New Ross Courthouse

Co. Wexford

In addition to the earlier medieval religious and commercial buildings, the 18th and 19th century saw the development of market buildings, mills, churches, schools, hospitals, barracks and housing and included the subject New Ross Courthouse, referred to by Samuel Lewis as ‘the sessions-house, completed in 1832 at the expense of £1,334.00, defrayed by the county, forms a neat building; the Bridewell comprises two day-rooms, seven cells, and two airing-yards and is in very good order’. Interestingly, he also refers to ‘the court-house, in which the business of the corporation is transacted, is a handsome structure of hewn granite, erected in 1810, at the angle formed by two of the principal streets; it is built on piers with arches springing from them and surmounted with a tower and cupola; the area within the piers was originally intended for a corn-market, but being found to be too confined for the trade of the town, it has been used as a place for the sale of leather’. The subject building is situated on a truncated wedge-shaped site on the corner of Priory Street to the west and Cross Lane to the north. The building appears as an L-shaped detached block with small projections to the west and north facades and is referred to as the Sess. Ho. (Session House). A cranked block along the eastern boundary on the site to the east of the Session House is identified as the Bridewell. The plan form of the courthouse has remained consistent with the form indicated on the 1902 O.S. map. The Bridewell has been replaced with a new L-shaped Garda Station – this building has recently been refurbished to accommodate municipal offices. The later version of the map indicates the disintegration of the terrace opposite the courthouse building on Cross Street, where a derelict site exists at present and is the subject of a planning application.

Historic/Original Architect(s)