Boyle Abbey, Roscommon

  • Client: Office of Public Works
  • Architect: Team: OPW architects, Carrig Consultants, DOEHLG Lisa Edden (early engineering assessment)
  • Completion date: 2010
  • PUNCH services: Conservation, Stabilisation Works

When PUNCH Conservation began work on this project, one of the major structural problems of the church was the instability of the north arcade and wall of the nave. Site investigation showed this part of the structure had been built on poorly consolidated ground and that remedial action above ground would not be sufficient in the long term.  The success of the radical interventions that PUNCH Conservation designed relied on a close working relationship and trust between the engineers, conservation architects, archaeologists, conservation consultants, historians, masons and members of the Department of the Environment.

A national monument in state care and open to the public, Boyle Abbey is a Cistercian Monastery that is undergoing a long term programme of conservation and restoration.  The church dramatically represents a stylistic transition between the Romanesque – circular and rectangular piers and semi-circular arches of the south side of the nave – and the Gothic – varied piers and pointed arches of the north side of the nave. It also displays a fine example of inventive carving by local masons.

A key element was to carefully co-ordinate the health and safety aspects of the formwork and temporary works design during the masonry reconstruction.  A unique and totally comprehensive numbering system was also developed to ensure accurate dismantling, storage and reconstruction of the north wall, restoring it to its original state.

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