News and Events:

Book Reviews:

Crafting Identities: Artisan Culture in London, c.1550–1640, by Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin, Manchester University Press, 2021. 288pp., cloth, £80.00. ISBN 978-1-5261-4770-7. Review by  Christine Casey, Journal of Design History, Volume 35, Issue 2, June 2022, Pages 191–192,

Crafting Enlightenment: Artisanal Histories and Transnational Networks, edited by Lauren R. Cannady and Jennifer Ferng, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 2021, 418 pp., £65.00 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-800-85784-1. Review by Christine Casey, Fabrications, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, July 2022 DOI: 10.1080/10331867.2022.2093450

Recent News & Events:


Ax:son Johnson Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture
Downing College, University of Cambridge
Friday 22nd September 2023
As part of the WREN | 300 celebrations CRAFTVALUE’s Professor Christine Casey will present a paper entitled: ‘Articulating Craft Practice in the Circle of Sir Christopher Wren’.
For full programme details see:


Registry of Deeds
Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.
Tuesday 3rd October 2023
As part of the Dublin Festival of History 2023 CRAFTVALUE’s Dr Melanie Hayes will present a talk at the Registry of Deeds entitled: ‘Articles, indentures and conveyances: domestic development on the Gardiner estate, Dublin, 1720–1760’.
For more information and booking see:

Prof Christine Casey wins prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant to explore collective achievement in the classical architecture of Ireland and Britain

Congratulations to CRAFTVALUE’s PI, Professor Christine Casey on winning a highly prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced grant valued at €2.5 million. The funding is for a five-year project entitled STONE-WORK which will reassess the history of architecture in Britain and Ireland through the medium of stone. Advanced Grants are the most competitive of the ERC awards, supporting exceptional leaders in terms of originality and significance of their research contributions. These grants, which support established research leaders in taking their research in a radically new direction, fund teams of researchers for up to five years and are among the most sought-after in the world of research.

From the hills of Carrara, Derbyshire and Wicklow to the building sites of Dublin and London, STONE-WORK will reassess the classical architecture of Britain and Ireland from the perspective of materials and making. Taking stone as its focus, the project will explore the trajectory of building materials from cavern and hillside, across land and sea to cutting, setting and carving on the building site.By analysing the role of quarrying communities, trade networks and craft practice in building activity, the project will demonstrate the collective and interdependent nature of architectural production. This bottom-up approach counters traditional emphasis on the ingenuity of individual architects and patrons, the primacy of design and the privileging of ideas over materials and making. The project will also explore the role of architects in the orchestration of building activity to produce a symmetrical understanding of architectural production in which the contributions of individuals and of the broader community are analysed and evaluated. Christine Casey, Professor in Architectural History, said:

“The ERC grant will allow me to conduct research on materiality and making in architecture of unprecedented scope and scale. Until now, my research has sought to shift focus from designer to maker and to expand understanding of agency in creative activity. This grant allows me to situate these activities within a wider societal framework. 
By exploring the sourcing, supply, consumption and working of materials I hope to better understand and articulate the systemic nature of architectural production. I look forward to engaging with geologists, historians and conservation professionals to unpick the complex web of interactions that underpins the achievement of eighteenth-century architecture in Britain and Ireland.”

STONE-WORK is a bottom-up, real-world, research project which aims to shift perspectives within and beyond academia towards an inclusive understanding of the built environment in which small voices and lost or hidden practices and standards are retrieved. It will open the way towards a view of architecture in which inter-dependence of all parts is fundamental to understanding of the whole.

To achieve these aims cross-disciplinary research is required combining architectural and craft history with geology and the findings of architectural conservation. The project will build upon previous collaborations between architectural historians and geologists at Trinity and will include research on building stone by Professor Patrick Wyse Jackson in the Department of Geology. The research will also engage with ongoing conservation work by major organisations for architectural heritage in Britain and Ireland including the National Trust and the Office of Public Works.

Enriching Architecture, craft and its conservation in Anglo-Irish building production, 1660–1760, edited by Christine Casey and Melanie Hayes, Foreword by Glenn Adamson. UCL Press, 2023.

Refinement and enrichment of surfaces in stone, wood and plaster is a fundamental aspect of early modern architecture which has been marginalised by architectural history.

