08. Built Heritage & Archaeology

opendate_range17 Dec, 2020, 7:00am - 8 Feb, 2021, 5:00pm

Aim: To protect, conserve and manage Athy’s unique built and archaeological heritage, by promoting the understanding, enhancement and appropriate development of these assets in order to instigate a heritage-led regeneration of the town.

8.1 Overview

Athy boasts a rich stock of architectural and archaeological heritage, a non-renewable resource that provides a high level of distinctiveness and character to the town. Such heritage refers to all manmade features in the environment including buildings and other structures such as bridges, monuments, archaeological sites, walls and street furniture. These structures and sites play an integral part in the life of the town and include places of work, commerce, worship, education and recreation. It is important that these heritage items are not viewed in isolation or as an impediment to development on account of their existence but rather form an inherent part of the townscape of Athy, which lends the town a unique ‘sense of place’ and offers great potential in providing for a place-based regeneration of the town.

As stated in the National Planning Framework (NPF) our ‘built heritage assets merit being nurtured in a manner appropriate to their significance as an aid to understanding the past, contributing to community well-being and quality of life as well as regional economic development.’ Accordingly, this Plan will seek to conserve and manage Athy’s heritage assets for the benefit of present and future generations and to promote such assets as generators of economic development and urban regeneration while adhering to the relevant statutory obligations.

8.2 Architectural Heritage

8.2.1. Record of Protected Structures

The Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), places an obligation on local authorities to include objectives for the protection of structures, or parts of structures, which are of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest.

Archaeological structures may, in some situations, be considered as architectural heritage and, therefore, may appear on both the Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) and the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). The RPS, which includes structures in Athy, is contained within the Kildare County Development Plan. Map 3: Built Heritage and Archaeology and Map 3a: Built Heritage and Archaeology – Town Centre illustrate the location of protected structures in Athy. Most of these structures are also identified in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) as being of regional importance.

Table 8.1 is an extract of the Record of Protected Structures and is reproduced in this Plan for information purposes only.19 There are 150 protected structures located within the area covered by the Local Area Plan. These structures merit protection and enhancement and in many cases have been identified by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) for that reason. The NIAH for Kildare was completed in 2003 and the entire Record of Protected Structures in the county was last reviewed in 2015. It should be noted that the consideration of any additions or deletions to the RPS is addressed outside of the local area plan-making process and must have regard to the relevant planning legislation and guidelines including the ‘Architectural Heritage Protection: Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ (DoAHG, 2011).
 

Table 8.1: Record of Protected Structures within the Athy Local Area Plan 2021-2027 Boundary

Reference (RPS No.)

NIAH Ref.

Item and Location

Description

AY001

11506014

St. Michael’s Cemetery, Boherboy

Cemetery

AY002

11503008

Moneen Lane, Tomard

Bridge

AY005

11503016

St. Michael’s Convent of Mercy Graveyard

Graveyard

AY008

11504029

Geraldine Road, Townparks

Wall

AY009

11504024

Shamrock Lodge Gates, Geraldine Road,

Shamrocklodge

Gates

AY010

11500020

St. Vincent’s Hospital, Stradbally Road Townparks

Building (Formerly detached five-bay single-storey hospital gate lodge, built c.1845, as workhouse lodge with extension to rear). Now in use as sheltered housing.

AY011

11500002

Cardington Lock, Stradbally Road,

Cardington

Lock

AY012

11500005

Galilee, Stradbally Road, Cardington

Building

AY013

11500015

St. Vincent’s Hospital, Stradbally Road, Townparks

Building Freestanding former workhouse, built 1843, now local hospital. Eighteen- bay two-storey front with two-and three- bay three-storey projecting wings

AY014

11500019

St. Vincent’s Hospital, Stradbally Road,

Townparks

Wall

AY016

11500038

Lennon’s Bridge, Ballintubbert Road,

Townparks

Bridge

AY017

11500056

The Grand Canal

Canal (Section of the Grand Canal (Barrow Line) constructed c. 1790. Links into the Barrow Navigation to south of the town at Horse Bridge.

