Put your stamp on a historic lockhouse


It’s not every day a 200-year-old lockhouse on the Grand Canal comes up for sale, and even more rare is a house that once appeared on an Irish postage stamp. Built in 1799, the 31st lockhouse located at Cornalaur, Rahan, near Tullamore, Co Offaly is a familiar landmark for users of the Grand Canal. An image of the split-level lockhouse was one of four scenes selected by An Post when showcasing the beauty of Ireland’s inland waterways on stamps in 2006. The historic home which sits on an acre of land is seeking €110,000 through DNG Cowen Kelly, and according to the auctioneer is in need of refurbishment.

Still, with views of the Slieve Bloom mountains and the old lock gates incorporated into the living room in the form of exposed beams it’s a small taste of a bygone era. Anyone who watched the Grand Experiences documentary on RTÉ on Tuesday night about a writer, a musician and a photographer who spent five days on a barge along this stretch of the Grand Canal earlier this year will have seen how these lockhouses – and their keepers – are an important part of our fast disappearing heritage.

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