Conservation St. Peter’s Church, Portlaoise

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Historical background:

St. Peter’s Church in Portlaoise, Co. Laois, was built in the late-eighteenth century to the design of James Gandon, architect of Dublin’s Four Courts and Custom House. Extensive alterations and improvements were made to the building in 1872. In 2007, the church authorities put in place a works programme that included consolidation of the spire, faulty rainwater goods, weathering, and inappropriate cement pointing. The Irish Georgian Society awarded €5,000 toward the works.

Brief description of project:

The spire restoration works partially funded by the Society’s grant included: raking out all cement-based mortar; the dismantling and rebuilding of the top six, unstable stonework courses; the introduction of stainless steel cramps to tie together displaced stonework; repointing in lime-based mortar; and the provision of a new lightning conductor which was compliant with current standards. 

Architectural description:

St. Peter’s Church is an ashlar limestone building of five bays with paired lancet windows set into shallow, smooth-rendered recessions. The entrance facade possesses a broken pediment surmounting a central breakfront. On either side of the large timber doors are two niches. There is a pitched roof and a truncated, obelisk-shaped spire.