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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Moore (Local Democracy Reporter)

Plans submitted for repairs to mausoleum on Causeway Coast

The stone Mausoleum at Downhill Demense, in a field with blue skies and summer sunshine.

Plans have been submitted for repairs to the Mausoleum at Downhill Demense in Castlerock.


An application for listed building consent has been submitted by the National Trust to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council for “stabilisation and general consolidation works” to the Grade B+ listed monument.


The proposed works aim to consolidate the most deteriorated areas of the Mausoleum which, according to the planning application’s Design and Access Statement, is in a “ruinous state following historical collapse of upper-level masonry”. 



The statement continues: “It is important to assess the structure and the expectations of the structure in this context. It must be accepted that defects will exist around the monument, and remedying all defects may not be practical or economic. A considered and pragmatic approach is therefore considered appropriate.”


Proposed works include the installation of stitching anchors to restrain or consolidate displaced columns, the removal of corroding iron cramps and pinning of affected stone. Consolidation of stone via rebedding and pointing will also be undertaken, along with removal of vegetation and inspection of collapsed high level columns to assess stability.



There will be no change to the current access of the Mausoleum as part of the proposed works. 


The mausoleum was based on the Tomb of the Julii, found beneath St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City. Sir John Soane produced a sketch design, based on the Roman model, for the Earl Bishop and the work was undertaken by Irish architect Michael Shanahan.

 

According to the Design and Access Statement, the proposed works will be undertaken with “minimum intervention to the existing building fabric”. 



It adds: “The works are intended to consolidate the structure, preventing further deterioration and potential collapse in the future. These works will reduce the need to further excessive repairs in the future which will come at an even greater financial cost. As well as a financial cost, more of the original structure and its historical and architectural significance could be lost.”


Works will be sympathetic to the original fabric of the structure, with repairs to be made using original materials or as close to the original material as possible. In addition, any consolidation works will be completed to retain as much of the original fabric as possible. 



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