Lecture 4 of ‘The Webinar Series’

Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society

Date: 16th October 2020 at 7:30pm

Dr John Knightly


‘Lixnaw and the Earls of Kerry’

‘It is difficult nowadays to imagine the magnificence of Lixnaw Court, ancestral seat of the Fitzmaurices, which in its heyday was one of the most lavish of Irish houses, and set within a vast formal parkland of canals, avenues and various set-pieces, almost unrivalled by any other Munster demesne. Despite falling into ruin with its buildings collapsed and the parkland denuded, Lixnaw remains a tremendously important – if under-appreciated – archaeological and historical complex. This talk will examine the origins of this great demesne landscape, the family who were instrumental in its creation, the concept of improvement in the 18th century and place it within wider stylistic concepts then prevalent throughout Europe.  The various components of the demesne will be explored – the Court itself, the canals, gardens, Monument, Hermitage and the Belvedere. Finally the future of Lixnaw is considered and how it might be once again used to the benefit of North Kerry’. [Dr John Knightly]