Maurice Craig (historian)

Maurice James Waldron Craig (25 October 1919 – 11 May 2011)[1][2] was an Irish architectural historian, the author of several books on the architectural heritage of Ireland and other subjects, and a conservation activist.[3]

Maurice James Waldron Craig
Born25 October 1919
Died11 May 2011
EducationTrinity College Dublin
Known forarchitectural historian


He was born in Belfast in 1919, in a prosperous presbyterian family, though he later rejected his unionist background in favour of socialism and atheism and respect for Irish culture.[2] He attended Castle Park School in Dalkey, Dublin, Shrewsbury School in England, Magdalene College, Cambridge, then returned to Ireland where, persuaded by poet Patrick Kavanagh, he completed a doctorate at Trinity College Dublin on the works of the early 19th-century English poet Walter Savage Landor.[4]

Craig became active in Dublin architecture conservation in the 1940s.

From 1952, he worked in London in the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments,[5] but left in 1970 to join An Taisce in Dublin as its full-time executive secretary.[4]

Craig was a prolific photographer of buildings. He donated his large collection to the Irish Architectural Archive in 2001,[6] and anthologies of his photos have been published in book form.[7]

Craig was married three times. His first marriage was to Beatrix Hurst, from which he had two children, and the second was to Jeanne Edwards. His third wife was actress and singer Agnes Bernelle, with whom he lived in Sandymount, Dublin, until her death in 1999.[4]


His books include:

  • The Volunteer Earl (1948) – a biography of James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont[4]
  • Dublin 1660–1860: The Shaping of a City (1952, 1969) – an influential work at a time of crisis for Dublin's colonial architecture[8]
  • Irish Bookbindings 1600–1800 (1954) – a history of Irish bookbinding[4]
  • Ireland Observed (1970, 1980, with Desmond FitzGerald) - a survey of Irish buildings[9]
  • Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size (1976) – a survey of 17th/18th/19th-century houses of the minor gentry[10]
  • The Architecture of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1880 (1982)[4]
  • The Elephant and the Polish Question (1990) - a varied collection of essays[11]
  • Cats and their Poets: An Anthology (2002) - a collection of ancient and modern poems about cats[12]
  • Mausolea Hibernica (2009) - a survey of mausoleums in Ireland[13]
  • Poems - a collection of poetry[14]
  • Photographs (2011) - a collection of architectural photographs taken by Craig around Ireland[7]


  1. "Maurice Craig". LibraryThing. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  2. Antonia Leslie (15 May 2011). "Maurice Craig". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  3. "Maurice Craig dies aged 91". Archiseek. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  4. "Maurice Craig". The Daily Telegraph. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  5. Gerry Harrison (2 August 2011). "Maurice Craig obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  6. "Maurice Craig: Fifty Years of Photographing Architecture". Irish Architectural Archive. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  7. Craig, Maurice (2011). Photographs. Dublin: Lilliput Press. ISBN 9781843512004. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  8. Craig, Maurice (1969) [1952]. Dublin 1660–1860: The Shaping of a City. Dublin: Liberties Press. ISBN 1905483112. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  9. "Books on Irish Architecture". Irish Georgian Society Cork chapter. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  10. Craig, Maurice (1976). Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size. Dublin: Ashfield Press. ISBN 1901658562. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  11. Craig, Maurice (1990). The Elephant and the Polish Question. Dublin: Lilliput Press. ISBN 0946640599. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  12. Craig, Maurice (2002). Cats and their Poets: An Anthology. Dublin: Lilliput Press. ISBN 1843510057. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  13. Craig, Maurice (2009). Mausolea Hibernica. Dublin: Associated Editions. ISBN 9781906429034. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  14. Craig, Maurice. Poems. Dublin: Liberties Press. ISBN 9781907593178. Retrieved 9 July 2014.