Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social, Technical
In Use As
1745 - 1750
Freestanding ashlar limestone Doric column, erected in 1746, mounted on an ashlar pedestal with plinth and cornice. Located at the centre of Emmet Square. Lamp posts to each corner and protective cast-iron bollards surrounding platform. Formally supported statue of the Duke of Cumberland which was removed in the early twentieth century. Plaque inserted to pedestal reads: 'Erected by Birr Town Council to commemorate the bicentenary of the execution of Robert Emmet 1778-1803. Emmet Square was renamed in his honour in 1922. "When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then, let my epitaph be written", R. Emmet.'
Prominently located at the heart of Emmet Square, this column, which once held a statue of the Duke of Cumberland, was the first commemorative column to be erected in an urban setting. Designed by Sir Lawrence Parsons and Samuel Chearnley, the column and statue were created in commemoration of the victory, by the Duke of Cumberland, in the battle of Culloden, Scotland in 1746. The statue was removed in the early twentieth century but the fine Doric column still stands. Forming an attractive vista from all entrances leading into Emmet Square, the historically significant monument enhances the locality and is a focal point for the town.