Enriching Architecture aims to retrieve and rehabilitate surface achievement as a vital element of early modern buildings in Britain and Ireland. Rejected by modernism, demeaned by the conceptual ‘turn’ and too often reduced to its representative or social functions, we argue for the historical legitimacy of creative craft skill as a primary agent in architectural production. However, in contrast to the connoisseurial and developmental perspectives of the past, this book is concerned with how surfaces were designed, achieved and experienced.

The contributors draw upon the major rethinking of craft and materials within the wider cultural sphere in recent years to deconstruct traditional, oppositional ways of thinking about architectural production. This is not a craft for craft’s sake argument but an effort to embed the tangible findings of conservation and curatorial research within an evidence-led architectural history that illuminates the processes of early modern craftsmanship. The book explores broad themes of surface treatment such as wainscot, rustication, plasterwork, and staircase embellishment together with chapters focused on virtuoso buildings and set pieces which illuminate these themes.

This volume is available as a free Open Access download, or to purchase in hardback or paperback formats (print on demand).

Andrew Tierney, The dismembered past: digitally retrieving lost eighteenth-century Irish buildings,TCD Research Seminar, Dublin, 9 February 2023, 5 pm

Delighted with the success of the Richard Castle one-day Symposium last November at Russborough: on the left Professor Christine Casey (CRAFTVALUE) and on the right Pauline Swords (Head of Collections & Conservation at Russborough House).

CRAFTVALUE study trip to Surrey and Sussex, August 2022

Three members of the Craftvalue team went to visit Clandon Park in Surrey to examine interesting elements of craftsmanship exposed by the fire in 2015. The trip also took in visits to Petworth, West Sussex Record Office, Orleans House, Chiswick, and Ham House.

CRAFTVALUE study trip to Yorkshire, June 2022

The CRAFTVALUE team has just returned from a week long visit to several country houses across Yorkshire. The study trip also included a visit to the Sheffield City Archives. A particular highlight was being shown around Aldby Park with the Chippendale Society. Other destinations included Castle Howard, Wentworth Woodhouse, Beningbrough Hall, and Cusworth Hall.

The Buildings of Ireland

Christine Casey paid a surprise tribute to her friend and mentor Alistair Rowan at the symposium of the Buildings of Ireland Charitable Trust in Cork on Saturday 28 May 2022. CRAFTVALUE’S Andrew Tierney spoke on the challenges of completing Central Leinster (2019) and architect John Tuomey formally launched Frank Keohane’s volume Cork: City and County (2020).

Christine Casey in the Royal Irish Academy Members Research Series

In the Royal Irish Academy Members Research Series (August 30 2021) Professor Christine Casey argues for the role of creative craft skill as a primary agent in architectural production, and for a reframing of craftsmanship as a tangible exemplar for a dangerously cerebral society.

Melanie Hayes, 14 Henrietta Street: Georgian Beginnings, 1750-1800 (Dublin City Council Culture Company, 2021) 95pp 

Congratulations to CRAFTVALUE’s Melanie Hayes, whose new book was published in May 2021.

Melanie features in a series of video interviews conducted by Dublin City Council Culture Company, which look at some of the key historical research, conservation and restoration work that went in to creating the museum at 14 Henrietta Street.

14 Henrietta Street: Making a Museum Meeting- meet the authors, Dr Melanie Hayes, eps. 1- 6:

Desmond Guinness Prize 2020

Congratulations to CRAFTVALUE’s Nele Lüttmann, who received the Irish Georgian Society’s Desmond Guinnes Prize 2020 for her research on German architects in Britain and Ireland, 1700-1750.

The Hon. Desmond Guinness (1931-2020); Image: Amelia Stein.

The prize is awarded annually by the Irish Georgian Society for original primary research on Irish art and architecture. The prize money will be used for a one-week visit to the Niedersachsen Federal State Archive. So far, research regarding the placement of Richard Castle and Johann Gottlieb Borlach in England has never been conducted in the stately inventory of the Electorate of Hanover at the Niedersachsen Federal State Archive. However, records of diplomatic officers delegated from or to Hanover on behalf of George I and II might allow identifying individuals that were responsible for Castle’s and Borlach’s migration to England.

The Best Address in Town: Henrietta Street, Dublin and Its First Residents, 1720-80. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2020. Melanie Hayes.

Congratulations to CRAFTVALUE’s Melanie Hayes, whose new book was published in December 2020, with a foreword by Christine Casey.

Once Dublin’s most exclusive residential street, throughout the eighteenth century Henrietta Street was home to the country’s foremost figures from church, military and state. Here, in this elegant setting on the north side of the city, peers rubbed shoulders with property tycoons, clerics consorted with social climbers and celebrated military men mixed with the leading lights of the capital’s beau monde, establishing one the principal arenas of elite power in Georgian Ireland. Looking behind the red-brick facades of the once-grand Georgian town houses, this richly illustrated volume focuses on the people who originally populated these spaces, delineating the rich social and architectural history of Henrietta Street during the first fifty years of its existence.

Now available to order on and all good bookstores.

Listen to Melanie’s radio interview on the Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk FM, 23rd November 2020. 

Listen to Melanie chatting about the book with author Peter Sirr in  Episode 29, Books for Breakfast podcast, 13th May 2021:

Colvin Prize commendation, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain of 2020. December 2020.

Congratulations to CRAFTVALUE’s Andrew Tierney who received the commendation in the Colvin prize competition of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain of 2020. The Colvin Prize is awarded annually to the author or authors of an outstanding work of reference that relates to the field of architectural history, broadly conceived. This year it was awarded to the ‘monumental’ Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture jointly edited by Catherine Gregg and Murray Fraser, and containing contributions from 88 international experts, and produced in partnership by RIBA, UCL and Bloomsbury Press. Andrew’s monograph Central Leinster (Yale University Press, 2019) was singled out for commendation by the jury.

Past Events

  • Andrew Tierney, ‘Digitally recreating lost eighteenth-century Irish interiors: challenges and opportunities’, Historical interiors and the digital – the possibilities and limits of virtual reconstructions for research, Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art, Paris, 16-18 November 2022

Richard Castle, who designed Russborough, was the pre-eminent architect and landscape designer in Ireland from 1733 until his death in 1750. Yet there is still much to learn about his origins, training, office practice and engagement with craft practitioners. His commissions included the principal town and country houses of the period and public buildings in the capital and the provinces.

In addition to Russborough, his surviving buildings include Powerscourt, Hazelwood, Iveagh House, Tyrone House, Westport House, Carton, Leinster House, Newman House (85 St Stephen’s Green) and Belvedere House, together with public projects such as Knockbreda Church and the Rotunda Hospital.

This one-day symposium draws together new and existing scholarship on Castle’s output and considers his legacy in terms of architecture, decoration and landscape. The first such event dedicated to Richard Castle, it includes speakers from Ireland, Europe and Britain and takes place here in one of the architect’s finest and best-preserved buildings, Russborough House in County Wicklow.


10.00 – 10.25Richard Castle, architect: what we know and what we need to know. Prof. Christine Casey, TCD.
10.25 – 10.50The troubled life of Richard Castle. Dr. Barbara Freitag, DCU.
10.50 – 11.15Drawings by Richard Castle at the Irish Architectural Archive. Simon Lincoln, IAA
11.15 – 11.40Coffee Break
11.40 – 12.05Richard Castle and 18th century woodworking crafts. Nele Luttmann, TCD.
12.05 – 12.30Staircases and stair halls in the work of Richard Castle: a study in 18th Century craftsmanship. Dr. Andrew Tierney, TCD.
12.30 – 1.00Questions and Answers
1.00 – 2.00Lunch
2.00 – 2.25Craft practice in Richard Castle’s early country houses. Dr. Melanie Hayes, TCD.
2.25 – 2.50Richard Castle in the context of British 18th century architecture. Dr. Steven Brindle, English Heritage.
2.50 – 3.05Comfort Break
3.05 – 3.30Richard Castle’s landcapes: design challenges and opportunities. Prof. Finola O’Kane Crimmins, UCD.
3.30 – 3.55Richard Castle and the early designed landscape at Russborough. Christopher Gallagher, historic landscape consultant.
3.55 – 4.20Questions and Answers

  • Christine Casey, ‘Architecture and Craftsmanship in 18th century Ireland’,  The Attingham Trust Study Programme, Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates, Maynooth University, 15th September 2022
  • Melanie HAYES, Trinity College Dublin, “Crafted Legacies: Artisans’ Wills in Early Georgian Britain”. The Eighteenth-Century Last Will and Testament. American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference, Baltimore, 31 March-2 April 2022.

