Plans to develop and improve access to Kilkenny Castle, making it easier to visit, explore the castle and the grounds, and showcase new finds, have been put in place for the County Castle.
Ireland’s Public Works Commissioners, the body that manages Kilkenny Castle, have filed a comprehensive claim that would see changes to the building allowing for greater ease of access and work to the castle grounds and gardens.
The request covers 13 areas of work which will include the demolition of some later additions to the castle and modifications to the courtyard to allow significant recent finds to be displayed.
The works include the installation of an elevator to the north turret of the long gallery from the mid-19th century. This includes the partial demolition of the mid-floor from the late 20th century and the flat roof from the late 20th century, and the construction of a new lead-covered roof structure.
The construction of exterior steps and ramps adjacent to the north turret to provide access to the basement.
The removal of the steps at the end of the 20th century and the partial removal of the plant room from the 20th century and the 19e century to facilitate a new universal access are also requested in the application.
The OPW will provide new universally accessible WCs and facilities in the existing 19th century basement outside the castle.
Redevelopment work on the courtyard of the castle and the courtyard of the castle, involving the permanent exhibition of recent archaeological excavations at the Porte du Maréchal, the medieval entrance. This will remain partly uncovered with the formation of new embankments, while creating a new pedestrian route.
Resurfacing works and sustainability services in the castle courtyard, as well as the conservation and restoration of the Kilkenny limestone cladding and terracotta canals to the perimeter of the courtyard are also planned.
The OPW seeks to resurface the formal garden works and create new sloping paths in the formal garden, while also creating a new connecting path between the formal garden and the castle courtyard.
The commissioner is also looking to update security on the site by replacing all existing temporary security cameras with permanent ones and installing high-level emergency lighting on the facades of the castle courtyard.
A decision on the request is due by the local authority in early August.