The North Clare Historical Society begins its new lecture series on Monday 25th September. Primrose and Edward Wilson will deliver a talk on the work of the Follies Trust in Ireland.
The Follies Trust is a charity which was formed in 2006 by a group of people who share a passion for a motley collection of unusual buildings which enhance our landscapes and townscapes. These structures – or ‘follies’ – are part of the intricate fabric of our history but, because they serve no obvious useful purpose, are too often regarded as expendable.
The Follies Trust exists to encourage – throughout the island of Ireland – the conservation, preservation, restoration and protection, in their original setting, of: mausolea and monuments; follies; grottoes; garden buildings and other structures of particular beauty or historic, environmental, architectural or industrial significance. The Trust also aims to promote traditional construction and building skills, and to encourage knowledge and appreciation of Ireland’s artistic and cultural heritage.
Since its formation the Follies Trust has raised and spent almost £500k on restoring 21 structures across the island of Ireland from County Kilkenny to Belfast and from County Galway to Co. Down and most recently two structures associated with Cornelius O’Brien in Liscannor, County Clare.
In 2016 the Follies Trust organised and funded conservation work of Ardnacraa Well, Liscannor. While working in the area the urgent need for conservation work to be carried out on the nearby O’Brien Column was brought to the notice of the Trust. A drone survey was undertaken which showed up the issues. The Follies Trust, in partnership with the Friends of the O’Brien Column, raised the funds for the project. The conservation work on both structures was carried out by local stonemason, Eóin Madigan, a William Morris fellow of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
Primrose has a long standing interest in our built heritage. She and her husband, Edward, live in a listed building and have restored a listed mill complex in County Tyrone. As Chairman of Historic Buildings Council she initiated European Heritage Open Days in Ulster and from 1997-2000 was its voluntary co-ordinator. Currently she is President of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and was previously Chairman. In 2006 she was appointed Founder Chairman of the Follies Trust a position which she still holds. She is also Vice-Chair of the Irish Georgian Society.
In 1997 Primrose was awarded an OBE for services to conservation and the Historic Buildings Council; in 2001 she was appointed an honorary member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and in 2007 made a CBE for services to conservation.
Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon at 8pm.
All are welcome.