Irish Georgian Society

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The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster a keen interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. These aims are achieved through its scholarly and conservation education programmes, through its support of conservation projects and planning issues, and vitally, through its members and their activities.

Conservation Grants Scheme 2016


Posted by IGS

The Irish Georgian Society's Conservation Grants Scheme 2016 was announced yesterday at a small ceremony at the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. In all, fourteen historic buildings successfully received a grant from the IGS.

In announcing the awards, Primrose Wilson, Chair of the Society’s Conservation Grants Committee, said "the Irish Georgian Society's grants programme plays an important role in helping to protect our built heritage as many of the grants provided are used for essential roof, gutter and window repairs. The maintenance and repair of these features is vital to prevent the decay of historic fabric through water ingress and the onset of damp, both of which can be disastrous in old buildings".

The total value of grants amounts to €56,500. Funded by the London Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society, these grants will help owners and guardians of architecturally important historic buildings to fund essential works which may not otherwise be possible.

St Michael’s Church, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath 
Works description: Refurbishment of two Gothic sash windows at the east end of the church.
Grant awarded: €2,000
St Michael’s Church (CoI), Castlepollard, is a Hall type structure with bell Tower, spire and pinnacles. Its external walls are finished in a combination of stonework and lined rough cast (harling finished) lime render. The front boundary is constructed of iron gates with railings on a stone plinth. The Church was built in 1821 by the Pollard family who founded the original settlement which has now become the town of Castlepollard. It is a perfect example of a Georgian Town Church and comprises a focal point of the town’s Georgian Square.

Maunsell Chapel, Tea Lane Graveyard, Celbridge, Kildare

Works description: Roof repairs
Grant awarded: €3,000
The Maunsell Chapel was constructed in 1820 by the Maunsell family of nearby Oakley Park and adjoins an earlier mausoleum of the Conolly family of Castletown. It lies within the Tea Lane Graveyard whose origins extend back to Early Christian times with associations with Saint Mochua and is situated alongside the remains of a medieval church. The restoration of the mausoleum is being led by the Tea Lane Graveyard Committee whose aim is the conservation and preservation of this significant heritage area. 

Stradbally Hall, Stradbally, Co. Laois

Works description: roof repairs including repairs to chimney stacks
Grant awarded: €5,000
Stradbally Hall was built in the 1770s by the Cosby family and extensively renovated in an Italianate-style one hundred years later under the direction of the architect Charles Lanyon. It is a nine-bay two-storey over basement house with a tetrastyle Doric portico to its centre, a four-bay two-storey over basement bachelor wing, and a three-bay double-height pedimented arched loggia to its former entrance front. It has been home to the Cosby family since the mid-sixteenth century and survives as one of the great country houses of Ireland. Essential to the survival of these houses is an effective programme of maintenance and repair to hold back the forces of decay. The current works to the roof and chimney stacks will help in securing it for future generations to appreciate.

Collon Parish Church, Collon, Co. Louth

Works description: repairs to the east gable parapet
Grant awarded: €5,000
Collon Church was designed by Rev. Daniel Augustus Beaufort (1739 – 1821), an amateur architect and rector of Collon and Navan parishes. It is a free-standing five bay church designed in the Perpendicular style, and is loosely modelled on English perpendicular churches such as Kings College Chapel, Cambridge. The facades are articulated by staggered buttresses surmounted by pinnacles and large limestone framed windows with perpendicular tracery. The gabled east elevation of the rectangular chancel which faces the public road is flanked by octagonal turrets and a pair of single storey porches. This is the second year the Irish Georgian Society has provided grant aid to the Friends of Collon Church in their sterling efforts to save this architecturally important building.

Scots Church, Athy Road, Carlow, Co. Carlow
Works description: emergency roof repairs.
Grant awarded: €5,000
Scots Church, Carlow, was completed in 1818 to the designs of the architect Thomas Alfred Cobden. It has a compact form and simple design that is articulated by a front elevation of classical composition. Over a period of time defective slates and flashings has led to water ingress that has given rise to significant damage within the roof. If not remedied, this could further harm the church’s octagonal ceiling and lead to the onset of timber decay. 

Ballynagar House, Abbey, Loughrea, Co. Galway
Works description: roof repairs
Grant awarded: €5,000
Ballnager House was constructed c. 1807 to the design of the architect Richard Morrison (1767-1849) for the Aylward family who had moved to Galway from Waterford in the mid-17th century. It is a five-bay two-storey house over a raised basement with a shallow pedimented single-bay entrance breakfront, and bow ends to gables. Remnants of an earlier house survive in a three-bay three-storey return. The repair of the roof of Ballynagar will ensure the building is weather tight and halt the potential for decay through wet and dry rot.

Dublin Civic Trust, 18 Upper Ormond Street, Dublin

Works description: repairs and reinstatement of shutter boxes and of missing window sashes to each of the four floors to the rear of the building
Amount awarded: €6,000
No 18 Ormond Quay is the focus of an ambitious conservation and refurbishment programme by the Dublin Civic Trust which will see the revitalisation of building that has long stood empty and forlorn. It is comprised of two adjoining structures: the later one of which faces onto the quays and stands four storeys over basement, with the original blind arcaded shopfront to the ground floor and with yellow, wigged brickwork to the upper floors which regrettably is covered with 20th-century pebbledash. The earlier structure, built c. 1765, lies to the rear and is reputed to have been the first home of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy. 

