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George Ashlin



Ashlin George C(oppinger)

(b Carrigrenane, Co. Cork, 28 May 1837; d Killiney, Co. Dublin, 10 Dec 1921).

Irish architect. He received his early education at the Collège de St Servais, Liège. While at St Mary’s College, Oscott (1851–5), with which A. W. N. Pugin was strongly associated, he studied drawing and perspective and developed an interest in architecture. Between 1856 and 1860 he was articled to E. W. Pugin (whose sister Mary he married in 1860) and in 1858 he entered the Royal Academy Schools, London. When in 1859 E. W. Pugin received the commission for SS Peter and Paul, Cork, he made Ashlin a partner with responsibility for their Irish work, a position he retained until about 1870. Their practice was primarily ecclesiastical, the remodelling (1869) of Enniscorthy Castle for Isaac Newton Wallop (1825–91), 5th Earl of Portsmouth, being one of their few domestic projects. They worked on some 25 religious buildings. The Augustinian church of SS Augustine and John, Thomas Street, Dublin (commissioned 1860, opened 1874), in a style inspired by French architecture, is one of their most successful designs. The site drops towards the river, so that while the entrance is at street level the nave and chancel are raised considerably above the surrounding streets, a dramatic effect enhanced by the soaring spire. Other large churches by Pugin & Ashlin include the Sacred Heart (1863), Donnybrook, and St Joseph’s (1866), Glasthule. Their churches in the countryside, mainly in counties Wexford, Cork and Kerry, are simpler, with straightforward Latin-cross plans, good quality stonework and simple bellcotes. The church at Lady’s Island, Co. Wexford, adjoins the parish of Tagoat, the church of which was designed by A. W. N. Pugin in 1846. Ashlin’s greatest work with E. W. Pugin is St Colman’s Cathedral (completed 1919) at Queenstown (now Cóbh), Co. Cork. Ashlin practised on his own from 1870 and in 1902 entered a partnership with his former pupil Thomas Aloysius Coleman (d ?1950). His nephew, Martin Ashlin (d 1942), became a partner in 1908.


St. Colman's neo-Gothic cathedral,
Cobh, South Ireland.
The architecture of E. W. Pugin and George Ashlin.




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