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IRELAND 2: Decorative Arts and Architecture

*PLEASE NOTE: Several timing issues have been tweaked on the first and the last day in both trip itineraries, but the two 2014 study trips to Ireland are exactly the same. This trip has been added due to great demand. Space is limited, please reserve your place promptly to avoid disappointment. This trip is completely sold out.

The Decorative Arts Trust Study Trip Abroad
Ireland 2 Study Trip
May 30 – June 7, 2014

This Study Trip will be accompanied by Helen Scott Reed, Trust Secretary of the Board, a curatorial person who will thrill you, and Nicola Howard of Specialtours.

Irish arts and architecture have a fascinating history, from Celtic and Medieval periods through Georgian and American times. This study trip, focusing on decorative arts and architecture, will travel from Shannon via Cork to Dublin visiting great country houses, museums and gardens along the way. This will be a wonderful introduction to the major forthcoming exhibit Irish Art on a World Stage 1640-1853, opening St. Patrick’s Day 2015 at the Art Institute of Chicago and around which the Decorative Arts Trust plans to hold a symposium.


Muckross Farm

Read Terms and Conditions for this trip. Register online here*SOLD OUT

Intinerary (subject to amendment)

Friday, May 29  
  Depart USA
Friday, May 30 D
We assemble at the charming Dunraven Arms Hotel, County Limerick Tel: ++353 (0)61 605 900
1:00 pm

Leave by coach for the Hunt Museum in Limerick . Housed in the historic Limerick Customs House on the Shannon River, this important Museum of Antiquities – Celtic, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern – was assembled by archaeologist John Hunt.

1:30 pm Visit the Hunt Museum with a guided tour (by kind arrangement)
3:00 pm

Return to Adare and the Dunraven Arms Hotel, County Limerick

4:30 pm

Lecture on Irish Decorative Arts by antique dealer George Stacpoole and a chance to visit his shop

6:30 pm Leave by coach for a private visit to Glin Castle (by kind arrangement with Madam Olda Fitzgerald)

Dinner privately

  Return to our hotel in Adare by coach
Saturday, May 31 B, L

Leave (by coach) for an all day excursion to Birr Castle (by kind arrangement with the Earl & Countess of Rosse) Birr Castle and Garden is an interesting 17th- and 18th-century demesne filled with family furniture, objects and paintings and owned by the Earl and Countess of Rosse. The 3rd Earl built the gigantic telescope there, and the 6th Earl was a renowned plantsman, participating in exotic Eastern expeditions. The present Earl, a knowledgeable plantsman and dendrologist, still takes part in seed-finding expeditions.  


Lunch privately


Return to Adare

Dinner independently

Sunday, June 1 B, L

Leave (with luggage) for Fenit, Co. Kerry, for a visit to the fabulous collection of Irish art, furniture, books and glass at Churchill (by kind arrangement)


Private lunch included.


Continue to Killarney for a guided tour of Muckross House (subject to arrangement)

Continue to Cork to check-in at Hayfield Manor Hotel, Perrott Avenue, College Road, Cork City Tel: +353 (0)21 484 5900

  Dinner is independent.
Monday, June 2 (Bank Holiday) B, L, D
8:30 am

Leave to visit Bantry House, a magnificent Palladian house and Italian garden overlooking the bay and owned by the Shelswell-White family. The interior features important tapestries, portraits and furniture.

12 noon Lunch privately (by kind arrangement)
1:30 pm

En route back to Cork, we stop at Riverstown House to see the amazing Lafrancini brothers’ plasterwork.

4:30 pm

Continue to Fota Island near Cobh to see the elegant Regency mansion, former seat of the Earls of Barrymore. We will visit the house after hours (by kind arrangement)

6:00 pm Continue to Ballymaloe House for an early dinner
8:30pm Return to our hotel in Cork
Tuesday, June 3 B, L, D
8:30 am

Leave (with luggage) for Cahir to visit the 1800s “cottage orné” by Richard Butler

11 am

Driving north via the Rock of Cashel, we lunch and visit the privately-owned Abbeyleix, a beautiful late-18th-century house with some interiors designed by James Wyatt and containing excellent examples of Irish furniture and paintings.

1:30 pm Lunch privately (subject to permission)

Visit the interiors of this elegant 1770s house with interiors by James Wyatt

Continue to Ballyfin to check-in at our hotel at Ballyfin Demesne, Co. Laois Tel: +353 (0)57 87 55 866 Fax: +353 (0)57 87 55 883

Dinner in the hotel

Wednesday, June 4 B, L

Leave (with luggage) for Blessington to visit Russborough House, a magnificent 9-part Palladian mansion (700 ft. facade!) designed in the 1740s by Richard Cassels with superb stucco decoration by the Lafranchini brothers. The Beit Old Master Collection adds to the exceptional furnishings.

11:30 am

Continue to Powerscourt to visit the expansive Italian Gardens, which include fountains, terraces and grottos. There is also a 1908 Japanese Garden. However, a devastating fire in 1974 destroyed most of the interior of the house and only the outer walls remain; the interior now houses various shops and the restaurant.

