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Heritage Council fund conservation work at a number of Irish Landmark properties

Thanks to the support of the Heritage Council under the Heritage Capacity Fund 2022, major conservation work has been carried out at five of Irish Landmark’s heritage properties.

Irish Landmark’s iconic lighthouse properties suffer from continual exposure to salt-laden air, wind, and rain due to their extremely exposed locations. This environment impacts severely on the fabric of the building causing cracks in the external render leading to major water ingress into the building. Protective layers of paint are worn away sometimes in a matter of months. Without these layers of paint, ironwork rusts immediately and timber sash windows and doors soon start to rot and decay. Major repair work has been carried out at three of Irish Landmark’s lighthouse properties to deal with the effects of their extreme location.

The sash windows at Galley Head Lightkeepers’ Houses and St John’s Point Lightkeepers’ Houses in Co. Donegal were in a particularly fragile condition. They were removed to the workshop, splice repaired, the putty was renewed and then the sashes were painted and fitted back into place. While on site, contractors also discovered areas, particularly around electrical conduits, sockets and windows, where a cement based render and gypsum plaster had been used rather than a traditional lime plaster. This inappropriate material was drawing moisture from the surrounding area and reacting causing areas of damp and salt damage. So all the cement based render and gypsum plaster was removed and replaced with a traditional lime based plaster. After all this repair work, a full interior decoration with clay paint was required to make the properties ready for guests.

Work was also carried to repair cracks in the external render at St John’s Point Lightkeepers’ Houses and to deal with the effects of water ingress on internal walls particularly at Loop Head Lightkeepeer’s House where water penetrating through the upper gable wall had affected rooms on the ground floor.

It is not only our coastal properties that need constant upkeep. Timber sash windows at Inchiquin House and Merrion Mews were also in need of repair and painting. The stables below the guest accommodation at Merrion Mews are used by the Garda Mounted Unit. The walls are fragile and plastered with lime plaster that needs regular limewashing to keep it in good condition.

This project is supported by the Heritage Council under the Heritage Capacity Funding 2022.