Phase one of the restoration of Kildare Castle in Kildare town has been successfully completed.
The scaffolding surrounding the castle came down last week showing the castle in all its glory for the first time in years.
The gatehouse dates back to the 13th century and Strongbow is believed to have built the first wooden castle structure there while an Earl of Kildare is rumoured to be buried in one of the walls.
According to Tara Flanagan of the Silken Thomas who took the Leader on a tour of the gatehouse recently, this year marks 700 years ago that the castle was attacked during the Bruce invasion.
The restoration has been ongoing since October 2015 and has cost €60,000 to date, which was funded in part from Kildare County Council and the Heritage Council. It is estimated that the project will take three years to complete and cost approximately €350,000. Possible plans include two new bedrooms, and an interpretive visitor centre.
“We have had the ivy removed and currently with the help of funding from Kildare County Council and the Heritage Council we have been able to undergo an extensive rendering works project,” she added.
“The conservation architect believes it could be Ireland’s oldest continuously inhabited building. The story is fascinating and so many people in Kildare don’t even realise it exists.”