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Classical buildings depend for their surface effects on high skills in masonry, joinery, carving and modelling. This paper will discuss ongoing research at Trinity College Dublin on craftsmanship in the eighteenth-century architecture of Britain and Ireland with emphasis on the material achievement of the classical orders and their attendant decoration in stone, wood, and plaster. It will also consider evidence for a cohesive Anglo-Irish building culture in the period.

  • The Stones of Dublin‘, Prof Christine Casey, Cambridge Group for Irish Studies (online), 23 November 2021, 08:30 PM (GMT)

  • ‘Pride and prejudice: perspectives on ornament and craftsmanship in architecture’, Christine Casey,  ‘Perspectives’: a symposium to mark the contribution of Dr Yvonne Scott (FTCD) to Irish visual culture studies. The Neil Hoey Theatre, The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, 13 November 2021.

  • ‘Reassembling the stone: the afterlife of an Irish country house’, Andrew Tierney, Architecture and Endurance, European Architectural History Network Thematic Conference, Ankara, 30 Sept – 2 Oct 2021

  • Craftsmanship in the architecture of County Kildare‘, Andrew Tierney, County Kildare Archaeological Society, Online, 8 July 2021.

  • ‘Georgian beginnings: building and occupying 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin, 1750-1780’, Melanie Hayes. Teatime Talks: 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin. Online, June 2021.

  • ‘Crafting Connections: Domestic Building in Dublin in the eighteenth century’, Melanie Hayes, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 12th April 2021.

  • Too many virtuosi: high gestural skill as a driver of the early modern stucco industry’, Christine Casey. Virtuosités. Éthique et esthétique du geste technique du Moyen Âge au xixe siècle, Institut d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, Paris, Friday 15th January 2021.

  • ‘Surface value: ways of seeing decoration in architecture’, Christine Casey, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain online seminar series, 7th December 2020.

  • ‘European craftsmen in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland’, Christine Casey. Royal Dublin Society, Library Speaker Series, December, 2020. This lecture explores the lives and works and migrant craftsmen in the long eighteenth century.

  • ‘CRAFTVALUE: craftsmanship and its conservation in the architecture of Britain and Ireland’, International Conference, Regent House, Trinity College Dublin, in person/online, 30th October 2020.

  • ‘Later Palladian Country Houses’, Christine Casey, Irish Georgian Society Autumn lecture series, ‘Architecture of the Irish Country House,’ City Assembly House, Dublin/online, 27th October 2020.

  • ‘The dynamics of migrant craftsmanship in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland’, Interpreting Italians Abroad, Institute of Art History in Erlangen, Germany, 23rd October 2020

  • ‘Early Palladian Country Houses’, Melanie Hayes, Irish Georgian Society Autumn lecture series, ‘Architecture of the Irish Country House.’ City Assembly House, Dublin/online, 20th October 2020.

  • ‘The country house in post-Restoration Ireland’, Andrew Tierney, Irish Georgian Society Autumn lecture series, ‘Architecture of the Irish Country House.’ City Assembly House, Dublin/ online, 13th October 2020.

  • Presentation on ‘Recrafting Parliament’, CRAFTVALUE team, Christine Casey, Andrew Tierney and Melanie Hayes, as part of the Irish Research Council supported research at the Dublin Festival of History Dublin Festival of History, ‘Lost Property’ panel discussion, Sat. 27th September 2020.  

  •  ‘Craftsmanship in the architecture of Central Leinster’, Andrew Tierney, Irish Architectural Archive, Culture Night, 18th September 2020

  • “A classic and polished taste…” Architecture and craftsmanship in early Georgian Dublin.’ Melanie Hayes. Dublin Festival of History. Dr Steevens’ Hospital. 11th September  2020.

  • ‘European craftsmen in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland’ Christine Casey, RDS Library Speaker Series, 26th June 2020.  

  • ‘CRAFTVALUE: cutting edge research on architectural production’, Christine Casey, MPhil seminar in Art History, 10th March 2020, Department of the History of Art and Architecture TCD  

  • ‘Craftsmanship and building for display’, Christine Casey, Irish Georgian Society, City Assembly House, 19th November 2019 

  • ‘Craftsmanship in the architecture of Trinity College Dublin’, Christine Casey, Office of Public Works and international working group of parliamentary architects, 19th November 2019

  • ‘Dressing the skeleton: craftsmanship and 18th century architecture’, Christine Casey, TCD Department of the History of Art and Architecture Research Day, 10th November 2019

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