I have now updated my home page to publish the 2020 opening dates for the houses on section 482.
The list isn’t published until mid February in the year which is a bit of a “cod” as my Dad would have said, as some properties include January and early February dates in their open days, which nobody can know about or avail of before the list is published. Since the list seems very similar from one year to the next, however, one could probably anticipate open days in January or February and contact the property if one wants to visit early in the year.
Those familiar with my blog from last year  will see that so far I have been updating and publishing entries of places I already visited in 2019 or before. I will now be able to start visiting new places, since I have the new list! I will continue to blog every fortnight, adding 2019 entries to this site as well as new 2020 entries. I am updating the 2019 entries as I go, from further reading and research, so do give them another read if you get the chance since they contain new material.
Along with other material, I have been studying Mark Bence-Jones’s A Guide to Irish Country Houses, which was published in 1978 and revised in 1988 and 1990. I am creating a database of houses, to establish how many that are listed in Bence-Jones’s book (or which I learn of from other sources) are still extant, and which are in private hands or which open to the public, which are hotels or have accommodation. I will share this information with you as I continue my work. I am especially excited to find lovely accommodation and hope to avail of them on my travels to see houses on Section 482! Bence-Jones lists over 2000 houses in his book. A great resource is the National Inventory of Historic Architecture.  I also love the Irish Aesthete’s blog, which I often refer to in my posts  and I also use “Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland”s extremely informative blog . I’m also indebted to my public library, and have all of the Big Houses books out that I am allowed at one time – the newish decision not to fine people for overdue books means I am not as conscientious as I should be about returning books in time, and often I have to ask the librarian to override the system where I have renewed the books the maximum number of times. I am working to get them all back now, however, as my guilt is acute and weighs on me. I do not need 12 Big Houses books out at once! I purchased a copy of one of my favourite books, Jane Ohlmeyer’s Making Ireland English: The Irish Aristocracy in the Seventeenth Century – rather, my husband Stephen bought it for me for Valentine’s Day! We are a seventeenth and eighteenth century obsessed couple!
I would like to blog about other places that I visit, I will have to work out a way to put them into a separate list or category, or an accompanying blog, as I want to keep this website streamlined.
For Christmas, Stephen gave me membership to the Irish Georgian Society . That will reduce expenses somewhat, as some houses give a discount to Georgian Society members. I was a member previously but did not keep my membership active when I realised that one still has to pay full price to attend their lectures. However, since I like to visit properties not only on section 482, the discount members receive to many Office of Public Works sites makes the membership cost-effective for me. See their website to obtain this list of membership discounts.
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