Pressure is on to fix Jigginstown Castle in Naas

The building, completed in 1637, was in ruins by 1726

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Pressure is on to fix Jigginstown Castle in Naas

Jigginstown Castle was completed nearly 400 years ago

Kildare County Council is being urged to allocate a portion of land to facilitate the development and possible opening of the historic Jigginstown Castle to the public.

Local historian and councillor Seamie Moore has asked KCC if it has provided land for an on-site workshop, car parking and a public information office.

He also wants to know what progress has been made by the Office of Public Works on restoring the castle this year.

A full restoration of the castle on the Newbridge side of Naas, was ruled out by the Office of Public Works about three years ago.

Completed in 1637 at a cost of six thousand pounds, it was the brainchild of then Lord Deputy of Ireland Thomas Wentworth, who was executed in London in 1641.

According to the OPW the restoration project that’s taking place will stabilise and consolidate the brickwork there and the best that can be hoped for is to maintain the castle as a “stable ruin.”

Ana Dolan a senior architect with the OPW told a KCC meeting at that time that the restoration work, which could eventually see it opened to the public, has been delayed by Government spending cuts.

She said the castle was built with the intention of becoming a royal palace prior to Wentworth being charged with treason.

Jigginstown Castle was never lived in and fell into decay.

By 1726 it was “very ruinous”, as images from the time show. The castle is almost 100 metres long and has a series of cellars. The building has a first floor and two corridors.

As far as possible the OPW aims to make the building presentable and accessible to visitors.

The castle was built in a relatively short space and Ms Dolan said no expense was spared.