Baron and he was described as the man who ”taught the Air Forces of the world how to fly”. His training system saved countless lives and continues to form the basis for modern military flight training. A Blue Plaque was erected to him recently at the Alverbank Hotel, near the Gosport Training School.

Robert Smith Barry sold Fota House to his cousin, Dorothy Bell around 1936. He died in Durban, South Africa in 1949 while undergoing leg surgery. Since his first crash in 1914 he had walked with a limp and the injury plagued him all his life. He had no children. After the war he continued to fly and Patty Butler, who worked at Fota House between 1947 and 1975, remembers his plane landing on the golf links (now the Bell meadow) when he and his wife made one of their surprise visits to Fota House. 🛩✨
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Our #FotaHistoryNuggets posts are thanks to Catherine Coakley, a Fota House volunteer who researches and writes these for our community to enjoy.
Our volunteers make invaluable contributions to Fota House & Gardens with each person bringing individual expertise, skills and passion to our team who care for the house, gardens, grounds and aboretum ✨.
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#IrishHeritageTrust #PeoplePlacesParticipation #IrelandsAncientEast #SharingSpecialPlaces #FotaHouse #FotaHouseandGardens
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Tourism Ireland | Discover Ireland | Ireland's Ancient East |
Cork County Council | Cork City Council | Pure Cork |
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Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

4 days 12 hours ago

#SharingSpecialPlaces
As part of our digital peeks, today we bring you behind the scenes to a fabulous space that always captures every visitor's imagination...the Drawing Room! ☺️😍

This is where the ladies of the house would withdraw to after meals. It’s also the music/entertainment room of the house with dances and music recitals held here over the years. The captivating music symbols on the ceiling reflect the purpose of the room and create an unforgettable atmosphere. The curved wall to the back with large windows gives family and visitors alike a full view of the gardens outside.

It's plain to see that no matter where you turn at Fota, inside the house or in the grounds, there is enchantment everywhere. 💚 We're looking forward to welcoming you back when we reopen, in the meantime, we'll have another video snippet soon...

#irishheritagetrust #peopleplaceparticipation #volunteering #irelandsancienteast #purecork #ringofcork #wearecork #visitcork #keepdiscovering #fotahouseandgardens #fotahouse #loveireland #LoveCork #fotagenic #lovingfota #Fota200 #Fota2020
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Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

5 days 17 hours ago

Our Fota House & Gardens animal residents always make us smile...especially because we never know where we'll happen upon them around the gardens and aboretum...especially in Spring! We hope this brings you a moment of joy today 🐣☺️

Earlier this week, our gardeners Ian and Bernard were doing some maintenance on top of the 200 year old walls surrounding our beloved orchard and frameyard. 🌳🌱🌿🌷
As they moved along through the top of the wall they came across a duck and her eggs nestled amongst the ivy and growth. The duck moved away but they got a shot of her carefully constructed nest with 10 eggs inside! 🦆
Hopefully we’ll see the ducklings out and about in the next few weeks. Thanks to Ian and Bernard for looking after our visitor. 💚

#FotaHouse #FotaHouseAndGardens #FotaHouseFriends
#IrishHeritageTrust #SharingSpecialPlaces #KeepDiscovering
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Discover Ireland | Ireland's Ancient East | Pure Cork | Yay Cork | Cork County Council | Cork City Council | Cobh Tourism | Cork Beo | EchoLive.ie

Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

6 days 13 hours ago

Fota House & Gardens added 2 new photos.

Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

6 days 19 hours ago

Here at Fota House and Gardens, Collection Care have many projects running at the same time looking after the house and making it the special heritage destination it is.

To share the Collections with you, we have been working behind the scenes to research our items and keep you informed about their history!

Today, we're sharing some history about one of our books - especially interesting right now if you're reading a lot while at home 🙂📖.
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📚📙 Book 1 | FT LIB 208
'Up and Down the Sands of Gold' - Mary Devereux

Martina from Collection Care said, "I loved the cover of this book when I came across it. It reminded me of Spring and the colour of daffodils."

