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A Survey of Monuments of Archaeological and Historical Interest in the Barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare by William Gerrard Ryan
 

Part 5: Sites of later historical interest (post 1580 AD)
Chapter 48: Mount Ievers, Sixmilebridge

MOUNT IEVERS, SIXMILEBRIDGE

Location Nat. Grid Ref. R488662; ½” Sheet 17.

Townland : Mountievers
Parish (R.C.) : Sixmilebridge - Kilmurry
Civil Parish : Kilfinaghta
6” O.S. Sheet number : 52, Co. Clare
Reference : 18.6 cm North; 33.2 cm West
1” O.S. Sheet number : 133 (Sixmilebridge)

Mount Ievers, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare
Mount Ievers, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare

I do not propose to deal with this site in any great detail as this has already been done in a number of available books (see list of references over). I will, however, briefly deal with the history and some of the main features of this pre-Palladian or Queen Anne style house.

Under the relevant Civil Parish in Section 3 (“Castles and Tower Houses in the Barony of Bunratty Lower”) reference has already been made to the site, only, of a Tower House in this area. We noted then, and I repeat now, that this Tower House was levelled in the 1730’s and the present impressive structure built on its site.

The house was built by Colonel Henry Ievers, to the design of John Rothery whose son, Isaac, completed the work after his death. The construction took place over 7 years, from 1730 to 1737. We are fortunate in that a complete set of building accounts survive and these are especially useful for telling us the source of the building materials:-
The oak for the roof came from the woods at Portumna and were transported by both water and road.
Slates, for roofing, came from Broadford at a cost of 47 ½ p. per thousand.

The pink brick facing on the (east) front of the house came from the Netherlands. It is now that we have a tie up with the nearby oil mills at Ballintlea. This brick was brought by vessels collecting oil and soap at Ballintlea as ballast on the outward journey. The brick had only to be transported the one mile from Ballintlea to the house site.

Photographs and descriptions of the site’s interior and exterior are available in a number of sources. These all emphasise the importance of the house and its features:-
“ The most perfect and also probably the earliest of the tall Irish Houses…Its two 3 storey 7 bay fronts, which are almost identical except that one is of faded pink brick with a high basement whereas the other is of silvery limestone ashlar with the basement hidden by a grass bank have that dreamlike, melancholy air which all the best tall c. 18 Irish Houses have…”    Burke’s Guide (full reference below)

“…The staircase is the best feature of the interior and is Queen Anne in style…The windows have the earliest and heaviest type of glazing bar, with four panes across…There is a panoramic wall-painting of Mount Ievers showing the house and grounds in about 1740, with Bunratty Castle and the Shannon in the distance. The garden was formally laid out with rectangular fish-ponds and the painting includes a pigeon house, an obelisk, a fish house and an ice house…”    Irish Houses and Castles (full reference below).

The present owner, a direct descendent of Colonel Henry Ievers of the 1730’s, has carried out some restoration work on the house and with the aid of the Irish Georgian Society has put a new roof on Mount Ievers.

REFERENCES

Guinness and Ryan,
1971, pages 54 - 59.

This deals with both the history of the site and its main features. It contains a number of black and white photographs:-

Page 54:
Full page photo of west face.
Page 57: Mantels in the drawing room and dining room.
Page 59: Bedroom landing, main staircase.

Bence-Jones,
1978, page 214.

Again has some general information relating to the site’s construction. However this book is especially useful for its description of the site’s interior and exterior. It also has two black and white photographs of the site’s exterior showing the eastern and western faces.

Guinness,
1975, pages 4 and 5..

The written information on Mount Ievers is very general in this book. However its value lies in quality of the photographs used, one (in colour) of the site’s pink brick east face.

Page 4:
a) View of staircase.
b) Drawing room mantel with 1740 wall painting.
Page 5: a) Colour view of east face.
b) 1740 wall painting, in detail.

Malins and Knight of Glin,
1976, page 24.

Shows on Plate 27 the 1740 wall painting mentioned above and describes the area about the house in very general terms.

 

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