A Writer’s Haven

Dating from c.1800, this house in Banagher, County Offaly is described in http://www.buildingsofireland as being a striking feature of the streetscape ‘and one of the grandest structures within the town.’ The bowed breakfront with conical roof and the finely tooled stone doorcase is charming, as are the Wyatt windows on ground and first floor. In use as an hotel from the early 19th century onwards, two celebrated writers spent several years here: Anthony Trollope between 1841 and 1844 while working as a Post Office Surveyor’s Clerk (and writing his first published novel The McDermotts of Ballycloran) and James Pope-Hennessy in the early 1970s while writing biographies of both Trollope and Robert Louis Stevenson. Badly damaged in an arson attack in September 2012, damage to the building was not repaired which now looks in danger of being lost forever.

9 comments on “A Writer’s Haven

  1. liam mansfield says:

    A shame it could be a Trollope museum


    …with a plaque for Sir John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy.

  3. Rob Forrester says:

    I cease to be shocked by the disregard of our built heritage. Yet another fine building going to the dogs.

  4. Jerry Barnes says:

    When I see this I want to cry.

  5. I agree with all the above. Sigh.

  6. Julian Humphreys says:

    This is another example of a Protected Structure where the owner is not honouring his obligation to protect it. It may suffer the same fate as Vernon Mount (and other Protected Structures) if Offaly County Council do not take steps to put legal pressure on the owner.

  7. Finola says:

    Looks like you took your life in your hands to get the photographs. So sad.

  8. AnnaM says:

    It is particularly depressing when you look at the photos taken in 2004 when the NIAH survey was carried out. So many fine buildings in our rural towns seem to be suffering a similar fate. Is it easy to gain access? You had good intentions, others may not.

    • It is very easy to gain access, as abundant empty bottles and cans demonstrate. But really the building has already been so remorselessly vandalised by arsonists and others that there is little left to save other than the façade: another instance of a Protected Structure being left unprotected…

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