A historic town hall in Laois is undergoing careful restoration

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

A historic town hall in Laois is undergoing careful restoration

The scaffolding is down on the facade of an important piece of Laois architecture that is midway through a careful restoration.

Mountmellick Town Hall is beginning to shine again as it is repaired and restored, but more will be done in 2019.

Cconservation architect Richard McLoughlin recently outlined the works to restore the Mountmellick Parish owned hall, which was designed by important architect William Caldbeck and built in 1863.

Phase 1 in 2017 saw structural cracks repaired and chemical-based paint removed. The inside wall at ground floor was re-plastered with lime. A bees nest in the pediment was safely moved elsewhere.

Last year window surrounds and mouldings were repaired to match the Roman cement and the façade was painted. Lead flashings were fitted to the parapet and over the windows and door.

In 2019, final careful repairs are planned to the decorative stucco work of the pediment. The side wall will be painted if funding allows.

The work is funded by the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Irish Georgian Society.

The hall has seen many uses throughout its life, including Irish dancing, school lessons, boy scouts, credit union meetings, the sewing guild and exercise classes.  

It continues to be used by local clubs during the works, and local people have welcomed its restoration.

"It’s great to see the hall coming to life. Such a beautiful colour," said neighbour Nina Horan, who took the above photograph.