Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Casino Marino

Photo By Mary Horton Guing

Did you know that there actually is a "Casino Marino" located in Ireland?

The Casino is a masterpiece of Palladian architecture in Europe, possibly one of the finest outside Italy. Inspired by the Roman temples and the Palladian villas he saw on his tour of Italy, James Caulfeild, the first Earl of Charlemont, instructed architect Sir William Chambers to draw up the plans for a Casino, or 'little house' in Italian.

The 'little house' was never inhabited; it served as an impressive folly to entertain the Earl's friends. Servants would bring up food supplies and wine from the Earl's main house through a tunnel, completely out of view of the guests.

Being the Earl's guest at the Casino was not without dangers in the 1700s. The house was located fairly isolated on pastures roamed by highwaymen and the Earl Charlemont kept armed bodyguards on the premises to fend off unwanted gate crashers.

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