Spirits high over facelift of haunted Ulster castle
Published 08/09/2007 | 09:39
A CO Armagh group is pursuing a £5m plan to buy and restore one of Ulster's most famous haunted castles.
Richhill Castle is so well-known for its ghosts that the Ulster Paranormal Society meets there regularly to experience the hauntings.
And now the village's Building Preservation Trust is planning to buy the 17th century castle for under £1m, after which it will have to source an estimated £4m to restore it.
Said trust member Edgar Brown: " It's a tall order, but we have a long-term plan to make Richhill a tourism mecca.
"It is part of an overall plan to generally improve Richhill. We are securing a grant of £747,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve the general appearance of the village, with 20 buildings earmarked for improvements, then it's full focus on the castle."
Richhill Castle is owned by the Lyttle family and is a Grade A listed building in urgent need of restoration.
Added Mr Brown: "The plan is to provide an up-market conference centre and wedding reception facility, along with committee rooms for local community use, an interactive museum telling the history of the castle and the village, along with castle shop and tea-rooms.
"Private caterers are showing a close interest, and - along with the six acres of woods and gardens - it will be a tremendous attraction."
Work is under way on the plan and on sourcing funding.