Olivia Robertson - Dulce Domum: David Durdin-Robertson

David Durdin-Robertson and Professor Tadahiro Ohnuma

Olivia writes of the photo above: "For publication - one of the very few photos I have of David. He is with Professor Tadahiro Ohnuma on his visit with Sumiko in the '90s. Outside the Old Chapel (once the Temple of Isis)."

David Alexander Durdin-Robertson


From Olivia Robertson, FOI Co-Founder

Left: Olivia with David Durdin-Robertson (center), and Lawrence Durdin-Robertson © Olivia Robertson

David Alexander Durdin-Robertson passed into spirit world on the 14th April 2009. He was the only son of two Co-Founders of the Fellowship of Isis, Pamela and Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, and nephew of Olivia.

He protected Huntington Castle with his skills as a builder, renewing the foundations. Above all his beautiful, youthful and inspired wood carvings, twenty-one of them, are focal images in various shrines in the Temple of Isis. His most noted carving, made when he was eighteen, is the figure of Isis on the High Altar. She bears a watering-pot on Her head, the Hathor Crown representing harmony of Sun and Moon.

Globally, David is known in a television documentary on the Castle on the Discovery Channel. He is shown, bearded, emerging from an ancestor’s portrait. In an interview he gives an account of an out-of-the-body experience in the Castle library, surrounded by apparitions – later identified on the Channel as Druids. The Temple of Isis is shown in the film.

Isis statue carved by David Durdin-Robertson, High Altar, Temple of Isis, Clonegal Castle © J. Merron

David’s spirit presence manifested to Olivia the day after his passing. He made two resounding knocks on her door at dawn. Olivia understood that these were the traditional “Knocks for Admission” to the ancient Egyptian Ritual of 'The Coming Forth by Day.' This resembles the FOI liturgical 'Rite of Rebirth' and the 'Awakening of Osiri's and 'Initiation of the Pylons.'

Of course the Ceremonies in the Temple and work of the Fellowship continue. After all, Isis goes back five thousand years and is powerfully manifesting in the New Aëon. Our Divine Mother is eternal – as are we all!

Olivia and members of the FOI Irish priesthood conducted a ceremony of Dulce Domum to honor David Alexander Durdin-Robertson in the Temple of Isis at Clonegal Castle. The rite took place at 3:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time on Saturday, the 18th of April 2009.

"Olivia held a lovely ceremony in the Temple with a few of our priesthood present on Saturday last whilst the funeral took place in the village. She joined the family cortège walking down the Avenue of the Castle to the village behind the hearse and then turning its way up the hill to the Church. She then left the procession which by then was followed by a great many neighbours and friends of the family, and joined our group to return up to the Castle. It was a beautiful and fitting farewell to her nephew, particularly after his spirit visit to Olivia the morning after his passing."

- Minette Quick, Honorary Secretary, Circle of Brigid, Ireland

From Olivia Robertson, May 10, 2009

Portrait of David Durdin-Robertson painted by Olivia Robertson

Directly above, a portrait by Olivia Robertson dated May 9th, 2009 of her nephew David Durdin-Robertson

Sculptor and Builder, 1952-2009

David's portrait alongside a portrait of Olivia at age 16 painted by her sister Barbara

David's portrait alongside one of his father Lawrence painted by Olivia

These photos are of David's portrait shown along with one of Olivia Robertson at the age of 16, painted by her sister, who was also an artist, Barbara, when aged 19. The portrait of Lawrence Alexander Durdin-Robertson, FOI co-founder FOI (1920-1994) was painted by Olivia when he was 16 and she was 19. (Thanks to Minette of the Circle of Brigid for forwarding this information.)

Portrait of Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, age 16, painted by Olivia at age 19

Olivia writes: "These artists and their work form part of the FOI Muses Symposium. Love and appreciation for all who create a rainbow bridge of Art, spanning the Land of Heart's Desire, Elysium, Tir na nOg, Avalon with our own earth Gaea."

Olivia Durdin-Robertson, 10th May, 2009

Updated Portrait of Lawrence Durdin-Robertson

Updated portrait of Lawrence Durdin-Robertson

ArchDruidess Minette Quick, Hon. Secretary of the Circle of Brigid in Ireland writes: "Olivia has updated her portrait of her brother Lawrence and has asked me to photograph and send it on to you all. It would be nice to have it alongside her recent new portrait of his son David which she did after his death. She feels that the family likeness is very visible between the two and she feels that this is how they both look now in the Spirit World."

2009, Presentation of historical family documents to

David Durdin-Robertson (right) by M. Purcell (left).

On the Work of David Durdin-Robertson

by local Historian and Genealogist Michael Purcell of County Carlow

He grew up in an enchanted setting of Ireland's longest inhabited castle (Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Co Carlow). There he managed to live on good terms with benevolent ghosts - much nicer than other human beings, he would assure his more nervous guests - and as a self-taught master builder to keep a foothold in the real world.

His grandmother first recognised his ability as a sculptor when he carved a tiny mouse on a small shoe. His youngest sister Lucy received a miniature carriage drawn by four horses on her eighth birthday.

His irrepressible aunt Olivia commissioned him to realise her more celestial visions of female divinities to be worshipped in the dungeons below.

Five floors above, he remodelled the roof space of the castle as a hidden studio for his wife Moira, completed last year beneath a reconstructed roof, along with the replacement of the windows. The work renewed the glazing bars as they would have been in 1740 to avoid neo-Victorian pastiche and now look as if they have been there forever.

He restored the historical interiors, furnished them with treasures acquired in the un-catalogued debris of local auctions ... He replanted and embellished the gardens, repaired the family theatre converted from a barn in the 1930s, transformed the dependencies into self-sustained apartments and made a dragon-crested Chinese pavilion to allow a friend to guard the gate to the back avenue. His ceaseless activity assured attention when he addressed the board established to safeguard the future of Ireland's historical houses in private hands.

He also made a remarkable contribution to contemporary architecture with the gallery in the park that he built for a tenant, the German sculptor Ulrich Ruckreim. This allowed Ruckreim to house his own work ... Durdin-Robertson's structure - a cloister of four steel barns ... His expertise was sought after in many commissions. He was one of a few sculptors able to carve new timber or marble fireplaces on a heroic scale (Clonmannon House, Ashford, Dargle Cottage, Enniskerry, Castle Cove, Co Sligo).

One of his most ingenious tasks was - with the help of Hugo Merry - to protect from collapse the four Francini ceilings in Kilshannig. Here he also assisted with rebuilding the arcaded wings, terminating with their domed pavilions, unroofed 150 years ago by Lord Fermoy to repay huge gambling debts.

... Few have lived to be so irreplaceable to his wife, his family and an ever widening circle of colleagues, friends and admirers.

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Photos of sculpture and bas relief of works created by David Durdin-Robertson © John Merron. Photo of Clonegal Castle © Olivia Robertson. Used by permission. Photos of art by Olivia Robertson and her late sister Barbara Pryor courtesy of M. Quick. Photo of David Durdin-Robertson and M. Purcell used by permission. Text written by M. Purcell used by permission. All rights reserved.