As you walk through the house towards the Library up the main staircase you’ll pass a beautiful hand-painted mural which flanks four walls and is replete with the most wonderful symbolism that tells a story about Iscoyd Park and the Godsal family. The mural was commissioned by current owner Phil’s father – another Philip – back in 1993. As Philip Senior discloses in the video, he and his wife Selina (who you can read more about in our interview with her here) commissioned the mural thirty years ago to commemorate 150 years of the Godsal family residing at Iscoyd Park.
The mural is filled to the brim with special motifs and special stories that are personal to the house and the Godsal family – from tame pet foxes, favourite hounds and famous painters in the family. St Mary’s Whitewell makes an appearance, as does the Pigeon House and the cricket pitch at the front of the house. If you look closely you’ll spot the golden coach made by Philip Godsal in 1790 for The Right Honourable Lord Fitzgibbon, Lord High Chancellor of Ireland for the princely sum of £7,000. At the time Fitzgibbon’s decision to have the state coach made in London caused great upset in Dublin but we’re proud to say the Coach still exists today.
Please watch the video below to hear more from Philip himself…
If you’re keen to read a little more about the coachmaker Philip Godsal then a wonderful book has been written sharing his personal papers and diaries which he maintained for 37 years with details on every item of his personal expenditure. Previously unpublished, these papers offer an insight into the mind of Philip, his business, his family and friends, and the world in which they lived. His circle of acquaintances included the Prince of Wales, to whose Masonic lodge he belonged, the Prime Minister, William Pitt who was his customer and Henry Fauntelroy, whom he sponsored as a freemason and who was hanged for forgery. We’re very proud to offer the option to buy your own copy here.
The mural was designed by a wonderful artist named Priscilla Kennedy whose talented hand and attention to detail form the majority of the mural; however Selina is responsible for painting the wonderful trees that are growing up the corners around the archway towards the crest as you ascend the stairs. If you look closely, you’ll be able to locate favoured family dogs, viaducts, shooting cups, Grace Anne’s pool and HMS Vindictive where a beloved member of the Iscoyd family lost his life in WW1.
We are so incredibly proud of the painting and continue to find joy in it as we pass it during our daily activities. We hope that it will serve as a piece of personal history for members of the Godsal family – a link to the past but also for future generations to come. Not only that but we like to think it brings a smile and an element of storytelling for visitors to the house as well, adding a bit of meat to the bones so to speak of the history of the house and the family who have and continue to reside within it.
We would love to hear all about your favourite elements of the painting. Please do share them with us.
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Iscoyd Park has been in the Godsal family since 1843, Phil and Susie Godsal took over the running of the house in 2009 and began a much needed restoration project. They live in the house today with their three children and run it both as a wedding and events venue and a family home. Find out more about us.
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