[Hunting lodge near Ballinderry]

Artist(s) : Thomas Dineley (Draughtsman)

[Untitled sketch; the title given here is speculative - see below.]
Front view of a two-storey mansarded house with large mullioned windows and a porch.
It has been suggested that this sketch may represent the front of the house named as 'Ballenderry' on the next page of Dineley's manuscript (Shirley et al.). However, the structures of the two buildings are impossible to reconcile.
To offer another hypothesis: this may well be a sketch of a rather famous but lost structure, the hunting lodge of Fairwood, created c. 1637 by Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, then Lord Deputy of Ireland. Having, in 1637-1639, acquired some 10,000 acres in the region, following the dispossession of the Byrnes, Strafford stocked it with deer, engaged in horse breeding, and built a lodge, estimated to have cost £1200. Some remains of the foundations still exist, known locally as Black Tom’s Cellar. There is a connection to Dineley in that Strafford was the patron of James Shirley (1596-1666), Dineley's teacher, when Shirley was writing plays for the Werburgh Street theatre in Dublin (1636-1640). After Strafford's execution in 1641, Shirley remained faithful to his memory: in 1642 he pointedly dedicated a play (The Court Secret) to Strafford's son William. Dineley, for his part, appears to have esteemed Shirley, and quotes him in another manuscript.
In the text associated with this sketch Dinely notes that the 'stupendious' but 'tedious' Wicklow mountains are largely part of the Strafford estate. The position of this sketch in the manuscript places its subject between Drumkitt and Ballenderry, and the road probably travelled by Dinely on his way from Carlow to Wicklow would have taken him within a half mile of Fairwood. It seems unlikely that he would have missed the opportunity to sketch it. A further argument in favour of this hypothesis is the design of the building, which displays features typical of a hunting lodge of the period: tall, with large windows, often – as here – an oriel window, to allow those who were not taking part in the hunt to view its progress. The sketch as reproduced in 1862 is misleading. The building is not faced with wood as shown in the reproduction, but apparently roughly plastered. The enclosure shown to the left of the house does not belong to the original sketch but is the enclosure showing through the page from the sketch of 'Ballenderry' on the reverse side. The long wooden fence that is shown to the right of the building is not a fence in the original but may be interpreted as showing a radial alley of the kind usually cleared through woods used for hunting or riding. See, for example, the 'glades' shown by Dineley in his 'Staplestown' sketch. Alternatively, it may have been a reminder by Dineley to himself that fortifications had been placed around the lodge, because of the discontented Byrnes.
Rolf Loeber notes that Fairwood was probably one of the very last timber residences built for a settler outside the towns. If the hypothesis that this is a sketch of Fairwood is correct, then it may fill a gap in architectural history, for although there are documents relating to its construction, no image of its appearance has previously been found.


Aoghan Grogan and Annaba Kilfeather (eds), Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997).

Rolf Loeber ‘Settlers’ utilisation of the natural resources’, in Ken Hannigan, William Nolan (eds), Wicklow, History and Society (Dublin: Geography Publications, 1994), 267-304 (see pp. 268-273).

Evelyn Philip Shirley et al. (eds), ‘Extracts from the Journal of Thomas Dineley, Esquire’, Journal of the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society, vol. 4, 2nd series (1862), p. 51.

Inscribed in Image

  • Text outside of boundaries of image – [extraneous text into which the sketch projects]

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Pen and ink drawings
Subject(s) Architecture
Geographical Location
  • Ballinderry - Village
  • Wicklow - County
  • Leinster - Province
Keywords(s) Houses, Hunting
Colour Coloured
Published / created 1681

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Observations in a Voyage through the Kingdom of Ireland
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy p. 93
Source copy National Library of Ireland MS 392
Rights National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

From hence [Hacketstown] to Ballenderry town belonging to Henry Temple Esqr are ten tedious miles over stupendious mountaines called the mountaines of Wicklow mostly the Estate of Lord STRAFFORD.
Having passed over mountaines seven miles of your way towards Ballenderry you leave on the left hand a fortificacon built by the Lord Falkland, & called Macreddan, as a security of that part of the Countrey against the Wood Kernes and Rebells
[p. 91]
Within a little more than a mile towards Ballenderry you cross a river descending from Glandmelurr neer which somewhat above half a mile out of the way is a Spring Well or Spaw-water called DRUMKITT
[p. 92]
From Ballenderry to Rathdrome a market Town, is a mile, from thence to Wicklow is six miles more
[p. 94]
[image: Ballenderry]
Not onely from Wicklow \but/ from Ballenderry it self an house belonging to Mr Henry Temple in the loft thereof in a clear day are sayd to be discernible the Mountaines of Caernarvan in Walles, and above all the Hill of Prince Griffith.
[pp. 90-94]
Hunting lodge near Ballinderry