Chapter 12 - Architectural and Archaeological Heritage

Closeddate_range10 Oct, 2020, 8:00am - 23 Nov, 2020, 5:00pm

12 Architectural and Archaeological Heritage 

The Southern Environ’s architectural and archaeological heritage is a key and distinctive asset, which can imbue local pride of place and can promote a positive image of the area. The architectural and archaeological heritage is a unique resource and represents an irreplaceable expression of the richness and diversity of the area’s past. The vernacular architecture makes a strong contribution to the character of the Environs. This plan seeks to protect, preserve and enhance the architectural and archaeological heritage for the benefit of future generations.

12.1 Context 

The Southern Environs area is notably rich in historic and archaeological remains, both above and below ground, many of which are protected under planning and/ or National Monuments legislation. In this regard, the Record of Protected Structures and the Record of Monuments and Places are two of the primary designation mechanisms for protecting the assets of our built heritage. The LAP aims to protect, enhance and promote an appreciation of this important heritage as well as safeguarding the continued and sustainable use of this historic built fabric.


12.2    Archaeological Heritage


The physical remains of the archaeological heritage are considerable. The evidence that can survive in and around these sites is extremely valuable, and every step to preserve it or at a minimum to recover it, must be taken.

The 1994 amendment to the National Monuments Act established the Record of Monument and Places on a statutory basis, with a set of maps and a catalogue of sites. Copies are available for public consultation in the Council’s Planning Department and in all the county libraries. Under the provisions of the National Monuments Act Section 12, 1994 Amendment, a person proposing any works (including exempted development) ‘at or in relation to such a monument’ must give two months notice to the National Monuments Service. As sites continue to be discovered, some of those found subsequent to the publication (1997) have been included in the Historic Environment Viewer, which is available on the website . There are certain sites in State ownership or guardianship, or that have been served with temporary preservation orders. These sites are included in Appendix IV. Under the 2004 Amendment to the National Monuments Act any of these sites or sites deemed National Monuments in the care or guardianship of the Local Authority will require Ministerial Consent for works in their vicinity.

Within the Southern Environs there are approximately 100 no. archaeological monuments listed in the Record of Monuments and Places. An extract of this record is set out under Appendix IV of this LAP.

The Local Authority will consult with the Development Applications Unit of 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.

A Special Control Area (SCA) at Mungret Monastic Complex aims to protect the heritage significance of this historically important site. The SCA will facilitate the preservation in situ of any potential subterranean archaeological remains associated with the monastic complex/ deserted settlement. Within this area development will be limited to leisure uses and moderate extensions to existing dwellings. All other forms of development and non-conforming uses will be strictly resisted.

Figure 18: Mungret Monastic Complex

The SCA includes two Protected Views as follows:

(1) From Mungret College northeast to the Monastic Complex and;

(2) Views northwest across the Monastic Complex.



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. The Record of Protected Structures (RPS) contains these structures or parts thereof, and is set out under the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended) and should be read in conjunction with this plan.

Archaeological structures may in some situations be considered as architectural heritage and therefore may be included on both the RPS and Record of Monuments and Places (RMP).

The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) was established under the provisions of the Architectural Heritage (National Inventory) and Historic Monuments (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1999. The purpose of the NIAH is to identify, record and evaluate post 1700 architectural heritage.

There are approximately 34 no. Protected Structures within the Southern Environs including a cluster of structures at Mungret College. The NIAH includes 17 no. structures which are located in the Southern Environs. Of these structures 11 no. are also included in the RPS. The Protected Structures located in the Southern Environs are outlined in Appendix IV of this LAP.

An Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) is a place, area, group of structures or townscape, taking account of building lines and heights 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 designation is a driver for sustainable and sensitive development, the aim of which is not “preservation” but managed development that enhances the character and heritage of the area.

The University Hospital Limerick has been designated as an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) as set out under the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended) and should be read in conjunction with this plan.

Contemporary design should reinforce the historic character within the ACA, and should take its cues from the historic setting in terms of scale and design. High quality architectural design will add to the built heritage and complement the receiving historic environment.


Archaeological & Architectural Heritage: Strategic Policy:

To protect, conserve and manage the archaeological and architectural heritage of the Environs, and to encourage sensitive and sustainable development to ensure its preservation for future generations.

Objectives: It is an Objective of the Council to:

Archaeological Heritage:

AAH O1:  Seek the preservation of all known sites and features of historical and archaeological interest. This includes all the sites listed in the Record of Monuments and Places as established under  Section 12 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1994.

AAH O2:  Protect and preserve all sites and features of historical interest discovered subsequent to  the publication of the Record of Monuments and Places, this includes all sites that may be  discovered during the course of excavation or construction.

AAH O3:  Protect and preserve all underwater, intertidal, estuarine and riverine archaeological sites.

AAH O4:  Ensure that any proposed development shall not have a negative impact on the character or setting of an archaeological monument or which is seriously injurious to its cultural or educational value.

AAH O5:  Ensure archaeological assessment is carried out as required, and promote “preservation in  situ” of archaeological remains and settings in developments that would impact upon  archaeological sites and/or features.

AAH O6:  Protect and maintain the integrity of the Special Control Area at Mungret Monastic Complex, incorporating all national monuments and protected views including: 

(1) View from Mungret College northeast to the Monastic Complex and;  (2) Views northwest across the Monastic Complex.

Development within this area will be prohibited with the exception of leisure facilities and  moderate extensions to existing dwellings, which will not adversely impact on the character  or setting of the complex.

AAH O7: Facilitate and support the provision of interpretative panels and directional signage for  Mungret Monastic Complex and park, in conjunction with local community groups.

AAH O8: Facilitate public access to National Monuments in State or Local Authority care.

AAH O9:  In relation to sites listed in the Record of Monuments and Places and other sites and features of historical interest, to require the following within areas of proposed open space:

                   a) The area of a monument and the associated buffer area shall not be included as part of the open space requirement demanded of a specific development, but should be additional to the  required open spaces; and

                   b) If appropriate, where such a monument lies within a development, a conservation and/or management plan for that monument shall be submitted as part of the landscape plan for that development.


Architectural Heritage:

AAH 1O: Preserve, protect and enhance the character of the historic built fabric, including the Architectural Conservation Area, all Protected Structures and attendant grounds in  accordance with best conservation practice and relevant heritage legislation.

AAH 11: Positively consider proposals to improve, alter, extend or change the use of protected structures so as to render them viable for modern use, subject to demonstration by a suitably qualified Conservation Architect/ or other relevant experts that the structure,  character, appearance and setting will not be adversely affected and, suitable design, materials and construction methods will be utilised.

AAH 12: Ensure all development works on or at the sites of protected structures, including any site  works necessary, shall be carried out using best heritage practice for the protection and preservation of those aspects or features of the structures/ site that render it worthy of protection.

AAH 13: Support the re-introduction of traditional features on protected structures where there is evidence that such features (e.g. window styles, finishes etc.) previously existed.

AAH 14: Strongly resist the demolition of protected structures, in whole or in part, the removal or modification of features of architectural importance, and the development which would adversely affect the character or setting of a protected structure, unless it can be  demonstrated that exceptional circumstances exist.

AAH 15: Ensure the design of any development in the Architectural Conservation Area, including any  changes of use of an existing building, should preserve and/ or enhance the character and  appearance of the Architectural Conservation Area as a whole.