A quirky historic streetscape in a West Cork town which boasts a rare 500-year-old architectural “gem” is to undergo a refurbishment project, spearheaded by locals in conjunction with Cork County Council.
About a dozen old three-storey houses along North Main St in Bandon have been scheduled for a mammoth painting job.
All are very old — most of the houses date from the early 1800s — but No 83 is particularly special.
The building, which dates from the 1600s and has been described by the local Tidy Towns as “an historic gem”, is one of just four timber-framed houses of its kind in the country and has recently been the subject of an archaeological survey.
In recent years, the streetscape has become dilapidated, said Catherine Fitzmaurice, chairwoman of Bandon Tidy Towns Group, which is behind the project.
“North Main St has been in need of assistance for a long time.
“Many of the shops there have long moved to South Main St, and the street is becoming more residential in character.”
Several of the houses have been divided into flats. In the past, the Tidy Towns group had painted the ground floor levels of some of the buildings.
When the group investigated why 14 buildings on the street were in such poor state of repair, it emerged several were with receivers or the banks, while in some cases the owners were either not resident in the town or they had passed away.
The group sought the permission of the owners to paint the houses, a job which took several months.
However, ownership of two of the houses could not be resolved, so the project is concentrating on a dozen buildings along the street.
The painting project, which is expected to cost several thousand euro, is set to begin within days.
“Cork County Council has given us a grant to paint the houses,” said Ms Fitzmaurice. The work is due to continue for several weeks.
Although final details have yet to be decided, it is understood the choice of colours will be made in conjunction with Cork County Council’s architecture department and the owners of the buildings.
The colours chosen — expected to be pale, heritage colours — will be appropriate to the period in which the houses were built.
Dulux had agreed to sponsor paint via the Bandon Co-Op, she said.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved