Architectural Features and Building Materials

This section will examine how formal architectural detail can help define the purpose of a building. It is possible to identify particular features like windows, doorways and gateways and the role they play. Windows let light into the interior of a building and allow air to circulate when opened; gates and gate lodges act as sentries, controlling and defining access to private space. However, the design of many of these features went beyond purely functional concerns and became elaborate statements of the status and wealth of the owners, who could hire architects to express in stone what they perceived to be their position in society.

The materials used in the construction of buildings such as stone and iron are important factors in the appearance and durability of the completed work. Stone and brick often made up the main structural elements of buildings in nineteenth century Carlow. Architects and builders made effective use of ironwork for decorative and structural purposes.

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