Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social
Ferns Post Office
In Use As
Garda station/constabulary barracks
1900 - 1905
Detached three-bay two-storey post office, dated 1904; occupied 1911, on a square plan with single-bay two-storey recessed end bay; three-bay two-storey side elevations. Now in alternative use. Hipped slate roof on a U-shaped plan behind parapet with clay ridge tiles, and concealed rainwater goods with cast-iron rainwater goods to side elevations retaining cast-iron square profile downpipes. Red brick Flemish bond walls on moulded cushion course on plinth with iron-covered red brick header bond cornice on "bas-relief" frieze below mass concrete parapet having concrete coping. Square-headed central door opening with red brick voussoirs framing replacement timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled door having overpanel. Square-headed flanking window openings with cut-granite chamfered flush sills, and red brick voussoirs framing two-over-two timber sash windows. Square-headed window openings (first floor) with cut-granite sill course, and red brick voussoirs framing two-over-two timber sash windows. Square-headed door opening in round-headed recess (west) with red brick voussoirs having stepped reveals framing replacement glazed timber panelled door having inscribed overpanel ("E.R. [Edwardus Rex]/1904"). Road fronted with concrete footpath to front.
A post office erected to a design attributable to the Office of Public Works (established 1831) representing an important component of the early twentieth-century built heritage of Ferns with the architectural value of the composition suggested by such attributes as the compact near-square plan form; the vibrant red brick surface finish; the slight diminishing in scale of the openings on each floor producing a feint graduated tiered visual effect; and the parapeted roofline. Having been reasonably well maintained, the elementary form and massing survive intact together with substantial quantities of the original fabric, both to the exterior and to the restrained interior, thus upholding much of the character or integrity of a post office making a pleasing visual statement in a rural village street scene presently (2007) undergoing extensive "suburban" development: meanwhile, a partly obliterated royal cipher ("E.R. [Edwardus Rex]/1904") remains of additional significance as an imprinted reminder of the period when Ireland formed part of the British Empire.