Castle House, in Lisburn’s Historic Quarter, was the venue for the inaugural event organised by the recently formed Richard Wallace Trust.
The glorious surroundings of Castle House, built by Sir Richard Wallace in 1880 as his Lisburn residence, proved a fitting venue for the evening as the guest speaker was Mr Jeremy Warren, Head of Collections of The Wallace Collection in Hertford House, once the Wallace family home in Manchester Square, London.
Following a champagne reception, Chairperson of the Trust Anthea McWilliams welcomed a capacity gathering of guests including Lord O’Neill, the Mayor Jonathan Craig together with local councillors as well as staff and Governors from The Wallace High School and Lisburn Institute.
Anthea has held a long-standing interest in the Wallace legacy, perhaps stemming from formative years spent playing in Castle Gardens and attending The Wallace High School. In recent years she completed a Masters degree in Cultural Management and her thesis focused on Sir Richard Wallace’s cultural and historical legacy in Lisburn. She has also been instrumental in contributing to the rejuvenation of Lisburn’s Historical Quarter, in her role as manager of Art Act gallery on Castle Street.
She explained, “The Richard Wallace Trust was set up this year to promote the cultural and historical legacy of Sir Richard Wallace in Lisburn. Our Trustees, along with Sixth Form History students Caroline Hynds and David Lorimer from The Wallace High School, wanted our inaugural event to be very special.
Jeremy Warren’s talk on the relationship between Sir Richard Wallace and his father was enlightening and informative. Whilst both Sir Richard Wallace and his father the forth Marquess of Hertford were recognised as great art collectors, their personalities could not have been more different. Sir Richard was a very social philanthropist and celebrated benefactor to Lisburn, whilst his father, was oftimes reclusive, introverted and not particularly revered in Lisburn ”
During the event guests were entertained by a woodwind trio of Wallace High musicians and enjoyed a light-hearted theatrical re- enactment of Frederick Capron- the appointed agent to the South Antrim Estate.
Anthea concluded, “We in Lisburn recognise the generosity and importance of Sir Richard Wallace – his legacy of philanthropy lives on in not just our city but also in Paris where his many fountains still exist and in London with the magnificent Wallace Collection. Trustees are busy planning further events, both educational and cultural, as we would like to encourage the people of Lisburn to find out more about one of our most influential and dynamic historical figures.
We now have a tangible link with the Wallace Collection in London and we are looking forward to developing that relationship in tandem with The Wallace High School, Lisburn Museum, Lisburn Historical Society and the recently formed Friends of Wallace Park. We would welcome any support in achieving our goals and I would encourage people to contact me at the Art Act Gallery on Castle Street for further information.”
Last modified: October 16, 2007