1860s coach house at Calverstown restored

Andrew Kiernan of Calverstown House, Mullingar, an ACRES farmer participant, has completed a repair project under the Traditional Farm Building Grant Scheme (TFB).

The principal objective of the scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other related structures, which add to the character of the countryside and have significant heritage value, are preserved for continued active agriculture use.

Andrew repaired a c.1860 coach house and stable block, part of the original farmyard at the rear of Calverstown House. Last spring, the slated roof had finally collapsed and Andrew was pleased to avail of the TFB Scheme, through the Heritage Council and Department of Agriculture.

Earlier, the walls had splayed and required tying with metal rods. The walls also required extensive pointing with lime mortar, and the reconstructed chimney had the same work carried out on it. The roof for the most part was rebuilt with new timbers matching the original. Any old timber which was satisfactory, was re-used. All timber was treated with wildlife friendly preservative, and all cast iron guttering was replaced.

While no wildlife was noted during reconstruction, existing opes allow ready access for birds, bats and owls. Two owl boxes have been installed in the loft to encourage the return of these lovely and useful birds.

James Powell was the conservation architect for the project and Brian Hughes, an ecologist, carried out the bird and bat survey work. John Durcan with his stone mason and fitter was the main builder.

Andrew expressed his thanks to the Heritage Council and Department of Agriculture for encouraging this necessary preservation work and to Anna Meenan, FB Scheme programme manager, for her help and advice on completing the project.

The building before work started.
Restoration work in progress.
After restoration.