Buffet Lunch at The Terrace Café

3 pm

Continue to Dublin to stay this time at Brooks Hotel, Drury Street , Dublin City Tel: +353 (0)1 670 4000 Fax: +353 (0)1 670 4455

7 pm

The nearby St. Stephen’s Green Club will host us for evening drinks and a lecture on Irish architecture by John Redmill, a well-known architect who has worked on the restoration of many historic Irish buildings.

  Dinner is independent.
Thursday, June 5 B, L
  To the National Gallery of Ireland near Merion Square with European and Irish arts.


Leaving by coach for Newbridge House outside Dublin, we'll lunch in their Tea rooms before our visit. The house was built between 1747 and 1752 to the design of architect James Gibbs, for Dr. Charles Cobbe, later Archbishop of Dublin, and is still owned by the same family. It includes an original Cabinet of Curiosities.
2:30 pm Guided tour of Newbridge House
3:30 pm We continue by coach for our last visit today, the small but impressive Marino Casino, a magnificent Neoclassical summer house built by William Chambers in the 1760s for the Earl of Charlemont. The compact building has 16 rooms on 3 floors with a central staircase.

Dinner is independent.

Friday, June 6 B, L, D
9 am

Leave (by coach) for Celbridge for a guided tour of Castletown House, one of the most important houses saved by the Hon. Desmond Guinness for the society he helped found, the Irish Georgian Society. The spectacular sweep and grandeur of the staircase hall will astound, as well as the Lafranchini Rococo plasterwork, Lady Louisa Conolly’s rare Print Room and the Pompeian Long Gallery. Castletown has recently undergone a major restoration project and now houses superb examples of Irish furniture.

11:30 am

Continue to Leixlip Castle for a visit and talk by the Hon Desmond Guinness

  Lunch privately (by kind arrangement)
2:45 pm Return to Dublin
  Some free time
7:30 pm Dinner at Francesca’s Restaurant in the hotel
Saturday, June 7 B

Leave for Dublin airport by coach or cab depending on departure time



Terms and Conditions

Land Arrangement Cost: 
$5,300 per person based on twin occupancy. Final invoice may reflect currency rate change.

TransAtlantic airfare is not included. Please do not make your airline reservations until you have received written confirmation from The Trust.

An $950.00 per person deposit is required by October 23, 2013.
Reservations and deposits are taken on an “as received” basis. You will receive a written confirmation in the mail from The Decorative Arts Trust. Do not make any irrevocable airline reservations until you receive your written confirmation. If not registering online, please make your check payable to: The Decorative Arts Trust and mail to 106 Bainbridge St., Phila., PA 19147.
Deposit is non-refundable after October 23, 2013. Cancellation insurance is strongly advised.

A donation to the Decorative Arts Trust of $500 per person is required for this trip.
This donation is fully tax deductible. Please use separate check.

Membership Class: 
For participation in Study Trips Abroad, a Benefactor membership class is necessary.
Membership is fully tax deductible. If an increase in your membership level is needed, the Trust will invoice you for a Benefactor level upgrade.

Single Supplement:
$850.00 additional for a single supplement. These are limited.

Final Payment: 
Will be due by January 15, 2014.

Travel Documents:
A valid United States passport is required for this itinerary.

All schedules mentioned in this itinerary are contracted for at this time but are subject to change if necessary. A Study Trip reading list will be sent to you.

Trip Participants: 
The trip is limited to a maximum of 25 members and requires a minimum of 15 people. The trip will cancel if under-subscribed. We will organize and maintain a waiting list on the basis of the time registrations are received. This is a strenuous trip. We regret that we cannot be responsible for those needing assistance on this trip. By registering for the trip, you are certifying that you do not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for yourself or other passengers. The right is reserved to decline to accept or decline to retain anyone as a member of this study trip should the person’s health, actions or general deportment impede the operation of the study trip or the rights, welfare or enjoyment of others.

Included in Trip Cost:

  • Hotel accommodations in 4–5 star hotels,
  • 8 buffet breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners
  • private motor coach transportation, local guides, museums, parks, and historic houses,
  • Porterage for one suitcase only. This is particularly important.

Not Included in the Trip Cost:

  • Air travel, bar drinks, any other personal extras, and tips only for the accompanying professional guide (suggested $4 per person per day) and motor coach driver ($3 per day), which will be collected at the end of the trip.

Cancellation and Refund:
If you must cancel your reservation, you are urged to do so as soon as possible in writing to The Decorative Arts Trust. However, deposits are non-refundable after October 23, 2013.

  • Cancellations received 42 days before the start of the tour will receive a 50% refund.
  • Cancellations received between 42 and 22 days before the start of the tour will receive a 25% refund.
  • Cancellations received between 21 and 14 days before the start of the tour will receive a 15% refund.
  • For cancellations occurring within two weeks of the tour starting, there are no refunds.

Cancellation and accident insurance are strongly advised. Check to see that baggage and personal property are covered on your householders insurance.