Restoring Barryscourt Castle

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Victor spent three years working on Barryscourt Castle in east Cork, which is now managed as a historic property by the Office of Public Works.

The castle was originally built in 1206 by the first wave of settlers who came to Ireland with Strongbow. In the years that followed, the castle’s story remained intertwined with the history of colonisation, and the castle’s tower house was added in about 1550. More fortifications were added in the form of a ‘bawn’ or outer wall with three corner towers in Elizabethan times.

The nature of castle construction means that each stage of restoration work must be approached carefully. Each design element needs to remain in keeping with the stonework that surrounds it, and the skills and techniques used to work on one part of the building can be quite distinct from the ones used elsewhere in the same building.

The castle, which is now open to the public, is a great monument to Irish history, and it’s great to see it serving once again as an imposing landmark on the Cork landscape.