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Title: Loreto Abbey (Rathfarnham House)
Authors: Swords, Kieran
Keywords: Loreto Abbey
Loreto Order
Rev. Mother Frances Mary Teresa Ball
Loreto High School
William Palliser
John Palliser
George Grierson
Woodtown House
Mother Theresa
Issue Date: 9-Nov-2005
Description: Loreto Abbey has as its core, Rathfarnham House, a mansion built in 1725 by William Palliser who expended considerable resources on its interior with polished mahogany and, in one room, embossed leather wallpaper. On his death in 1768 without children of his own, his cousin Reverend John Palliser inherited it. When he died in 1795, George Grierson, the King's Printer purchased the house, from which he later moved to Woodtown House. The Most Reverend Dr Murray purchased it in 1821, after it lay vacant for some years, for the Loreto Order, then just founded. The first Superior of the Order, the Reverend Mother Francis Mary Teresa Ball made additions to the house, including supposedly an extra storey on to the house. A church was added in 1840, the novitiate in 1863, St Joseph's wing in 1869 comprising concert hall and refectory, St Anthony's wing St. Anthony's wing in 1896, St Francis Xavier's wing in 1903 and Liseux in 1932. Mother Theresa of Calcutta entered religion in Loreto Abbey in 1928. At its height it houses some 200 pupils. It cease to take boarders in 1996 and the building closed in 1999. A building company Riversmith Ltd acquired a site to the rear where it constructed apartments. The Loreto Order is now headquartered in Beaufort House, part of the Loreto High School.
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