Geraldine Wyndham-Quin, Countess of Dunraven and Mount-Earl (b.1942)
10.0020.00 Select options

Geraldine Wyndham-Quin, Countess of Dunraven and Mount-Earl (b.1942)


Want unlimited access to the Irish Life and Lore Oral History Archive? Subscribe by purchasing Gold Subscription, Silver Subscription or Bronze Subscription!

Kilgobbin House, built in 1742, became the home of Thady Wyndham-Quin, 7th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, his wife, Lady Dunraven, and their daughter Lady Ana Wyndham-Quin following the death of his mother, Nancy Countess of Dunraven. The 7th Earl, who was born in 1939, passed away in March 2011 and this sad event marked the extinction of the earldom and the end of an important era. The Dunraven Estates continued to be operated by his wife, Lady Dunraven, and her daughter, Lady Ana, has recently taken over the business. In the garden at Kilgobbin House stands a stone dating back to the 9th century, on which is carved a Cross which is described by Lady Dunraven. The history of the alliance between the Quin and Wyndham families is explained. This alliance created great wealth for the Wyndham-Quin family which owns estates is both Adare and in Wales. The Wyndham Land Purchase Act of 1903, also known as the Landlord and Tenant Act, is discussed and an example of its effect locally is provided. The conferring of the freedom of Limerick City in 1918 on Windham Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl, and its revoking following the formation of the Free State due to his promotion of conscription, is discussed. A letter written in 2007 from Limerick City Council is read, which advised the 7th Earl and Lady Dunraven that historians locally and in Dublin, having talked about this subject for many years, had been successful in their endeavours to have the revoking overturned. The album of family memorabilia which dates back to the 19th century is displayed and discussed. Photographs of some of the Earls of Dunraven are included, including that of Windham Henry Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl and his wife, Lady Eva, whose maiden name was Bourke. She came from Co. Mayo and was related to the Gore-Booths of Lissadell House. She came to Adare Manor in 1927 with her husband from Castletown Cox in Co. Kilkenny when, on the death of Windham Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl, the title went sideways. Lady Olein, daughter of the 5th Earl, also came to live at the Manor. Also included in the album is a photograph of Richard Wyndham-Quin, 6th Earl and his wife, formerly Nancy Yuille, who was of American ancestry and whose family had left Scotland in the 1740s. A photograph of Thady Wyndham-Quin, 7th Earl and Lady Dunraven is also displayed, and she explains the circumstances of their meeting. She also speaks about her husband’s disability and explains that he contracted poliomyelitis in 1956. Images of the interior of Adare Manor from the Lawrence Collection are shown, as are subsequent photographs of the interior prior to its opening in 1967/8 by Nancy, Countess of Dunraven. Initially it was used for formal occasions and for Hunt Balls and parties, and in 1968 the Manor was opened to the general public, being among the first in the State to do so. At its height, 82,000 people passed through the door in its last year, and a newspaper report in the New York Times suggested that it was one of the best places to visit in Ireland. The Manor closed to the public in 1982. A photograph taken on the occasion of the wedding of Thady Wyndham-Quin and Geraldine McAleer in 1969 is among the images displayed, and the years that followed are discussed in some detail as Lady Dunraven reads from some fascinating letters relating to events at the Manor. Mention is made of the many important and well-known guests who arrived at the Manor during what are described as great times. A chest filled with 18th century garments, discovered in the Manor in the 1970s, is described and an image showing in amazing detail a jacket and waistcoat from this chest is pointed out. A letter written on the notepaper of the Society of Saint Patrick when the 4th Earl was created a Knight of Saint Patrick is discussed. The story of the Adare Cigarette Company set up by the 4th Earl at the turn of the 20th century is told, and an advertisement showing a young lady enjoying a cigarette is included in the album. A fire destroyed the factory in 1917 and it never re-opened thereafter. Another advertisement, this one for the ‘Shamrock Coach’, which served Rathkeale, Adare, and Patrickswell to Limerick City is also included. Owing to the petrol rationing during World War II, the 6th Lord Dunraven started up this coach service to facilitate people travelling to Limerick. Another fascinating artefact examined and discussed is the Visitors’ Book from Adare Manor. This dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and contains the signatures of many members of the family and friends who came to stay at the Manor over the years. In 1982, most of the contents of Adare Manor were sold, excluding some paintings and furniture kept by the family, and two years later, the Manor was sold to Irish American Mr and Mrs Thomas Kane. The 7th Earl and his wife moved to Kilcurly House on the Dunraven Estate. The Manor had been offered to the Irish government on two occasions, during the tenure of An Taoiseach Mr Charles Haughey and that of An Taoiseach Mr Garrett FitzGerald, but the offers had not been accepted. In 1996 the Earl and his family moved to live at Kilgobbin House from where the family business is now operated. Thady Wyndham Quin, 7th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, died on 25th March 2011. R.I.P.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

66.1 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Lady Dunraven and her life in Adare

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore