Central Leinster Kildare, Laois and Offaly Andrew Tierney

Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of Ireland
Publication date:
23 Jul 2019
Yale University Press
784 pages: 216 x 114mm
127 color + 80 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


The comprehensive guide to the architecture of the heart of Ireland, closely examining a broad range of works, from castles and churches to grand neoclassical country houses.

This comprehensive guide covers the historically rich and nuanced territory of Central Leinster, from the western borderlands of the medieval English Pale to the wild expanse of the Bog of Allen and further west to Clonmacnoise, cradle of early monasticism, with its Hiberno-Romanesque ruins, sculpted crosses, and elegant round towers. The Palladian mansions of Kildare and the romantic castles of Offaly stand within ancient forests, and Neoclassicism flourished with grand houses by James Wyatt at Abbey Leix, by James Gordon at Emo, and by the Morrisons at Ballyfin. Georgian streetscape finds its best expressions in Mountmellick and Maynooth. Disestablishment spurred the re-entrenchment of Irish Protestant architecture, notably in James Franklin Fuller’s fusions of Continental and Hiberno-Romanesque styles at Rathdaire, Millicent, and Carnalway, with their rich carving, decoration, and stained glass.

More about this title

Read the blog from author Andrew Tierney to learn about the architectural history of Central Leinster, from the Tudor Conquest to the Arts & Crafts movement.

Andrew Tierney is a researcher in architectural history at Trinity College, Dublin.

"[T]his excellent volume...covers three counties, Kildare, Laois and Offaly, all on the western borderlands of the medieval English pale of settlement."—Simon Heffer, The Daily Telegraph

“Like the best of Pevsner authors, Tierney understands the immutable bond between landscape from architecture. We learn of the ancient timber tracks across the bogs, the canal routes that linked Dublin with the Shannon, and the now rapidly vanishing concrete cooling towers of state-sponsored peat electricity generation – all part of an enmeshed entity of landscape and human endeavour that the author explores with great sensitively and vivid description” —Richard Butler, Rural History

 “Central Leinster is the fifth volume in the Ireland series and covers an area where many of the Ireland’s most rewarding and distinctive buildings are found” — Ger Scully, The Tribune

“[An] essential addition to the library of anyone interested in the architecture of Ireland, should be compulsory reading for local planners and richly deserves a place in the glove compartment of motoring locals or visitors”—John Coleman, Ancient Monuments Society

“[A]lmost every page yields at least one curiosity, whether it be the monumental pre-Catholic Emancipation mausoleum to the Grace family in Aries, County Laois, or an 18th-century brick eyecatcher called Pigeon House in Nurney, County Kildare.”—Robert O’Byrne, Apollo Magazine