08. Built & Natural Heritage

Closeddate_range20 Nov, 2020, 9:00am - 25 Jan, 2021, 5:00pm

8.0 Built & Natural Heritage

SO7: To enhance and protect the built and natural heritage of the settlement by promoting the enhancement, management and understanding of these assets whilst encouraging sensitive and sustainable development so as to ensure its survival for future generations.

Graiguenamanagh contains many individual features of archaeological, historical and architectural interest, ranging from important ecclesiastical structures to gothic cottages, industrial archaeology and traditional 2 and 3-storey buildings, which are worthy of protection, as well as other potential features of archaeological merit not yet discovered, all worthy of protection. Such protection is provided not only by the designation of Protected Structures, but also through the identification of Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs).

8.1.1 National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

The NIAH forms much of the basis of the proposed additions to the Record of Protected Structures. The NIAH study of Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch identified 58 structures (54 in Graiguenamanagh and 4 in Tinnahinch) within the confines of the Draft Joint Plan area, with each designation given a national, regional or local importance classification. Two designations were classified as being of national importance and fifty-six as being of regional importance.

8.1.2 Record of Protected Structures

The Planning & Development Acts 2000 (as amended), Part II, Section 10 places an obligation on all local authorities to include objectives for the protection of structures, or parts of structures, which are of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest. Archaeological structures may, in some situations, be considered as architectural heritage and, therefore, may appear on both the Record of Monuments Places (RMP) and the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). Protected Structures within the Draft Joint LAP area are listed in Appendix B and illustrated on Map 2.  The effect of Protected Structure status is to ensure that any changes or alterations to the character of a structure are carried out in such a way that the existing character is retained and enhanced.

PS1 – Protected Structures

It is the policy of Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to preserve, enhance and promote the reuse of buildings identified on the Record of Protected Structures and NIAH and to carefully consider any proposals for development that would affect the special value of such structures, including their historic character.


It is an objective of the Council:

PSO1.1: To ensure the protection and preservation of all protected structures, (or parts of structures) and their immediate surroundings including the curtilage and attendant grounds of structures contained in the Record of Protected Structures (refer to Appendix B of this plan).

PSO1.2: To support the sensitive conservation and restoration of protected structures and their attendant grounds and operate flexibility with regard to the use of these buildings to facilitate their ongoing use, subject to good conservation principles. 

PSO1.3: To encourage and support creative approaches to adaptive reuse, which adhere to conservation principles and practice. Such restoration or conservation proposals will include Architectural Heritage Impact Statements.

PSO1.4: To address dereliction and vacancy in the settlement and promote appropriate uses and the sensitive conservation and restoration of historic buildings and to request Architectural Heritage Impact statements as part of planning proposals.

PSO1.5: Encourage sensitive repair of historic fabric while adhering to recognised conservation principles.


The Planning & Development Act 2000 requires a Planning Authority to include in its Development Plan the objective of preserving the character of areas of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, scientific, social or technical interest.

An Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) is a place, area, group of structures or townscape that is of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest or value, or contributes to the appreciation of protected structures. The preservation of the character of the Graiguenamanagh ACA is essential to safeguarding the identity of the town and maintaining continuity with its development history. The collection of buildings and spaces within the ACA represent a unique aspect of the towns-built heritage and contribute to its attractiveness and character.  

There is one ACA area designated in Graiguenamanagh. There is no ACA designation in Tinnahinch.

8.2.1 Graiguenamanagh ACA

The purpose of defining the Graiguenamanagh ACA is to ensure the preservation of character of the traditional townscape, while promoting appropriate new development as opportunities arise in a manner that respects and reinforces the special character.

Duiske Abbey and its adjoining graveyard, together with the narrow and in places winding streets of the town centre, their interconnection with the Abbey, and the relationship of the River Barrow gives Graiguenamanagh a unique visual character. The compact form of Main Street, containing many traditional three and four storey buildings with ground floor shops and businesses, contrasts with the higher buildings of various types and the open waterfront character of The Quay. The traditional features of buildings in the town centre contribute to its coherent townscape character, such as consistent roof profiles, roof coverings, chimney stacks, rendered facades, door and window proportions and surrounds, and decorated shop and pub fronts. The medieval core of the town is complemented by the presence of the River Duiske and Mill Race running to the rear and sometimes beneath properties on Main Street, the Turf Market and Lady’s Well, with its remnants of industrial archaeology that includes former warehouses, mills and a dock.

The Council considers that the medieval core of the town, and incorporating the industrial heritage of the Turf Market and Lady’s Well, has special architectural and townscape qualities which derive from the traditional layout, design and unity of character of the area, such that the inclusion of the area in an ACA is necessary for the conservation of its special character. 

