The Earl (b. 1936) and Countess of Rosse (part 1)
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The Earl (b. 1936) and Countess of Rosse (part 1)


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Track 1: Conversation with Lady Rosse in the small library, in which she described her background and her introduction to Birr Castle. Track 2: Meeting Lord Rosse in the main library, where he described the importance of the intact library kept by his forefathers, and the unfortunate fire which damaged a significant number of books. The earldom of the Rosse family and how the title was bestowed. Memories of his forebears’ achievements. Track 3: Lord Rosse described the Gothic architecture of the music salon. Discussed his education and his twenty-year-long career with the United Nations programme on social and economic developments. Track 4: Looking from the window of the Gothic Room, Lord Rosse described the landscape, in particular the buildings and the river. Track 5: His title and responsibility for maintaining Birr Castle and estate, which he inherited in 1980. Explained that the estate once encompassed twenty-four thousand acres, and the reasons why this is now reduced to one eighth of that size. Track 6: Memories of members of the household staff, and the survival of the castle through the years, including its time as a billet for Free State soldiers. Track 7: The importance of his title and what it means to him to be an Irishman. Track 8: Moving into the seventeenth century part of the castle, Lady Rosse indicated the wax bust of Queen Victoria, recalling the story of how this came into the family. Track 9: Lord Rosse indicated a secret passageway into the hall, which leads up the stairway. He described the challenges of returning to health after contracting tuberculosis as a young man. Track 10: Demonstrated the room which is dedicated to the family archive collection. Here Lord and Lady Rosse indicated the family records which go back to the sixteenth century, and the visitors’ book, showing the names of historians who spent many hours here.

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Audio series:

Offaly Oral History Collection – In Conversation With …


160 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

7.06 MB; 6.58 MB; 6.73 MB; 2.78 MB; 8.17 MB; 9.09 MB; 9.13 MB; 5.43 MB; 11.16 MB; 9.32 MB

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Birr Castle and the Parsons family

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore