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Book Bundle: Gate Lodges of Ulster & The Plight of the Big House in Northern Ireland


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A new book bundle designed by Ulster Architectural Heritage combining J.A.K Dean’s forthcoming 2020 publication ‘The Plight of the Big House in Northern Ireland’ with his acclaimed ‘The Gate Lodges of Ulster, A Gazetteer’ (1994). Get both books for the value price of £28 saving £6.

The Gate Lodges of Ulster, A Gazetteer

Kindled by a university project in 1964 which required the submission of a thesis on ‘The Gate Lodge and Estate Entrance Gates of Northern Ireland’ an interest was aroused that resulted in the publication in 1994 of The Gate Lodges of Ulster which assembled those in the nine counties of that province in the form of a gazetteer.

These books seek to increase awareness of the importance of the gate lodge as part of our architectural heritage by emphasising its uniqueness which in print to date mysteriously has received minimal notice in contrast with the exposure given its big house, and to balance that disparity.

So often built to impress, gate lodges and entrances were intended as a favourable first encounter and, sadly, some now survive, often stranded and even more curious, as the only evidence that a great house ever existed, all outliving their houses, their survival an indicator of the architectural significance and a measure of all that was lost in a benighted age. Whilst these conspicuous examples do not set the Irish gate lodge apart from its counterpart in mainland Great Britain, what makes it unique to this island is its numbers, proliferating as it does here far in excess of those anywhere else on the planet.


The Plight of the Big House in Northern Ireland

The ‘Big House’ is a truly evocative entity. With the recent extraordinary rescue of Ormiston House in East Belfast, for example, such buildings are once again capturing the public imagination, yet in Northern Ireland the ‘Big House’ is still an endangered species. This captivating and attractive new illustrated book – which is a fascinating read in itself but which also functions as a useful ‘field guide’ – features not only ‘Big Houses’ now sadly lost to us but also noteworthy survivors, and focuses on the contemporary plight of those still at risk in a highly timely way.  While the ‘Big House’ term usually refers to country houses of the landed aristocracy and gentry in this publication it is extended to include the grander Anglican rectories and aspiring suburban villas of the merchant class, set in pocket estates, which will broaden its appeal and reference value.

Each entry in the compilation combines concise research and field notes which are referenced and related to a bibliography while pictures and photographs have been sourced for nearly every entry. Dean’s motivation for assembling this record of Big Houses in Northern Ireland results from  his abiding fascination for the enduringly picturesque image of the Big House and its setting – tempered with a melancholy concern about grievous losses – but also because of his desire to fill a gap left by equivalent publications in the UK and Ireland. Ulster Architectural Heritage, with its mission to promote the huge value of our built heritage and its unparalleled reputation for publishing distinguished Ulster architectural historical books, is proud to present this informative volume.

Members get a further 25% OFF. Use voucher code Member25 at checkout. Membership will be verified on purchase. Purchases from non-members utilising code will be automatically cancelled and refunded.

*Offer Excludes Postage. These items will be dispatched separately to lower your postage costs.

Weight 1650 g
Dimensions 25.5 × 4 × 30 cm