AY018

11500034

Woodstock Lodge, Townparks

Building

AY019

11505060

Duke Street

Building

AY020

11505040

Cromaboo Bridge

Bridge

AY021

11505039

The White Castle, Leinster Street

Castle

AY022

11505358

Emily Square

Fountain

AY023

11505336

No. 5 Emily Square

Building

 

Reference (RPS No.)

NIAH Ref.

Item and Location

Description 

AY024

11505341

W.T Duthie, No. 30 Leinster Street

Building

AY025

11505342

No. 31 Leinster Street

Building

AY026

11505331

Bank of Ireland, Emily Square

Building

AY026

11505330

O’Brien’s, Emily Square

Building

AY030

11505300

Stanhope Place

Building

AY032

11505344

The Emigrant, Barrow Quay

Building

AY033

11505311

Bapty Maher’s, Leinster Street

Building

AY034

11505309

No. 25 Rafter’s, Leinster Street, Athy

Building

AY035

11505307

No. 27 Manleys, Leinster Street

Building

AY036

11505286

No. 46 Leinster Street Athy

Building

AY037

11505016

Athy Community Centre, Stanhope Place

Building

AY038

11505017

Carlton Hotel. (Formerly St. Michael’s

Convent of Mercy, Stanhope Place)

Building

AY040

11505019

Carlton Hotel. (Formerly St. Michael’s

Convent of Mercy, Stanhope Place)

Building

AY041

11505020

Carlton Hotel (St. Michael’s Convent of

Mercy - Chapel, Stanhope Place)

Church

AY042

11505021

St. Michael’s Roman, Catholic Church, Stanhope Street

Church

AY043

11505022

Rathstewart Road

Bridge

AY046

11505049

St. John’s Cemetery, St. John’s Lane

Cemetery

AY048

11505054

St. John’s Lane

Wall

AY049

11505226

Front façade only of No. 9 McLaughlin’s Bar, Leinster Street

Building

AY050

11505006

No. 82 Leinster Street

Building

AY051

11505258

No. 69 Leinster Street

Building

AY053

11505318

Meeting Lane

Building

AY054

11505314

No. 20 (M.D Mullins), Leinster Street

Building

AY055

11505313

No. 21 Leinster Street

Building

AY057

11505257

Post Box, No. 69 Leinster Street

Post Box

AY058

11505260

No. 67 (Angler’s Rest), Leinster Street

Building

AY059

11505229

Front façade only of No. 6 Leinster Street

Building

AY060

11505230

Front façade only of No. 5 Leinster

Building

AY061

11505224

Front façade only of No. 11 (Kane’s Public

House), Leinster Street

Building

AY062

11505223

No. 12 (Clancy’s) Leinster Street

Building

AY063

11505163

Athy Railway Station, Church Road

Railway Station

AY064

11505164

Athy Railway Station Post Box, Church Road

Post Box

AY065

11505168

Athy Railway Station Church Road

Water Tower

AY066

11505170

Athy Railway, Church Road

Bridge

AY067

11505172

Leinster Street

Water Trough

AY068

11505001

Athy Railway Bridge, Boherboy

Bridge

AY075

11505332

Athy Town Hall, Emily Square

-

AY077

11505116

Athy Court House, Emily Square

Building

AY079

11505074

Front façade, east and west side elevations  only of No. 22 Griffin Hawe, rear, Duke Street

Building

 

Reference (RPS No.)

NIAH Ref.

Item and Location

Description

AY080

11505076

Griffin Hawe, Duke Street

Building

AY081

11505063

Athy Post Office, Duke Street

Building

AY083

11505144

Janeville Cottage, Janeville

Building

AY084

11505143

Casa Maria, Janeville

Building

AY086

11505136

No. 8 Offaly Street

Building

AY087

11505135

No. 7 Offaly Street

Building

AY088

11505134

No. 6 Offaly Street

Building

AY089

11505133

No. 5 Offaly Street

Building

AY090

11505132

Front façade only of No. 4 Offaly Street

Building

AY091

11505127

No. 13, Rear of Emily Square

Building (outbuilding)

AY094

11505119

Front façade only of No. 13 Emily Square

Building

AY095

11505115

Barrow Quay

Quay

AY096

11505111

Irish Permanent, No. 3, Duke Street

Building

AY097

11505108

No. 5 Duke Street (H.G Donnelly and Sons)

