County Sligo possesses a wonderfully perse and rich architectural heritage.  In the broadest sense it includes the whole of our built environment, from streetscapes, gardens and parks, country houses and vernacular buildings to doorways and street furniture.

In 1999, the Government launched a suite of measures aimed at protecting Ireland’s architectural heritage.  The measures include:

  • Establishment of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to systematically survey the built heritage of Ireland on a county by county basis.
  • Mandatory inclusion of a Record of Protected Structures in each Local Authorities Development Plan for the protection of buildings of artistic, architectural, historical, cultural, archaeological, scientific, technical or social interest, as per the Planning and Development Act 2000.
  • Establishment of a Local Authority Conservation Grant Scheme to assist owners/occupiers of a protected structure to carry out necessary conservation works.
  • Establishment of a fund to assist Local Authorities in the appointment of Conservation Officers.

Maintaining and repairing A guide for owners of historic buildings Sash Windows

Maintaining and repairing sash windows – A guide for owners of historic buildings - 1,151 kbs  PDF

Where can I find out about Protected Structures in Sligo?

The RPS’s covering County Sligo are the Sligo County Development Plan 2017-2023.  

This document can be downloaded here or can be viewed in hard copy at the Planning Offices.  

Record of Protected Structures 2017-2023 (PDF) - 5,830 kbs  PDF

What does inclusion on the Record of Protected Structures mean?

The obligation to preserve a protected structure applies initially to all parts of the structure, including its interior, all land around it, and any other structures on that land and their interiors.  The obligation also applies to any exterior or interior fixtures and fittings of a protected structure or of any structure on land immediately within its curtilage.

The owner and/or occupier of a protected structure are legally obliged to ensure that the structure or any element of it is not endangered through harm, damage or decay.

Under the planning system, many minor works to structures are exempted development (i.e. do not require planning permission).  However, for a protected structure, such works can only be carried out without planning permission if the works would not affect the character of the structure or any element of that structure that contributes to its special interest.  It is advisable to contact the Planning Section of the relevant Planning Authority for advice, if you are contemplating carrying out works to a protected structure. 

For further information see PL12 Guide to Architectural Heritage - 94 kbs - 94 kbs . 

Who is responsible for protecting architectural heritage?

The Planning Sections of Sligo Local Authorities have responsibility for architectural heritage protection in Sligo through the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Records of Protected Structures contained in Development Plans. 

Where can I find a Conservation Architect or related discipline?

“Conservation works should only be carried out by persons competent in these specialist activities.” (International Council on Monuments and Sites. Guidelines for Education and Training).  

The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI), have a list of Conservation Architects/Practices accredited in conservation at Grades I, II and III, who are qualified to provide, in relation to works appropriate to their Grade, the full range of services as described in the RIAI Client/Architect Agreement.  For a list of architects contact the RIAI.

A Traditional Building Skills register is available online through the Irish Georgian Society website at

Where can I get more information on the architectural heritage of Sligo?

The National Inventory of Ireland (NIAH) undertook an architectural survey of Sligo in 2004 and publication of the Sligo survey is pending.  In the interim, the Sligo building survey is available online at  A survey of Sligo’s historic gardens and designed landscapes is also available to view on the website.

Are there conservation guidelines available?

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government produces several leaflets in a series called ‘Conservation Guidelines’.  The Department has also published detailed conservation guidelines in ‘Architectural Heritage Protection – Guidelines for Planning Authorities’ (2005). All can be accessed on the following web link: