A Student of History

June 17, 2007

Is it a castle or is it not?

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Ireland — John Maass @ 9:48 am

There is a very interesting story in The Telegraph about an effort to get restoration money for a castle in the Newry (Co. Down) area, in order to promote tourism.

One problem-the castle may never have existed!

When a well-known rogue asked Elizabeth I for money to build a castle in Ireland, she turned him down flat, suspecting he would pocket the cash for himself. Now, 450 years later, it appears that the Heritage Lottery Fund has not been so astute. The fund granted £1.5 million to “restore” the castle, which historians are claiming never existed.

Another site associated with the castle restoration gives their version of the “history” of the castle:

Rediscovered in 1996, Bagenal’s Castle survived enveloped in the premises of the former McCann’s Bakery on Abbey Way. The rediscovery is an exciting opportunity for Newry and Mourne to preserve and restore one of the most important aspects of local heritage and the building is of intense historical interest not least because it is the only known surviving castle in Ireland for which the original plans and elevations survive in the Public Records Office in London.

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