Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A pair of interesting houses
by the bridge in Askeaton

An interesting cluster of houses beneath the castle and by the bridge in Askeaton, Co Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Patrick Comerford

Although the castle in Askeaton is generally closed to the public as the Office of Public Works continues its restoration work, there are two interesting buildings below the castle at the bridge crossing the River Deel.

During my walk along the banks of the River Deel yesterday and today, I found both thees houses on the bridge were charming, despite their contrasting state of survival.

The former gatehouse and its limestone arch over the River Deel at the entrance to Askeaton Castle, Co Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

The former gate house, which is now boarded up, was built ca 1780 and may have served originally a gate lodge to the castle site. Half the building is inside the castle site, and half the building is stands on top of the very structures of the bridge itself.

This is a detached, three-bay, two-storey-over-part-basement house, with a chamfered corner to the north elevation facing onto the street at the bridge.

The house has rendered walls, a pitched slate roof with rendered chimneystacks, terracotta ridge tiles and render copings.

The former gatehouse at the entrance to Askeaton Castle, Co Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

The square-headed openings have bipartite one-over-one pane timber casement windows and painted stone sills. There is a square-headed opening with a half-glazed timber battened door. The elliptical-headed arch to the rear west elevation stands over a branch of the River Deel and has dressed limestone voussoirs.

This simple, modest building retains much of its original form, including features of note such as the chamfered corner and the limestone arch to the rear. Many of the features are typical of 18th century domestic architecture, including the gable-ended chimneystacks and the small window openings.

This three-storey house by the bridge in Askeaton maintains its classical proportions and form (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Across the street, a large house stands at the north-west corner of the bridge. This semi-detached, three-bay, three-storey house and former shop was built ca 1850. It has rendered walls and a pitched slate roof with rendered chimneystacks.

The square-headed openings have three-over-six pane timber sliding sash windows to the second floor, six-over-six pane windows to the first floor and there is a fixed window on the ground floor. All these windows have painted stone sills.

There is a square-headed opening at the ground floor with a render surround and a multiple-pane glazed overlight over the timber panelled door, and a limestone threshold to entrance.

This house maintains its classical proportions and form along with many original and early features, all adding to its character and architectural interest, and it is a reminder of the small-scale commercial activity that was once part of life along the Quay in Askeaton in the 19th and early 20th century.

The castle gate lodge and the three-storey corner house seen from the bridge in Askeaton this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

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