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Conservation Service

Fanad Lighthouse Image Glenveagh Castle
Raphoe Castle Rathmelton Warehouses


Donegal has a rich and varied built heritage which includes piers, coastguard stations and lighthouses together with Napoleonic-era signal towers dotted along coastline and forts and batteries along the Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle; larger country houses and estates are concentrated in the more fertile landscapes of the county; important public buildings and a legacy of religious buildings ranging from early ecclesiastical sites such as the place of pilgrimage at Lough Derg to the modern churches designed by Liam McCormick.  

With the  success of the Wild Atlantic Way and with Donegal being named as ‘The coolest place on the planet’ by the National Geographic Traveller Magazine, Donegal’s heritage has a key part to play in promoting economic prosperity not only in terms of the key visitor attractions and iconic structures such as Fanad Lighthouse and Glenveagh Castle, but also by contributing to the attractiveness of the County in terms of its living and working conditions.  

Donegal County Council advocates through legislation, working with various organisations and the wider general public, that together we can work to protect our irreplaceable heritage asset. 

The links below provide an overview of what buildings are protected in the county. There is also a frequently asked questions section together with information on grant schemes and further reading on conservation.


  • What buildings are protected in Donegal? 


The up to date list of Protected Structures in Donegal is set out in the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) (See written Text below) which is contained in Part B: Appendix 3 Development Guidelines and Technical Standards of the Draft County Donegal Development Plan 2018–2024.  Each building has a unique RPS number. If you need further details about the structure and its location you can contact the Donegal Conservation Officer. 




  • What buildings are on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) in Donegal? 


The NIAH is an inventory of architectural heritage which was compiled by the Department of Culture Heritage and the Environment. The County Donegal NIAH was launched in Donegal on April 2015 and the Minister at that time recommended to Donegal County Council under Section 53(1) of the Act that all structures of a national or regional rating be added onto the RPS.A phase 1 addition process was carried out in 2017 and the changes made were incorporated into Part B: Appendix 3 Development Guidelines and Technical Standards of the draft Donegal Development Plan 2018–2024. Donegal County Council intends to carry out further Phases of additions to the RPS over the next 7 years.



 Section 57 Declaration

Owners or occupiers of a Protected Structure may request a ‘declaration’ under Section 57 of the Act. The purpose of this declaration is for Planning Authorities to clarify in writing the kind of works that would or would not materially affect the character of the structure or any element of the structure which contributes to its special interest. The issuing of a declaration is a service that the Planning Authority provides at no cost to the owner or occupant of a protected structure. The Planning Authority has twelve weeks from the receipt of a request for a Section 57 to have it completed.



For more information contact Acting Conservation Officer


Telephone: 074 9153900

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