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Longford Courthouse

Deaton Lysaght Architects conserved and extended Longford Courthouse for use as a modern, technologically up-to-date building.  The Courthouse is a 5-bay, 3-storey over basement building constructed in 1790, with a fine Doric pedimented entrance doorcase, and a central first-floor Venetian window above. The building was extended to the rear in 1860 to provide the main Courtroom and Council Chamber, and later bridewell extensions were added at street level in 1900.

The building is finished generally in lime plaster with limestone dressings at the windows, and slated roofs. It had been closed in 1994 due to its poor condition and concerns for fire safety. The original site was very restricted as the building was completely landlocked to the rear. The adjacent premises were purchased by the Courts Service in 2000, and following extensive consultation with the Heritage Council, the design strategy for the building was agreed. The bridewells and the 1860 rear extension were removed, leaving the original 1790 building to be completely restored. The double-height entrance hall was exploited by the insertion of a suspended glazed balcony to give access to the new courtrooms, which are at first-floor level. These are located in a new 5-storey extension which accommodates the courtrooms, consultation rooms, court offices, and other ancillary rooms. The adjacent building's façade was retained, and it is used to provide level access from the street, and from there to each level by lift. The treatment of the new rear extension is crisp and modern in clear contrast to the original building. The building now incorporates all of the technological equipment required in modern courts. Secure access and car-parking is provided in a newly railed rear yard, and the adjacent lane has been repaved and forms a link from the new municipal car-park to the Main Street. The front of the building has also been repaved in stone to reflect its civic importance.