By Dan Walsh
On July 13th WexfordLocal.com published a ‘Save Barntown Castle’ piece and spoke with some locals who were fortunate to get funding from the Historic Structures Fund 2021 and the good news is that Phase 1 of safeguarding the castle has been successfully completed.
Stabilisation works to the base of the tower house has been completed and the committee said goodbye to the excellent stonemasons, Martin Codd Architectural Stonemasons, Archaeologist Emmet Stafford and Conservation Engineer Dermot Nolan on this project.
Michael Brazzill, Chairman Barntown Heritage Group told WexfordLocal.com; “What a transformation in just over two and a half weeks. The stone repairs and pointing were brilliantly executed and blended in flawlessly, securing the most vulnerable part of this structure. In the weeks ahead, we will look forward to adding a new entrance door to the tower house.
“This project was made possible by funds from the Historic Structures Fund 2021, Wexford County Council, the landowner and many donations made by the public. So, thank you so much, for helping us to save this historic structure and the many volunteers including Mayor of Wexford Cllr Garry Laffan and a massive thank you to Catherine McLoughlin, County Heritage Officer, for all her guidance with this project.”
Archaeologist Ronan O’Flaherty told WexfordLocal.com that Barntown Castle is one of the best surviving examples of a Wexford Castle – a bit later than the Norman castles dotted around the south-eastern counties.
Barntown is a late medieval, possibly 16th century tower house of four storeys, with the entrance protected by a machicolation. The lobby shows evidence of a murder hole and the battlements have been destroyed.
It was built by the Roches as a protection for the garrison that supplied Ferrycarrig Castle with provisions and was held by Walter Roche until his death in 1561 when it passed to his heir, William Wadding.