Historic Laois house to be forcibly purchased by council

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Historic Laois house to be forcibly purchased by council

Millbrook House in Abbeyleix, a listed house falling to ruin

A stunning historic house falling into ruin in Abbeyleix is to be forcibly bought by Laois County Council from its owner.

Millbrook House is a huge red brick Victorian pile on the outskirts of the town on the De Vesci estate.
It is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

A “detached five-bay two-storey Victorian house with dormer attic, dated 1885, built as agent's house with full-height advanced bay to left having box bay window to ground floor.
Double-pitched and hipped slate roof, gabled to dormer attic windows, with red clay ridge tiles and yellow brick chimneystack with red brick bands. Yellow brick Flemish Bond walls with red brick plinth and quoins and moulded brick entablature.
Square- and segmental-headed window openings, some within box bay windows, with limestone sills, red brick surrounds and single-pane timber sash windows.
Red brick doorcase with limestone dressings including pediment and timber panelled door with sidelights and overlight. Interior not inspected. Set back from road in own grounds; landscaped grounds to site; limestone steps to entrance.
Detached two-storey rubble limestone coach house to site with red brick dressings.”

The big house has been vacant for many years.

Laois County Council is seeking a Compulsory Purchase Order on it.

It is understood that the council if successful in buying the property, will seek to sell it on the open market so that it can be restored and preserved, a job that would require deep pockets.

Cllr John Joe Fennelly is from Abbeyleix.

“This is a protected structure of high architectural importance.
“It would be good down the line if it could be restored to what it once was. It would be a shame to see it falling down which it would if it was left another few years,” he said.
The owner has four weeks to object to the council buying the property, until November 29.
If there is an objection the consent of An Bord Pleanála must then be sought for the compulsory purchase.