Swiss cottage, Cahir

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The Swiss Cottage, Cahir

The Swiss Cottage is an early 19th-century cottage orné (ornamental cottage) located at Kilcommon near the town of Cahir, County Tipperary in Ireland.[1] It is managed by the Office of Public Works and open to the public as a tourist attraction.


The Swiss cottage was built around 1810 and is a noted example of a cottage orné, or ornamental cottage.[2] Its design is attributed to the English Regency architect John Nash,[1] who also designed a number of other buildings in Cahir.[3]

Originally part of the estate of Lord and Lady Cahir, the "fantasy" cottage was used for entertaining guests.[4] The then estate owner and Lord Cahir (later Viscount Cahir) was Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Glengall and 10th Baron Cahir (1775–1819), who married Emily Jeffereys from Blarney Castle in 1793.[5]

After some years of neglect, restoration of the cottage started in 1985.[6] The restoration was overseen by a partnership of the Irish Georgian Society, the Port Royal Foundation and Sybil Connolly.[7] The Swiss cottage opened to the public as a historic house museum in 1989.[8]

Architecture and interior[edit]

Laid out in a T-shaped plan, the cottage has three bays to the front, timber-work verandas on several sides, and an ornate thatched roof.[2] Its interior includes a parquet floor and timber spiral staircase, with some rooms containing original wallpapers attributed to Joseph Dufour and company;[2] reputedly among "the first commercially produced Parisian wallpaper".[9]

Similar buildings[edit]

Similar buildings exist elsewhere in Ireland at Burrenwood (County Down), Derrymore (County Armagh), and Glengarriff (County Cork).[10] As with the earlier Petit hameau de la Reine at Versailles in France, these picturesque cottages were popular with gentry in the early 19th century as places to "play at being peasants" and to entertain guests.[11]

Milady Cahir is referred to by Napoleon's Josephine in connection with the Château de Malmaison.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b "Swiss Cottage". Heritage Ireland. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Swiss Cottage, Tipperary South". Buildings of Ireland. National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Nash, John". Dictionary of Irish Architects. Irish Architectural Archive. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Swiss Cottage closure coincides with tour-guides' dispute". Independent News & Media. 18 March 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Estate Record: Butler (Caher)". Landed Estates Database. National University of Ireland Galway. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Heritage hot spots History, nature, art, environment". The Irish Times. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Sybil Connolly". Women's Museum of Ireland. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  8. ^ David, Skinner (2014). Wallpaper in Ireland 1700-1900. London. ISBN 9780955024672. OCLC 890809472.
  9. ^ "1814 – Swiss Cottage, Cahir, Co. Tipperary". Architecture of Tipperary. Archiseek. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Cottage ornée". Irish Architecture News. Archiseek. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Swiss Cottage, Cahir. County Tipperary 1812". Curious Ireland. Retrieved 26 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°21′27″N 7°55′25″W / 52.3574°N 7.9235°W / 52.3574; -7.9235