Richard Morrison (architect)

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Sir Richard Morrison (1767 – 31 October 1849 / 1844[1]) was an Irish architect.


He was born at Midleton, County Cork, the son of John Morrison, also an architect. Originally intended for the church, he was eventually placed as a pupil with James Gandon, the celebrated architect, in Dublin. He obtained through his godfather, Richard Boyle, 2nd Earl of Shannon, a post in the ordnance department at Dublin, but this he abandoned. when he entered into full time practice as an architect. He married. Elizabeth Ould, daughter of the Reverend William Ould, and granddaughter of the noted physician. Sir Fielding Ould, and had at least four children.

Having resided for some time at Clonmel, where his second son, William Vitruvius was born, he moved about 1800 to Dublin and settled at Bray, County Wicklow.

He died at Bray on 31 October 1849, and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.[2] Other sources claim that his death was in 1844.[1]

He was a founder-member in 1839 and first vice-president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. In 1793 he published Useful and Ornamental Designs in Architecture.


Morrison designed a number of works with his son, William Vitruvius Morrison, including: Baronscourt, near Newtownstewart in County Tyrone (from 1835); Kilruddery House, near Bray in County Wicklow; Ballyfin, just north of Mountrath in County Laois; and Fota, near Cork in County Cork.[3] Richard Morrison also designed Knockdrin Castle, just north of Mullingar in County Westmeath.

A prominent work was his Gothic fantasy 1819 remodeling of Shelton Abbey, Arklow, County Wicklow.[1]

Morrison had a very extensive public and private practice in Ireland. Among his public works were alterations to the cathedral at Cashel, the court-house and gaol at Galway, court-houses at Carlow, Clonmel, Roscommon, Wexford, and elsewhere, and St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, the Catholic Pro-cathedral at Dublin. He built or altered very many mansions of the nobility and gentry in Ireland, and was knighted by the Lord Lieutenant, Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey, in 1841.


  • Rowan, Ann Martha (1989). The Architecture of Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison. Dublin: Irish Architectural Archive. ISBN 0-9515536-0-7.


  1. ^ a b c Philip Smith (writer), An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Wicklow (Dublin: Wordwell Press / Government of Ireland, Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government, National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, 2004). p.24.
  2. ^ Patao, Sofia (2000). Funeral Art and Architecture. Dublin: EEC. p. 171. ISBN 84-8156-270-X.
  3. ^ Ricorso

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