Building

AY099

11505096

No. 1 Duke Street

Gazebo

AY100

11505081

No. 16-17 Duke Street

Building

AY101

11505083

No. 14 Duke Street (An Sean Chistin)

Building

AY102

11505073

No 23 Duke Street

Building

AY103

11505072

No. 24-25 Duke Street (Perry’s Supermarket)

Building

AY104

11505067

No. 43 Duke Street

Building

AY105

11505066

No. 44 Duke Street

Building

AY107

11505177

The Rectory, Church Road

Building

AY108

11505176

The Rectory, Church Road

Church

AY109

11505175

Church Road Athy

Building

AY110

11505150

Athy Lodge, Church Road

Building

AY111

11505146

Teach Iosa, Carlow Lodge

Building

AY112

11505145

St. Michael’s Church of Ireland

Church

AY113

11505179

Post Box, Offaly Street

Post Box

AY115

11505147

Prospect House, Carlow Road

Building

AY116

11505148

Prospect House, Carlow Road

Building

AY 120

11505162

St. Anne’s B&B, Church Road

Building

AY122

11505339

No. 3 Emily Square

Building

AY123

11505335

No. 6 Emily Square

Building

AY124

11505337

The Immigrant, Athy

Building

AY125

11506021

Athy Presbyterian Church, Dublin Road Townparks

Church

AY126

11506020

The Manse, Boherboy, Townparks

Building

AY127

11506006

The Model Farm, Dublin Road, Townparks

Building

AY128

11506007

Model Court, Geraldine Road, Townparks

Building

AY129

11506008

Model Court, Geraldine Road Townparks

Building

AY130

11506009

Model Court, Geraldine Road, Townparks

Building

AY131

11506010

Model Court, Youth Reach, Geraldine Road, Townparks

Outbuildings

 

Reference (RPS No.)

NIAH Ref.

Item and Location

Description

AY132

11506011

Model Court-Montessori School, Townparks

Outbuildings

AY133

11506012

The Model School, Dublin Road Townparks

Building

AY135

11506019

Cemetery, Boherboy Athy

Cemetery

AY136

11501132

No. 89 Woodstock Street Townparks

Building

AY137

11501127

Grand Canal Barrow Navigation, Townparks

Mooring Bollards6

AY138

11501126

Grand Canal Barrow Navigation, Townparks

Dry Dock

AY139

11501110

W. Doyle, Woodstock Street, Townparks

Building

AY140

11501039

Athy Methodist Church, Woodstock Street

Church

AY141

11501038

No. 7 Woodstock Street

Building

AY142

11501037

No. 8 Woodstock Street

Building

AY143

11501036

No. 9 Woodstock Street

Building

AY144

11501035

No. 10 Woodstock Street

Building

AY145

11501028

Woodstock Street

Post Box

AY146

11505071

No. 39 Park House, Duke Street

Building

AY150

11501151

Grand Canal Barrow Navigation, Woodstock South

Mooring Bollards

AY151

11501150

Minch Norton and Company, Upper William Street, Woodstock South

Building

AY152

11501148

Canal Side, Woodstock

Building

AY153

11501118

No. 15 Biadhlann, William Street, Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Building

AY154

11501116

Athy Lock-Crane, William Street Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Crane

AY155

11501115

Athy Lock, William Street Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Lock

AY156

11501114

Augustus Bridge, William Street Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Bridge

AY157

11501105

No. 97 Woodstock Street Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Building

AY158

11501103

No. 98 Woodstock Street Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Building

AY159

11501102

No. 99 Woodstock Street Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Building

AY160

11501101

No. 100 Eversley, Woodstock Street Townparks (Athy West Urban ED)

Building

AY165

11501079

William Street Athy

Post Box

AY167

11501055

No. 27 Duke Street Athy

Building

AY168

11501054

No. 26 Duke Street, (Parkview House)

Building

AY169

11501045

No. 1 Woodstock Street Athy

Building

AY170

11501044

No. 2 Woodstock Street Athy

Building

AY171

11507071

Barrow Lock, Grand Canal Barrow Navigation, Bleach

Lock

AY172

11507058

Convent Lane Athy

Gates

AY173

11507057

Horse Bridge, River Barrow, Athy

Bridge

AY174

11507056

Railway Bridge, River Barrow, Bleach

Bridge

 

Reference (RPS No.)

