Major new plans to upgrade and develop Kilkenny Castle
Major new plans to develop and upgrade access to Kilkenny Castle, making it easier for everyone to visit, explore the castle and grounds, and display new discoveries, have been unveiled.
The Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, the body that manages Kilkenny Castle has made a comprehensive application which would see alterations to the building granting greater ease of access and works to the castle’s grounds and gardens.
The application covers 13 areas of work which will include the demolition of some later additions to the castle and alterations to the courtyard to allow recent discoveries of importance be displayed.
The work includes the installation of a lift to the north turret of the mid-19th Century Long Gallery. This includes the part demolition of late 20th Century intermediate floor and late 20th Century flat roof, and the construction of a new, lead-clad, roof structure.
The construction of external steps and ramps adjacent to the north turret to provide access to the basement level.
The removal of late 20th Century steps and partial removal of 20th Century Plant room and 19th century store to facilitate new universal access are also called for in the application.
The OPW will provided new universally accessible WC and facilities in the existing 19th Century basement external to the castle.
New landscaping works to the Castle Courtyard and curtilage, involving the permanent display of the recent archaeological excavations of Marshal’s Gate, the medieval entrance. This will remain partially uncovered with the formation of new embankments, while creating a new pedestrian route.
Resurfacing works and futureproofing services in the Castle Courtyard, and the conservation and restoration of Kilkenny Limestone pavement and earthenware channels to the perimeter of the Courtyard are also planned.
The OPW is looking to resurface the Formal gardens works and create new sloped paths in the Formal Garden, while also creatin a new link path between the Formal Garden and Castle Courtyard.
The Commissioner is also looking to update security at the site by replacing all the existing temporary security cameras with permanent cameras and installing emergency lighting at high level to the Castle Courtyard facades.
A decision on the application is due from the local authority in early August.