Built Heritage refers to all the man-made features, buildings and structures in the environment. This also includes a diverse archaeological and architectural heritage to be found throughout the countryside and in the County’s historic towns and villages. Architectural and archaeological heritage contributes significantly to the distinctive character and sense of place of our towns and villages. The National Planning Framework recognises that ‘Ireland’s built heritage assets are a non-renewable resource that merit being nurtured in a manner appropriate to their significance as an aid to understanding the past, contributing to community well-being and quality of life as well as regional economic development’.
The current County Development Plan identifies 17 Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) throughout the County. The County Development Plan also includes a Record of Protected Structures. This is a list of structures that are of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest. There are approximately 698 protected structures in the County.