Boyle Courthouse, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Works description: Roof repairs
Amount awarded: €3,000
Constructed c. 1830 to the designs of the architect Samuel Jackson, Boyle courthouse comprises a detached three-bay two storey building with flanking recessed single-storey entrance bays, Giant order pilasters to the façade with string course, cornice and round-headed recessed blind doorways. It served as a venue for sittings of the Petty and Quarter Sessions and, following independence, sittings of the Districts and Circuit Courts. The courthouse closed in 2012 with sittings moved to the Carrick on Shannon and Roscommon Courthouses but is now the focus of a refurbishment programme led by Boyle Courthouse Development Ltd.  

Birr Castle, Birr, Co. Offaly
Works description: repairs to roof and parapet walls
Amount awarded: €5,000
Situated on the site of a Norman fortification of c. 1170, Birr Castle was built and extended during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and represents one of the surviving great houses of Ireland. The current façade was completed c.1840 and comprises a central three-bay, thre storey over basement entrance block with two-storey over basement flanking wings. Its slate roof hidden lies behind a crenellated parapet and a variety of window openings include pointed-arched openings with tooled stone surrounds, hoodmouldings and cast-iron casement windows. Effective maintenance programmes are vital to ensure the longevity of such houses with roof repairs of particular importance.  

Royal Society Of Antiquaries, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Works description: repair of cracked chimney breast in first first floor reception rooms
Amount awarded: €1,500
No 63 Merrion Square is the home of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI) and comprises a three bay, four storey over basement house. It was constructed c. 1780 by John Sandwith whose lease required that he construct a ‘good and substantial dwelling house with lime and stones, or with bricks and lime and stones, or with bricks and lime, well roofed and covered with slates, not less than 30 ft. in the front and 3 stories and a half high above the cellars at least, and shall make an area of 8 ft. wide at the front of the said house…. . .’ Plaster work in the house is by Andrew Callnan (on behalf of surveyor Bryan Bolger) and shows the influence of Michael Stapleton. The RSAI bought the house in 1917, also buying the remainder of the lease from the Pembroke estate for £500. 

Ross House, O’briensbridge, Co. Clare
Works description: sash window repairs
Amount awarded: €5,000
Ross House was constructed c. 1819 on the site of a late 17th century house and is attributed to the architect Francis Bindon. It is a six bay, two storey over basement house with a hipped roof and wide eaves. It consist of two parts with an earlier residential element standing perpendicular to a later structure that once contained staff quarters and stables. The main block retains its original six-over-six sash windows which comprise an integral part of its character.  The Irish Georgian Society’s grant will ensure that the windows in Ross House will survive for future generations to appreciate.

Ledwithstown, Ballymahon, Co. Longford
Works description: support of condition report on the roof to gain a clear understanding of the structure and to facilitate a prioritisation of repair works.
Amount awarded: €3,000
Built in the 1740s to the design of the architect Richard Castle, Ledwithstown is considered one of Ireland’s finest eighteenth century houses of the middle size. It is a square house of two floors over groin vaulted basement and attic floor and has a tripartite doorway with pediment and cut stone steps. It is very well proportioned with brick based cornice, fielded and raised panelling on the ground floor with some shell decorations. There are two staircases, unusual for a house of its size, with egg and dart cornice on the main stair ceiling. The 1st floor plain and dentil cornices, and plaster panels and timber fielded panels with dentil cornice. The house has been the subject of an exceptional refurbishment programme by the Feeney family over recent decades and vital works are now required to halt water ingress through the roof. The report funded by the Irish Georgian Society will allow a thorough analysis of the roof and the specification of works.

Kildrought House, Celbridge, Kildare
Description of works: dismantling, underpinning and restoring the carriage entrance opening onto Celbridge main street.
Amounted awarded: €5,000
Kildrought was built by Robert Baillie in 1719 to the design of Kildare architect Thomas Burgh who also designed the Library of Trinity College, Dublin and has been carefully restored by its current owner. It is a three storey early Georgian merchant’s house that originally had two reciprocal, pedimented carriage entrances, though one was later filled in and developed prior to acquisition by the current owner. In 1747 the two outbuildings on the north side were extended and incorporated into the whole but later the leasehold was separated. The interiors were remodelled in 1862 but the present owners have sought to reinstate the design of the past house. 

Albert's House, 18 O'connell Street, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

Works description: Refurbishment and restoration of shop front
Amount awarded: €3,000
Built c. 1825, Albert’s House was constructed c. 1825 and since that time has served as a shop, a home, a workhouse, a police barracks, and as a bakery until it was severely damaged by fire. A programme of restoration is being implemented to secure the future of the building. Immediate works to the shopfront will halt processes of decay and ensure it will continue to form an essential part of the historic character of the street.