Castle, Richard (DNB00)

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CASTLE, CASSEL, or CASSELS, RICHARD (d. 1751), architect, was a German, who at the invitation of Sir Gustavus Hume, bart., settled in Ireland in the second decade of the last century. He had few rivals, and soon obtained an extensive practice. He began with rebuilding his patron's seat, Castle Hume, co. Fermanagh; he afterwards designed the mansion of Hazlewood, co. Sligo; Powerscourt, co. Wicklow; Carton House, co. Kildare; and Bessborough House, co. Kilkenny. In Dublin his designs included the Marquis of Waterford's house in Marlborough Street, Leinster House in Kildare Street, afterwards the Dublin Society house, Lord Bective's house in Smithfield, and many private houses in Sackville Street, Stephen's Green, and other parts of the city. His public works were not so numerous. He built the cupola of the old chapel in the college, long since removed; the printing-office in the college park; the Rotunda, or lying-in hospital; and the music hall in Fishamble Street, where Handel produced the ‘Messiah’ on 18 April 1742, and praised the building for its acoustic properties. The design for the Parliament House is believed to be his. Castle died suddenly at Carton on 19 Feb. 1751, aged about sixty, and was buried at Maynooth (Webb, Compendium of Irish Biography, p. 582). He is represented as a man of integrity, of amiable though somewhat eccentric manners, whom convivial habits kept poor. It is said that when he felt dissatisfied with any part of his work, he collected his men together, marched them to it in procession, and forthwith pulled it down. To Castle belongs the credit of having introduced into Ireland a greatly improved style of architecture. In 1736 he published ‘An Essay towards Supplying the City of Dublin with Water.’

[Warburton, Whitelaw, and Walsh's Hist. of Dublin, ii. 1187–8; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, 1878.]

G. G.