Mansion House 300 year Anniversary celebrations
On Friday 30th January 2015, Dublin City Council celebrated 300 years of the Mansion House as the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. This was the first event in 2015 to mark this special anniversary.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke hosted a reception in the Mansion House with guests including former Lord Mayors, former Lady Mayoresses and Council staff who worked in the Mansion House over the years.
Lord Mayor Christy Burke said “It is great to welcome so many former residents back to the Mansion House to celebrate the 300th Anniversary. The Mansion House is a very special place to live and work in and has a great history. It has been at the centre of Dublin life for 300 years and in 2015 we look forward to welcoming people to continue celebrating this wonderful building.”
“Dublin's Mansion House is unique because it is the only mayoral residence in Ireland and it's older than any Mansion House in Britain” said Dr. Mary Clark, Dublin City Council, City Archivist.
“After 300 years the Mansion House the residence of the Lord Mayor, the First Citizen of the city, remains intrinsically connected and central to the cultural, political and social life and fortunes of Dublin. In preparation of this significant anniversary Dublin City Council compiled a conservation management plan in 2009 to best conservation practice raising awareness of the origins of this early eighteenth century architecturally significant site, its culturally important interiors and significant art and furniture collection – their future supported by a short to long term strategy of conservation works” said Nicki Matthews, Conservation Officer, Dublin City Council.
The Mansion House has been at the heart of the city government since 1715 when it was sold by Joshua Dawson to then named Dublin Corporation for £3,500 (between €350,000 and €500,000 in today’s money) in addition to an annual rent of 40 shillings and an agreement to provide two fat capons (male hens) and a loaf of double refined sugar weighing six pounds at Christmas. In return, Joshua Dawson agreed to build on an extra room to the house which could be used for civic receptions - the famous Oak Room where three hundred years later festivities to mark this special occasion will take place.
Photos syndicated by Conor McCabe Photography on the night.
Archived photos also available on request from the Media Relations Office.
For further information contact:
Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277
Notes to the Editor:
The office of Mayor of Dublin was created by King Henry III and the first Mayor, Richard Muton was elected in 1229. In 1641 the title was changed to Lord Mayor and the first Lord Mayor, Sir Daniel Bellingham, was elected in 1665. Prior to the purchase of the house the Lord Mayor of Dublin was given £100 annually from the British Monarchy to allow him to rent a house for entertaining. Lord Mayors did not have to vouch for any of this spending and some spent as little of the money as possible on renting suitable dwellings and retained the rest. However when the 2nd Duke of Ormond was appointed as Lord Lieutenant in 1703, he found himself being entertained in a tent in St. Stephen’s Green! The annual allowance was withdrawn and money made available to purchase a house for the Lord Mayor.
In 1705 Joshua Dawson purchased a tract of land east of Grafton Street described at the time as “a piece of marshy land without even a lane crossing it”. Within two years he had drained the ground and laid out Dawson Street. Construction started in 1705 and it was built to be a townhouse for Joshua Dawson, the developer of Dawson Street and Nassau Street. Dawson was making a statement about his position and wealth in choosing the style of his townhouse with its Baroque forecourt and classical façade with regular and large windows, possibly modelled the design of Buckingham House (1706 but subsequently absorbed into Buckingham Palace).
The Round Room at the Mansion House was built in 1821 to receive King George IV as it was deemed that there was no room grand enough in the city to receive royalty. It was in this room, in 1919 that the first Dail Eireann was held.
The Round Room beside the house had been built in 1821 for a visit by King George IV. The house would originally have been set in its own wooded grounds but now only a small garden remains.
It is the only Mayoral residence in Ireland which is still used for its original purpose.
The first Dáil met in the Mansion House Round Room in 1919 and cabinet meetings of that Dáil were held in the Dining Room.
The Mansion House is remarkable for many reasons:
The Mansion House may be seen as a model for the custodians of historic buildings in general due to the carefully considered and sympathetically implemented conservation works which have been completed to date, including the historically researched presentation of the principle reception spaces, the reinstatement of the original location of the Baroque screen to the Lord Mayor’s garden, the thermal enhancement of the historic windows, the upgrading of services controls and installation of alternative energy technologies to produce more efficient running costs to provide a comfortable and appropriate Lord Mayor’s residence