Survey Data

Reg No




Categories of Special Interest

Architectural, Artistic, Social, Technical

In Use As

Theatre/opera house/concert hall


1880 - 1890


205943, 205201

Date Recorded


Date Updated



Detached gable-fronted three-bay two-storey Tudor Revival former parish hall, built in 1888, with first floor breakfront to façade, seven bays to side elevation and extension to rear. Now used as a theatre. Set within its own grounds. Pitched slate roof with oversailing eaves to front section, terracotta ridge cresting, ashlar chimneystacks, central cast-iron roof vent and carved timber bargeboards. Random coursed stone walls with red brick eaves course to side elevation and angled buttresses to corners. First floor breakfront with timber framing and roughcast rendered panels enclosing timber casement windows. Supported by pulvinated frieze with foliate decoration and carved timber heraldic beast brackets with shields resting on tooled stone pedestals. Square-headed window openings to ground floor of façade with stone mullions and timber glazing bars. Timber casement windows to side elevation with stone and red brick surrounds with stone sills. Segmental-headed door opening with tooled stone cornice, foliate spandrels, tooled stone surround and flat-panelled timber double doors. Cast-iron railings set within tooled stone plinth wall to front site. Tooled stone gate piers with tooled stone capping, cast-iron lantern and cast-iron gates. Tooled paving stone with inscription: 'Oxmantown Mall Town Hall 1888'.


Since its opening in 1888, this elaborate Victorian building overlooking Oxmantown Mall, remains an integral part of the social and cultural life of Birr. It was built originally as a parish hall for Saint Brendan's Church of Ireland Church and was designed by Cassandra Countess of Rosse and funded by the fourth Earl of Rosse. It is an extremely ornate building and incorporates some unusual architectural features. It has well-preserved carved timber framing and abstract animal brackets, which include a horse and a lion. This design may have been influenced by contemporary German Gothic Revival design, which Cassandra had seen when she visited Germany. The building was constructed by Sweeney's Constructors of Crinkle. An elaborately carved stone door surround and intricate cast-iron railings further enhance the structure which is now in use as the Birr Theatre and Arts Centre.