There is a fabulous range of buildings in Offaly from thatch cottages to castles, follies and mills. For information about architecture in County Offaly the best place to start is www.buildingsofireland.ie which is the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht website which profiles hundreds of buildings and you can search by area or building type or period. Another very good site is the Dept CHG archaeological site, which gives a lot of historical information and some of the protected structures are also on the Record of Monuments and Places. www.archaeology.ie click on Archaeological Survey database tab on the home page.
Useful publications include
- An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Offaly, Government of Ireland, 2006
- Living Under Thatch, Vernacular Architecture in County Offaly, Barry O'Reilly, Mercier Press, 2004
- Geashill, The Evolution of its Architecture, Rachel McKenna, Offaly County Council, 2012
- Flights of Fancy, Follies, Families and Demesnes in Offaly. Rachel McKenna, Offaly County Council, 2017
- Central Leinster: Kildare, Laois and Offaly by Andrew Tierney, Yale, 2019
- Public Engagement during Works to Traditional Buildings - Heritage Council 2021
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have published a series of advice bookets on thatch, roofs, ruins, windows, maintenance, bricks, places of worship, iron, energy efficiency. Click to their webpage.
In 2020 the RIAI and the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht have developed a new guide regarding living and adapting older buildings.
Protected Structures in Offaly
A protected structure is a structure that a planning authority considers to be of special interest from an architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social, or technical point of view. Every planning authority is obliged to have a Record of Protected Structures (RPS) that includes structures of special interest in its functional area and into which details of protected structures are entered. The RPS forms part of the Development Plan. The legislation to introduce the concept of protected structures was the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999, replacing the previous system for protecting and preserving structures by listing them in development plans. All the Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts from 1963 to 1999 have now been consolidated in the Planning and Development Act 2000. Part IV of 2000 Act deals with architectural heritage and incorporates the provisions of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1999.
For more information about Protected Structures download Protected Structures -an information leaflet from the Heritage Council |
Download a full list of protected structures in Offaly as listed in the Offaly County Development Plan 2014-2020
If you wish your property to be included on the list of protected structures, please send in a written request to The Planning Office, Offaly County Council, Áras an Chontae, Charleville Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Shop Front Guidelines
Offaly County Council has developed guidance for shopfronts and signs. Download the Shopfront and Signs Guidance Leaflet pdf here.
Rural Design Guidelines for Offaly
Download the current design guidelines Designing Houses Creating Homes for Offaly. Published by Offaly County Council, 2008