No, this is not a post about a green Marvel Super Hero. This is The Hulk, as it is known locally in my town of Monasterevin. A massive Georgian House which sits just outside the town adjacent the Hazel Hotel. I first visited The Hulk back in 2012, but was unable to explore it fully as Dylan was with me in his buggy, and so I had to make do with some shots from afar. Recently I was passing by and noticed that the site was up for sale. It is part of a plot of land of about 25 acres which was until recently believed to be owned by Corbally Homes. Unfortunately it is now in such a bad state of disrepair that if and when the land is sold The Hulk will more than likely be demolished as it is extremely unsafe at the moment.
With this in mind I seized the opportunity to go and explore the site a little further. Due to the current state the entire building is inaccessible, all windows and doors have now been either bricked or boarded up, and so I had to make do with having a look around the exterior. Fortunately I found an interesting little clip on YouTube which shows the interior, it’s a bit shakey but well worth a look.
The grounds as you can imagine are also in a bad way and prone to flooding, around the back was like walking through a swamp. Signs of fallen roof tiles and fallen brick work could be seen everywhere. A couple of sheds to the rear were open, but did not contain anything of interest. I did however find what may be a natural spring to the rear of the building, but then again it might be flood water rising to the surface.
Built back in 1734, The Hulk started life as a school for orphaned protestant children. Built by the ‘Incorporated Society for promoting protestant English schools in Ireland’ under Royal Charter. The building is a fine example of Georgian industrial architecture, with a three storey, three bay design. The main enterance consists of a round headed door which leads to the center ground floor. Above you will notice a circular whole were a clock was once present. There are two small entrances, right and left, for girls and boys. Boys were usually taught a trade which they could be apprenticed into when they reached about 13-15 years.
Around 1870 the building was renovated for use as a warehouse up until the early 1990’s with part of the house still in use as a residence. Sadly the house is not protected by the State and is not even included on the National Monuments Service Website. So it looks like The Hulk’s days are now numbered which is a shame as it would make a terrific location for a museum or heritage center for the town. If only someone would make the investment and restore the building, it would not only create local jobs, but could boost Tourism and interest in the area. Fingers crossed, the new owner whomever it may be will take an interest and do something useful with the site instead of knocking it down and building shops or houses.