County Offaly: Items of interest in the County Offaly landscape

The telescope at Birr Castle, a 72-inch reflecting telescope supported on Gothic style ashlar limestone walls, was until 1917 the largest in the world; the original lens is now in the Science Museum in London. Follies, dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, were popular garden features on estates, where they often took the form of towers. Other types of small functional buildings often found on estates were dovecotes and icehouses. The first housed birds for the table and the second was used for storing ice for the preservation of food. Dovecotes were sometimes situated close to agricultural buildings, particularly granaries where the doves could feed on spilled grain. The Royal Shannon at Banagher is an interesting town house. The use of the curved bay is a distinctive and notable feature of some County Offaly houses. This element, and a preference for extra-wide doorcases with fanlight over, runs like a constant theme through the architectural heritage of the county, from the early years of the eighteenth century, through the nineteenth and in some cases into the twentieth century.

Ballycumber House, BALLYCUMBER, Ballycumber, County Offaly

View full record

Circular-plan roofless random coursed stone folly, erected c.1825, to north-east of Ballycumber House, with flying buttresses and pointed-arched openings.


Blundell House, Father Kearns Street, EDENDERRY, Edenderry, County Offaly

View full record

Detached three-bay two-storey over raised basement house, built 1813 to a design by James Brownrigg, with flanking quadrant walls framing front site. Set back from the street. Hipped slate roof with rendered chimneystacks and yellow terracotta pots, cast-iron rainwater goods and corbels to eaves course. Roughcast render to walls. Timber sash windows with limestone sills.…


Main Street, FERBANE, Ferbane, County Offaly

View full record

End-of-terrace three-bay two-storey house, built c.1840, with extension to rear and shopfront to ground floor. Fronts directly onto street. Pitched tiled roof with terracotta ridge tiles, rendered chimneystacks and cast-iron rainwater goods. Roughcast render to first floor with smooth render to ground floor, eaves course and quoins. Timber sash windows with Wyatt windows to first…


Round House, High Street, TULLAMORE, Tullamore, County Offaly

View full record

Terraced three-bay two-storey over basement house, built c.1730, with full-height bow forming northernmost bay. Set back from street. Pitched tiled roof with terracotta ridge tiles, rendered chimneystacks with terracotta pots and cast-iron rainwater goods, with conical roof to projecting bay. Roughcast render to walls. Timber sash windows with painted sills. Round-headed door opening with tooled…


Crank House Visitor Centre, Main Street, KYLEBEG OR BANAGHER, Banagher, County Offaly

View full record

Detached seven-bay two-storey former house, built c.1750, with full-height bowed entrance bay, integral carriage arch to south, return and outbuildings to rear. Now used as a hostel and visitors centre. House fronts directly onto street. Pitched slate roof with conical roof to entrance bay, terracotta ridge tiles, roughcast rendered chimneystacks with terracotta pots and cast-iron…


The Royal Shannon, Main Street, CURRAGHAVARNA AND PORTAVOLLA, Banagher, County Offaly

View full record

Terraced three-bay three-storey former house, built c.1800, with bowed entrance bay, modern extensions to rear. Now in use as a hotel. Fronts directly onto the street. Pitched slate roof with conical roof to breakfront, terracotta ridge tiles, rendered chimneystacks and cast-iron rainwater goods. Ruled-and-lined render to walls. Wyatt windows with tooled limestone sills. Round-headed door…


Hill Street, MAGHERABANE (GA. BY.), Cloghan, County Offaly

View full record

Detached six-bay two-storey house, built c.1820, with single bay to east incorporating integral carriage arch. Extension to rear. Fronts directly onto street. Pitched slate roof with rendered chimneystacks and cast-iron rainwater goods. Pebbledashed walls with smooth rendered plinth, string course and eaves course. Timber sash windows with painted sills. Segmental-headed door opening with spoked fanlight,…


Hill Street, Banagher Street, CLOGHAN (GA. BY.), Cloghan, County Offaly

View full record

Terraced corner-sited five-bay two-storey house, built c.1820, with integral carriage arch to three-bay side elevation. Fronts directly onto street. Hipped slate roof with rendered chimneystacks. Smooth rendered walls with plinth, random coursed stone wall to gable. Timber sash windows with tooled painted stone sills. Segmental-headed door opening with spider web fanlight, geometric sidelights and timber…


Braemar, Patrick Street, KILMALOGUE, Portarlington, County Offaly

View full record

Detached four-bay two-storey house, built c.1810, abutting house to east with full-height D-shaped bays to façade, integral carriage arch to west and return to rear. Now derelict. Fronts directly onto street. Hipped slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles and rendered chimneystacks with terracotta pots. Pebbledashed render to walls with smooth render to plinth. Timber sash…


