Monkstown Castle

The Demesne, Monkstown, Co Cork


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DEC 2010 UPDATE

  • The main hall roof was completed since July. The external of the castle was covered with a number of coats of lime wash. Cast iron downpipes have been installed externally. The windows arrived from the Vale Bronze Casements and were installed during September and October. The frameless windows were installed using specialist double glazed slimlite glass from Scotland. 

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  • On 14th December the internal and external scaffolding was taken down by Martins Scaffolding. 

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  • In the coming weeks the outside will be completed with the installation of the 2 remaining door surrounds from Edwin Feeney and the construction of the missing archway over the main steps. The main steps will also be repaired and this area tided up. The ground floor level lime washing will also be completed. 

         The adjoining coach house is almost completed and is being painted at the current time. The externals areas will be landscaped during  January and February.

JULY 2009 UPDATE

  • Work is progressing on the central roof over the main hall. The timberwork has been completed and roof has been felted. 
  • A number of skylights have been installed and the slating of the roof is progressing well. This roof will be completed by the middle of September.
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  • Externally, the bartizans have been completed, the limestone window surrounds are being pointed and the upper floors have been lime washed. Edwin Feeney has completed the remaining limestone surrounds for the new front door and the existing front door at the top of the stairs. Vale Bronze Casements windows have been manufactured to templates provided and we expect these to be delivered in late August. 

The main focus has been on the adjoining coach house which is now completed to roof level. We are waiting for delivery of the windows and plastering, electrics and plumbing will start towards the ends of August.

MARCH 2009 UPDATE

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  • The 4 corner tower roofs have been now been fully completed. These were constructed in timber and steel beams were inserted under the ridges. The roofs are composed of natural slate sourced in Spain. In each of the four corners, the valleys flow into specially constructed gutter boxes, approximately 600mm x  600mm. These were formed in plywood, coated in fibre glass and covered with lead. 3 of the four corners are connected to an internal piping system which links the 3 outlets and carriers the rain water back out externally through a hole cored in the wall, where it meets the fourth corner. Using this method, we have reduced the amount of drainage pipes externally from 16 to 8, thus improving the overall aesthetics of the building..
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  • The limestone coping stones and pinnacles have been covered in Code 5 lead on the four corner towers. A similar approach will be adopted for the hall of the main roof.
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  • Bartizan reconstruction has been completed and the upper peaks will be covered in lead in the coming weeks.
  • A number window surrounds have been installed since the last update. The remaining surrounds will be delivered by Edwin Feeney in the coming weeks.
  • Internally, the landings around the lift-shaft were completed using the block and beam system.
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  • Focus will now move on to the construction of the roof in the main hall. By the end of the Summer all external works should be completed on the castle. 
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  • Adjacent to the castle, the foundations for the coach house have been completed. Masonry work has commenced and Ducon slabs installed for the floors.

JANUARY 2009 UPDATE

  • Internally, much of the castle has now been cleaned down and washed. In the south tower, the lift shaft has been completed and the 3rd floor installed. The steel have been inserted on the 1st and 2nd floors for the landings and these will be completed using the t-beam and block system in early January.

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  • Externally, all pointing and masonry repairs have now been completed.

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  • More limestone window surrounds have been installed and the South East elevation is now complete and the North East 

  • elevation is almost complete. These include the 2 nine panel windows (double transomed and double mullioned).

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  • Preliminary works commenced on the 4 corner tower roofs with the installation of the supporting steelworks.

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  • All 9 chimneys have now been covered with lead and the chimney shafts have been rendered in lime harling and much of the scaffold for these has now been removed.

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  • Much of the external walls of the castle have been scratch coated with lime render and a number of panels have been covered with lime harling.

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  • Work has commenced on the adjoining coach house and groundwork involving the relocation of ESB, Eircom and the water main have been completed. The dangerous gable of the existing structure was demolished and the stone retained on site for further works. Foundation work has also commenced.

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  • Over the coming months we aim to complete the window surrounds, all external rendering and the roofs. We will continue to focus on developing the coach house.

