Former shooting lodge to become a vital community resource
A South Tipperary community plan to restore an iconic building designed by the renowned architect John Nash.
Glengarra Mountain Lodge as part of the former Shanbally Estate is a stately structure that has fallen into disrepair having been targeted by vandals capitalising from the lead in its roof and causing extensive damage to the original architecturally unique windows.
From 1937 to 2012 the lodge was leased by An Oige and was run as a youth hostel. Now Burncourt Community Council through a sub-lease hope to restore it as a community project, planning to rejuvenate the former shooting lodge into a resource for events, hill walkers and a retreat for artists and writers, including a cafe in the summer.
The restoration of the building is a major undertaking for Burncourt Community Council and they plan to seek assistance from neighbouring communities to help preserve an iconic building with historical significance and recreational potential to the locality.
Glengarra Lodge was built as a shooting lodge for the first Viscount Lismore, Cornelius O’Callaghan, and is located on land that once formed part of Shanbally Castle estate.
Shanbally Castle was built in 1810 and like the lodge was designed by one of the most important British architects of the time, John Nash, who also designed Regent Street and Regent Park in London, the Brighton pavilion and alterations to Buckingham Palace.
Shanbally Castle was once the largest of Nash’s buildings in Ireland but was demolished in 1960.
The lodge is a protected structure and is also included in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage where it is given architectural, artistic and social categories of special interest.
The fact that so much of the original building has survived contributes further to the significance of the lodge. The roof has been replaced but almost all other architectural and internal features are retained, including the neo-Gothic small pane timber sash windows.
The building was vandalised twice. Initially all the windows were broken and the glazing bars destroyed. The windows are now boarded up.
Later the lead was stripped from the roof and this created holes which allowed water ingress. Coillte Teo, the owners of the building have completed temporary repairs.
Now as part of the new plan, Burncourt Community Council have acquired a sub-lease from An Oige which has allowed them to begin the restoration.
A spokesperson said - “We consider this building to be hugely important in terms of the architectural heritage of Tipperary as well as of the Munster region.
“It is essential that the roof is replaced and that the interior is secured from further water damage as well as from the overall effects of poor weather.”
Burncourt Community Council has secured €15,000 funding from the Structures at Risk Fund which has allowed partial repair of the roof, with 40% now protected. This is an-ongoing project and it is envisaged that it will take several years to complete and restore.
Burncourt Community Council will need a lot of help with this project from the wider area, as well as grant-aid, and has asked that the wider community in the area (Clogheen, Ballyporeen, Ballylooby, Cahir and Mitchelstown) come on board to help fundraise for this project.
“We have had support from those areas. We have also received a good deal of support and positive feedback from Tipperary County Council”, the spokesperson said.