Enniskillen Castle is to be transformed into a world class heritage attraction, thanks to a £2.37million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
03 December 2014
Many of the historic buildings within the castle complex are to be restored and refurbished and a new visitor centre will be built to replace the derelict building currently at the entrance to the site.
The result will be a major exhibition and museum which will tell the extraordinary, often blood-drenched story of the castle and of the glories of County Fermanagh and its unique heritage and landscape.
The castle was of huge strategic importance in the past as it guards the crossing point between Upper and Lower Lough Erne - one of the few passes into Ulster.
It was originally built by the Maguire chieftains 600 years ago and was fought over many times in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The iconic Watergate was built in the early 17th century and is one of the most important pieces of plantation architecture in Ulster.
Sarah McHugh, manager of museum services at Fermanagh County Museum, said: "We're thrilled to have been given this funding. The castle complex will become a great magnet for visitors, telling the story of the castle, the town and the county and become a true gateway to the entire region."
There are plans to develop a new History Hub facility providing access to the museum's archives, photographs, library, oral histories and digital film archive. There will also be four new galleries creating additional space to showcase the museum's important collections of objects, images and oral histories relating to the region.
Paul Mullan, head of HLF in Northern Ireland said: "We feel passionately about this extremely important project which is genuinely world class. Our investment will provide a lasting legacy not just for Enniskillen but for the whole of Fermanagh. We are very grateful to all the National Lottery players who make this kind of funding possible."
© Image courtesy of British Library