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Post Info TOPIC: Ross Castle in Oldcastle: Careful renovations and plans to "go green"


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Ross Castle in Oldcastle: Careful renovations and plans to "go green"

I just received this newsletter from the Ross Castle B&B in Oldcastle, which is really a marvelous place to visit:

In order to better communicate with you and the world from the shores of Lough Sheelin, Ross Castle had high-speed internet installed in its historic walls in the fall of 2011. This addition to our services follows several requests from visitors over the years. When finally Eircom, the local telecommunications provider, offered this improved service even for the Irish Midlands, we jumped at the opportunity to sign up. So, during your next visit you will be able to keep communicating with your  friends and family globally in real time and with the speed of (Irish) lightning! This improvement comes to Ross Castle exactly 500 years after the Black Baron dispatched couriers on horseback for his weekly communications with Dublin Castle. What a difference 500 years make!
Following the improved communication capabilities at Ross Castle, the existing website was revamped. True to the global nature of our friends, Hermann Thoene from Vancouver Island, Canada, who has visited Ross on numerous occasions and over many years, has, as we think, done a marvelous job on creating a new internet presence for Ross Castle. If you have not done so already, please have a look at our new site with lots of new information and new pictures ,and feel free to comment. Especially constructive suggestions are always welcome!
Proving that we do listen to suggestions from our guests, we tackled some bricks-and-mortar renovations at Ross Castle this spring:  We finally dared to renovate the lower tower bathroom. After 50 years of climbing over toilets and jumping into an oversized bathtub, the scary task was tackled to tear the old bathroom from its 500-year old footings to replace it with contemporary new fixtures, offering all of the modern bathroom comforts in a historic setting. To our surprise, not only was the base from which we had to rebuild sound, but the concrete had hardened over the past decades and centuries to the point, where hammer and chisel could hardly scratch it. Hats off to our plumber and electrician Paul, who fitted the new services effortlessly into the old walls without taking away any of the old charm and history.
On the larger scale, this small renovation project fits into the larger scheme, where we want to proceed to continuously upgrade the services of Ross Castle over the coming years. However, we want to do this carefully and cautiously, realising fully that we are moving within many-century-old walls, which deserves special care and consideration.  
As part of these upgrades, we also want to make Ross Castle greener! This appears especially fitting, being situated within the green countryside of the Green Isle. While most of the heat and hot water generated for the Castles occupants and guests originates from a modern heat pump, this system is being upgraded and will be complemented with a wood-fired back-boiler system by year-end. In 2010 a wind report was commissioned for the Ross castle area, which was very favourable.  At present the feasibility of a small wind-turbine is being investigated, which, tucked away and out of sight from the historic walls, would provide enough energy to power the remaining requirements of the Ross Castle infrastructure.
As you can tell, we do have our hands full and strive to improve the infrastructure and services at Ross Castle. We hope that you will be able to experience some of these upgrades at some point. In the meantime, and short of visiting Ross again in person, we would like to leave you with a feature article in a recent issue of the Irish Times: Things that go Bump in the night.



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How come you are so interested in Ross Castle?



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