P R O F I L E
John's Place Heritage Centre
Birr lies in the centre of Ireland and is one of Ireland's best examples of a Georgian Town. It is a virtually intact 18/19th century town, formal, spacious and well-planned, with Georgian houses along its tree-lined malls and avenues. Birr Castle has been the seat of the Parsons family, Earls (an English title) of Rosse, for fourteen generations.
John's Hall, now Birr Heritage Centre, was built in 1833 by the Second Earl of Rosse in memory of his son John Clere Parsons who died in 1828, of scarlet fever, aged 26. Acknowledged as the town's finest building, it had previously functioned as the Town Hall. It is flanked by a large cannon, the Crimean Gun. The cannon was captured from the Russians at the siege of Sebastopol in 1855 and presented to Birr in 1858. Earlier the cannon however had a bit of controversy surrounding it, as a local committee had first decided to let William Parsons, 3rd Earl Rosse, put it outside his castle, until backlash resulted in it being placed in its current location. We are grateful to Nathan Atherton for supplying details of the siting issue.
The cannon is recorded by Robins as 20955 - 1827, an 18 pdr.
Access all Year, Access by Road, Access on Foot, Tourism Information
Country town/village, Urban
THE FEATURES PRESENT
Crimean Cannon Location, past or present