1860 – Courthouse, Naas, Co. Kildare

Architect: Sir Richard Morrison / John McCurdy / Deaton Lysaght Architects

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Richard Morrison’s original building of 1807 stood well back from the pavement on a site which had been chosen in 1797 for a Sessions House to replace the decayed 17th Century building further up the main street. Morrison’s courthouse had a double-height hall, with four free standing columns, flanked by two parallel courts, and an open-well staircase lit by a skylight. In the basement, there were cells for male and female prisoners, and two water closets, with an entry from outside the building. A narrow passageway from the rear of the courthouse led to the canal harbour and it also gave access to the new gaol when it was built in 1833.

It was extended towards the front by John McCurdy circa 1860 and there were further improvements by County Surveyor John Brett a decade later. In McCurdy’s improvements, the courthouse was extended towards the front, and a portico erected, perhaps that from the earlier building, with steps leading down to a granite paved forecourt, enclosed with curved railings on both sides.

The courthouse was restored following damage by fire in the 1950s and in 1997 it was extensively refurbished by Deaton Lysaght Architects, and enlarged to accommodate four courtrooms.

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