Every street corner, every meandering alleyway, every old shop façade tells its own story. Our streetscapes are woven into the heart of Irish life – and are a crucial part for our heritage. In today’s podcast, Ian Doyle, Head of Conservation with The Heritage Council, explains the key components of the Historic Towns Initiative, a joint initiative between the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the Heritage Council.
Episode 10- Historic Towns Initiative: Community-led regeneration of a county town
In today’s podcast we travel to Tralee – and hear how the town has been revitalised by a communal coming together to protect its past.
Under the Historic Towns Initiative, a programme of investment to enhance Tralee’s historic buildings was set in train.
The Historic Towns Initiative is run by the Heritage Council in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. This promotes heritage-led regeneration in our historic towns.
A number of bodies - ranging from Kerry County Council to the Irish Georgian Society contributed to the project. The Historic Towns Initiative 2020 also prompted significant community involvement. Local secondary school children painted a series of murals based on the built heritage of the town. The project involved the conservation repair of historic wrought iron railings at Day Place.
Main contractor, Ned O’Shea & Sons, and Brendan St. John, a blacksmith carried out conservation repair of all railings at the front of a terrace of ten buildings, developed by Justice Robert Day, circa 1805. All ten building owners came together to embrace the project. The video below demonstrates the before and after look of the conservation work.
In addition, funding provided under the HTI went towards the conservation of historic window joinery at 17 Denny Street (built circa 1825). The street was laid out by Sir Edward Denny, a Tralee landlord, following demolition of Tralee Castle, which had been located in the heart of the town centre since the 1240s.
Coincidentally, Edward Denny was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Justice Robert Day of Day Place. The work included conservation repair and refurbishment of surviving original sash windows.
The following video shows joiners involved in the project carried out under the auspices of the Irish Georgian Society and Kerry County Council, and funded by the Heritage Council for National Heritage Week last year.