A £1million conservation project at Carrickfergus Castle has taken a major step forward with the award of the construction contract for a new roof to the castle’s Great Tower.
The Great Tower, also known as ‘the Keep’, is a familiar landmark of the town of Carrickfergus and will soon be bustling with activity as work gets underway to construct a new roof.
The contract is expected to last approximately six months, will see JPM Contracts Ltd of Dungiven carry out the dismantling of the existing flat roof and the construction of a new roof that has been designed to be in keeping with the late-medieval architecture of the Castle. The roof will be made from Irish Oak used ‘green’ and work to shape and assemble the new roof will be conducted on site.
The project will be managed by the Department for Communities’ Historic Environment Division. Its Director, Iain Greenway, said: “This is the largest capital investment by the Department for Communities in one of our State Care Monuments in recent years. The works, which are now moving into the construction phase, will safeguard and enhance this internationally-important castle, and ensure that heritage delivers for the social and economic prosperity of the whole area.”
Colum McNicholl from JPM Contracts Ltd said: “We are delighted to be working on this unique construction project at Carrickfergus Castle. The new roof, which draws from medieval architecture, will be a show-piece of good conservation, practice and skills. The work, involving stone-masons, carpentry and lead workers will ensure the integrity of the Keep for generations to come.”