Period Property for Sale in Co. Westmeath

Town Centre Development Opportunity
Former Our Lady’s Bower Convent & Boarding School, Lower Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Former convent and boarding school on a 2.82 hectares (7.0 acres) site

The property comprises a seven bay two and three storey former convent and boarding school building in a H-shaped plan. The site includes the curtilage of the convent and school, associated parkland and tennis courts to the south eastern apex. The entire is encompassed on a site extending to approx. 2.82 hectares (7.0 acres). The property enjoys attractive views from its elevated position above the town of Athlone with the magnifi cent vista of the River Shannon, the surrounding countryside and on the horizon the ancient monastic site of Clonmacnoise.

The original building was constructed in 1889 with various extensions to the south completed in more recent times. It is aesthetically attractive and comprises an imposing structure constructed of limestone in a gothic style. The property incorporates many original features including a pitched natural slate roof with decorative clay ridge tiles, raised limestone verges, ashlar limestone chimneystacks and pedimented half dormer windows with stained glass. Internally the property has been maintained to a very good standard over the years. Accommodation provides spacious living and dormitory accommodation, dining and kitchen facilities, class rooms, recreation rooms and a chapel in the convent building.

The original Bower Convent was built in the 1880’s by the congregation of La Sainte Union. In keeping with their Founder’s vision, the Sisters mission was “to provide a Christian education for the betterment of society”. Faithful to its mission, this LSU School became one of the best known and prestigious residential schools for girls in Ireland. It has maintained its reputation for excellent educational standards and personal cultural developments over the years. The tradition of high performance characterises Our Lady’s Bower Secondary School today which stands alongside the former convent. The new school which continues to expand was officially opened in October 2008.

The proximity of other schools, the Institute of Technology and the Department of Education itself offers enormous potential for the development and collaboration of education in Athlone. The property is located in an area zoned Community, Educational and Institutional in the Athlone Town Development Plan 2014-2020. The aim is to protect and improve existing social, health, educational and arts/cultural/entertainment facilities and institutions and to safeguard their continued use and future provision. A range of uses is permitted such as crèche/nursery, cultural use, education, hospital, retirement home and research and development facilities amongst others. Open for Consideration uses include residential, health centre, tourism – recreational complex and sports facility amongst others.

The subject property is situated off the Lower Road/Retreat Road approx. 1.0 km north east of Athlone town centre. The property is located to the west of Our Lady’s Bower Secondary School whilst the site is bounded to its north eastern apex by the Dublin-Galway rail line. The principal access to the property is via a double gated entrance off the Lower Road. Athlone, located in the centre of the country, is the largest town in the midlands region. Athlone has an urban and rural population of 20,153 as per the Census 2011. Employment is predominately focused on the administrative, educational and tourism sectors. The third level Athlone Institute of Technology, with a student population of almost 6,000, is situated in the town whilst large local employers include Alkermes Pharma, the Department of Education, An Post and IDA Ireland.

Price: €on application
Last update: 8th April 2015
Contact: JP McDonagh - GVA Donal O Buachalla
Tel.: +353 1 6762711