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Richmond Barracks

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Project info:

Our work at Richmond Barracks comprised full repointing of both buildings, including reinstatement of the decorative wigging pointing.

Client
Richmond Barracks
Category
Conservation & Restoration
Location
Dublin

History of the Barracks: Richmond Barracks was begun in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars to defend Dublin City and housed over 1600 infantry troops between 1814 and 1922 when it was handed over to the Irish Free State.  Richmond barracks served as a base for regiments leaving to serve on the front in World War 1 1914-1918 with troops marching from the barracks to the Dublin docks. These two buildings were part of the later development of the barracks – the limestone building opened in 1864, and the adjacent brick gymnasium was built in the 1870s.

After the 1916 Easter Rising, more than 3000 prisoners were detained in Richmond Barracks, with the leaders sentenced to death marched from the barracks to Kilmainham Gaol for execution.  The leaders of the Rising were held in the brick gymnasium, including Eamon de Valera, Countess Markievicz, Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, William T. Cosgrave, Eoin MacNeill, Tomas Ashe, Noel Lemass and Sean T. O’Kelly.

The Gymnasium: The barracks gymnasium has dogtooth, scalloped and bull-nosed brickwork and wigged pointing using four different types of brick, rising from a Dublin ‘Calp’ limestone plinth and Leinster granite string course. Black, white and red high quality brick was used for architectural detail. Clamp-fired traditional brick used for general building, and then finished with wigging pointing and a colourwash.

The project called for entire repointing of the building, applying new wigged pointing to protect the character of the building. The new wigged pointing work used the original work to guide the new repairs.

The Barracks: This former barrack building acted as the Officers Mess and library, and later served as a Christian Brothers school from 1929 to 2006. The barracks was built with coursed hewn Dublin ‘Calp’ limestone, with Calp quoins and arch voussoirs, a granite eaves course, with a brick arch within each of the arcades. A carved stone school crest with date 1929 was inserted into a circular niche in the tympanum above the entrance to the building, and a limestone ‘Celtic’ cross inserted as a finial at the apex of the building. The building had been entirely repointed in the past with Portland Cement based mortars which had failed.

This project comprised refurbishment of the exterior and the interior of the barracks. The internal plasterwork was carefully retained and reinstated where necessary. The building was entirely repointed in a lime-based mortar to match the character and the conservation needs of the historic barrack structure.