County Westmeath - Tue Dec 11 05:20:26 GMT 2018

Main Record - County Westmeath

Our Lady's Bower, Lower Road, Athlone, County Westmeath
15010106
General view (north).
Reg. No.15010106
Date1880 - 1890
Previous NameThe Bower
TownlandANKERS BOWER
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates205002, 241319
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC SOCIAL
RatingRegional
Original Useconvent/nunnery
In Use Asschool
Additional Usechurch/chapel
 
Description
Semi-detached seven-bay two-and three-storey convent building on H-shaped plan with advanced gabled breakfront to entrance gable (north) with copper spire above, built 1889. Chapel to west side of breakfront at first floor level. Various late-twentieth century extensions to the south. Pitched natural slate roofs with decorative clay ridge tiles, raised limestone verges, ashlar limestone chimneystacks and pedimented half-dormer windows. Constructed of dressed limestone with ashlar limestone plinth and ashlar detailing including moulded string courses and a gabled statue niche to pediment of breakfront. Square-headed windows to ground floor with replacement windows, trefoil-headed openings with stained glass to chapel to west side of first floor, paired square-headed openings with chamfered limestone surrounds to east side of first floor and square-headed dormer openings to east side of second floor. Pointed-arched doorcase to breakfront with timber double doors and overlight with trefoil and quatrefoil tracery above. Pointed-arched window to first floor of breakfront with limestone tracery. Set well back from road in extensive school grounds. Cast-iron gates to the north (15010104) and graveyard on rectilinear-plan to the west.

Appraisal

This is a very interesting combination of convent, chapel and school in W.H Byrne's (1844-1913) typical, rather severe Gothic Revival-style. It survives with its form and character intact and is set within attractive landscaped grounds. The finely carved limestone details and the stained glass traceried windows are of artistic merit. The robust grey limestone walls of this sombre structure are softened by the variety of differently shaped window openings with ashlar detailing and by the stained glass windows. It remains an attractive structure and forms an interesting group with the nun's cemetery to the west and the cast-iron entrance gates to the north.
 
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