Jigginstown Castle ruins must be stabilised before opening to the public

Jigginstown Castle.   Photo Tony Keane.
Jigginstown Castle will be opened to the public as an attraction at some point in the future.

Jigginstown Castle will be opened to the public as an attraction at some point in the future.

The landmark ruins, located on the Newbridge road and almost permanently supported by scaffolding, is more accurately described as a “a palatial domestic building” rather than a castle, says the Office of Public Works.

Conservation work on the building began twelve years ago.

“The objective of the work was to stabilise and consolidate the early 17th century physical fabric of the building as well as the immense task of surveying and recording the building itself,” Mary Leech of the OPW told the Leader.

She added: “The ruins of the building are extensive and in a very precarious condition.”

Between 2006 and last year nearly €226,000 has been spent.

The current work taking place is designed to stabilise the Western Wall and this also entails the recording of the existing physical remains and researching the original client, builders, materials, craft practices and other valuable sources of information.

“Work is ongoing (but) progress has been scaled down in recent years due to reduced specialised skills resources,” added Ms. Leech.

The OPW intends to allow the public to have access to the building but it is not clear when this will happen. “The intention is to facilitate public access and interpretation when the building has been stabilised and made safe,” stated Ms. Leech. For a time the castle was in danger of deteriorating beyond repair, which local historians say, would have been a great loss to local heritage. A series of archaeological excavations as well as building surveys and conservation work took place between 2003 and 2008.

The most recent funding injection was announced in 2012.