NIAH Ref.

Item and Location

Description

AY175

11507055

Weir, River Barrow Coneyburrow

Weir

AY176

11507054

Duke’s Lodge, River Entrance, Carlow Road

Gates

AY177

11507046

Duke’s Lodge, Carlow Road, Coneyburrow

Building

AY178

11507045

Duke’s Lodge, Carlow Road, Coneyburrow

Gates/railings

AY179

11507003

Carlow Road, Grayland

Building

AY180

11502053

Fortbarrington Road, Blackparks

Post Box

AY182

11502002

Tegral Building Products - Chimney Stack Upper William Street, Bleach

Building

AY183

11502004

Tegral Building Products – Store Upper William Street, Bleach

Building

AY184

-

Bascule Bridge, Stradbally Road, Townparks (Athy West Rural ED)

Bridge

AY186

-

Lift Bridge at Ardreigh, Ardree

Lift Bridge

AY188

-

Woodstock Castle, Woodstock

Ruins of Woodstock

Castle

AY189

-

Former Maltings, Nelson Street

Stone walls of former

malting house

AY190

-

Duke Street

Lamp Post at west end of Cromaboo

Bridge

AY191

-

Mill Cottage, Ardreigh, Ardree

House

AY192

-

No. 20 Emily Square (Royal Garden Restaurant)

Building

AY193

-

No. 18 Emily Square

House

AY195

-

No. 18 William Street (Canalside Inn), Townparks

House

AY197

-

Tonlegee House, Tonlegee

House

Policy BH1 – Protected Structures

BH1 It is a policy of the Council to preserve and enhance the buildings identified on the Record of Protected Structures and to carefully consider any proposals for development that would affect the special value of such structures, including their historic curtilage, both directly and indirectly.

Objectives

It is an objective of the Council to:

BH1.1 Ensure the protection and preservation of all protected structures (or parts of structures), including the curtilage and attendant grounds of structures contained in the Record of Protected Structures (refer to Table 8.1, Map 3: Built Heritage and Archaeology and Map 3a: Built Heritage and Archaeology – Town Centre).

BH1.2 Acknowledge and promote awareness of the origins, historical development and cultural heritage of the town, to support high-quality developments that relate to local heritage and to ensure that new development respects and is responsive to the cultural heritage of Athy.

BH1.3 Support the sensitive conservation of protected structures, their curtilage and attendant grounds, and to operate flexibility with regard to the use of these buildings to facilitate their ongoing use, subject to good conservation principles.

BH1.4 Proactively address dereliction, endangerment, neglect and vacancy in the town centre through the use of the Council’s legal process and through the promotion of appropriate uses and the sensitive conservation of historic buildings, in conjunction with other relevant initiatives.

BH1.5 Encourage the protection, retention, appreciation and appropriate revitalisation of the vernacular and industrial heritage of Athy.

BH1.6 Protect and conserve important heritage items such as, gates, street furniture, post boxes and other significant historic features of interest.

BH1.7 Support the development of Athy Heritage Centre and Shackleton Museum as an important tourism and heritage resource for the town.

BH1.8 Support the public access to White Castle as a tourist and heritage destination and to support the preparation of a conservation management plan for the building to avoid loss of historic building fabric and authenticity through appropriate repair and restoration work for White Castle.

Action

  • The Council will work with and assist, where appropriate, owners of protected structures of particular significance within Athy in their maintenance and repair through advice and grant aid from relevant sources.

 

8.3 Athy Architectural Conservation Area (ACA)

An Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) is a place, area, group of structures or townscape that is of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest or value, or contributes to the appreciation of protected structures. The Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) provides the legislative basis for the protection of such Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA). An area in the historic core of Athy has been designated as an ACA in the Kildare County Development Plan. While the purpose of this designation is to protect and enhance the special character of the area, this does not preclude appropriate forms of development, including the construction of new build from happening.

