Community Monuments Fund 2020
Abbeygormacan was described by Larkin (2015) as a ‘Forgotten Church in East Galway’, and rightly so. Until very recently, this ivy clad ruin got the brunt of storm force winds, endangering the structure, and those that visited the surrounding graves. One wall had fallen onto a grave, limiting access and causing much distress.
Abbeygormican Cemetery Group were successful in their application for Community Monuments Funds 2020 awarded by The National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and administered through Galway County Council.
Conservation, Maintenance, Protection
The core objective of the Community Monuments Fund is to support the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of local monuments and historic sites. It contains a number of different measures aimed at enabling conservation works to be carried out on monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support, encouraging access to monuments and improving their presentation and also building resilience in monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.
The Community Monuments Fund is investing essential capital in our valuable archaeological heritage to help owners and custodians of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future for the benefit of communities and the public and to stimulate local employment and economic activity.
At Abbeygormican, the grant funded essential maintenance to a collapsed wall within the south east end of the abbey. This is part of the chancel walls, showing a prominent base batter beneath the window location. Further works are required in the restoration of a double piscina, an architectural feature of the internal wall of the chancel. This would be located adjacent to an altar, and used to wash hands/chalices.
Removal of Ivy
The removal of ivy enables the preparation of a conservation management plan, which shall outline core objectives in the future management of the conservation and protection of the site. The works involved a team of experts including Moore Group Archaeology Consultants, Matthieu and Mitchell Building Contractors, John Britton Conservation Engineers and 7L Architects.
Exceptional Delivery of Work
The works were commended by Bernie Doherty, Galway Community Archaeologist , who highlighted the exceptional delivery of work within a very tight time-frame and budget. Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Galway County Council welcomed the funding received under the Community Monuments Fund which has been awarded by the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. They also commended the excellent work being undertaken by Abbeygormican Cemetery Group and all the professionals involved in the project as well as the advice and guidance given by the National Monuments Service at local and national level.