Sigginstown Castle

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Upcoming Course!  Mass Masonry Stove Workshop with Martin Ruzicka

June 15-23 2022: We hosted this workshop  to build a masonry stove

Martin Ruzicka, of in Scotland who builds  many different types of stoves, supervised the workshop to build a grundofen in the Big House. 

Traditional Skills 

Since we have a castle that spans 500 years, there is a lot of opportunity to apply and learn traditional skills...We are interested in learning different skills on our project and also using the castle as a learning environment for others. If you are interested in teaching a workshop on any of these methods and potentially using Sigginstown as a site, please contact us!

Stone & Lime

Sigginstown Chronicles - Stone: a 6 minute video on the stonework that has been done from 2016-2019 as part of our journey to bring a ruin back to life. It also features the traditional song "Open the Door Slowly" which inspired us about the same time that we bought the castle. It seems a fitting theme and song for a building that has seen so much history over the past 500 years. 

Much of the tower is in good condition, but there are large areas where repointing will be necessary. The render is intact in many places, but we will need to clean it and also apply additional render.We have sifted through lots of rubble dug from archeology to find suitable stone to put back in the tower and house. Sorting them is not glamorous but is necessary and allows a mason to focus on the more difficult work. We have been consuming lime for stone repair and LECA floors, and Gordon visited the St. Astier limeworks in France this year.  We hope in 2020 to use a lime wash inside the tower, and continue to repair the north wall of the tower.  Our main focus will be repairing the Big House walls to receive a roof.

Green Oak & Woodworking

From forest to roof to floors and eventually to tables. We  spent 2019 working with green oak for the tower roof and floors. We still have a few timbers to turn into furniture, and we would like to have some workshops on this in the future.

We had a lot of help to do this, with massive consultation/instruction from Ed Byrne (Carlow) & the roof itself being made by joiner James Grace (Wicklow)

The oak timbers were felled in a Carlow forest owned by the Gabbett family, which has existed for several hundred years. The felling is part of their normal program.

Green Oak Video - Part 1: Tower Roof

Green Oak Video- Part 2: Tower Floors

Mud & Clay

In 2018 we attended and hosted Clayfest and have done mud oven building on site.  

We want to make medieval encaustic (inlaid) tiles on site in 2020 out of our dug clay. We believe the bricks and tiles found on site could have been local clay. We would also like to make some pottery of various eras to use in the castle

One of the walls of the agricultural building was made of mud.  In addition to the castle wall, there was a cob cottage next door to the Marle pond, and probably one other one on the property. 

We also plan to build a rocket or mass-masonry stove inside the Big House for heat, and hope to use the clay for that.