During the years of their ownership of Tynte’s Castle, the McCarthy Family have worked to maintain the structural integrity of the tower house as a useful and working building. Many repairs were carried out by the McCarthy Family over the last fifty years. These repairs were to prevent damage from the elements:
- Slates were replaced
- The parapet walkway was rrelaced
- The parapet wall was capped off
- Vegetation was sprayed
- All shutters and joinery were painted
- Skylights were prepaired
- Infill was removed from above three main openings on the West face
However, it has been long recognized that large-scale work was required, in order to remedy the problems of natural and artificial forces of decay, namely weathering, vegetation growth, environmental pollution and vibration. The weathering had left the structure in a porous state, whereby water penetration was threatening the structural integrity of the walls.
The stone was much decayed on all of the external elevations and vegetation growth was very noticeable at parapet level. The geological beds of the sandstone are generally laid vertically and are open to decay, leading to loss of material through flaking and scaling through frost action, chemical weathering and biological attack. Further, it was found that biological colonisation by high order vegetal species such as grasses, creepers and flowering plants could lead to mechanical damage of the fabric. These plants gain a foothold in the lime mortar in the joints and dislodge masonry, which leads to structural damage and potential failure. All of these factors led to concern by the owners for the long-term survivability of the tower house.
Inspiration for Restoration
It has always been the intention of the McCarthy Family to restore the building to it’s former glory. Interest was shown in the building by University College Cork relating to the Cork Survey. The BBC requested permission to use it in their Open University Educational Programming; Youghal becoming a Heritage town, the recognition of listed buildings in the town and the reconstruction of the Alms Houses across the street.