SEPTEMBER 2008 UPDATE

  • Scaffolding is being erected internally in the Main Hall and later in the 4 corner towers.

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  • Re-pointing is continuing on the South West and North West Elevations.

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  • The North East elevation is being cleaned, de-rooted and stitched.

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  • Remaining landing area are being cast in the corner towers.

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  • Work has commenced on building the lift shaft.

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  • A sample of Harling was applied to the walls by "Living with the Past".

AUGUST 2008 UPDATE

  • The 2nd and 3rd floors were installed in all areas with the exception of the lift (southern) tower.

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  • Stairs were installed in the northern, eastern and western towers from the 2nd to the 3rd floor.

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  • Repointing was completed on the South East elevation and commenced on the South West Elevation.

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  • Cleaning, root removal and stitching continued on the South West and North West Elevations.

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  • Pre-cast lintels continued to be installed internally in a number of the opes.

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  • The cut limestone surrounds were installed and repaired on the 3rd and 4th levels externally.

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  • The lift shaft pit and floor was completed in the southern tower.

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  • Archaeological testing was completed at the old cottage revealing a cobblestone floor in parts of the ruin.

JULY 2008 UPDATE

  • The scaffolding was completed by Martin Scaffolding.

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  • The bulk of the external render, foliage and roots (where appropriate) were removed from the castle.

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  • Steel angles were then installed on the 2nd and 3rd floors and U-Beams in the mezzanine area of the Main Hall. 

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  • During this activity, the remains of a window were found in the Main hall on the North West Elevation which is evidence that the 

  • external stairs and archway was not original to the building.

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  • Pre-cast lintels continued to be installed internally in a number of the opes.

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  • Work is in progress on the South East elevation with re-pointing and preparation of the walls for the finished harling render.

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  • The loose coping stones are being removed and reset where appropriate. 

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  • Some repairs to the masonry are necessary, particularly in the corner areas where the roof valleys meet the external stone walls. Additionally, a number of the small cracks will be repaired in the coming weeks.

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  • In general, the structure of the castle is in excellent condition, with the main areas of degradation being found where the timber lentils have failed. Additionally, on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Northern and Eastern towers, the masonry around the chimney breasts requires substantial repair.

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  • The cut limestone surrounds were delivered by Edwin Feeney for the upper 2 levels of the structure and work will commence on the installation of these during August.

JUNE 2008 UPDATE

  • The subfloors were poured in all areas with the exception of the Southern Tower (lift shaft) and the Western Tower (due to the cobblestone floor).

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  • Internally, at 1st floor level new steel angles were bolted to the walls or,  where possible, placed on bearing ledges. The existing steels at 1st floor level in the main hall were shot-blasted and primed. The bearing ends of these were checked and then re-set in concrete. New steel channels were inserted at the Northern and Southern ends of the main hall and tied back to the original steel beams.

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  • The 1st floor was then installed throughout the castle using the block and t-beam system.

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  • Pre-cast lintels were installed internally in a number of the opes.

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  •  "Living with the Past" took samples of the lime render internally and internally and are analysing the remains of the existing render.

MAY 2008 UPDATE

  • Ground works commenced on the 28th of April 2008. Externally, a land drain was laid around the perimeter of the castle. This was necessary due to the fact that the current road around the castle is approximately .5 meters above the original and to prevent the ingress of dampness, the drain was laid adjacent to the external walls. Additional drains have been laid for the patio areas and the sewer pipes and electrical ducting have been completed. 

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  • A mains water connection was also completed. During this work, the original drainage system was discovered around the area of the Northern tower. This was recorded and preserved in situ.

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  • The inner castle was excavated to facilitate the pouring of the subfloor. The lift shaft pit was created in Southern tower. An original cobblestone floor was uncovered in the western tower. This has been recorded and preserved in situ.  All works were monitored by Dan Noonan Archaeological Consultancy.

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  • There is also evidence that  a basement existed in the Northern tower.

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  • The erection of scaffolding also commenced in May and hardcore was laid internally in the castle.