t is, of course, just about the most beautiful – and swankiest – address Greystones has to offer…
And it just happens to be Ireland’s first-ever planned housing estate too, bejiggers.
The bould Vincent
Built largely between 1895 and 1910, The Burnaby was something of a revelation at the time, and a daring experiment in aesthetics, bringing together an artistic movement combatting the dark, foreboding grey onslaught that came in the wake of the Industrial Age.
It was all the bright idea of Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed, who, upon the passing of her father, Captain Sir St Vincent Whitshed-Hawkins, in 1871, inherited the family estate. At the tender age of 11. The properties included Killincarrick Farmhouse (now the Greystones Golf Club), Killincarrick House (later the Woodlands Hotel) and all the generous acres that came with them. At 18, Elizabeth married 37-year-old Fred Burnaby, this power couple staying together just long enough to have a son, Harry.
Lizzie at Killincarrick Farmhouse
It was some time later that Elizabeth had the fine idea of building an estate on the family property, having been inspired by the fine buildings of the neighbouring La Touche family. Inspired by the growing Garden City Movement, and the likes of Victorian Romantic William Morris, the estate was named after her beloved first husband, Fred, who had died in battle ten years earlier. Adopting the approach of the Arts and Crafts movement that was then flourishing throughout Europe, the emphasis for the houses was on traditional craftsmanship, where the work was done primarily with wood, steel, copper, brick and stone to make the most of such architectural features as high-pitched roofs, tall chimneys, dormers and gable windows facing out to the roads. An ample garden was also a crucial part of the planning.
Those helpful Catholics
By the time the building was largely completed in 1910, The Burnaby Estate was already a sensation, this shining example of the Domestic Revival style attracting rave write-ups in architectural publications and attracting as residents the likes of bankers, lawyers and colonial officials. A motley, moolah-laden crew that, apart from the odd shyster, hasn’t changed all that much today. The houses were owned, records show, predominantly by Protestants, and their servants were predominantly Roman Catholic.
Today, The Burnaby Estate is an architectural conservation area, and undoubtedly still the jewel in Greystones’ crown, as far as dirty big houses and great big swanky gardens go.
Burnaby Park Cottage
Burnaby Park Cottage. Colourised by GG.
Lone Car Burnaby Park Source Derek Paine
The Burnaby goes technicolor. Finally.
Burnaby Park Victorian Times Pic: Unknown
Burnaby Park Postcard colorized
Burnaby Estate Robert French
Burnaby Park Postcard. Era unknown.
Portland Rd 1905, shortly after the Burnaby Estate was completed
Portland Road 1940 Postcard
St Vincent Road 1906. Source Derek Paine
Whitshed Road 1905 Pic Patrick Neary
Black & White March 2018
Burnaby Estate, Greystones Lawrence Collection
Burnaby Signal postcard 1907
Heading up Killincarrig Road 1970s Pic Gloria Barry
Killincarrick Road Postcard
You can find out more about the incredible Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed right here, and the remarkable Fred Burnaby right about here – where you find some more the estate’s name origins. Big thanks to the great Peter Murtagh and his 2013 DVD, A Stroll Through The Burnaby.
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