Emmet Street, TOWNPARKS (BB. BY.), Birr, County Offaly

View full record

Terraced five-bay two-storey house, built c.1830, with integral carriage arch and return to rear. House fronts directly onto street. Pitched slate roof with rendered chimneystacks and cast-iron rainwater goods. Roughcast rendered walls with eaves course. Timber sash windows with stone sills. Round-headed door opening within coved rendered surround, timber spoked lantern fanlight and timber panelled…


Compton Row, TOWNPARKS (BB. BY.), Birr, County Offaly

View full record

Detached three-bay two-storey house, built c.1810, with return. Set within its own grounds. Hipped slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles, rendered chimneystacks and cast-iron rainwater goods. Roughcast rendered walls. Timber sash windows with tooled stone sills. Round-headed door opening within coved rendered surround and mask to keystone. Timber panelled door with spoked fanlight accessed by…


Birr Telescope, TOWNPARKS (BB. BY.), Birr, County Offaly

View full record

Seventy-two inch reflecting telescope built between 1841 and 1845 by William Parsons, the Third Earl of Rosse. Located within Birr Castle demesne. Timber telescope set within man-made hollow flanked by Gothic style ashlar limestone walls to east and west with pointed-arched recessed blind openings. Crenellated parapet to eastern wall. Crane mechanism on flanking walls and…


Prospect House, Riverstown Road, DRUMBANE, Crinkill, County Offaly

View full record

Detached double-pile three-bay two-storey over basement house, built c.1880, with curvilinear gables with segmental pediments to central bay and to single-storey single-bay wings to each side. Set within its own grounds. Pitched slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles. Rendered chimneystacks with terracotta pots, timber bargeboards and cast-iron rainwater goods. Pebbledashed walls with stone quoins and…


Ashmount House, BALLYBOUGHLIN, County Offaly

View full record

Freestanding single-bay dovecote, built c.1800. Pitched slate roof with sprocketed eaves. Roughcast render to random coursed stone walls. Window opening with stone lintel. Square-headed door opening with replacement timber door. Stone perches and pigeon holes.


Belview Tower, KILCLARE, County Offaly

View full record

Detached cylindrical viewing tower, built in 1817, with roughcast rendered walls, tooled limestone surround surmounted by carved stone date plaque 'AD1817'. Stone spiral staircase leads up tower.


Toberdaly House, TOBERDALY, County Offaly

View full record

Gothic style octagonal gazebo, built c.1780, surmounted on former ruined tower house in the grounds of Toberdaly House. Random coursed walls with coping. Pointed- and round-arched openings with red brick surrounds. Pointed-arched opening in tower house wall with tooled stone surround, moved to its present location to give access to folly. Bartizans to tower walls.…


Camden Tower, CHARLEVILLE DEMESNE, Tullamore, County Offaly

View full record

Detached triangular plan four-storey tower folly, built c.1820, and possibly incorporating fabric from an earlier tower. Outbuildings to rear and abutting walls. Set within forested area. Random rubble walls with quoins. Roofless tooled window surrounds with timber window frames, diamond tracery windows with timber frames. Square-headed door opening with timber lintel. Spiral staircase with tooled…


Balliver House, BALLIVER, County Offaly

View full record

Detached double-pile three-bay two-storey over basement house, built c.1730 with pair of full-height bows to façade, walled garden to south-west and farmyard to south. Hipped slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles, conical roof to bows, roughcast rendered chimneystack and cast-iron and lead rainwater goods. Ruled-and-lined render to façade, roughcast render to rear and side elevations,…


Mullagh House, KILLURIN, County Offaly

View full record

Freestanding single-bay two-stage tower, built 1830-1, on a circular plan. Now in ruins. Roof now missing. Part creeper- or ivy-covered lime rendered or roughcast coursed rubble stone walls with lime rendered or roughcast parapets. Pointed-arch door opening below square-headed "loop" with concealed yellow brick voussoirs. Square-headed "loops" with concealed yellow brick dressings. Pointed-arch door opening…


Whigsborough Tower, WHIGSBOROUGH, County Offaly

View full record

Gothic style tower façade, erected c.1770, abutting outbuilding and walled garden to north, situated within the grounds of Whigsborough House. Random coursed stone wall to tower with crenellated parapet and pointed-arched window opening with tooled stone tracery. Wall much overgrown with ivy. Outbuilding to north with pitched slate roof with terracotta ridge tiles and cast-iron…