'Up and Down the Sands of Gold' was first published in 1901 with an elaborate green and gold hardback (Image 2).
Our copy was published in 1904 with a similar central panel, floral ornaments and motifs (Images 1, 3).
Our book belonged to Jeanette Cook. Who was she, where did she live. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know (Image 4).
The book was published by Little, Brown and Company, then Little Brown & Co Publishers, Boston Founded in 1837 in Boston by Charles Little and James Brown (Image 5).
The book's author Mary Devereux in an image taken in 1902 (Image 6).

Thank you to Martina for your research about this week's book! 📖✨☺️
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***Did you know?***
Fota House has an extensive collection of approximately 1000 books varying in subject matter from farming, travel, romance and beyond. Our books date from the late 1800’s.

They are:
✨ Pretty
✨ Mysterious
✨ Damaged
✨ Dusty and,
✨ Completely wonderful!

Our quest to complete a book inventory is underway. Stay with us to see what we find and what mysteries and stories we can share with you...
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#IrishHeritageTrust #PeoplePlacesParticipation #IrelandsAncientEast #FotaHouse #FotaHouseandGardens #FotaHouseCollections #FotaHistoryNuggets
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Ireland (country) | Discover Ireland | Ireland's Ancient East |
Cork County Council | Cork City Council | Pure Cork |
Yay Cork | Cork Beo | Cobh Tourism | EchoLive.ie

Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

5 days 16 hours ago

#FotaHistoryNuggets...📚

On this day, April 1st, 1823, the Cork Crown Court sat to hear a case which “excited great interest and occupied several hours, not being closed ‘til 8 o’clock in the evening”.

The Grand Jury in Cork had given permission to John Smith Barry, Esq, to allow a portion of his land to be used for a new road from Cork to Cove. Mr Abraham Hargrave lodged an objection (a “traverse”) to this on the basis that part of this new road would see his “plantation” cut in two. Mr Hargrave was leasing 35 acres from John Smith Barry. While the objection was aimed at the Grand Jury and Smith Barry, it appears that the main reason for the hearing was to allocate compensation to Mr Hargrave.

According to newspaper reports, it took some time to select a jury “sufficiently disinterested to be considered impartial”, suggesting that the issue was a divisive one for the locals. Both sides agreed that the new road was needed to replace the existing one which was in poor conditio
n. This new road had to be designated a “post road”, suitable for the riders and post coaches bringing letters, parcels and people from the busy port of Cove. The objections put forward were, firstly, that the road for which permission was granted was only 21 feet wide, when the law stated that a post road should be 32 feet; secondly, that notices regarding the planning permission should have been on display locally, but were not; thirdly, that an alternative route “along the Strand” should be used.

Concerning the planned route, counsel for the Grand Jury and Mr Smith Barry argued that a road along the Strand would be “subject to inundation (flooding), therefore not suitable. Both sides had witnesses in court, with Mr Hargrave side calling neighbours, surveyors, architects and even Mr Baylor of Fermoy, a nurseryman with expertise on landscapes. His counsel argued that John Smith Barry should pay the cost of building the new road, rather than placing this “burden” on the public purse. After Judge Burton’s summing up, the jury were sent to consider the arguments. They returned within half an hour, telling the Judge that the permission for the new road should stand but awarding £60 damages as compensation to Mr Hargrave.

A note on Mr Abraham Hargrave: it seems that he was the son of Abraham Hargrave Snr, an architect and builder who built Belvelly Bridge and many other notable buildings in Cork City and County This Abraham Hargrave was also an architect. He lived at Ballynoe House in Cobh, with his wife and 16 children. He was an active member of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, alongside John Hugh Smith Barry and had a racing yacht called Giaour. (It is said that, in 1853, Abraham’s son, Charles Townsend Hargrave, sailed in this boat (with three of his brothers) to Australia, where he became a very successful architect, becoming inspector general of roads and bridges for South Australia). Abraham Hargrave died in 1837. (With thanks to Sally O’Leary for her nautical input).

