Location: Markethill, County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
Ownership / Access: --
Opening times: Check their website for more info.
Price of admission: Check their website for more info.
Notes: Gosford Castle is situated in Gosford, a townland of Markethill, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, close to the border with County Down. Construction of the castle began in 1819 and finished in the 1850s. It was commissioned by Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford and the architect was Thomas Hopper, one of the leading London architects of the first half of the 19th century. It is the largest Grade A listed building in Northern Ireland. The Ministry of Agriculture bought the estate in 1958, establishing Gosford Forest Park. In January 2006 the decaying castle was bought by a development company, the Boyd Partnership, which planned to turn it into private homes. In January 2008 the first residents of the new apartments moved in. The estimated repair bill was in the region of £4m, the nature of the development was selected by a government-appointed panel.The government regained possession of the castle in February 2002. The castle at this time was in a desperate state of disrepair and without urgent intervention was in real danger of becoming irretrievably beyond repair. Following lengthy negotiations, in 2006 a local developer and specialist architects, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Heritage Service, put forward a proposal to restore the castle. The agreed proposal was to turn Gosford Castle into 23 residences. The castle was sold to Gosford Castle Developments for £1,000 in January 2006, although the repair bill was estimated at £4million. By end of 2013 the cost of redevelopment has risen to over £7million. As many sections of the building have a degree of vertical independence, the principal sub-division of the castle was into vertically-separated dwellings. To achieve this, a team of artisans and craftsmen were recruited to create the individualistic homes of two, three and four storeys in height, set within the original fabric of the castle. The development retains the character and historic integrity of the castle by using existing staircases and walls where possible. Attention to detail included the restoration of original colour schemes in the principal rooms, such as the vaulted ceiling of the Inner Hall, picked out in gold; walls that were painted green to represent drapery; and a background of scarlet used to set off the library�s wooden bookcases. Residents began moving into the first completed homes in the castle courtyard in January 2008.
Gosford Castle Links:Gosford Castle On Wikipedia
Gosford Castle, Queen's University Belfast