Joe and I opened the gates of Jerpoint Park to the public in April 2011. It is wonderful to let the public see this hidden gem of Medieval Heritage at Jerpoint Park be seen properly for the first time. The response has been amazing and there is alot of interest in heritage and culture from both national and international visitors.
After a quite start the cars rolled in and the rest they say is history. Minister for Environment Phil Hogan was one of the early visitors, showing great support to this heritage site in his County of Kilkenny.
In June we had a visit from Prof. John Bradley (NUI Maynooth) and Dr. Declan Downey (UCD History Dept)
Heritage Week caused a real stir, and we were truly surprised at the volume of people who wanted to see St. Nicholas’s Tomb and the Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint.
We had a visit from Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman (Glenstal Abbey) and Dominick in August to visit St. Nicholas’s Tomb, it was a great honour and privilege to meet such kind, intelligent & entertaining men.
Also in August Mary Casteleyn and Bernie Kirwan (Danesfort) discovered an early 14th Century Carved Tomb Stone on site beside St. Nicholas’s Tomb. The Heritage Council and National Monuments both visited the site.
We had a number of American Tour Buses stop here for morning coffee and sheep dog demonstrations. They were truly surprised at being welcomed into our family home for homemade scones & to witness the geese being herded by a sheep dog .
In October work was carried out on stabilising the Tower House ( Funded by The Heritage Council of Ireland ). It involved removing the many years growth of ivy and repairing and pointing the Tower walls.
On 5th and 6th November an excavation was conducted by Coilin O’ Driscoll ( Kilkenny Archaeology). The dig concentrated in the area of the newly discovered Tomb Stone. A report will be published shortly of its findings and will be available on this website.
An article on Kilkenny People newspaper date 11.11.2011 about the excavation was astonishing, google analytics and interest in our facebook soared sky high. Following from that an article was in the Irish Independent, Belfast Telegraph. The Munster Express newspaper and Woman’s Way magazine featured a lengthy article plus an interview on Connemara Community Radio followed.
3rd November Liam Aylward MEP visited Jerpoint Park.
As did John Paul Phelan TD in early November.
On 21st November a presentation was made at Kilkenny County Council monthly, meeting with the County Manager and elected members present.
A visit from the Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan in late November with Kilkenny County Manager Joe Crockett and Ian Doyle of Heritage Council of Ireland. The Minister pledged his support to heritage projects like Jerpoint Park.
On 6th December St. Nicholas’s Feast Day the Mayor of Kilkenny David Fitzgerald visited with members of Kilkenny County Council and Prof. Muiris O’Sullivan (UCD School of Archaeology). BBC Radio Ulster came on the day to interview at our heritage site.
Great help and support has been shown to Jerpoint Park since its opening and both Joe and I would like to thank all the above for their time, energy, and commitment & to our customers a big thank you. Here’s hoping for a splendid 2012.
Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.