This image shows a section of a 6” B&W Ordinance Survey Map (1829-41) of the area around Ballynoe House, Cobh.
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Today's post is thanks to our volunteer Catherine Coakley who lends her history skills to research and write for our #FotaHistoryNuggets - our volunteers make exceptional contributions to Fota House & Gardens with their individual expertise, skills and passion ✨.
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#IrishHeritageTrust #PeoplePlacesParticipation #IrelandsAncientEast #SharingSpecialPlaces #FotaHouse #FotaHouseandGardens #KeepDiscovering
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Ireland (country) | Discover Ireland | Ireland's Ancient East |
Cork County Council | Cork City Council | Pure Cork |
Yay Cork | Cork Beo | Cobh Tourism | EchoLive.ie

Fota House & Gardens

1 week 14 hours ago

✨ This evening, we are very excited to be premiering the first episode of our Fota House Digital Series ✨

This series of promotional videos was originally made in a different time to now and created to promote the start of our 2020 summer season.
It’s important to us to stay connected with you while we’re closed, so even though you can't visit in person, we’re bringing Fota House to you in your home. We hope that you can enjoy a snippet of our house while staying safe at home with your loved ones. ✨

Watch on YouTube below (click the link below) or on IGTV to learn more about Fota House, little known facts and more!
Until full tours recommence, we hope you enjoy this peek behind the scenes into the house! ✨ We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Fota House, Gardens and Aboretum soon.

🎥✨⤵️ Episode 1 | The Main Hallway
Talent - Bryan C
Filming & Editing - Seán S

#peopleplacesparticipation #discoverireland #irelandsancienteast
#purecork #fotahouse #fotahouseandgardens #irishheritagetrust
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Fota House & Gardens

1 week 21 hours ago

UPDATE | In line with continuing Covid-19 related restrictions, Fota House -- inclusive of the Gardens & Aboretum -- are closed until further notice.

If you have an entry ticket, please email: info@fotahouse.com
Please bear with us as we process all requests, we will respond to each and every query.

The health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is of the utmost importance to us. Thank you for your support. We look forward to welcoming you back to Fota House & Gardens soon.

#FotaHouse #FotaHouseAndGardens #IrishHeritageTrust #Covid19

Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

1 week 5 days ago

How cute is this little arrangement of flora collected by a family visiting Fota yesterday? The buggy sets it off perfectly!!!!

Fota House & Gardens

Fota House & Gardens

1 week 5 days ago

On this day, March 26, 1793, John Hugh Smith Barry was baptised in Fulham Parish. He was the son of James Hugh Smith Barry and Ann Tanner, whose long-term relationship was never solemnised although they had five children together. As a result of his illegitimacy, while John inherited Marbury and Fota House, he did not inherit the title of Earl of Barrymore, though petitioned - unsuccessfully - Sir Robert Peel for permission to retain it.

In 1814, the year he attained his majority and inherited Marbury and Fota House, he married Eliza Courtney of Ballyedmond House, Midleton. They had five children, but Eliza died at the young age of 33. John subsequently married Mary Felicia Heron in 1835.

Unlike other Smith Barrys, John made Fota his home, only going to Marbury for a few weeks each Autumn (usually to attend the Doncaster races which he loved).

In his short, hand-written memoir, Lord Barrymore says of his grandfather “John really made Fota, building the wings to the little square house which was only the length of the present hall: constructing the sea walls, demesne walls…creating parks and plantations and pleasure grounds.”

Lady Charlotte, Lord Barrymore’s sister, also describes John Smith Barry – “John was a good looking man, rather above middle height, with blue eyes and curly hair. He was wild, gay, hospitable, and very amusing and is said to have been known in Cork as “John the Magnificent”. Tales survive of the open handed hospitality and rather riotous carouses at Foaty.” She tells us of the “great quantity of wine that was consumed there, the big decanter which holds nine bottles…being re-filled many times, the door having been previously locked and the key thrown out of the window”.

He died at Salt Hill, Berkshire, on February 24th, 1837, on his way to Bath where he had been sent by his doctors for the benefit of his health. He was 44.

John Smith Barry loved yachting and was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and Vice Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club (this year celebrating 300 years in existence). This image of a jaunty looking “John the Magnificent” (with telescope under his arm) was created by a famous French silhouette artist called Augustin Edouart, who lived and worked in Cork in the 1830s, and who describes being “kindly received at Foaty”. This painting of him was recently purchased jointly by Fota House and the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

#FotaHouseAndGardens #IrelandsAncientEast #FotaHistoryNuggets #IrishHeritageTrust #PeoplePlaceParticipation #Volunteering

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