It has been abandoned and off-limits since the 1940s but locals recently got a rare opportunity to see the inside the walls of Coltsmann’s Castle. The doors of the famous but mysterious landmark were thrown open last week as part of the inaugural Architecture Kerry Weekend and visitors were treated to an insightful tour of the protected structure.
The O’Reilly family purchased the property in 2005 and significant works have already been carried out on the site. Organisers of the tour also revealed that plans are in place to completely renovate the building, which is located near Mill Road and is also known locally as Flesk Castle.
Architect Karol O’Mahony, historian John Knightly and Victoria McCarthy Conservation Officer Kerry County Council welcomed visitors to the recorded monument last weekend.
“Some locals are now hugely surprised that it still exists,” Karol O’Mahony said, “and more surprised that someone plans to renovate it, with the general consensus being, ‘Not in my lifetime!’”
Redevelopment is well underway, however, and O’Mahony has prepared an outline design and feasibility studies for renovation of the building as a family home.
The focus of the inaugural Architecture Kerry Festival was the county’s architectural heritage and the event, which will showcase and celebrate the best of the county’s architectural heritage, will take place from 28 to 30 September, and will feature talks, free guided tours, exhibitions, workshops and family events.
The aim of the new festival, which is part of the Creative Ireland Programme, is to highlight the wide diversity of the architectural landscape in Kerry and to make some of the best-known sites of architectural significance in the county accessible to all ages.