Birr Civic Offices & Library

Birr Civic Offices & Library

Birr Civic Offices & Library designed by A.W. Pugin built in stages from 1845-56. Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, had come in person in 1840 to help her sisters set up a foundation in Birr to be called St. John’s Convent of Mercy. Pugin had French ancestors and visited France to study Gothic art so the little turret near the church may have been inspired by French chateau architecture or by Irish round towers or both. Stain glass windows made by Hardman & Co. Birmingham designed by Powell, John Hardman. You can also see the arm of Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland, got his nickname from the bloody battle of Culloden in 1746 — but in 1915 Scottish soldiers got their revenge when they pulled the ‘Butcher’ from his pillar in the centre of the Georgian town.

Visit The Macregol Gospel

Visit the Birr Civic Offices & Library and see a copy of The Macregol Gospel Book. A manuscript copy of the Four Gospels made about 800 AD. It consists of 169 vellum folios (leaves) about 345mm high and 270 mm wide. The script used is a formal one called insular majuscule or insular half-uncial and it somewhat resembles one of the hands of the Book of Kells. A translation or gloss in Old English cursive script was inserted between the lines about a thousand years ago. A facsimile of the Macregol Gospels is on permanent display free of charge in the magnificently restored Pugin-designed in Birr Town Library.



Wilmer Road
County Offaly IE
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Monday Closed Tuesday 9:30a.m.–5:30p.m. Wednesday 9:30a.m.–8p.m. Thursday 9:30a.m.–5:30p.m. Friday 9:30a.m.–5:30p.m. Saturday 9:30a.m.–1p.m. Sunday Closed