Green light for 72 houses on Rathangan castle site

Plans approved

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Green light for 72 houses on Rathangan castle site

A map of Rathangan which earmarked the location of the castle

The green light has been given for 72 new houses at the former site of the medieval Rathangan Castle. 

Developer, Jack Kinsella had revised the plans to prevent any impact on the neighbouring Rathangan Lodge on the Bracknagh Road, Rathangan. 

The go ahead was given by Kildare County Council yesterday, April 12.

A geophysical survey of the grounds, provided by the developers, uncovered 25 shards of pottery, but no sign of the foundations of the castle.

Kildare County Council had insisted the developer carry out a magnetic survey to see if there were medieval castle foundations at the site.

READ MORE: Kildare County Council insists on survey to find Rathangan castle

Local historian Seamus Kelly said he had no objection to the development in principal, but he wanted the Rathangan castle foundations to be located and protected. 

An archaeological assessment had been submitted by the applicant in relation to Rathangan Castle.

It proposed a conservation architect be hired to monitor topsoil removal and other ground works.

It said if any discoveries are made, work should be stopped in the vicinity until various authorities were consulted.

However, Rathangan historian Mr Kelly, who also worked on the Wood Quay project in Dublin, pointed out the exact location of the castle is not known.

He had called for an architectural exploration followed by an excavation prior to building.

“We need to find the structures, preserve them as ruins and put a proper name plaque up and let people go in and see them,” he said.

He said the castle was one of the most important border castles of the 16 century and saw the Earl of Kildare battle the O’Connors of Offaly.

Subsequently, on foot of the council’s request for a magnetic survey, 20 trenches were dug and 25 pottery shards dating from the 12th to 19th century were discovered.

The Geophysical Survey detected a number of anomalies, some were interpreted as being of archaeological potential.

However, the report said further testing revealed such anomalies were “associated with geological variations in the subsoil or associated with modern disturbances or features.”

The report concluded the development would not impact on the site and suggested certain precautions be undertaken during construction.

At this point, the conditions set out by the council in relation to the planning permission have yet to be published.