RESTORATION WORK is underway at Glengarra Mountain Lodge, a major project undertaken by Burncourt Community Council. A key element of the work is the replacment of the badly damaged roof and forty per cent of this has already been done. In addition two roof windows have been replaced.
The latest work was a general clean up on the site in September by a local voluntary group. Mountain Lodge is an iconic South Tipperary building in the heritage landscape of Munster, located on the foothills of the Galty Mountains and within the Burncourt area. Mountain Lodge was a hunting lodge, part of the Shanbally Estate and designed by John Nash who also designed the now-demolished Shanbally Castle.
Mountain Lodge is one of the few architectural remains of the estate. The building is owned by Coillte Teo and was leased to An Oige for use as Youth Hostel for the nominal sum of €10 per annum. The Youth Hostel was closed by An Oige in 2012.
The building has been vandalised twice; the windows were broken and the roof lead stripped resulting in broken slates and roof damage. Burncourt Community Council has taken on the task of restoring the building with a ten-year lease to facilitate restoration works and a period of use.
The primary reason for the project is to ensure the building survives. The project is housed in Burncourt Community Council but it is expected that help will come from the wider area. Burncourt Community Council is a community-based voluntary group elected by the people of Burncourt and with representatives from various stands of community activities and interests.
The Mountain Lodge project was taken on board as the building is importantto the community but also to those in the wider area who have visited the site, perhaps over several years. Everyone involved in this project wants to restore and maintain this beautiful and unique building. When complete, the building can be put to use as a Hill-walkers stop, seasonal café, use as a venue for community events and some accommodation.
This will generate some income which can be re-invested in the building and to defray running costs. Some local employment may also be generated. Much of the damage caused to the building was when the lead was stripped from the roof.
The remainder of the roof has some areas where the slates are perished and water ingress is damaging the interior. The curved section of the roof will be a slow and difficult section to re-roof. All the windows were broken when the building was vandalised two years ago. These will have to be repaired. Other minor works include interior decorative work. In order to proceed with remedial works a conservation strategy was commissioned. Funding of €15,000 has been secured from the Structures at Risk Fund (Dept. of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht). This is a nationally-available fund and each local authority can submit two projects for inclusion in the scheme. Tipperary County Council submitted Mountain Lodge Restoration as one of the projects. Burncourt Community Council provided 20% of the funding (€3,000). This funding is allocated solely for roof repair. A grant of €850 was also obtained from Tipperary Council Heritage Grant scheme. This was for window repair. Work is now underway on this and good progress is expected.