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Johnston, Francis

Johnston, Francis (1760–1829). Irish architect, he trained under Cooley and worked for Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh (1765–94). He was appointed Architect to the Board of Works and Civil Buildings in Dublin (1805). Influenced by James Wyatt and Gandon, his work was eclectic, and includes St George's Church, Dublin (1802–17—which has echoes of work by Gibbs), the austere but beautifully proportioned Neo-Classical Townley Hall, Drogheda, Co. Louth (from 1793), and the grim Richmond Penitentiary, Grange Gorman Lane (1812–20). He was largely responsible for converting Pearce's Parliament House, Dublin, to the Bank of Ireland (1804–8), built the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle (1807–14), and designed the Court House, Armagh (from 1809). His handsome Greek Revival General Post Office, Dublin (1814–18), was probably his best work, although the very pretty Strawberry Hill Gothick house, Charleville Forest, Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1800–12), is the finest early C19 Picturesque house in Ireland. He completed King's Inns, Dublin, by Gandon in 1817, and built the Royal Hibernian Academy (1824–6).


Bence-Jones (1988);
M. Craig (1982);
McParland (1969, 1971–2)

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