Survey Data

Reg No

31212049


Rating

Regional


Categories of Special Interest

Architectural Artistic


Original Use

Post office


In Use As

Post office


Date

1895 - 1905


Coordinates

99904, 284471


Date Recorded

31/07/2008


Date Updated

--/--/--


Description

Detached three-bay two-storey post office, designed 1899; built 1899-1901; opened 1901, on a rectangular plan with single-bay two-storey side elevations. Hipped slate roof with clay ridge tiles, and cast-iron rainwater goods on timber eaves boards on overhanging eaves having timber consoles retaining cast-iron octagonal or ogee hoppers and downpipes. Roughcast walls on drag cut-limestone chamfered cushion course on tuck pointed rock faced limestone ashlar base with rock faced cut-limestone-detailed rendered "bas-relief" strips to corners. Series of three round-headed openings (ground floor) with moulded archivolts centred on rock faced cut-limestone keystones framing fixed-pane timber fittings. Square-headed window openings (first floor) with dragged cut-limestone sill course, and concealed dressings framing three-over-three timber sash windows having part exposed sash boxes. Interior including (ground floor): vestibule retaining carved timber surrounds to door openings framing glazed timber panelled doors. Street fronted with concrete brick cobbled footpath to front.

Appraisal

A post office erected to a design signed (1899) by John Howard Pentland (1855-1919), Principal Surveyor for the Board of Works (appointed 1891; retired 1918), widely regarded as a particularly important component of the built heritage of Westport with the architectural value of the composition, one sharing motifs in common with the Pentland-designed Castlebar Post Office (1902-4; see 31209008), confirmed by such attributes as the compact plan form; the dramatic diminishing in scale of the openings on each floor producing a graduated visual impression; the robust rock faced dressings demonstrating good quality workmanship; and the decorative timber work embellishing an oversailing roofline. Having been well maintained, the elementary form and massing survive intact together with substantial quantities of the original fabric, both to the exterior and to the interior, thereby upholding the character or integrity of a post office making a pleasing visual statement overlooking the canalised Westport or Carrowbeg River.