Irish ministerial visit to Stirling Campus

Irish Minister visits FVC HES workshop

Irish ministerial visit to Stirling Campus

Ireland’s Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief (OPWFR), Kevin Moran visited the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) Masonry Training Facility at Forth Valley College in Stirling recently.

Mr Moran was welcomed by Jennifer Tempany, FVC’s Head of Business Development and Professor David Mitchell Director of Conservation at HES on Tuesday 12 December. He observed work to carve a stone capitol for the Four Courts building in Dublin, part of a project between HES and OPWFR to share technical and craft expertise between Ireland and Scotland.

The Minister then travelled to the Engine Shed, Scotland's new building conservation centre where he had particular interest in engaging young people in heritage and the use of traditional craft and the digital technology to do so.

Professor David Mitchell, Director of Conservation, for HES said: “In March 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the OPW Heritage Service to provide a basis for sharing experiences, expertise and knowledge between the two organisations and focussing in particular on conservation related activities. The partners now propose to work together on the first piece of work to emerge from the relationship.”

Jennifer Tempany, Head of FVC’s Department of Business Development, said: “It was a delight to welcome the Minister and show him round the facilities here at FVC’s Stirling Campus. We hope there could well be several avenues of cooperation we can build on in the future.”

The Irish OPW has been engaged over the last two years in repairs and detailed investigation works on the 1920s era concrete dome and the stone drum of the Four Courts.  There are 24 carved Corinthian capitals supporting the dome and a number have become significantly eroded and degraded over time.  A number of the existing capitals will therefore have to be repaired or replaced with new carved capitals.

Under the Memorandum, Stonemasons from the OPW and HES will engage to work together to carve one of the replacement capitals: this work will be done at the Engine Shed in Stirling, the HES’s new facility dedicated to supporting traditional crafts and educating people about the value of heritage.  At the Engine Shed, OPW and HES stonemasons will carve the new Four Courts capital in full view of visitors so members of the public can see this highly specialist and dramatic work in progress.  The completed carved capital will then be returned to Dublin and installed in the Four Courts.

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