James Franklin Fuller

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James Franklin Fuller (1835–1924) was an Irish actor, architect and novelist.[1]

James Franklin Fuller


Fuller was born at Nedanone,[2] County Kerry, the only son of Thomas Harnett Fuller of Glashnacree, County Kerry, by his first wife, Frances Diana, a daughter of Francis Christopher Bland[2] of Derryquin Castle.[2] He was educated in Blackrock, County Cork, and Dublin.[2]

In 1850 he went to London where he qualified as an architect, and later moved to Manchester.

In 1862 he became a district architect under the Board of Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Ireland. In 1869, after the Church of Ireland was disestablished, he set up his own practice in Dublin. Two years later he became architect to the Representative Church Body and shortly afterwards was appointed architect to St. Patrick's Cathedral, as well as to a number of other institutions.

He ran a busy, though, according to his memoirs, unconventional, practice, not keeping ledgers or books and disdaining keeping financial records. As well as his ecclesiastical projects and public building works, he designed a number of large houses around Kerry.[2] He designed Kylemore Abbey in the 1860s and a few years later the neighbouring neo-Gothic church, a building of international significance.

He wrote works of fiction, including Culmshire Folk (Cassell, 1873) and John Orlebar, Clerk (Cassell, 1878) and many articles of a historical and genealogical nature.

He was a great-grandfather of actress Peggy Cummins.


Some of his more prominent projects include:

Project Year Completed Location Notes Image
Kylemore Castle 1868-1875, 1878-1884 Connemara, County Galway, Republic of Ireland The castle was designed by James Franklin Fuller, initially together with Ussher Roberts, in a neo-gothic style. Kylemore Castle
Derreen House and Gardens 1871-1873 Near Kenmare, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland. Originally built in the first half of the eighteenth century, the house was remodeled by James Franklin Fuller. Derreen House and Garden
Ashford Castle 1875-1881 Near Cong, County Galway, Republic of Ireland Victorian rebuilding of a medieval castle from the 13th century. Photo of Ashford Castle from the southwest
Farmleigh House 1881-1884 Castleknock, Dublin, Republic of Ireland Once a small Georgian house built in the 18th century, it was subject to a major renovation programme between 1881 and 1884 by James Franklin Fuller. Farmleigh House
St Catherine's Church 1885 Thomas Street, Dublin, Republic of Ireland Reordering of interior, including the removal of box-pews and two East bays of gallery, relocation of the pulpit to North side of chancel arch. St Catherine's Church, Dublin
Kenmare Hotel (Park Hotel Kenmare today) 1894 Kenmare, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland Built the hotel for the Great Southern and Western Railway.
Parknasilla Hotel 1894 Sneem, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland Built the hotel for the Great Southern and Western Railway.


  1. ^ "FULLER, James Franklin". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 646.
  2. ^ a b c d e James Franklin Fuller: Omniana: the autobiography of an Irish octogenarian. London, Smith, Elder & Co (1916)

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