Re: Re: Rock of Cashel stone conservation restoration

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Fascinating thread; my one visit to Cashel left me in a real quandary.
(1) The cathedral was deliberately unroofed in the 18th C and was subsequently affected by weathering (leading to the partial collapse of the east gable). Is it appropriate to treat the vandalism of the 18th C as the terminal defined state of the building?
(2) Cormac’s Chapel was a grave disappointment; it is a gem, but a sadly neglected one and all the pictures amply demonstrate this.
(3) In the same vein, the illustrations of Ardfert beg one very important question: why is it not reroofed and brought back into use (as a communal building if not a church, though the latter would be the obvious use)?
What is the resistance to restoration and re-use? Is the Venice protocol (or whatever it’s called) simply a form of PC usage for conservators? Isn’t the best preservative of a building its being in use and maintained? AWN Pugin (no less) could not understand why he was being asked to build new churches in Co. Wexford when there were so many historic buildings waiting to be brought back into use. Better an imperfect (though not Disney-esque) restoration than an absolutely PC ‘conservation’ that amounts to decay and neglect (or the abortion posing as one wall of Limerick castle!).

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