The Aviary, Dropmore Park

The Aviary is a cast-iron cage, with ceramic tiles imported from China around the base, these also forming the uprights and frieze. It has three projections with cupolas, the central of which is higher than the other two. The Aviary’s architect and date of construction are unrecorded, but John Buckler’s sketch dated 1830 appears to be very accurate, as are his sketches of the rest of the estate.

As part of the restoration of Dropmore Park, the previously neglected Grade I listed aviary required 5 different types of ceramic tiles to match the original Chinese made faience pieces, that form the uprights and frieze. Little was known in terms of how the original pieces had been manufactured and most of the original pieces had been damaged during removal, leaving very little original material to work with. Hollow pieces were required to ensure the tiles were not too heavy for the cast-iron cage and several different glazes were applied in order to match the original turquoise and green mottled tones.