Although we have only owned the castle for a short time, we've been busy!
We regularly collaborate with people local and afar for various projects and are very interested in doing more!
Each project can take quite a while.
When we announced that we had bough a ruined castle, a long time friend asked if we might be interested in doing a TV show - his son was engaged (recently married!) to producer on the show.
We said "Sure - why not? Let's see what happens!" That was in June of 2016 and now in September of 2017 the episode has just aired
We had a great time: One day of filming in Connecticut, and five days in Ireland! Both crews were fantastic - hard working, pleasant and fun to be with. Lots of other people helped too!
As part of funding for a geophysical survey from the Heritage Council, we agreed to do events for Heritage Week. This was no hardship since we always intended to run some workshops there. This just made it official, and our four events were published in the booklet and online.
We started with a combination of new things (a history hunt and building clay ovens) and activities we were comfortable with (hearth cooking and music).We didn't know what to expect - what if no one came? It all turned out well!
The Castle Studies Group, and organization based in the UK with a passion for castles, generously provided a small grant in early 2016 to date the wicker in the tower. This is via a combination of carbon-14 dating and also Bayesian analysis - the method is being trailed by Rory Sherlock for several other Irish Tower houses. Stafford-McLoughlin Archeology submitted the samples and obtained the license.
The first surprise was that the wicker in the tower was gorse! A very prickly but prevalent bush that was deliberately planted by farmers to act as a field barrier, fuel and also for animal feed. We have since learned it is a useful plant in so many ways (plus it smells like coconut!)
More to come on the results of the dating survey!
In 2017 we applied for a Heritage Council Grant to perform a geophysical survey. We were thrilled to get some funding that covered most of the activity!
Joanna Leigh performed the work in June - she surveyed the three surrounding fields with a combination of gradiometer & targeted resistance survey techniques. A variety of interesting foundations and possible archeological deposits were indicated. We will use this information to be more precise with renovation footprints and it will also be used to create the next set of archeological testing.