Community in mind for new Lehanstown House

by Emma Nolan
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A dilapidated old farmhouse south of Carrickmines and west from Loughlinstown in the townland of Laughanstown is being redeveloped as part of the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone development.
Lehanstown House is a farmhouse and complex of stables with an interesting and complex structure due to the series of alterations and extensions carried out on it over five centuries. It is believed that the original structure behind the current 18th/19th century styled farmhouse was a defensive tower house built in the 16th century.
Lead developers of the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone project, Hines, believe that the building has great potential to be a focus of the community that will live there and are currently exploring options that will see the restored building and grounds being used as a community garden or communal farm or else used for artisan products.
A spokesperson from Hines told The Gazette that their focus for the project is “creating a sense of place and community,” and said that the restoration of Lehaunstown is “important in terms of preserving the history and character of the area” while also allowing them to “explore creative uses for the site that will add to the extensive amenities planned for Cherrywood”.
This move has been praised by Councillor Lettie McCarthy (Lab) who told The Gazette: “It is great to see this area being planned with the community in mind. It is refreshing to see community facilities and amenities realised ahead of housing.”
The building is being redeveloped in line with up to date conservation practices with the aim of retaining and recovering the significance of the building.
This means any alterations will be carried out in accordance with the principles of ‘minimum intervention’, with repairs to original fabric being favoured over replacement. These works are to be carried out by craftspeople with the skills required and proven expertise in working with historic buildings.
It is anticipated that 25,000 people will live in Cherrywood in a landmark development integrating new homes, retail, work and leisure facilities within an urban design framework never previously seen in Dublin or in Ireland.
Developers believe that the restoration of Lehaunstown House will be a vital part of the future of Cherrywood.
The original structure was built to protect the southern barriers of the Pale from the Irish tribes attacking from North Wicklow. Described as a castle, tower houses were more specifically fortified residences rather than castles, occupied by the Gaelic and Anglo-Norman gentry and often effectively functioning as defended farm houses.
By the late 18th Century, early 19th Century the house was developed into a farmhouse connected to a busy working farm. The house is in poor condition but the works ongoing now will see the building secured and its features maintained to allow for its future use as a key facility for the local community.
Commenting on the plans by the Hines group Councillor Victor Boyhan (Ind) said: “Lehaunstown House and Parklands would be an ideal location for a community based social farming network.

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