Rath (Clare)

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Photo courtesy of the NIAH
Photo courtesy of the NIAH

Teach Thír Mhic Bhrain aka Clifden House, built in 1750 on the shore of Inchiquin Lough near Corofin,  is a classical Georgian building. 

It was the home of the Burton family in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and the birthplace of the noted pre-Raphaelite painter Frederic William Burton (1816-1900). The Burtons owned estates all around Ireland and who gave their name to Burtonport, Co Donegal. 

In its early days, it was a sanctuary for members of a Protestant sect, the Moravians, fleeing persecution on the Continent (and the missionary base for a quixotic tilt at converting Ireland and Britain to that faith).

Wilson refers to it as the seat of Edward W. Burton in 1786. 

It was the residence of Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Patterson in the 1870s and in 1906.

Clifden House was the setting for "An Angler's Paradise" by F D Barker, one of the classic angling books, published in 1929, in the heyday of the property.  Lake Inchiquin, only 30 yards from the house, has gloried in the reputation of being the most productive wild brown trout lake in Europe. When the novelist Kate O'Brien stayed there, a fisherman snipped a locket of her hair and fashioned it into an alluring trout fly that he named "O'Brien's Glory".


In the 1930s, Clifden was owned by a well-known playboy and spendthrift, Tommy Studdert, who left hundreds of empty champagne bottles and middens of oyster shells around the grounds.

Then, after the war, like so many great Irish houses, it fell into decay. 

"It was a complete wreck: there were cows living in the basement and trees growing in the valley of the roof."

In 1975, it was purchased by Jim and Bernadette Robson who painstakingly restored the house, room by room, and turned it into a boutique hotel. They sold the house in 2005. 



Landed Estates Record Ireland VIEW SOURCE
NIAH -National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Clifton House for sale 2005 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Past occupants of Clifton House Ireland VIEW SOURCE
"Clifden & Inchiquin" by Frederic William Burton Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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