As part of the preparation of the Plan, a Statement of Character for Athy ACA was also commissioned by Kildare County Council. This is also an objective of the Kildare County Development Plan 2017-2023 (Objective ACAO2). The purpose of the Statement, (which has been published alongside this Plan), is to define the special character of the Athy ACA and to provide guidance to property owners, developers, architects and planning professionals on important features and characteristics of the area and the type of works that would require planning permission within the ACA.

Another piece of work undertaken, as part of the preparation of the Statement of Character, involved a review of the current boundaries of the ACA, having assessed the special character of the town. On the basis of this review, the Statement of Character has made recommendations to include or exclude certain areas from the ACA20 and will, if adopted, be amended through the review process of the Kildare County Development Plan. The proposed changes are illustrated in Figure 8.1.
 

It is also the intention of the Council that an accompanying information/guidance booklet be prepared and be circulated to property owners, the general public and Kildare County Council service departments on the type of works that would require planning permission within the ACA while making specific recommendations on how to improve/restore the character of the ACA where required.

The rationale for the designation of the ACA for Athy includes inter alia:

  • Historical Significance: Athy traces its history back to the Normans and it played a significant role in the consolidation of control from The Pale in this part of the country. As a medieval walled town Athy is of great archaeological interest. It contains sites of medieval structures which add depth to its historical interest and value.
  • Morphology of the Town Centre: The historic layout is defined by the main north-south and east-west cruciform street arrangement, a river crossing and walled enclosure. The location of the walls can be traced somewhat in the present-day street layout.
  • Architectural Significance: Athy contains significant buildings from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. These include infrastructural, defensive, administrative, religious, commercial, industrial and domestic structures of different types, both vernacular and of formal design.
  • Architectural Character: Athy is a good example of an Irish town in which many houses conform to a simple typology of rendered street architecture with slate roofs and simple sharp detailing. The intrinsic value of the architecture lies in the mix of appealing historic formality and informality, contextual grouping and the survival of early detailing.
  • Vernacular architecture: The informality of the town is reinforced by the survival of some vernacular buildings. These simple buildings reinforce the character and charm of Athy as a small rural market town.
  • Landscape: Athy retains much of its impressive historic landscape setting along the river. It also retains a historic cemetery (St. John’s graveyard) and landscaped grounds associated with Georgian and Victorian houses.
Figure 8.1: Athy Architectural Conservation Area with Proposed Boundary Changes

Map: Athy Architectural Conservation Area with Proposed Boundary Changes

8.3.1 Management of Development in the Architectural Conservation Area

The Athy ACA Statement of Character shall act as a guide for homeowners, developers and the Planning Authority to inform proposed development proposals in the ACA. Owners and occupiers of non-protected structures located with the ACA should note that carrying out of works to the exterior of a structure located in an ACA constitutes exempted development only if those works would not materially affect the character of the area. For example, alteration works to streetscape features such as roofs, walls, windows, doors and rainwater goods may not be exempted development.

Porches and other development, which may normally be considered exempt, are consequently not exempt within the ACA.

This Plan aims to ensure that any development within or adjoining the ACA is sympathetic to the character of the area and that the design is appropriate. All planning applications within and adjoining the ACA shall be assessed having regard to Section B: Guide to Development within the ACA of the Statement of Character (published alongside this Plan).

Applications for infill development within and contiguous to the ACA, and also modifications to existing or new shopfronts should also have regard to Section B of the ACA Statement of Character, and include: a study of the overall façade; an analysis of how the development complements the setting; the removal of visually intrusive elements such as inappropriate signage, lighting and ancillary cables and ducts, and the use of appropriate materials.

8.3.2 Views and Prospects in the ACA

Whilst it is noted that the Kildare County Development Plan does not include views to be protected within the Plan area, the Statement of Character for the Athy ACA outlines a number of key views/prospects which are deemed to be worthy of protection (see Figure 8.1). Such views should be taken into consideration when developing sites within the ACA.

