Carrigadrohid Castle Survey

Extract from the Report

The following extract is taken from page 14 of the Report which highlights the serious condition of the Castle.

Michael Murphy speaking on behalf of
the committee at the official launch of the survey

"... Of much more significance on a daily basis is the loss of fabric from the walls. This not only presents a serious safety issue from stone falls, but also reminds us that, although these walls are massive, their continuous erosion will eventually leave us with nothing but a pile of stones. We are lucky in this instance that the stone, typically limestone, appears to be relatively durable. In some instances stones have cracked but this appears to have occurred where under significant shear loads as a result of more major structural movement. The significant erosion is hence to the mortar which, once absent, leaves the stones unbedded. There are a number of mechanisms for this erosion... ...All of the mechanisms for erosion to the walls can be halted or significantly retarded...".

"The cracked lintel to this opening should be propped immediately as it is extremely dangerous". (Expert report)





    What The Experts had to Say

  1. "This Castle is a remarkable structure, and deserves sensitive conservation and repair. Its setting, in the middle of the river, with its attendant stone bridge, produces an effect of outstanding beauty and sublimity."

  2.   "The castle was constructed in three distinct phases, dating roughly to the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It has been roofless and ruined since at least the last quarter of the eighteenth century."

  3. "The adjacent stone bridge probably dates from the seventeenth century and its southern half was rebuilt in the middle of the nineteenth century, after severe flood damage".

  4. "The current dangerous condition of the masonry of the castle requires immediate attention to prevent serious injury from falling stones".

  5. "Reinstatement of the roof or internal floors should not be contemplated, since the castle has been ruinous for over two centuries".

  6. "Enhanced access and movement within the castle could, however, be achieved with the careful insertion of a finely detailed stairway and viewing platforms to allow visitors to reach the wall walk level"

  7. "Riverside trails could be developed from which to view the castle from riverbanks"
  8. "The scope of works is complex, if not extensive. We would recommend that you seek expert advice from an architect and engineer with conservation experience to specify, detail and oversee the repair programme".

  9. "The challenge in conserving Carrigadrohid is to improve public safety   and accessibility, without compromising the important historic and aesthetic qualities derived from its ruination"

  10. "Any conservation works require a light and experienced hand."



Recommended course of action:

  1. "Cracks to west and east walls should be left as they are. However, if access were provided for other works, it would make sense to secure all loose stones and to install permanent markers showing the extent of cracking at the current time. Such markers will allow future caretakers of the structure to measure the rate and extent of any future movement

  2. Weather action dislodging stones to the underside and sides of openings, particularly where the lintel has already rotted or been removed.

  3. Water penetration into the tops of walls and ledges leading to erosion of the mortar and eventual loosening of stones.

  4. Plant root action dislodging mortar from joints and prising away stones.

  5. River action scouring the mortar and then stones from the base of the walls.

  6. Significant local damage requiring immediate action

  7. It is impossible to detail all of the instances where the above processes are taking place. Virtually every section of wall is experiencing some extent of erosion. It is probably most useful to highlight the two areas which are causing the most immediate concern.

  8. The opening at ground floor to the cross wall in the north annexe has suffered badly from stone falls and, if not arrested as soon as possible, will result in the fall of a large section of masonry.

  9. The cracked lintel to this opening should be propped immediately as it is extremely dangerous".


(This Committee has notified Cork County Council, The ESB and Dúchas of this danger, both to the people who use the Bridge and to those who swim in the river.)