Classical Architecture & Decorative Arts of the Republic of Ireland including Ballyfin, Dublin, and Beyond

With ICAA President Peter Lyden and ICAA Board Member Phillip J. Liederbach

This tour is currently sold-out. 

The ICAA is pleased to partner with Classical Excursions to present this tour to the Republic of Ireland, which will feature a stay at elegant Ballyfin. Castletown, Ballyfin, and Abbey Leix and several other outstanding Irish country houses will be included on this exclusive tour, which will feature several lectures on Irish architecture and the decorative arts by prominent Irish experts and specialists. The tour includes private lunches and dinners at historic homes, as well as stays at both Ballyfin and Merrion Hotel.

This excursion will be led by Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions, along with Mark Donnelly, a private art consultant and former Sotheby's agent. Robert O'Byrne, one of Ireland's best-known writers on architecture and design as well as a Board Member of the Irish Georgian Society, will also accompany the tour. 

This tour is arranged by Classical Excursions. Please note that a registration form and deposit must be submitted to Classical Excursions and a confirmation of receipt must be received from Classical Excursions in order to be considered registered for this program. Payment of the $500 donation to the ICAA prior to registration does not guarantee placement on the trip. To inquire about registration for this program, please contact [email protected] or 413-243-4155.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this travel program. All travel program participants have the opportunity to receive a complimentary Individual level membership for one year to the ICAA. 

Image: Ballyfin, wikimedia/Christina Keddie


The tour will feature a two-night stay with exclusive use at Ballyfin, now a five-star luxury country hotel. Ballyfin was originally built in the 1820s as a private estate by Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison. The house is considered highly important in the realm of 19th Century Neoclassical architecture, famed for its elaborate Empire-style interiors. 


Participants will visit Castletown, Ireland's first Palladian house to be erected with proper classical proportions. Designed by Alessandro Galilei, this house is said to have inspired the design of the White House. 

Abbey Leix

Participants will enjoy a private lunch and tour of Abbey Leix, designed by James Wyatt, who also designed the plasterwork of its main rooms. Abbey Leix features carpets created by the Abbeyleix Carpet Factory, which was established in 1906. 

William Laffan, noted historian, author, and curator, will present a lecture here entitled "Exploring the Architectural History and Landscape of Abbey Leix."

Killruddery House

The tour includes a lunch and visit with Lord and Lady Ardee at Killruddery House, which features Neoclassical interiors designed in the early 19th Century by by Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison and a neo-Tudor exterior. The furniture and marbles within the House were imported from France and Italy. 

Slane Castle

Participants will experience Slane Castle, which features the work of James Wyatt, Francis Johnston, Thomas Hopper, and Capability Brown.

Russborough House

The tour features the incredible Palladian estate, Russborough House, built in 1741 by Joseph Leeson. 

Townley Hall

Participants will visit Townley Hall, designed by Francis Johnston in 1794. The Neoclassical house is considered a masterpiece with its extraordinary soaring rotunda stair hall and flawless decoration and workmanship throughout. 

Ardbraccan House

Participants will tour the spectacular Ardbraccan House with Robert O'Byrne. The House was the former palace of the Anglican Bishops of Meath, and today is a private residence. 

Lodge Park

The tour features a visit and dinner at the privately-owned Lodge Park, the 18th Century home of Robert Guinness which is known for its grand architecture and extraordinary gardens. 

Marino Casino

Participants will visit Marino Casino, the pleasure pavilion designed by Sir William Chambers, built in 1762.

Charleville House

Participants will enjoy an exclusive visit to the Palladian style 18th Century manor, Charleville House. 

Irish Architectural Archive

Architect John O'Connell, who has worked on the restoration of Abbey Leix, will join participants at the Irish Architectural Archive for a special viewing of original architectural drawings. The Irish Architectural Archive is located on Merrion Square in Dublin within a meticulously-restored, beautiful Irish terrace house.

Kildare Street Club

Participants will dine at the private Kildare Street Club, located within a Dublin townhouse featuring fine plaster work and neoclassical interiors. 

What’s included

  • Two-night stay at Ballyfin, a five-star country house hotel located in County Laois, Ireland.
  • Four-night stay at the historic Merrion Hotel, located in the heart of Dublin. 
  • Private lunches and dinners with distinguished hosts. 

Casino Marino


Killruddery House (Image Credit: wikimedia/Egita Feldberga)

Russborough House

Russborough House

Ballyfin (Image Credit: Ballyfin)

Main Exterior of Ballyfin (Image Credit: Ballyfin)

Interior of Ballyfin (Image Credit: Ballyfin)

Interior of Ballyfin (Image Credit: Ballyfin)

Interior of Ballyfin (Image Credit: Ballyfin)

Gardens at Ballyfin (Image Credit: Ballyfin)

Double Occupancy
November 7-13, 2018
Single Occupancy
November 7-13, 2018


How do I register for an ICAA travel program?

If you would like to register, you may contact the travel operator organizing the program. Please note that a $500 donation per person to the ICAA is required in order to participate in each travel program. The contact information for ICAA tour operators is included on individual travel pages. Kindly note that the ICAA works with three different consultants for program offerings. If you are unsure which travel consultant to contact for a given program, you may email [email protected] or call 212-730-9646 x109

What does the required $500 donation fund?

Your $500 donation helps to further the ICAA’s goal of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts by supporting its varied educational programs, including continuing education courses, college workshops, the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture, New Heights, and many more.

Am I required to pay a $500 donation for each travel program I register for?

Yes, a donation of $500 to the ICAA is required for each travel program you register for. The donation is required for each person attending a tour.

How do I make my $500 donation to the ICAA?

You can make your $500 donation to the ICAA online, or you can download, complete, and mail this form to the ICAA. You can alternatively fax a copy to 212-730-9649. You may also call 212-730-9646 x109 or email [email protected] to make a donation. Donations must be made separately from the registration fee.

Do I have to be a member of the ICAA to participate in an ICAA travel program?

No, membership is not required to attend an ICAA travel program. However, complimentary Individual membership to the ICAA is included with your $500 required donation.

I don’t see the full itinerary for the tour I am interested in. When will it be released?

For full itinerary and more information, contact [email protected], 860-926-4895. Due to the exclusive nature of our tours, some private locations or visits may be omitted from the ICAA's website.

What kinds of trips does the ICAA offer?

Over the past several years, the ICAA has travelled to destinations including Paris; Andalusia; Atlanta; Barbados; South Africa; Chicago; the Netherlands and Belgium; Scotland; the French Riviera; Morocco; the Italian Lake Region; Charlottesville; Naples; and New Delhi, among many other locations. The ICAA is always looking to diversify its travel offerings. If you have a suggestion or location you would like to see added, please email [email protected].