Wallpaper in Irish rural buildings

Wallpaper in Irish rural buildings

06/10/2021 - 06/10/2021


General Interest, CPD
Virtual event: held online
United Kingdom

£5/€6pp - SPAB Members

£6/€7pp - Non-members

Event details

Presented by SPAB Ireland
The eighth lecture in the 10-part on-line series, 'Conserving Irish Vernacular Houses'.
The series is part of the SPAB Ireland Vernacular Irish Buildings Campaign 2021 and is generously supported by the Heritage Council under the Heritage Sector Support Fund 2021.

Lecture 8: Wallpaper in Irish rural buildings

Wednesday 6 October 2021, 19.00 -  20.30 
Live Online Lecture
£5/€6 pp - SPAB members
£6/€7 pp - Non-members 

Lecture description:

Wallpaper has been made in Ireland since the early eighteenth century. Its use in the country mansions and city houses of the wealthy classes has been the subject of study and is well documented. But beyond the demesne wall and the city suburbs, the history of wallpaper in small towns and farmhouses of Ireland is less well understood.  Using recent case studies, this talk will look at the evidence for wallpaper use in rural buildings, linking its demographic spread to the development of the industry, from hand block printing to the establishment of the Kildare Wallpaper Factory in the 1930s. Ways of identifying and dating wallpapers will be explained, and issues which arise in the conservation and reproduction of wallpapers will be examined.


About the speaker:

David Skinner is a wallpaper maker, conservator and researcher living in County Leitrim. He is the author of ‘Wallpaper in Ireland, 1700-1900’, published in 2014 by Churchill House Press.

David Skinner Wallpapers, established in 1990, makes hand screen-printed wallpapers based on historic examples, supplying customers in Ireland, the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A. Recent wallpaper installations include Carton House, Co. Kildare, Morris Jumel  Mansion, Manhattan, Jane Austen House, Alton, Hampshire, The Dublin Tenement Museum, Henrietta Street. 

David’s work over the past thirty years has been informed by continuous research into the history of the Irish wallpaper trade and the use of wallpaper in this country. Surveying historic buildings, retrieving and archiving examples of historic paper and undertaking conservation of historic papers where they survive have been a major component of the studio’s practice.

In 2020 David donated his personal archive of over 250 examples of historic wallpapers from Ireland the Office of Public Works. A permanent exhibition of a selection of these will open in Kilkenny Castle this summer.


About SPAB Ireland:

SPAB Ireland was established in 2017 as the inaugural Irish branch of the SPAB. Following the return of several recent Irish SPAB Fellows and Scholars to live and work in Ireland, the lack of an SPAB presence has been acutely felt. After a successful open meeting in February 2017, we have established a committee and have started planning how we will bring the SPAB philosophy and ethos to Ireland.


The lecture will be recorded and available to watch on demand for a limited time after the live presentation. Bookings must be made in advance to receive this recording link.


IT requirements: Please note that this is an online lecture and will be held via a webinar platform (Zoom). You will be sent instructions on how to join the session the day before the lecture. To participate, all you need is an internet connection, and a laptop, computer or phone with the ability to play video and audio. 


Accessibility: please contact the Group Organiser before booking to discuss any special access requirements.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Image Credit: David Skinner

Getting here