County Wicklow is set to benefit from a recent funding announcement by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, of allocations under the Historic Structures Fund 2021.
Two projects shortlisted by Wicklow County Council for Russborough House and Killruddery House have been successful in their applications and approved for grant allocations of €50,000 each under the scheme to carry out essential conservation works.
At Russborough House near Blessington, the project will entail the repair and restoration of the original Weir Wall on the estate, a feature dating from the 18th century and located along the N81 road. The restoration of this historic structure will safeguard it for generations to come and importantly, will also allow it to come into public use as part of the upcoming Blessington Greenway.
At Killruddery House, Bray, it is proposed to carry out essential works at the clock tower to arrest the deterioration of stone masonry and ironwork. The clocktower, located in the forecourt, houses three rare water-powered clocks, one of which was constructed by the 13th Earl of Meath c. 1903-06.
Both Russborough House and Killruddery House are heritage sites of national significance and are key visitor attractions for County Wicklow. These projects will ensure that essential elements of our built heritage are protected and made more resilient so that they can continue to contribute to our heritage tourism offering for generations to come.
The announcement follows that of €72,000 in funding for County Wicklow under the Department’s other built heritage grant scheme, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, earlier this month, and comes as the phased return of construction works gets underway.
These schemes help to safeguard our rich built heritage, keeping many buildings in use and helping to bring many others back into use. The awards announced also have a welcome knock-on economic benefit by generating employment for heritage contractors and other skilled crafts and tradespeople across the country.