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01 – Flights of Fancy, Follies, Families and Demesnes in Offaly

In November 2017, “Flights of Fancy; Follies, Families and Demesnes in Offaly” by Rachel McKenna, county architect was published by Offaly County Council.

It is hardback, full colour and over 350 pages detailing 15 demesnes – Charleville, Birr, Gloster, Tubberdaly, Ballycumber, Moorock, Busherstown, Prospect, Acres, Belview, Mullagh Hill, Ballyeighan, Hollow House, Kinnitty and Loughton.

Available in your local library, and local shops in Tullamore, Offaly History on Bury Quay, Robbins at the Tanyard, Midland Books on High Street. It is also available in Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre Shop. This book retails for €30.

In 2013, Offaly County Council commissioned a study of 11 follies in county Offaly with grant aid from the Heritage Council. The report was carried out by James Howley of Howley Hayes who has written The Follies and Garden Buildings of Ireland originally published in 2003. Download Eleven Follies in County Offaly, Condition Survey and Measured Drawings by Howley Hayes Architects.

In 2014, conservation works were carried out on the Tower on Mullagh Hill by the owners, the Dillon family, with support from the Follies Trust and Offaly County Council. In 2018, the owners of Gloster Arch conserved the folly with assistance from Offaly County Council and with grants from Creative Ireland, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, the Follies Trust and the Apollo Foundation. In 2019 Ballycumber Folly was conserved with assistance from Offaly County Council and with grants from Creative Ireland, the Follies Trust and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme. in 2020 Acres’ Folly to the rear of Tullamore Municipal District Offices and adjacent to the town park was conserved with support from the Historic Structures Fund and Creative Ireland.  

In 2009, Offaly County Council commissioned a report on the column in Emmet Square in Birr designed by Samuel Chearnley which was subsequently conserved. Click to view The Column in Emmet Square report by Howley Hayes Architects.

You can also look at, if searched under ‘Offaly’ and building type ‘folly’ for more information.