Sigginstown Castle

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Phase Two: Planning

What do we want to do, and how will we do it?

We are in the Planning phase now. There is a significant amount of preparation and paperwork needed to apply for permissions at both the local and national levels. Included in this phase are activities like measured surveys, archeological assessment, septic percolation tests, architectural designs, conservation methodology. We will know a lot more about this phase once we have done all the activities.

Getting Started as Owners

After purchasing the castle in May, we returned  in July 2016 to enter as owners, do some basic cleanup, meet the neighbors and figure out our initial plan. Since the tower was not accessible from the outside without a very long and dangerous ladder, we removed the cemented doorway and installed our first small project - a hobbit door!

Sponsoring a Student Design Contest

We wanted to get ideas for renovation.  We had our own, but thought it was too good an opportunity to pass up getting ideas from others about this great project. From September to December 2016 we invited students from 8 Irish universities to participate, and Wexford Institute of Technology submitted 13 design ideas as part of a 3rd year architecture program. See the results and great ideas!

Brush Clearing, Archeology & Perc Tests

In  November 2016 we held our first Community event and invited interested people to help us clear brush around the castle so we could see the state of the walls. This was also in preparation for initial archeology testing done by Stafford McLoughlin Archeology. Nothing of great interest or significance was found, but we discovered the remains of a 18th or 19th century cobbled courtyard that we would like to excavate as part of a future community archeology project. We also had some initial percolation testing done to establish drainage for septic.  Septic options being evaluated...

Pondering Ideas

Now we need to figure out what we want to do!  It is our intent to utilize all three areas of the existing buildings: tower, house and agricultural building for a combination of private living and community event space.  We are working with an architect to develop the drawings. These will need to be compared to conservation practices, known archeological features and have some cost estimates done to see what we can afford!

Castle Dating project

Rory Sherlock has been running an Irish Tower House dating project using wicker, and Bayesian analysis, a statistical method whcih can provide better dates. We received a grant from the Castle Studies Group to cover the archeology, fees, labwork to date our wicker.  Besides concentrating on adding roofs, windows and doors, these small project grants help us document the history and share more with other people. THANK YOU!  See the complete report here...

Geophysical Survey

As part of our planning process, but also because we REALLY want to know what was on the property in earlier days, Joann Leigh performed a geo-physical survey in June 2017.   The study was funded by the Heritage Council, and we are very excited that they have chose our project! The study will be used in conjunction with architectural drawings and archeology to avoid unnecessary disturbance of historical remains. See the results here