Restoration work starts on Celbridge’s Castletown House pond

Work has begun on the conservation and restoration of the riverside walk at Castletown House outside Celbridge.

Work has begun on the conservation and restoration of the riverside walk at Castletown House outside Celbridge.

The OPW said the refilling of the pond has has commenced. Since 2007, OPW’s landscape and maintenance team, with expert advice has been slowly but surely, restoring and revealing the historic landscape features.

This landscape of grasslands, water and buildings had been entirely remodelled by Lady Louisa Conolly between the 1760s and 1780s.

Over time, with the decline of the Conolly finances, it fell into disrepair. Since 2008, the OPW started to reveal the landscape and in 2009 the pond was dredged by the OPW.

The refilling of the pond is now underway. The dam has been repaired and the cascades at the dam and the Celbridge Avenue bridge have been reinstated.

An OPW spokesperson, Claire Hickey, said they could not predict yet the pond will be full. When it is for the first time in living memory a torrent of water will gush over the newly restored cascade.

Fencing will be taken down when the works are finished in a month or so.

As work nears completion on the restoration of the historic features, larged funded largely by Fáilte Ireland, the second phase of path laying and the final seeding and planting will be complete by the end of Spring 2013.

An OPW spokesperson said: “This landscape restoration must be considered as one of the most significant of its kind in Ireland.

“In Summer 2013 for the first time in over at least a century, regulars walkers and visitors will be able to enjoy Castletown as Lady Louisa intended.”