Survey Data

Reg No

15000267


Rating

Local


Categories of Special Interest

Architectural Artistic Social


Original Use

Convent/nunnery


In Use As

Convent/nunnery


Date

1870 - 1880


Coordinates

203849, 241227


Date Recorded

20/10/2006


Date Updated

--/--/--


Description

Attached six-bay two-storey former convent and school, built c.1875, having a recessed single-bay two-storey section to the west end and a four bay single-storey former chapel attached to the west. Renovated c.1990. Two-storey return and modern extensions to the rear (south). Pitched and hipped artificial slate roofs. Rendered chimneystack to the main two-storey building having a bell over. Cement rendered walls with square-headed window openings having replacement fittings. Round-headed openings to the former chapel having replacement windows. Round-headed doorway to the recessed single-bay two-storey section having a replacement door. Main block is road-fronted with extensive grounds to the rear (south) having modern school buildings. Rendered wall having cast-iron railings over to the west end surrounding former chapel. Rendered gate piers (on square-plan) having cast-iron double-gates gives access to chapel. Located to the south of Athlone Town centre.

Appraisal

A substantial but plain former Convent of Mercy convent, which retains some of its early character. This building has been heavily altered in recent times with the subsequent loss of early features and its historic veneer. The good quality cast-iron railings to the front of the former chapel add interest to the streetscape and are of artistic merit. The bell over the main two-storey block is an interesting feature that indicates its former use as a school. The original convent building stood to the east end of the main block but was demolished in 1988. This building was apparently originally a private residence, which was converted for use as a convent in 1856. The two-storey block and the chapel were added to the existing building c.1875. The original school had 206 pupils in 1868. This building has played an important role in the social history of Athlone for over a century but recent works detract from its visual and architectural merit.