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Bishop’s Palace Raphoe Receives Heritage Grant

Publish Date: 21 April 2022

The Chairperson of Raphoe Community In Action has welcomed the announcement by that Raphoe Castle is one of  8 successful applications to the Department of Heritage Community Monuments Fund.  Mary Harte said that this was an exciting first step towards the restoration of  an important historic building in Donegal.

Image © Mary Harte

The Bishop’s Palace is one of  a few castles in Ireland that although in a ruinous state maintain their original façade, in the case of Raphoe some 400 years after it was built. “The castle was built as a fortified dwelling, essentially a defensive castle in 1637 by the Bishop of Raphoe, John Leslie and has had a turbulent history. It was attacked by the Confederates, the Cromwellians, the Jacobites and the United Irishmen and eventually burned to its current shell after a turf sod fell onto the wooden floor".  

Image © Mary Harte

This grant will allow a Conservation Management Plan to be carried out to determine how best to restore and preserve the castle and the costs involved in the restoration of this wonderful building.  doWe have been working with the Morrow family during the consultation process and I would like to thank them for their co-operation and permission for us to proceed with this project.

The work will be carried out by Dublin conservation architects - Howley,Hayes Cooney who have been involved with the restoration of Carlignford Castle and previously in Donegal with Raphoe Cathedral and Buncrana Castle. There will be an archaeologist and environmentalist also involved in this stage of the process. 

This is a community led project and I would like to thank the Heritage Officer for Donegal Dr. Joe Gallagher for his assistance and encouragement with this project.

Read more here: Funding to conserve Donegal’s archaeological monuments announced

Image © Mary Harte

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