A planning application has been lodged to take down parts of the listed Kilwaughter Castle to prevent their “uncontrolled collapse.”
The original part of the castle was built by the Agnew family in the seventeenth century, and was extended in 1803 by architect John Nash,
Despite a campaign being launched under the title ‘Save Kilwaughter Castle and Graveyard’, the condition of the now-derelict castle has deteriorated.
According to a visual inspection report on the castle undertaken in March by Albert Fry Associates, the “north-west turret and west wall of the 17th century tower house should be regarded as vulnerable and at risk of imminent collapse without notice.”
It adds that “the upper area of the west wall of the stair tower, of the 17th century tower house, is similarly vulnerable.”
The report says that the south elevation of the 19th century extension is “significantly deteriorated” and warns there could be a “failure of decayed timber heads or deteriorated brickwork” which could lead to masonry collapsing. Intrusive vegetation is also listed as a concern.
Due to the “advanced state of deterioration” and presence of collapse debris below the 17th-century north west tower house, the report recommends a “controlled, partial take-down (after detailed recording) of only the most vulnerable masonry at the north-west turret and upper portion of the west wall of the three-storey 17th century house.”
It also recommends the propping up of deteriorated timber heads throughout the castle “to prevent failure which would lead to loss of supported historic fabric.”
“Completion of these immediate recommendations would minimise further loss of historic fabric and provide time for detailed survey and, in collaboration with ta conservation architect, preparation of a detailed conservation strategy for Kilwaughter Castle,” it concludes.
Larne teen Lewis Perry McAdam, who set up the Save Kilwaughter Castle and Graveyard Facebook page, said he was “disappointed” that the castle had fallen into such a state of disrepair.
“I would have liked to have seen the castle preserved for future generations,” Lewis told the Times.
“It’s sad but it has been left in a state for so many years and in some places they won’t be able to save the castle.
“The future doesn’t really look good for it.
“I would like to be able to see more work going on to try and wave the castle, even if it’s just the parts that are in better condition.”
The castle’s owners were not available for comment.