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Irish Industry News

04/02/2008

Two Historic Buildings Protected

Environment Minister Arlene Foster has praised the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) for acting to protect two historic buildings threatened by demolition.

The Minister said: "We have to look forward. We must plan for our future. But we must not ignore what has shaped us. Our built heritage provides a tangible connection to our shared past and we should protect its best features. I commend EHS for taking action to save these two buildings."

151 The Rock Road, Armagh was 'spot listed' by the application of a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) last week. BPNs were introduced for the first time in 2003 to protect historic buildings which are in danger of demolition or major alteration for a period of up to six months as a listed building. This allows the Environment and Heritage Service of the Department of the Environment time to carry out detailed research and consultation. At the end of the period it must decide if the structure should be permanently listed.

This building is a good and increasingly rare example of a two-storey, lobby entry, vernacular house and attached outbuildings in an unspoiled rural setting complete with original enclosure/field boundaries. It is particularly noteworthy because it retains many original features, notably the wainscot dado and 'logie' window in the lobby, its staircase, hearth and windows. The historic purlin roof is also intact.

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Initial research has established that the core of the building dates from before 1835.

The building has been threatened with demolition as part of a planning application which proposes to remove the building and replace it with a new dwelling and garage.

15/17 Ballyneill Road, Ballyronan, Magherafelt was also 'spot listed' by the application of a Building Preservation Notice last week.

It is a very good example of an inter-war police station in neo-Georgian style, originally built to a standard type to the designs of the government architects, RI Smith and TFO Rippingham, but now converted to a private residence. Despite the change of function it appears to be virtually unaltered externally with all essential elements intact, thus retaining its original architectural appearance and character.

The police stations of this period in Northern Ireland were widely admired for their architectural styling which was of a restrained neo-Georgian type in simple materials which fitted well into rural localities throughout the country. This is one which enjoys a very pleasant garden setting which enhances the building's air of quiet distinction. As a largely unspoiled example of work by the country's leading official architects, and as one of a series of similar works, some almost identical, in other parts of Northern Ireland, it is of significant interest.

The building has been threatened with demolition as part of a recent planning application which proposes to remove the building and replace it with town houses and apartments.

(GK/JM)

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Two Historic Buildings Protected - Environment Minister Arlene Foster has praised the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) for acting to protect two historic buildings threatened by demolition.