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Building & Conservation Works Begin

We are delighted to report that in April the building and improvement works began here at Johnstown. There will be significant conservation and upgrading works undertaken on the Castle itself, allowing it to be opened to the public and a new Visitor Centre is also being constructed on the property. The new facilities will open in early 2019.

“We are delighted to report that in 2019 the Castle will be open to the public for the first time in thirty years”, said Tom Doherty, Chief Operations Officer of Teagasc. “We will be offering an exciting visitor experience with access to three floors of the castle, access to the original servants’ tunnel and a new visitor centre with a café and shop", he continued.

In the meantime Johnstown Castle Gardens and the Irish Agricultural Museum are open for visitors where they can enjoy a nostalgic journey through Irish farming and social history, enjoy the stunning views or meander through the lush woodland gardens and around the lake.

Photo updates on the construction and conservation work are available on the Facebook page by clicking here.

 

 


Johnstown Castle Looks to the Future

"Johnstown Castle Looks to the Future" was featured in the Irish Arts Review Magazine in 2017. The piece, written by writer and artist Peter Pearson chronicles the history of the Johnstown Estate and is available to read by clicking here.

 

 


Our Plans

The construction works at Johnstown Castle commenced in April 2018 and when completed we will operate the very special Johnstown Castle, Estate, Museum & Grounds for all to enjoy.

 


Our Bat Colony

The IAM Manager, Matt and Harm Deenen (a trained field ecologist) have been conducting regular bat counts and surveys at Johnstown since 2015. In 2016 they carried out weekly counts of the maternal colony of soprano pipistrelle bats which use the first floor roof of the museum (west side). This work has continued this year so they can build up comparative data and monitor the health of the colony.

The bats gather in this roost from March until October although they reckon some individuals may hibernate there in the winter too. The roost reaches its peak in May with the biggest count being 714 individuals recorded on 5 May 2016. They have been told by experts that this is the third largest recorded roost in the country. In June the pups are born and can sometimes be seen on infra-red camera that they have in the roof.

The team have a theory that other species of bat may also use the same roost from time-to-time but in much smaller numbers – they think they have detected a daubenton bat emerging from the roost this year. Counting bats means standing outside the roost at sunset and counting for an hour in ten minute intervals - 20 to 30 mins after sunset is the peak emergence time. They use various specialist bat equipment to aid them. Records of bat counts are submitted to Bat Conservation Ireland, National Biodiversity Centre and are also available on the Irish agricultural museum website.

They also carry out regular patrol surveys around the grounds and have detected brown long-eared bats, common pipistrelle, leisler bats and daubenton bats (water specialists). They have been told that bats have used the castle in the past but they have no evidence to support this being the case at the moment.

Johnstown has the perfect habitat for Irish bats. The team intend to keep recording to build up their knowledge of bats on the site and to continue to monitor the maternal roost so it becomes the best recorded roost in the country and a flagship for bat conservation.


Open Days at Johnstown Castle

We were delighted to host the “Johnstown Open Days” with Teagasc and the Irish Agricultural Museum during the summer of 2016. The public were invited to see what is happening at the wonderful Johnstown Castle, which is just outside Wexford town. Hundreds of people enthusiastically came through the doors of the Castle over two days. They enjoyed hearing about the exciting plans for the future and there was plenty of goodwill and support for this project including sharing stories and offers to volunteer.