The first time we visited the castle was October of 2015 after we saw it listed again for sale. We had seen it listed in earlier years but were not permitted to come see it as it was under offer by an English couple (we got to meet Ian, the previous buyer in 2019!). We started the purchase process after a very cold January trip in 2016 to see and enter the tower. The purchase was completed in late May 2016 and went fairly smoothly. If you are interested in learning how to purchase a historic property in Ireland, read more here.
From May 2016 to October 2018 we were in Phase II - seeking Planning permissions from Wexford County Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht. This involved multiple iterations of drawings of the proposed renovations, method statements, and additional professionals. This required quite a bit of time, archaeology, conservation advice and a lot of patience. The local Wexford Planning office has been very supportive and is interested in seeing the project succeed, as the castle is on part of the Ancient East tourist route The Norman Way. You can see more here on Planning permissions and people and some of the plethora of documents that were submitted.
Once we got Planning permission in October 2018 we started the construction phase - this is planned to take five years, which coincides with the duration of our permission. It will be constrained by weather & seasons, our ability to live in Ireland for < 6 months of the year for tax reasons, and cash flow. The plan is for Gordon to go over there for the spring through fall seasons and be onsite for construction. He looks forward to passionate conversations with contractors and municipal officials, and playing music in pubs. Liz travels back and forth to the United States, plus provides project management. See more on the Tower and New Build.
As of Spring 2022:
The Tower rooms are almost complete and are painted and furnished - we imagine they might have been like this in the 16th century. We will continue working on parapets later this year.
The Big House has been roofed, windows and doors, insulation and internal floors. We are working on internal finishes as this will be part of our residence, and also is the means to access to the Tower. Right now the attic and first floor are being completed, with the ground floor to continue work through the year.
The New Build is essentially complete, although we continue to tweak this area. We have been living in this part, basically two open plan floors, for the past three years, and use it to accommodate our guests and volunteers. It is currently packed with furniture waiting to go into the Big House!