ACA1 – Architectural Conservation Areas

It is the policy of Kilkenny County Council to preserve the historic character of the designated Architectural Conservation Area and to carefully consider any proposals for development that would affect the special value of these areas.


It is an objective of the Plan:

ACAO1.1: To ensure that new development, including infill development, extensions and renovation works within or adjacent to the ACAs preserve and enhance the special character and visual setting of the ACA including views and vistas, streetscapes, building lines, fenestration patterns and architectural features and to seek visual impact assessments where appropriate for such development.

ACAO1.2: To ensure retention of traditional shopfronts that are of special interest, while focusing on repair instead of replacement. Inappropriately detailed signage, such as plastic and internally illuminated signs will be discouraged.

ACAO1.3: To encourage contemporary design where new buildings are introduced in the ACA

ACAO1.4: To support the sensitive restoration and reuse of heritage buildings, to address dereliction and vacancy in the town centre and promote appropriate uses subject to good conservation principles. 


Archaeological Heritage is protected by the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004. Known structures, features, objects or sites of archaeological heritage are listed in the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP), which is compiled by the National Monuments Services of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DAHRRG).

For the purposes of this Draft Joint LAP, Archaeological Heritage includes the following:

  • National Monuments
  • Archaeological and Architectural monuments / sites on the Record of Monuments and Places
  • Monuments on the Register of Historic Monuments
  • Zones of Archaeological Potential in Historic Towns
  • Underwater Archaeological Heritage, including Historic Wrecks
  • Previously unknown and unrecorded archaeological sites
  • Potential sites located near large complexes of sites or monuments 
​​​​​​​8.3.1 Archaeological Sites

The Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) lists archaeological sites and monuments dating from before 1700AD. See Appendix C of this Draft Joint LAP and Map 2 for Recorded Monuments within the Draft Joint LAP area[1]. ​​​​​​​

8.3.2 Zone of Archaeological Potential

The Urban Archaeological Survey County Kilkenny (Vol 1 & 2) identifies the wealth of archaeological heritage in Graiguenamanagh. A zone of archaeological potential is shown on Map 2. Developments located within a Zone of Archaeological Potential and/or close to known archaeological monuments or sites, including site works that are extensive in terms of area (ground disturbance of half a hectare or more) or length (1 kilometre or more) and developments that require an Environmental Impact Statement will be required as part of the planning application process, or by condition of planning permission, to carry out an archaeological assessment, monitoring, testing or excavation within the area either prior to the planning decision or prior to any development proceeding on site.

ARC1 – Archaeological Heritage

It is the policy of Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to safeguard the archaeological heritage, including underwater archaeological heritage, in the Draft Joint LAP area and avoid negative impacts on sites, monuments, features or objects of significant historical or archaeological interest. 


It is an objective of the Plan:

ARCO1.1: To protect and preserve all items of archaeological interest from inappropriate development that would adversely affect and/or detract from the interpretation and setting of these historic sites.

ARCO1.2: To promote awareness of Graiguenamanagh’s Zone of Archaeological Potential and notable archaeological sites within Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch and to facilitate access and understanding of key historical assets.

ARCO1.3: To require an Archaeological (including underwater) Impact Assessment of proposals for developments, where appropriate, due to their location, size, or nature that may have implications for the archaeological heritage of the town. 


Natural heritage includes the variety of life we see around us every day, often referred to as biodiversity, includes rivers and woodlands, hedgerows, mammals, birds and plants. It also includes geology and landscape. Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch is located in a high-quality natural environment comprising of the steep sided Barrow Valley between Brandon Hill in County Kilkenny and Mount Leinster in County Carlow. The Duiske River and its adjoining Mill Race lie within the River Barrow and River Nore Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which is designated for ‘Biodiversity Conservation’ under the EC Habitats Directive, as having special conservation value because of the presence of listed species and habitats.  ​​​​​​​

8.4.1 Designated Sites

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are legally protected under the EU Habitats Directive and are selected for the conservation of Annex I and Annex II species. SACs, together with Special Protection Areas (SPAs), form a Natura 2000 network of protected areas throughout the EU. There are 8 sites in County Kilkenny and 3 sites in County Carlow designated and protected under the Habitats Directive 1992 (92/43/EEC). They have been designated due to their conservation values for habitats and species of importance in the European Union. Policies for the protection of natural heritage are set out in Chapter 8 of Kilkenny County Development Plan and Chapter 9 of the Carlow County Development Plan. Natural heritage includes flora and fauna, wildlife habitats, waterways. Landscapes and geology. Figure 8.2 illustrates that part of the River Barrow and River Nore SAC (Site Code 002162) is located within the settlement boundary.​​​​​​​


[1] See www.archaeology.ie for notification and consent procedures for the National Monuments Section of the Dept Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht