Sum­mer­hill days

The Field - - LETTERS -

I much en­joyed your piece about Elis­a­beth, Em­press of Aus­tria’s fre­quent hunt­ing vis­its to Eng­land and Ire­land (“If only you had never

seen a sad­dle”, May is­sue). I thought your read­ers might be in­ter­ested to know where she stayed for a cou­ple of sea­sons in Ire­land. She cer­tainly did things in style, rent­ing one of the grand­est houses in the coun­try, Sum­mer­hill in Co Meath. Built in the early 18th cen­tury, to the de­signs of Ed­ward Lovett Pearce and Richard Cas­sels, it was dam­aged by fire in 1922. It sur­vived as a pic­turesque ruin un­til it was qui­etly de­mol­ished in the late 1950s, with the ca­sual van­dal­ism of the time. One mas­sive arch­way sur­vives as an echo of its for­mer glories.

Matthew Dobbs, Lon­don

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