Table 8.2: List of views outlined in the Athy ACA Statement of Character
View/ Prospect Location

View A

View upstream from Cromaboo Bridge (north-side)

View B

View downstream towards Cromaboo Bridge and river (north-side)

View C

View downstream from Cromaboo Bridge (south-side)

View D

View upstream towards Cromaboo Bridge (south-side)

View E

View into Woodstock Street from junction with William Street / Duke Street

View F

Stanhope Street looking south towards Emily Square with the spire of St. Michael’s Church of Ireland Church in the distance

View G

View on Church Road to St. Michael’s Church of Ireland church

 

Policy BH2 – Architectural Conservation Area

BH2                  It is the policy of the Council to protect the character of the Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) and to carefully consider any proposals for development that would affect the special value of the ACA, while providing guidance through the publication of a Statement of Character to support property owners located within the ACA.

Objectives

It shall be an objective of the Council to:

BH2.1              Ensure that new development, including infill development, extensions and renovation works within or adjacent to Athy ACA preserve or enhance the special character and visual setting of the ACA and its setting including vistas, streetscapes, building line, fenestration patterns and architectural features.

BH2.2              Require all development proposals including new development, modifications, alterations or extensions to existing buildings within the Athy ACA boundary, in the surrounding area and adjoining the boundary of the ACA have due regard to the Athy ACA Statement of Character (2020), DoEHG’s ‘Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2004)’ and their ‘Advice Series’.

BH2.3              Encourage the retention, repair and re-use of materials which characterise the vernacular architecture of the ACA including stone, slate, timber windows and doors, and decorative render.

BH2.4              Ensure that any development (contemporary or traditional) within or adjoining the ACA is of high quality design and finish and is sympathetic to the character of the area. All applications within and adjoining the ACA will be assessed in the context of the following criteria and the impact of any development on the immediate surroundings of the site, the broader townscape or its landscape setting;

  • The height, scale and orientation of the proposed development;
  • The bulk, massing and density of the proposed development and its layout in relation to any building line and the surrounding plan form;
  • The quality and type of materials to be used in the construction of the development; any boundary treatment and landscaping;
  • The design and detail of the proposed development;
  • The retention of the traditional plot boundaries of the town;
  • The retention and maintenance of historic street furniture, surfaces and boundary treatments.

BH2.5              Review all applications for demolition, modifications or extensions to existing buildings with regard to its relative importance to the appreciation of the character of the ACA as identified in the Building Inventory of the Statement of Character.

BH2.6              Strongly discourage proposals for the demolition of a structure that positively contributes to the character of the ACA, except in exceptional circumstances. Kildare County Council will require such applications to be accompanied by a photographic survey, condition report and architectural heritage assessment of the structure and an assessment of the impact of the replacement building on the character of the ACA.

BH2.7              Require that proposals for infill development within the ACA, and proposals contiguous to the ACA should include an analysis of how the new development complements the setting, character and appearance of the ACA, making reference to the findings of the Statement of Character for the town.

BH2.8              Encourage appropriate new infill development which is considered essential to the vibrancy and sustainability of the town, designed in accordance with the advice given in the Statement of Character for the town.

BH2.9              Encourage removal of visually intrusive elements from existing façades, and reinstatement of historic features, and differentiation of original building plots in accordance with the advice and case study demonstrated in the Statement of Character for the town.

BH2.10           Encourage the repair and enhancement of existing shopfronts and the replacement of inappropriate shop fronts where necessary. The design of new shop fronts is required to act in harmony with the upper floor facades to complement and enhance the character of the building and streetscape plots in accordance with the advice and case study demonstrated in the Statement of Character and the Kildare Shopfront Guidelines (2013) .

BH2.11           Require that applications for modifications to existing shopfronts or new shopfronts include a study of the overall façade and to make proposals which would, where relevant, include the removal of visually intrusive elements such as inappropriate signage, lighting and ancillary cables and ducts and use of appropriate material as indicated in the shop front case study in the Statement of Character

BH2.12           Reduce, prevent and encourage the removal of visual and urban clutter within the ACA including, where appropriate:

  • Traffic management structures
  • Utility structures and signage
  • Signage (including signs protruding from the façade) at ground and upper floor levels;
  • Obsolete/unnecessary lighting, electrics, cables, ducts
  • Internally affixed stickers;
  • Internally illuminated signage.

BH2.13           Protect the landscape character, values, sensitivities, focal points and views identified in the Athy ACA Statement of Character. This will include, inter alia, the following:

i. The requirement of a Visual Impact Assessment for developments with potential to impact on areas of significant landscape character, value or sensitivity, including both urban and natural features, significant townscapes and historic buildings, as appropriate.

ii. Prohibit development that will block or interfere with a significant focal point or a view. Where it is considered that a development may impact on focal points or views, proposals must have regard to the significance of any such impact and any appropriate mitigation measures that should be incorporated.

BH2.14           Seek the preparation and implementation of heritage-led regeneration plans (including for the public realm) in Athy’s historic core, through funding sources such as the Historic Towns Initiative and the Rural/Urban Regeneration Development Fund.

Action

  • The Council will prepare an information/guidance booklet to be circulated to property owners, the general public and Kildare County Council service departments on the type of works that would require planning permission within the ACA while making specific recommendations on how to improve/restore the character of the ACA where required.

8.4 Archaeological Heritage

Whilst Athy can trace its origins as a settlement back to medieval times there is a diverse range of archaeological features found throughout the town, with representative monuments and artifacts of all periods. Archaeological finds dating to the Neolithic and the Bronze Age attest to the importance of the crossing over the River Barrow from prehistoric times. Little of Athy’s medieval origins remain apart from the presence of structures from this period such as White Castle located on the east bank of the River Barrow adjacent to Cromaboo Bridge; the ruins of St. Michael’s Church at the edge of the town and a wall of St. John’s Hospital bounding the medieval graveyard on John’s Lane. The sense of the Athy’s medieval origins is retained by the street pattern and distinct building line along the Main Street creating a sense of enclosure of medieval character.


For the purposes of the Local Area Plan, Archaeological Heritage includes the following:

  • National Monuments
  • Archaeological and Architectural monuments/sites on the Sites and Monuments Record
  • Monuments in the Register of Historic Monuments
  • Zones of Archaeological Potential in Historic Towns
  • Underwater Archaeological Heritage, including Historic Wrecks
  • Previously unknown and unrecorded archaeological sites
  • Potential sites located near large complexes of sites or monuments
  • Present or former wetlands, unenclosed land, rivers or lakes, or the inter-tidal zone
8.4.1. Medieval Town Walls/Defences

Athy was once a fortified town; however no above ground evidence of the town defences exists today. The County Kildare Urban Archaeological Survey (Bradley and King 1986) suggests the line of the town defences, including any subterranean remains should be protected. In this regard the Statement of Character for the Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) proposes to alter the boundaries of the ACA so that they follow the probable circuit of the town walls (see Section 8.3). Furthermore, as per Objective AO2 of the County Development Plan a Conservation, Management and Interpretation Plan has been prepared to aid the development of planning policy and guide the conservation of the medieval heritage of Athy. It should be noted that the town walls and other subterranean other defences are categorised as ‘National Monuments’ (rather than ‘Recorded Monuments’) under the National Walled Towns Policy (DAHG 2008).

 

8.5 Sites and Monuments Record

Map 3: Built and Natural Heritage identifies the sites within the Plan area that are included on the Sites and Monuments Record (SMR). This map should be read in conjunction with Table 8.2 (see below) which lists all the relevant sites, and which has been reproduced in this Plan for information purposes only. The Archaeological Survey of Ireland database at www.archaeology.ie contains an interactive map/search facility that provides access to all records of the Archaeological Survey of Ireland (ASI) and should be consulted prior to the development of land within the Plan area. The SMR for Athy is continually updated as new information becomes available and new sites are uncovered.

Some archaeological structures within the town may, in some situations, also be considered as architectural heritage and may therefore appear on both the Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) and the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). Such structures are therefore protected by both the National Monuments Acts and the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).

Table 8.3: Sites and Monuments Record within the Athy Local Area Plan Boundary

Monument No.

Townland

Classification

KD035-021

Townparks

Castle - hall-house

KD035-021001

Townparks

Bawn

KD035-021002

Townparks

Fish-pond

KD035-021003

Townparks

House - 17th Century

KD035-021004

Townparks

Settlement deserted - medieval

KD035-022

Townparks

Historic town

KD035-022002

Townparks

Town defences

KD035-022004

Athy

Religious house - Dominican friars

KD035-022006

Athy

Religious house - Fratres Cruciferi

KD035-022008

Athy

Bridge

KD035-022010

Athy

Castle - tower house,

KD035-022014

Athy

Church

KD035-022015

Athy

Graveyard

KD035-022016

Athy

Graveslab

KD035-022017

Athy

Cross-slab

KD035-022018

Athy

Crucifixion plaque

KD035-022019

Athy

Architectural feature

KD035-022020

Athy

Graveslab

KD035-022021

Athy

Graveslab,

KD035-022023

Athy

Memorial stone

KD035-022024

Athy

Armorial plaque

KD035-031

Ardrew

Enclosure

KD035-032001

Ardree

Settlement deserted - medieval

KD035-032002

Ardree

Church

KD035-032005

Ardree

Graveyard

KD035-049

Bleach

Burial

KD035-101

Ballybought

Excavation - miscellaneous

 

8.6 Zone of Archaeological Potential

The County Kildare Urban Archaeological Survey (Bradley and King 1986) identifies a Zone of Archaeological Potential in Athy. A number of medieval / early modern towns with known archaeological potential were surveyed and zones of potentially significant archaeology identified. These areas are designated under the National Monuments Acts as recorded monuments and are listed on the SMR. The historic core of Athy was identified as a Zone of Archaeological Potential (Refer to Map 3: Built Heritage and Archaeology and Map 3a: Built Heritage and Archaeology – Town Centre).

As noted in Section 8.4.1 Athy was once a walled town and is one of four towns in the county that are members of the Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN). Within the Zone of Archaeological Potential there is a significant potential of uncovering archaeological remains, including the circuit of the town walls. Therefore, developments located within a Zone of Archaeological Potential and/or close to known archaeological monuments or sites, including site works that are extensive in terms of area (ground disturbance of 0.5 ha or more) or length (1 kilometre or more) and developments that necessitate an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, will be required as part of the planning application process, or by condition of permission, to carry out an archaeological assessment, monitoring, testing or excavation within the area either prior to the planning decision or prior to any development proceeding on site. The Council, as a condition on such developments, may consider the preservation of all, or part of the archaeological remains in the area covered by that permission.

The Council will engage with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and other statutory consultees when considering applications for planning permission for development on or in the vicinity of archaeological sites and/or monuments.

Policy BH3 – Archaeological Heritage

BH3    It is the policy of the Council to safeguard the archaeological heritage located within the boundary of the Local Area Plan and avoid negative impacts on sites, monuments, features or objects of significant historical or archaeological interest.

Objectives

It is an objective of the Council to:

BH3.1  Prioritise the protection/preservation in situ (or upon agreement preservation by record) of items of archaeological interest as listed in Table 8.3 and shown on Map 3: Built and Natural Heritage and Map 3a: Built and Natural Heritage - Town Centre from inappropriate development that would adversely affect and/or detract from the interpretation and setting of these sites.

BH3.2  Protect the historic core of Athy and retain, except in exceptional circumstances, the existing street layout, historic building lines and traditional plot widths where these derive from medieval or earlier origins.

BH3.3  Ensure the remains of the historic walls/defences of the town are retained where these still exist (including subterraneous remains) and to promote public awareness and understanding of the existence of these historic elements and their route within the public realm.

BH3.4 Encourage, where practicable, the provision of public access to sites identified on the Sites and Monuments Record under the direct ownership or control of the Local Authority and the State.

BH 3.5 Provide for the protection of historic burial grounds within Athy, in co-operation with agencies such as the Office of Public Works and the National Monuments Section of the Department of the Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

BH3.6 Ensure that development proposals contribute towards the protection and preservation of the archaeological value of underwater or archaeological sites associated with the River Barrow, the Grand Canal and associated features.

Notes:

19 For the full record of protected structures in the county please refer to the Kildare County Development Plan.

20 It should be noted that any amendments to the boundaries of Athy ACA will only be carried out through the making of the Kildare County Development Plan 2023 – 2029. The current extent and boundaries of the ACA, as outlined in the Kildare County Development Plan 2017 – 2023, remain unchanged until such a time as agreed by the elected members as part of the making of the new County Development Plan.