The Traditional Building & Conservation Skills in Action Exhibition, which is being presented by the Irish Georgian Society and Kildare County Council in partnership with the Office of Public Works and with funding from the Heritage Council, will take place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June 2010.
It will be held in the grounds of the splendid Castletown, Ireland’s largest and earliest Palladian house.
The exhibition will include demonstrations of all the traditional building skills needed for the care and repair of historic buildings to include: traditional ironwork restoration; traditional slate dressing; decorative plasterwork conservation; use of lime-based mortars and renders; building of traditional stone walls; mud walling; traditional wallpaper making; historic paint effects; pole lath turning and furniture restoration to name a few. These demonstrations will take place in the farmyard.
In tandem with the exhibition will be a series of free conservation talks, which will take place in the palatial entrance hall at Castletown. Access to the lectures and demonstrations are free of charge and no booking is necessary. Full details available here.
In short Castletown will become a one-stop shop for owners seeking accurate, impartial and free advice on the care, conservation and repair of their historic building. Owners are encouraged to bring photographs of their buildings to gain more meaningful advice.
There will be lots of other aspects to the exhibition too. For instance the Irish Landmark Trust have kindly agreed to open two of their properties located in Castletown Demesne for the duration of the weekend. Namely the newly restored Batty Langley Lodge and the Round House. The respective conservation architects responsible for their conservation, Kevin Blackwood and Cathal Crimmins will be on hand to explain what works were undertaken.
There will also be tours of the stunning Castletown House, and information stands from the Irish Georgian Society, Kildare County Council’s Heritage Department, The Building Limes Forum Ireland, The Heritage Council and the Irish Antique Dealers Association.
Ciarán Cuffe, Minister of State will special responsibility for Sustainable Transport, Horticulture, Planning and Heritage will launch the exhibition at 12 noon on Saturday 26th June.
The exhibition taking place in Castletown has particular resonance for the Society, as it was their founder, Hon. Desmond Guinness who saved Castletown from jeopardy when he purchased the house in 1967 from a property developer and set about raising money from Society members to help restore the house.