Tait House was the grand home of Peter Tait, one of the most colourful, flamboyant and entrepreneurial figures ever to have held the office of Mayor of Limerick. Tait rose from the status of poor pedlar to that of philanthropist, innovator, merchant prince, shipowner, knight, alderman, thrice Mayor of Limerick and parliamentarian.
Tait’s former home is a listed building, and includes a Vinery designed by Richard Turner of Kew Gardens fame. The Tait Trail as part of Open House Limerick will document Peter Tait and his economic and social progression in Limerick.
This fine country residence commands views over the surrounding area, displays a wealth of quality building skills as well as great ambition. William Fogerty carried out restoration work, in 1864, following fire damage in the summer of 1863. The cost of the work was £1,500.
The house and grounds are occupied by Tait House Community Enterprise catering to many community needs. While the building was endangered, the current use has served to arrest serious decay.
The Peter Tait Trail will also feature what is now the Bedford Townhouse on Bedford Row, once the site of Peter Tait’s first shirt factory in Limerick. This part of the tour will be presented by historian Sharon Slater and will also include a brief history of the Tait Factory. The Tait Trail documents Peter Tait and his economic and social progression in Limerick and his international influence.
There is limited disability access to Tait House – the ground floor area is open to the public. The Lower Site where the ruins of the Vinery are is more difficult to navigate and is limited access with cobbled stone.
‘OpenHouse’ has a simple but powerful vision: to showcase outstanding architecture for all to experience, completely free of charge. OpenHouse initiatives invite everyone to explore and debate the value of a well-designed built environment.
OpenHouse Limerick became a member of OpenHouse Worldwide in 2012, a family that has grown to over 40 cities across five continents since it was founded in London in 1992. Each year, the programme of events has continued to grow and evolve, to foster learning and an appreciation and understanding of the value of architectural excellence in our region through showcasing outstanding design.
All building tours, visits, walking tours, talks and children’s workshops are FREE. A number of tours have limited space and access—please be patient and expect some queues. Some tours will require pre-booking which be noted on respective venue web-page. Please follow the volunteers instructions in relation to the taking of photographs.