Projects 2010-11

Projects 2010-11

2010 – an amazing year for the Follies Trust

This year the Follies Trust had no less than four projects on site!

The first to start was the restoration of the third mausoleum at Knockbreda church, Belfast, in March.

The next project on site was the conservation of three delightful follies at Tollymore, near Newcastle, Co. Down. This project was undertaken in memory of Dick Oram, the conservation architect and founder trustee of the Follies Trust. The funds were raised from Dick’s family and friends and organisations with which he was associated.

The third scheme was undertaken in partnership with Kilkenny County Council and Duchas-Tullaherin Heritage Society. Work commenced in late Summer on a project to conserve a lovely stone roadside fountain, near Kilfane, Co.Kilkenny.

The conservation of a magnificent cast-iron mausoleum in Clonbern, Co.Galway was completed in 2011, by Galway County Council with funding from Civic Structures Fund and the Heritage Council. An associated publication has been published by the Follies Trust with co-funding from Clonberne Community Development, Galway County Council and the Association of Architectural Conservation Officers.


First Project

Waddell Cunningham mausoleum, Knockbreda, Belfast


In March 2010 work commenced on this mausoleum under the direction of Chris McCollum. Work is due for completion in November 2010. Due to the poor state of the mausoleum, water ingress and prolific vegetation this was a complex operation.

These photos were taken in April 2011 and show the Cunningham mausoleum after work was completed. The transformation is astonishing. The third picture shows the juxtaposition of the Greg and Cunningham mausolea in Knockbreda graveyard, Belfast.

Second Project

Lord Limerick’s follies on roadside, Bryansford, Co. Down




In May 2010 work commenced on Lord Limerick’s Follies at Tollymore Park, Newcastle, Co. Down.

These follies were conserved in memory of Dick Oram, the eminent and much loved conservation architect who, until his death in 2008, lived near Tollymore Park. The conservation project was organised and orchestrated by the Follies Trust and generously financially supported by a wide range of family friends and organisations which Dick was associated with.

There is an associated publication TOLLYMORE PARK – The Gothick Revival of Thomas Wright and Lord Limerick (please see PUBLICATIONS).

Lord Limerick’s Follies AFTER 


Third Project

Stroan Fountain, Kilkenny

Stroan Fountain - Kilkenny

The Stroan fountain is a free-standing limestone structure with an almost illegible inscription:

??66 Erected by subscription by permission of the Landlord Gervase Bushe. Designed and arranged by Thomas Seigne.

The fountain is comprised of a stone basin covered with a domed structure topped by a limestone obelisk. The dome is formed from four tooled limestone legs with concrete infil panels; the fountain is fed by a cistern approximately 40metres to the north-west by means of a buried pipe.

There are three stone steps to access the fountain and two water outlets. One provided for filling barrels placed on a donkey and cart and the other allowed for buckets placed on a pair of spudstones to be filled. Prior to start of work the fountain was functioning but the pond was overgrown and the wall behind derelict.

A survey was undertaken, water levels were calculated and a section of the fountain opened. Remedial work was undertaken to the four stone legs and the structure was carefully repointed with lime mortar. The pipe carrying water to the fountain was found to be broken and leaking and this was repaired. Drainage ditches were provided along the field boundary and at the roadside.

The pond was cleared and one of the missing stone corbels for setting the buckets on was found. A second corbel was made to match the original. The wall to the rear was rebuilt to include a stile.

The fountain is a protected structure (C462) (NIAH no.12402827) in the ownership of Kilkenny County Council The work was undertaken with a grant from the Civic Structures Fund and financial assistance from Kilkenny County Council and the Follies Trust. The Conservation Report undertaken for Duchas – Tullaherin Heritage Society in 2004 was the starting point for the project and the Society was a partner in the scheme.

The Stroan Fountain after completion

Stroan fountain information board and members of Tullaherin Heritage Society & the Follies Trust meet at the fountain June 2011 post project completion

Fourth Project

Cast iron mausoleum in Clonbern, Co Galway


The Dennis mausoleum in a graveyard in Clonbern, Co Galway, dates from 1863 and is a rare example of a cast-iron mausoleum. The structure was damaged in a storm several years ago which toppled the decorative urn finial and damaged the cornice and railing surrounds. The mausoleum has two coffins containing the remains of Colonel Maurice Dennis and his brother John Dennis.

Following a survey and opening up of the structure a schedule of works has been agreed and are due for completion in November 2010. While the structure is in good condition, some remedial works are required to repair the door, replace the urn, reinstate the handrail and repair the damaged cornice.

The mausoleum is a protected structure in a graveyard owned by Galway County County Council. Funding has been obtained from the Civic Structures Fund and the Heritage Council for the works to be undertaken. Clonberne Community Development and the Follies Trust are working with the Galway County Council’s Conservation Officer on this project.