Hundreds of visitors converged on Kilwaughter Castle on September 14 to mark European Heritage Open Day.
A number of local attractions opened their doors for free as part of the annual event, allowing visitors to explore the region’s heritage.
Ryan Greer, who is Property Manager at the castle, said: “We had nearly 600 visitors and a minibus provided by Inver Coaches Ltd transported people between the castle and village hall. In addition to allowing the public to visit the castle, we held an exhibition of Victorian photographs and letters courtesy of the Shipley-Bringhurst-Hargraves family papers, special collections, University of Delaware Library, USA.”
He added: “These pictures were taken by Elizabeth Galt Smith and her brother, Edward Shipley Bringhurst. Elizabeth lived in the castle from 1891-1921, leasing it from the Agnew-Balzani family.
“We also had some personal family pictures from the Balzani family, courtesy of Alessandra Gatti Balzani, and Lorenza Paolo Gatti Balzani.
“The photographs were re-mastered and mounted by photographer Peter Steele, who was exhibiting some of his own photographs and drone footage. Also displayed was work by Shaun-Paul Linton from Merglan Media, including his short film ‘The Capanagh Turfman’ about the disappearing tradition of hand cutting turf in the Capanagh Hills.
“The public support for the castle was overwhelming and hugely encouraging for the owners, Ross and Anne Ferguson, and myself as the Property Manager. It was such a pleasure to hear local people’s stories and connections to the castle.
“We are working to tidy and secure the castle property in order to have more public open days in the future. Given the castle’s historic connections, both local and international, we want to preserve and restore it for future generations.”