Part of the RIAI Network

Silver Restoration Medal Winner 1999-2001

  • Ardfert Cathedral
  • Architect:
    The Heritage Service, OPW and Shaffrey Associates
  • Award Year: 1999-2001
  • Location: Kerry
Ardfert Cathedral


Ardfert Cathedral is one of our most important ecclesiastical monuments which contain surviving fabric from many periods from the 11th to the 19th Century.

Major conservation and consolidation works have been undertaken at Ardfert in a number of phases since 1982. The restoration of the South Transept was completed in 1994. The conservation and consolidation works to the nave and chancel of the Cathedral was the second major phase of the works. The project represented a significant public private partnership involving collaboration between private practice of conservation architects and National Monuments’ Senior Conservation Architect.

The works were carried out by a main contractor with several specialist subcontractors such as stone conservation and structural repair. Significant works undertaken were the removal of 19th century buttress and stabilisation of masonry walls and battlements.

Extensive surveys were undertaken using a wide variety of techniques to capture essential detail both to repair and record. Throughout every phase extensive architectural historical research and collaboration between disciplines allowed fully informed decisions to be made. Analysis and characterisation of the historic masonry mortars and plasters was a major aspect of the project. Different historic building phases could be read and sources for materials identified locally.

The restoration of Ardfert is an outstanding example of a collaborative professional approach by those, over a considerable period, using the great skill, learning, and respect for one of our most interesting monuments.